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Cherry Lemon Yogurt Muffins

Stock up on summer cherries so you can freeze the and make the tart and tangy muffins all year long!  

Cherry Lemon Yogurt Muffins
That little clear glass cloche is the perfect vessel for the soft, salted butter!

This recipe comes together so quickly that you can prepare these muffins fresh for breakfast the same morning. The yogurt makes a substantial yet tender dough with a milky taste. Use the base of this recipe to bake any kind of muffin you like: substitute the cherries with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, chocolate chips, or the zest and juice of one lemon plus a tablespoon of poppy seeds.

Equipment: muffin tins; paper muffin liners; dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; large & medium mixing bowls; hand or standing mixer; whisk; rubber spatula

Ingredients: 3 eggs 1½ cups sugar 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup full-fat yogurt (8-ounce container) 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 3 cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 2 cups fresh cherries, stems and stones removed, halved

zest of one lemon

2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin liners and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer or standing mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until thick, creamy and lighter in color, approximately for two minutes. Beat in the oil, yogurt, and vanilla.

“ILOC tip: beating the eggs and sugar until pale yellow, thick, and creamy so that ribbons form when mixture is lifted with the beaters/whisk is called blanchir--to whiten--in French. This technique helps to increase the volume of the egg/sugar mixture, making your end product lighter. Underbeating the eggs and sugar yields a denser baked good.”

3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add it to the egg mixture, and mix well. Gently fold in the cherries using a rubber spatula.

4. Fill the paper-lined muffin tin three-quarters with batter. Sprinkle each muffin with some turbinado sugar.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove the pan to a rack to cool.

Makes 18 muffins.

Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Rise to the Occasion - Baking Soda v. Baking Powder

Baking soda and baking powder are both leavening agents – ingredients that produce a gas, which causes batters and doughs to rise.

Baking soda is simply sodium bicarbonate, which does not have any leavening capabilities by itself. It is only when baking soda is mixed with an acid such as sour cream, molasses, lemon juice, or buttermilk that these gases are released. Because these gases start forming right after the baking soda and acid are mixed, batters using baking soda should be baked immediately after mixing.

Baking powder actually consists of baking soda and an acid, usually cream of tartar, calcium acid phosphate, sodium aluminum sulfate, or a mixture of the three. Double-acting baking powder, the most common type, is usually made of baking soda, sodium aluminum sulfate, calcium acid phosphate, and cornstarch (used as a drying agent). It is called double-acting baking powder because it has two rising actions. The first time the mixture rises is when a liquid comes in contact with the baking powder, and the second time is when the batter is exposed to heat. This makes it possible to mix the ingredients ahead of time and to bake the dough whenever it is convenient.

Cherry Lemon Yogurt Muffins
Soft butter is a must! No cold butter straight from the fridge . . . because It's Lauren, of Course!

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