Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Almond Poppy Seed Muffin

Almond Poppy Seed Muffin

Almond poppy seed is my all time favorite muffin flavor. One of my secret indulgences is a gratuitously large, terrible-for-you, but so-damn-good almond poppy seed muffin from Costco. But one muffin has almost 700 calories (I don’t even want to think about how much fat) and leaves me with greasy fingers and a feeling of guilt for a good half of my day. Not quite the morning start I'm looking for. I ran out of sour cream but had a hankering for muffins so I adapted the sour cream base recipe that I used for the raspberry muffins using buttermilk instead. Buttermilk is lighter than sour cream so I upped the butter a bit to 4 tablespoons (which is still pretty low) and kept the sugar at a half cup making a muffin that I can guarantee is better for you than one of those Costco behemoths. Though "better for you" is a relative term, since these aren’t exactly saintly diet muffins either. And the verdict? Well, Bettina liked these better but Steven still preferred the Costco ones.

- You can also use the sour cream base recipe and add in the poppy seeds and almond extract to the dry and wet ingredients respectively.
- Steven said the muffins could have been a little sweeter so feel free to add 2 more tablespoons of sugar. Bettina and I always go light on the sugar.
- To make the muffins even healthier, replace 1/2 C of the regular AP flour with 1/2 C of whole wheat flour.
- After they cooled to room temperature, 15 seconds in the microwave warmed these puppies right up to their fresh-out-of-the-oven delicious glory.

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins
Buttermilk Base Recipe
2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 C sugar
4 Tbsp melted butter
1 1/4 C buttermilk

Almond Poppy Seed
1 1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp of almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350ºF, adjust a rack to the middle position. Spray a 12 cup regular size muffin tin with some nonstick spray.

Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and poppy seeds in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Whisk egg, sugar, and almond extract together until combined, then whisk in the buttermilk and melted butter.

Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and fold to combine. There should be not large pockets of flour but small streaks may remain. Do not over mix. The batter will be fairly thick.

Divide the batter evenly into the tin. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine were done in 17 minutes). Flip the muffins out of the tin and cool them right side up on a cooling rack.

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