I’m relatively unfamiliar with cooking with yogurt. In fact, I can’t remember doing it…ever? I know people cook with it for healthy alternatives to sour cream and heavy cream and put it in soups and sauces to make it creamier, but I’m pretty boring and stick to vanilla with chopped strawberries and bananas. I eat that basically everyday. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Who invented that combo, anyway? Strawberries and bananas? Thank you, my friend, because after 25 years, I’m still not tired of it. So, today is something new for me, friends! Cooking with yogurt!
When I was told that I was a finalist in the Stonyfield and Organic Valley blogging contest, I received a yogurt cookbook as part of my finalist prize package. I’ve flipped through it a couple of times, never deciding on anything particular to make, until last weekend when my husband was out-of-town, leaving me here to laze on the couch for hours listening to baseball on the radio and read through my cookbooks, hoping some inspiration would jump into my head from the pages of yogurt-studded recipes. “Gasp! Yes…perhaps this,” I said, placing my finger in the spot to continue flipping. I read the entire thing, knowing my husband would have loved the roasted lamb with mint-yogurt sauce or the beef curry or the rabbit with yogurt, buttt…it was just me at the house, right? Mmmhmm. So, I went back to my held place and drooled at the sound of lemon yogurt muffins.
The book is called Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Cookbook, with recipes compiled by Meg Hirshberg. This muffin recipe is specifically cited to Prue Holtman of Wooster, Ohio. Thank ya, thank ya!
lemon yogurt muffins
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt (I actually used Greek vanilla and it was delicious)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
Preheat the oven to 375º. Butter and flour a 12 muffin tin. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, honey, eggs, yogurt, butter, and lemon zest. Add the flour mixture and stir until well combined (the batter will be thick). Spoon the batter into the muffin tin and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the muffins are lightly browned.
While the muffins are baking, prepare the lemon syrup by mixing the lemon juice, sugar, and water until the sugar dissolves. When the muffins are fully baked, remove them from the oven and pierce the top of each with a fork. Drizzle lemon syrup over the muffins. Let them cool in the tin for 3 minutes, then remove them to wire rack to finish cooling.
When the muffins come from the oven, they look like cornbread. Resist the urge to whip up some fried chicken and squash because these muffins are light and sweet, with a really bright and fresh lemon flavor. My sister has a Meyer lemon tree in her house with dozens of little buds all over it. Yes! She doesn’t know, but I’ll probably come steal some lemons in the night. Money, jewels, valuables? Forget it. Just hand over the lemons and no one gets hurt.