Saturday, December 14, 2013

Meyer Lemon-Cranberry Cornmeal Muffins

just think of lemons...
Meyer Lemon-Cranberry Cornmeal Muffins.

had a friend growing up whose mother used to tell her, whenever things were a little less than perfect, to "just think of lemons." As angsty, jerky teenagers we found this advice more amusing than helpful. But now, as a marginally functional grown up, I'm finding that it actually works. While I do love a good "I'm not leaving the house at all" snow day, winter as a whole bums me out. It gets dark at 3:30 in the afternoon, the car is frozen shut every other morning and my toes are numb and frozen pretty much always. When Meyer lemon season starts things feel a little bit (metaphorically) warmer. 
So when life gives you a seemingly endless frozen tundra, 
think of lemons.
And when life gives you lemons, make muffins.
Or, as a wise man from Minnesota once said, paint that shit gold. 

Cranberry-Meyer Lemon Muffins
(makes approximately 15 muffins)
1/2c all purpose flour
1c whole wheat flour
3/4c cornmeal
2/3c organic sugar
1tbsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
1tbsp apple cider vinegar
1.5tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2c halved fresh (or frozen) cranberries
1/4c raw walnut pieces (optional)
2tsp grated meyer lemon zest
1c unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/4c meyer lemon juice
1/4c canola (or other neutral) oil
1/2Tbsp extra sugar for dusting tops of muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Line muffin tin with paper liners.
Measure out 1 1/2c of cranberries, cut each in half, toss in a small bowl, set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt
and 1/3c of the sugar, whisk to combine.
Add the remaining 1/3c of sugar and 2 tbsp of the dry flour mix to the cranberries and toss gently until cranberries are well coated.
Stir in 1 1/2tsp of the lemon zest.
Add non-dairy milk, lemon juice, vinegar, oil and vanilla extract to flour mix.
Stir until well combined.
Add in walnut pieces.

GENTLY fold cranberries into wet mix.
If using fresh, be more aggressive, but the frozen will bleed.
Fill muffin liners 2/3 full and shake pan gently to distribute.
Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with a pinch of sugar and reserved 1/2tsp lemon zest.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until tops are light golden brown and
tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

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