Beany has been increasingly interested in ingredients lately, and her questioning is often relentless. “What is that?” “Where did that come from?” “What does that taste like?” “How did you make it?” This has its plusses and minuses, of course. Curiosity finally convinced her to taste salad dressing, which made her taste spinach salad, which she now eats daily and by the bowlful. On the other hand, her keen observational skills have her noticing everything that’s in everything. Basil is now troublesome because, ironically, it resembles spinach, and, “Spinach doesn’t go in my pasta, silly goose.” Onions, which she’s happily noshed since before she could walk, are another tricky one lately. “Not too big and not too small,” she says. Fair enough.
Poppy seeds, which I had leftover from a salad I made a while back, could have gone either way with our resident 3-year-old food critic. I marketed them as flower seeds, the kind Tinker Bell undoubtedly sprinkles on cereal. We could add flower seeds to our breakfast, too, I said. How about in muffins? Beany thought this sounded great.
So we mixed and sprinkled and baked, and these lemon poppy seed muffins were the fruit-tinged treats of our labor. Happy tummies all around.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup milk
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to whip together sugar, butter, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon canola oil until pale and fluffy. Then mix in the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add eggs one at a time, and blend after each. Mix in the vanilla.
- In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, sour cream and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Add the milk/sour cream mixture and flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating between the two and mixing by hand with a rubber spatula. You should begin and end with the flour mixture; fold until just combined after each addition.
- Divide batter among 15 to 18 prepared muffin cups, depending on how big you want your muffins (I did 18, and the tops were still nice and round). Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, just until tops are beginning to golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Be careful not to over-bake!) Remove muffins from the tin as soon as you are able, and place them on a wire rack.
- To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice until well blended. While the muffins are still a bit warm, drizzle the tops with the lemon glaze.