I have a confession to make… I have a weak spot for lemony baked goods. It’s killing me to wait for Lemon Month. So when I found this recipe that combined strawberries AND lemon, I about passed out from sheer delight.
I also really, really like muffins. Because, naturally, they’re a breakfast food, so that means they’re good for you. Right? Right. I’m glad you’re following my logic here. As it turns out, these aren’t terrible for you at all, though I did make a couple adjustments to lighten them up (fat free yogurt, egg whites only, skim milk, etc).
THE RECIPE – STRAWBERRY LEMON MUFFINS
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) vanilla yogurt
- 2 eggs or 4 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 cups strawberries, sliced and diced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit.) Prepare for the fact that it’s going to get a little toasty-warm in your kitchen.
In a medium-sized bowl, stir together 2 cups of flour (you’ll notice there’s an additional 2 tablespoons listed in the ingredients list – save that for later), both the brown sugar and regular sugar, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt. (You know, all of your dry ingredients.)
Zest your lemon, with either a grater or a zester. Personally, I like using a grater because it’s a lot easier (my hand tends to cramp up when using the latter type for an extended period of time) plus you get a much finer zest, so you’re not dealing with bigger chunks/strings of lemon zest.
The more zest you add, the more lemony these will be, so keep that in mind. I probably used somewhere between 2-3 tablespoons and it seemed to be the right amount.
In another medium-sized bowl, melt your butter, then add the milk, yogurt, eggs (or egg whites, if you’re trying to be healthier – remember, 2 egg whites for every 1 egg), the vanilla extract, and the lemon zest.
Mix together the wet and dry mixtures, until just combined.
Now, take those extra 2 tablespoons of flour and mix them with your diced-up strawberries. (The original site informs me that this was to keep the strawberries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins – nifty!)
Fill your muffin cups so they are full, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.
While the muffins are cooling, prepare… the glaze! Pour your powdered sugar into a bowl, then slowly add the lemon juice (which means, um, you’ll need to juice your lemon at some point before this) and stir until it combines to form a not-too-runny consistency.
I ended up using more than 2 tablespoons of lemon juice – basically, I juiced the whole lemon into a little prep dish and kept going until I was satisfied. I have no idea how much that actually was. It also made a lot more than what I actually needed, so I froze the rest. (Because I’m probably going to be making another batch of these soon.)
Drizzle the glaze onto the top of the cooled muffins. MAKE SURE THEY ARE COOL. If not, the glaze will just kind of… melt. And run all over the place. And be gross. I got a little impatient on mine, in hindsight. That, or I just really suck at glazes. It’s happened before.
The original recipe predicts a yield of 12, but I managed to get 17 out of mine. (Yes, I know, that’s a terribly random number, but that’s where we landed.)
These smelled heavenly while baking (even the batter smelled heavenly when I was stirring it… I may have made sure to spoon out every last drop so I could eat it) and turned out wonderfully.
There is one thing that I did not like about this recipe. I may have mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of glaze… I skipped it on the pumpkin bread and didn’t even miss it, but I decided to try it here since it seemed like an important component of this recipe. The same thing happened here that usually happens to me – as time went on, the glaze seeped/melted into the muffins and essentially wasn’t there anymore.
So other than the small issue of the glaze disappearing by the next afternoon, these things are effing amazing. I tried and failed to resist the onset of a muffin binge. I’m not proud. But I regret nothing.
[Can regular people actually make this? Is it easy?] I felt like there was a little more prep work involved in these (zesting the lemon, squeezing the lemon, slicing up the strawberries) but that doesn’t translate to difficult. They were pretty darn easy.
[Did it require any weird gadgetry or cookware?] You’ll need to have some means of zesting a lemon, whether you use an actual zester or a grater of some form. And because I am a proponent of using fresh ingredients when possible, you’ll want a citrus juicer or press of some form. Also, a muffin pan. You’ll want a muffin pan.
[How much did the ingredients cost?] The basic ingredients were all things I had on hand, and the only things I had to buy special were a lemon and some strawberries – and I’m not even going to begin to guess what that might cost where you live. I barely remember what it cost where *I* live. Produce varies so much from region to region. But! I can tell you that there is nothing odd or unusual in these, so if you have a fully stocked pantry of baking ingredients, you should be solid.
[Does it taste as good as it looks? Does it only look good because it was so well photographed?] I had really high expectations for these when I tasted the batter. Hell, I could have just EATEN the batter out of the bowl and been happy. Fortunately, the finished product is just as delicious. I’m not even 100% convinced they need the glaze, though it was a nice touch while it lasted. (Sigh.)
[Health notes] Since I’ve jumped back on the weight-loss bandwagon (could this column possibly have anything to do with that?!), I calculated the Weight Watchers PointsPlus values on these bad boys. They are 4 points+ each without the glaze (if you make them with the egg whites/skim milk) - if you add the glaze, add a point.
[Final recommendation] Oh, I am so totally making these again. Probably this weekend. I have my suspicions that this first batch won’t last very long. Upon further reflection, I think this would also be very good with blueberries instead of strawberries…
Born, raised, and currently living in one of those states in the middle that nobody can locate on a map, Kelly has been writing some nonsense or another since she was old enough to string words together. A recovering perfectionist and an unapologetic daydreamer, she spends her free time browsing the Internet with more tabs open than any one person should be able to navigate, getting irrationally angry about misplaced apostrophes, and using her degree in graphic design to awkwardly Photoshop her face onto various other images. She speaks fluent sarcasm and is working on mastering the art of verbal flailing. She also loves to take pictures – both of the artistic variety and the “that’s going on facebook, isn’t it?” variety. She carries a camera everywhere she goes and is always looking at the world through the eye of a lens. She’s also that one person in the group who always insists on a photo op – you’ll thank her later. She has a ridiculous addiction to ice cream, Diet Mountain Dew, anything pumpkin-flavored, and Target.