Sunday, December 27, 2009

Year-End Bonus Recipe!

I love the holidays, for three reasons:
  • One--it's a season of spending time with family, and whether that's my brother and dad or Tim's spectacular parents and sister, I know I'm going to be laughing and full of love.
  • Two--it's a season of eating, and I love to eat! Tim's parents are excellent cooks, and I love to bake, so there's no shortage of delicious food to consume in the month of December round these parts.
  • And three--Tim's swimmers like to send him home from practice with treats. (See above bullet point about how I love to eat.)
Last week, or maybe this week, or maybe some other time, one of Tim's swimmers sent him home with an adorable little Christmas-y lunch box filled with miniature poppy seed muffins. Tim hates poppy seed muffins. I adore poppy seed muffins. I'm not a big muffin person in the first place (I hate blueberry, pumpkin, orange, banana, cranberry, and most other types of muffins, and I've only ever met two or three kinds I'll eat), but there's something about poppy seed that really makes my heart leap. At any rate, it had never occurred to me to attempt to make poppy seed muffins before, but after eating a full dozen mini muffins in one sitting and still wanting more, I figured I'd better find a recipe and hop to it!

So, without further ado, Poppy Seed Muffins, just in time for the new year!

One stick butter
Three-quarters of a cup of sugar
Two eggs
One and a half teaspoons almond extract
One and a half cups of flour*
One and one-eighth teaspoons of baking powder
Half a teaspoon of baking soda
One-quarter teaspoon of salt
Half a cup of buttermilk
Two and a half tablespoons of poppy seeds

* I suppose you could use any old all-purpose flour you like, but I used cake flour, which is specially formulated for soft, light, fluffy cakes. I figured it couldn't hurt my muffins, so I went for it.

Oh, and please forgive the bad photography. It's winter in the PNW, and my kitchen is very dark even in the middle of the day. Poor lighting is not my fault!

Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.

Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add in the almond extract.

One egg...

Two eggs!
Preheat your oven to 350F.

Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk in two additions each, alternating dry-wet-dry-wet.
Dry addition #1...


Dry addition #2...

All done!
Fold in the poppy seeds.

Pour the batter into 12 prepared muffin tines --either line them with paper or thoroughly grease them.

Bake for 15-18 minutes till done. Use a toothpick to test like you would any cake. Mine took about 17 minutes.

Mmm...golden, light, moist, heavenly poppy seed muffins. Enjoy!

Makes 12 muffins.
Takes about 20 minutes, plus bake time.
Difficulty: 2

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