For some time now I have been aching for a baking buddy. Ever since I moved to Chattanooga I just haven’t had one. I suppose the reasons could be that 1) not many of my friends like to cook or bake (ironically because my degree is Nutrition) 2) all my friends live too far away for us to hang out at each other’s houses 3) plain busyness.
You see, back at home, my mom or my best friend would bake with me on frequent occasions. Usually it was chocolate chip cookies or brownies; but sometimes I would learn a new recipe. So then, four years ago, I moved to Johnson City for 2 years of undergrad. I had several friends there who were just as passionate for baking as me. It was so much fun to have girls nights and fill the kitchen with smells of heaven.
But for some reason or another I feel quite lonely in Chattanooga. I’m convinced I just don’t bake as much as I could if I had a baking buddy.
Well, the other day was an exception. My coworker was gracious enough to come over, bake lemon muffins with me and teach me how to make melon bread (or in our case “lemon bread” since we didn’t have melon extract…)! It was the most fun evening I’ve had in a while. I always love an opportunity to learn a new recipe!
The inspiration for lemon muffins came from the fact I bought 2 1-lbs bags of lemons for $2 at Aldi — they were on SUPAH SALE. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen lemons this cheap before! (Usually lemons are 50 cents EACH. Makes sense, though considering they are travelling across the country…. #nonlocalfoodismoreexpensive. ) Oddly, this recipe didn’t use as many lemons as I thought so I had a bunch leftover afterwards!
After searching for lemon muffins online, I finally came across one on Betty Crocker’s website. It was a spiced lemon recipe, which sounded yummy so we got to work making them. We also added dried cranberries for a colorful effect and some granulated sugar on top to create a gentle crunch. Here is the recipe below, the picture at the top of this post revealing the outcome (I sure do wish that I could share what they tasted like because they were so delightful!!)
LEMON CRANBERRY MUFFINS
Makes 12 HUGE muffins
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- Cranberries to sprinkle on top
- granulated sugar to sprinkle on top
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Grease bottoms only of 12 regular-size muffin cups (2 1/2×1 1/4 inch) with shortening, or line muffin cups with paper baking cups.
2. In large bowl, beat milk, oil, sugar, lemon peel and eggs with fork or wire whisk.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients just until flour is moistened. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (uses a normal muffin pan but fills each cup to the top.)
4. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Makes 12 HUGE muffins. Recipe can be doubled.