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Muffins can seem ho-hum, especially if you are used to making them from a ready-made mix (I’ve eaten my share of Jiffy blueberry muffins made from a box). These little from scratch gems are elevated to greatness with the addition of lemon curd baked in the middle of each one and fresh lemon zest and juice added to the batter. (Extra work–heck, no! My son thinks juicing citrus fruit is fun!) While most people would save these for breakfast or brunch I say go ahead and eat them for dessert. They’re that good. 

Lemon Curd Filled Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Curd Filled Poppy Seed Muffins

Source: Adapted from Baking: From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan

2/3 cup sugar

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sour cream

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

lemon curd

For the Icing:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Place 12 paper muffin cups in a regular-sized muffin pan. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers until the sugar is moist. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and quickly stir to blend (be mindful not to overdo it here). Stir in the poppy seeds. Fill the muffin cups with half of the batter and put a teaspoon full of lemon curd in each one. Fill in with the rest of the batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Cool muffins on a rack completely before icing them.

When the muffins have cooled, put the confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Stir together and keep adding small amounts of lemon juice until you get a drizzly consistency. Use a spoon to drizzle icing over the tops of the muffins.