Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Whole-wheat Lemon Poppy-Seed Muffins with Tangy Glaze . . .

In a humble effort to detoxify after the holiday onslaught of rich and sugary foods, it's not always easy to go cold turkey. If you're fully aware of the need to lay off heavy duty sweets and treats for a while, but you find it challenging to just back away from that lone tin of leftover Christmas cookies, you might want to ease yourself back into the swing of normal eating by making a bright healthy muffin like this one.

Only mildly sweet, these guys won't weigh you down. Made with Meyer lemons (now in season, happily--I adore them), organic yogurt, clover honey, a good portion of whole wheat flour, canola oil, orange juice, and poppy seeds--these muffins will nudge us back onto the path of nutritional sanity.

Delicately lemony and dotted with those cute, crunchy, blue-black seeds, these moist muffins are definitely wheaty but not hefty. They won't slap you in the face like a drill-sergeant with over-wheatiness. Do know what I mean? I think you do.

I adapted this recipe from one I found in a lively and charming food blog called Whole Wheat or Bust! (Hey, maybe I should start a new blog and call it Stop Eating Leftover Christmas Treats or You're Gonna Bust!)

Whole-wheat Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Tangy Glaze
(For a printable version of this recipe, click here!)

Makes 16 muffins.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners, or generously spray cups with  vegetable spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the following dry ingredients, then set aside:
1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 and 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt (I used regular table salt)
Zest from one Meyer lemon, or half of one regular lemon

In a medium bowl, whisk together . . .
1/4 cup honey (I used clover honey.)
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs
. . . then mix in:
1 cup plain yogurt (I used Stoneyfield Organic--regular, not low-fat.)

3 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
3 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I recommend you use a Meyer lemon if you can get it!)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. lemon extract

Make a well in the large bowl of dry ingredients, and pour the liquid ingredients into that. Fold together gently with a spatula, just to combine. Using a portion scoop, distribute the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for about 12 to 16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean and the muffins are lightly golden. Cool them in their pan set on a rack for a couple of minutes, then remove them from the pan to finish cooling on the rack.

To glaze the muffins:
Mix together in a small bowl about 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar, along with a couple additional tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Adjust the consistency as you prefer by adding more or less sugar/juice. With the muffins still on the cooling rack, set it over a cookie sheet or something similar, then brush or spoon the glaze generously atop the warm muffins. It will drip off the edges a bit, then eventually dry, and kind of soak in. It adds nice additional flavor and a little extra sweetness and moisture to the muffins.

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