Poppy Seed Muffins

I took my daughter to the Antelope Valley California Poppy reserve today. It's such a staggering sight to see that rolling carpet of orange gently rippling in the breeze. The whole time I'm standing there taking in the glory of it, I kept thinking about poppy seed muffins, poppy seed dressing, poppy seed chicken...you get the idea! In honor of the Poppy Reserve opening to the public this week, here is my favorite Poppy Muffin recipe!



Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus up to 1 tablespoon for topping the muffins, if desired
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup milk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly brush a 12-cup muffin tin with butter and set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric hand-held mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter, zest, and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Stir in the poppy seeds.

Fold the flour in 3 parts into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk in 2 parts, until just combined. Take care not to over mix the batter. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tin and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool muffins in the pan on a rack. Serve warm.


Cook's Note: Poppy seeds can go rancid easily and should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

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