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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Creating the Perfect Bite: Lemon-Blueberry Yogurt Muffins



A few weeks ago my boyfriend told me that he was having a breakfast food party at worked and asked me to make some muffins. I send him to work with a packed lunch (because I am a dork and need to know that he is eating and eating healthy) and sometimes that includes muffins that I make. His co-worker had tried one and liked it and had actually suggested to him that I make the breakfast muffins. So, I got really excited and motivated and went a little crazy with them, but they were awesome, so that is all that matters.

I decided to adapt a lemon-blueberry yogurt loaf recipe that I found on pinterest from the blog Sweet Pea's Kitchen. I made muffins because at a work party it is more convenient to just grab something and go. I even went out and bought a muffin carrier. I told you I went a little crazy!

The recipe called for confectioners sugar and when I was first thinking about making them, I did not have any so I googeled confectioners sugar substitutions and wound up finding out how to make it, which is really easy! Powered sugar is ground up granulated sugar and cornstarch, which works as an anti-caking agent. I used 1 tsp of cornstarch (which I did have on hand) for every cup of sugar. I mixed them together and ground them in my food processor on high until I had the consistency of powered sugar. It worked and was really fun and interesting to do.

I have never worked so hard to create a baked good. This recipe took almost two bags of lemons, which I hand squeezed for all the lemon juice needed. These are not a vegan treat, but there is no milk in them, which is my biggest concern. I love food, a lot. But it is not every bite that makes you instantly relax and be thankful for what you are consuming. That actually happened for me when I had my first bite of this muffin. Maybe it was because I worked so hard on them, or maybe they were just great. I hope both. Here is the recipe from Sweet Pea's Kitchen. Give them a try.

For the Loaf: (Muffins in my case)
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I used organic low-fat vanilla yogurt)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed
For the Lemon Syrup:
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
For the Lemon Glaze:
  • 1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
  5. While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.
  6. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
  7. To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

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