I know, I know. It’s one sweet baked good after another around here. You’d think I’d go easy on the sugar — what with Valentines’ Day around the corner — but we’re busy as ever, and precious little time passes between when food is made and food is gobbled up. I thought to blog about a fantastic tortilla espanola I made for brunch this weekend – filled with oven-roasted tomatoes, yukon golds, and feta cheese, served with salsa-inspired tomato sauce – but honest, I didn’t get a single picture of the thing. Meanwhile, I snapped a whole series of these muffins, sturdy breakfast treats perked up with meyer lemon zest and sour cream. Hopefully you’ll survive Week-o-Sweets; next time, I’ll tell you about tortilla or something else savory, scouts’ honor.
These muffins started with a Karen DeMasco recipe for coffee cake muffins. I love the concept of individual coffee cakes, and the nuts she included in the crumble topping were a nice touch. I started making the recipe as written, but when I got to the part where you add zest, I started zesting this beautiful, almost-orange Meyer lemon, and that was all I could think about. I upped the zest and added a tablespoon of the juice, too. I swapped out pecans for sliced almonds, and dusted the tops with a bit more of the zest. The result was, like I said, quite sturdy, tangy from lemon and sour cream, and topped with sugary, lemony crunch. I’m confident DeMasco’s original recipe yields great muffins, but my Meyer lemon ones were worth writing home about. So here I am.
In other news, I’ll be taking a quick trip to Seattle for work soon. Planning to bring my camera, if I don’t have to lug too much else. Hopefully I’ll get some nice shots despite the rain. Any Seattle recs? Share’em in the comments.
Meyer Lemon Streusel Muffins
adapted from Karen DeMasco’s The Craft of Baking
Makes 12 muffins
Note: I used sliced almonds instead of pecans. Feel free to use either.
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, finely chopped
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
grated zest of 3 Meyer lemons
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespooons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast about 5 minutes. Mix cooled almonds with other ingredients in a medium bowl, and use a fork to combine.
Butter or line a muffin tin.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, all but 1 teaspoon zest, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer on medium, add the egg, sour cream, vanilla, and lemon juice. Mix until combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to batter, and with mixer on low, mix just until combined. Do not over-mix.
Use an ice cream scoop to distribute batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of streusel over each muffin, then distribute remaining streusel evenly over muffins. Distribute remaining teaspoon of zest over muffins.
Bake muffins about 25 minutes, until they spring back to the touch. Transfer tin to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer muffins to a platter and serve.
Muffins will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.