Some days we need something cheery for breakfast, something easy yet bright and tart. These muffins are a favorite recipe from our mother - soft, fluffy, and full of lemon, with toasted sesame seeds sprinkled in. They use oil instead of butter, so you don't even need the mixer.
The secret to these is the syrup that gets poured on after baking, a simple syrup of lemon juice and sugar, simmered down and poured over until it soaks in completely. This leaves the tops glazed and shiny, and the muffins are oozing with lemon all the way down.
Lemon Sesame Muffins
makes 12 generously-sized muffins
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted and tossed with1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon rind (from about five small lemons; squeeze for juice as well)
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon rind
Heat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan with liners or by greasing the cups. Mix the dry ingredients and the lemon rind. In a small bowl beat the milk, oil, egg and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and beat with a whisk just until smooth. Pour into the muffin cups and bake about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick just comes out clean.
While baking, prepare the lemon syrup. Whisk the lemon juice and sugar together in a small saucepan and boil for about five minutes or until reduced and shiny. Remove from heat and stir in the teaspoon of lemon rind.
When the muffins come out of the oven, immediately poke a couple toothpick holes in each muffin and carefully drizzle the hot syrup over them. Let cool for about 20 minutes in the pan to let the syrup absorb.
(Image: Faith Hopler)