Sunday, March 13, 2011
A couple of weeks ago, the fine people at Oh! Nuts contacted me to see if I was interested in trying some of their products gratis if I would discuss my experience on this blog. To which I responded: but of course! I was initially tempted to request hordes of walnuts and pistachios – I keep them in my desk drawer and munch on them whenever I’m snackish at work – but that seemed disingenuous. I bake with them from time to time, but that’s not really why I would have wanted them.
Anyway, one thing I’ve always wanted to try is dried blueberries. They sell small packages of them at Trader Joes, but they’re pretty expensive for a Trader Joe’s product. I’ve hesitated before the dried blueberry bin a number of times but have never been able to persuade myself to spend the $6 or thereabouts for a tiny pouch.
Poppy seeds are likewise overpriced, at least where I’ve tend to do my grocery shopping. But not at Oh! Nuts! You can probably guess where I’m going with this.
Anyway, I asked if they wouldn’t mind sending me some delectable dried blueberries and poppy seeds. And they did! Very speedily, too – I got my order the day after they sent it. It probably helped that I’m in an adjacent state.
My intentions were wholly good. I hadn’t made muffins in a very long time – probably not since my last batch of blueberry muffins – and am not sure what explains my neglect of this sub-genre of the baking world.
Lemon poppyseed muffins have always been a favorite of mine, but they are rather unexciting. I like them, but they’re sort of the sugar cookie of the muffin world: one misses the embellishments.
Adding regular blueberries would just seem perverse, however. Blueberry muffins and lemon poppy seed muffins are separate genres. It would be wrong to amalgamate the two.
Unless, of course, one were using dried blueberries. The fact that the berries are dried makes all the difference. And no, I can’t defend that on any sort of logical basis.
In short: these are really tasty! You should try making them, with or without the dried blueberries. If you decide to go with the blueberries and/or are dissatisfied with your local store’s poppy seeds, Oh! Nuts has good prices and fast shipping. I bet their walnuts and pistachios are equally good.
But do be careful if your workplace happens to drug test. Mine doesn’t, so I can eat these muffins with abandon.
Lemon Poppyseed Muffins with Dried Blueberries
Quite generously adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups plain yoghurt (I used homemade 2%)
2 tsp. vanilla
one large lemon, zested and juiced (should provide about 1 tablespoon rind and ¼ cup juice)
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup poppy seeds
1 cup dried blueberries
Preheat oven to 375. Melt butter. Stir in sugar, then add yoghurt, vanilla, and lemon juice and zest. Add eggs.
In smaller bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in poppy seeds.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir gently, just until combined. Fold in blueberries.
Grease a muffin tin (for 12 muffins). Scoop batter evenly into tin. I'm rather sloppy about this ...
Lower heat to 350, then put in oven. Bake for 18-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Makes 12.
Printable recipe here.