In early 2013, I started making these muffins for the kids in Sunday school as an alternative to the crackers served for snacks. They were a hit. Now I make a double batch each week, enough for the children and their teachers. One of the toddlers cries out, "It's the muffin man" when I walk in.
I always save a few for home, too. Since my wife is allergic to chicken eggs and cow dairy products, I use duck eggs and goat milk and goat yogurt. However, chicken eggs, plain cow yogurt and soy yogurt all work. If you are in Weight Watchers, the point count is 4 pt for glazed, 3 pt for unglazed.
1Have the oven rack near the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 360°F.
(This is the best temperature for my oven. Your oven may have a different optimal muffin temperature. If the muffins come out with a pointed peak, then next time use a lower temperature. If the muffins come out sagging in the middle, then next time use a higher temperature.)
2Add dry ingredients in a medium-large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. If your brown sugar is lumpy, then add it first and break up all lumps. I use Trader Joe brown sugar, which flows almost like white sugar.
3In another container (I use a 4-cup glass measuring cup), add the egg(s) and the yogurt, then stir. When the eggs are thoroughly mixed, add the milk.
4Zest the lemon, then cut the lemon and juice it. Reserve 2 tablespoons juice for the glaze. Add the rest of the juice to the liquid ingredients.
5For best results, use a real zester. I recommend a Microplane Ultimate Citrus Tool such as appears in one of the photos. A regular grater tends to mush instead of zest.
Notes about zesting:
1. Using the type of zester I have, hold the lemon underneath and move the zester over the top. The zest accumulates in the tool, and you can dump the zest into the liquid when the tool is full.
2. only take the yellow color of the lemon rind. The white rind is bitter.
6Do not combine dry and liquid until the oven is at the right temperature.
7Prepare your muffin pan(s) by lightly spraying PAM (or equivalent) into each muffin cup. Alternatively, you can use paper liners instead of spraying with oil.
8Make a hole in the middle of the dry ingredients. Carefully pour the liquid mix into the hole. Use a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula to slowly stir the liquid and dry ingredients together. Mix gently but reasonably thoroughly combined. Some lumpiness is OK. but too much mixing will cause the baking soda and powder to react before baking, and the muffins will not rise properly.
9Use two large spoons or a tablespoon and a gravy ladle to put the batter into each cup. I scoop up batter with the ladle, then use the spoon to drop the batter into a cup.
Note: if you run out of muffin cups before you run out of batter, you can use custard cups or other oven-safe cups for the leftover batter.
10Gently place the muffin pans into the oven and gently close the oven door.
Set the timer for 20 minutes.
No stomping around while baking, either.
11When 20 minutes are up, use a toothpick to test the largest muffin. Insert the toothpick into the center of the muffin and push to the bottom, then pull it out. If it is totally dry, take the muffin pans out to cool. (Turn off the oven.)
12Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes.
While they cool, put the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into a cup measure or similar size glass, then add the 10X (confectioner's) sugar and stir.
13Place a wire rack in a cookie sheet and dump the muffins onto the wire rack. Why a cookie sheet? When you glaze the muffins, you will probably have some of the glaze drip off. The cookie sheet will catch the glaze, making for easy clean-up.
14Use a pastry brush to brush the lemony glaze onto each muffin. Don't have a pastry brush? Use a dessert fork to dip into the glaze, then smear the fork across the top of the muffins.
15The glaze will soak slightly into each muffin, then "set" in about 10 minutes.
16Serve warm or cooled. The muffins freeze well (if you have any left over) and reheat easily in a toaster oven.