...perfect for a leisurely winter morning
I love the peaceful quiet of a morning when I'm the first one awake and out of bed. There's a typical pattern to this solitary start:
- gaze south down the lake to see if The Mountain is visible,
- head downstairs to check out the action at the feeders and enjoy the comings and goings of the early arrivals - busy hummingbirds and songbirds, flickers and downy woodpeckers and two annoying, pesky bandit squirrels,
- load the coffeepot for RL and settle in to savor my own cup of Irish Breakfast tea,
- read or knit or just quietly enjoy the colors of a sunrise as it develops over Mercer Island.
We have enjoyed various versions of this Tyler Florence recipe; swapping dried cranberries for dried cherries, adding nuts, changing up the choice of citrus, substituting rosemary or lavender for the poppy seeds, etc. Today's version was a winner, a two-thumbs-up hit due to the addition of the frozen cherries. The whole cherries (defrosted frozen sour cherries) gave the muffins a surprising flavor boost and textural pop.
Better than an alarm clock, the aroma of baking muffins wafted upstairs and roused RL. Fresh coffee and warm muffins created a perfect start to the day. Sweet and moist, the muffins were scrumptious without butter or jam. This recipe is a winner for family breakfasts, impromptu guests, or as part of a brunch menu. Yum!
Cheery Cherry Poppy Seed Muffinsadapted from Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen
makes 12 regular or 9 Texas-sized muffins
2 cups AP flour
1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
1 Tablespoon poppy Seeds
Finely grated citrus zest (1 orange or 2 lemons, etc.)
1 cup dried cherries (tossed with a bit of flour)
1 cup frozen sour cherries, (defrosted, drained well & tossed with a bit of sugar and flour)optional
Sugar to sprinkle on top
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray or grease muffin tins (9 Texas-size or 12 regular size cups).
- Use a large bowl and mix the dry ingredients until evenly combined.
- In a second bowl whisk the milk and eggs together; add the melted butter, poppy seeds and citrus zest.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together until just combined.
- Add the dried cherries (tossed with flour to avoid sinking to the bottom) and fold to distribute evenly throughout the batter.
- Ladle the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling only two-thirds full. Top each muffin with defrosted frozen cherries and press gently into the batter. Dust the surface with a sprinkle of sugar.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or just until a wooden tester comes out clean when inserted uno the center. Be careful not to overtake!
- Cool for 10-15 minutes in the muffin tins set on a baking rack. Enjoy warm or store cooled muffins in a covered container for a day or two, but fresh, warm muffins are always best, just sayin'.