Monday, July 13, 2009

Of Lemons and Cookies

So here's another post about my self-forced commitment to bake twice a week for Jacob's company.

This time I chose to make Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins and Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies, still from Baking from My Home to Yours.

I really, really enjoyed eating the lemon poppy seed muffins. So much so, that I'm going to include the recipe here. Right after you fall in love with them.

They were so darn delicious. And that was even eating them after they had sat out for a few days, I bet they're even better the first day.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
For Muffins
2/3 cup sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
For Icing
1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which need neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is most and the fragrance of lemon strong. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, which the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. don't worry about being thorough--a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter. Stir in the poppy seeds. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold. cool the muffins completely on the rack before icing them.
Put the confectioner's sugar in a small bowl and add about 1 1/2 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Stir with a spoon to moisten the sugar, then add enough additional lemon juice, a dribble at a time, to get an icing that is thin enough to drizzle from the tip of the spoon. You can then drizzle lines of icing over the tops of the muffins or coat the tops entirely, the better tot get an extra zap of lemon.

For the Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies, on page 125, they turned out all right. I made two batches of them, since they were going to a crowd. One batch I used mini chocolate chips, the other I used chopped chocolate, so I got two very different looks.

I found it really difficult to take pictures of these. I still have loads to learn, I suppose.