Welcome to the recipe that kicked off Rachel's Cottage!
As always -- I promise to give you the recipe straight away. That's right, no scrolling through a trivial backstory. If you don't want to read my ravings then don't. Go for it!
1 cup milk
1 lemon (for 1 tablespoon juice and zest)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract*
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups AP flour
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tins.
Grate the lemon and set the zest aside.
In a large bowl, combine milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Give it a whisk and wait 5 minutes. This creates buttermilk.
To the buttermilk, add honey, sugar, eggs, and oil. Mix to combine.
Add the vanilla extract and almond extract. Mix to combine. *almond extract is optional, do NOT overdo the almond extract*
Add the lemon zest, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine.
Add the flour, starting with 1 cup. Mix to combine. Add the remaining 1/2 cup. Mix to combine.
Pour the batter into the muffin tins, filling each about 3/4 full
Bake for 20 minutes, until tops are golden yellow and domed. Take out and leave to cool.
This made 12 largish muffins, plus extra batter which I just plain ate with a spoon. Trust me guys, you'll be loving this batter.
Substituting with other citrus
Maybe you don't have lemons, but you do have oranges. You can still make this recipe. For the buttermilk, use 1 tablespoon vinegar instead of lemon juice. Zest your orange and add a tablespoon of orange juice to your batter if you want.
You don't actually need to use almond (or vanilla) extract. This is just to elevate the flavor. I add vanilla to just about everything. Almond extract, however, is quite strong. You can easily overdo it and ruin a batter. When you open the bottle, you should be able to smell how pungent it is. Use it sparingly. The key here is to add a delicate almond note, but not overpower the muffins. Remember, the lemon should shine through.
Baked goods are often high in sugar, fat, and carbs. As someone who bakes often, I have to watch how much I eat. I love to eat. I do. I also love to have a healthy body. That being said, I appreciate when a recipe states a calorie count. So I've decided to provide that for you.
I'm not a dietician or a doctor, so I'm not going to tell you that these muffins are healthy or unhealthy. Some of my recipes are created with a certain dietary need in mind. These muffins were created with one thing in mind: deliciousness. As always, eat in moderation.
Total calories: 2,938
Divide that number by how many muffins you made. I made 12, so each muffin is 244 calories. I calculate calories ingredient by ingredient and then add it up. If you're using different ingredients, your calories will be different.
Look how fluffy they are! These muffins are beautiful. The brown sugar and honey add a golden color to them. The poppyseeds really pop out at you. These muffins are lemony -- but not sour. Add an extra tablespoon of lemon juice to the batter if you like a more intense zing. These muffins aren't super sweet -- you can eat them for breakfast and not feel as if you just ate a heavy, decadent desert. I believe that I've achieved the perfect balance of flavor. Let me know how you feel.
You can tell when these bad boys are done by their domed tops and golden brown edges. Also, give the tin a little shake and see if they wobble. They might need a minute more. Use a toothpick if you think you need to. 20 minutes on the middle rack was perfect for me. They have a gorgeous shine on top, not from any glaze, but because they are moist and perfect.
Here is my beautiful batch of 12. When they first come out, leave them to cool! Their domes will fall a little -- don't worry. This picture was taken after they cooled. See? They still have domes. Once they're cool, you can take them out without them falling to pieces.
Congrats, you've discovered the very first recipe on Rachel's Cottage.
It was April 13, my friend's birthday. I made her chocolate cupcakes. The recipe called for buttermilk. I was out of vinegar, so I opened up the fridge and found a lemon. I sliced it and squeezed out 1 tablespoon of juice. Then the lemon was abandoned for a bit.
Once I finished the chocolate cupcakes -- which were amazing by the way -- I was inspired to make something using the leftover lemon. I opened my Pinterest recipe board. I realized I wasn't particularly wowed by any of the muffin recipes I'd tried. I thought, what if I make up my own? I asked myself what I wanted from a lemon muffin recipe. Honey? Yes, please. Poppyseeds? Absolutely. And here we are.