So not only did I have a bunch of lemons that I took forever to use, I also bought a package of meyer lemons from Trader Joe's thinking that I would be completely inspired and do something awesome with them.
Yeah, that was a complete fail. The lemons have just hung around idly in their little package for the past few weeks and all I've done is stare at them and then go somewhere else. Finally, my friend was leaving for a one-day ski trip (read: leaving way too early in the morning and arriving home way too late) with a group of people, so I figured, why not used that as a motivator to use my meyer lemons for some good. I debated using them just as a stand-in with any other lemon recipes that I have... maybe even the lemon bars that I made last time. At the same time, I've never used meyer lemons before and I was terrified that I was going to make something that just wasn't quite right. For those of you that aren't familiar with meyer lemons, they are a hybrid of true lemons and mandarin oranges, making them a little sweeter with an oranger (sure, that's a real word) than normal lemons.
So, for the most part, I didn't feel too adventurous about messing with recipes calling for normal lemons (probably irrational, but whatever, deal with it). Finally, running through some recipes of meyer lemons and trying to decide what would be easiest for a group of groggy people to eat for breakfast or as a on-the-slopes snack, I decided on making meyer lemon ginger muffins (with a cream cheese filling!). I've been avoiding making muffins and cupcakes for a while because I always hate washing out muffin tins, but I should get over that silliness. (By the way, do muffins count as a quick bread? I think it does, right? Or is it in its own special category?)
I definitely need to bake more with lemons vs. meyer lemons to try and figure out the subtle differences between the two, but until then, click below for more pictures and recipe!
By the way, I love my Microplane.<3
Meyer Lemon Ginger Muffins
Adapted from The Kitchen Sink Recipes
Makes 12 (one dozen) muffins.
* 4 oz cream cheese cut into 12 equal pieces, chilled
* 1 1/2 cups AP flour
* 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
* 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp ground ginger
* 1 tsp (packed) meyer lemon zest (I used a mixture of meyer lemon and pure lemon)
* 2/3 cup plain yogurt (I used plain greek yogurt)
* 4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and cooled
* 3 TBSP milk
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 1/4 cup meyer lemon juice
* 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
* 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
* Topping: 1 TBSP sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger
1. Preheat oven to 375. Line 12-cup muffin with muffin liners.
2. In one large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and lemon zest until mixed.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, melted and cooled butter, milk, egg, lemon juice, freshly-grated ginger, and vanilla extract.
4. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. The batter will be slightly dry, but avoid the temptation of over-mixing because you will (a) lose your bubbles (from your acid-base chemical reaction between your baking powder and lemon/milk/other acids!), and (b) produce more gluten which will all inevideably result in a hocky puck instead of a light, fluffy muffin.
5. Fill each muffin liner ~1/3 full. Place one piece of the cream cheese into each partially-filled muffin cup. Divide the rest of the batter evenly to cover the cream cheese. Then, mix together sugar, cinnamon, and ginger and sprinkle mixture evenly over muffin batter.
6. Bake for 17-19 minutes until puffy and golden. Let sit for 5 minutes and then pull out to wire wrack to cool.
Isn't it nommy?
I loved the idea of the cream cheese filling... I sometimes make black bottom muffins (i.e. chocolate cupcakes/muffins with a rich cream cheese mixture for a filling). It added a nice tangy but smooth contrast to the lemon-cinnamon-ginger of the muffin. My muffins turned out slightly chewy and stuck to the liners a little too much, and I'm not sure why. It might be because I mixed it a little too much or might need to change the ratio of milk to greek yogurt since it's a little thicker. It was still tasty, though. :)