I am at that age where nearly everyone I know is either pregnant or a newly minted parent. I am currently on a first name basis with eight children under the age of 18 months and there are at least seven more on the way in the next six months. This means that I am regularly in the position of trying to imagine some delicious treat to bring to bewildered mamas and papas.
For some reason, I’ve never been good at bringing fully prepared meals to people and instead opt for bringing fairly healthy, easy to grab treats instead. In the past, this has meant that I’ve offered things like nutty oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (at least they’re full of protein and fiber) or loaves of quick bread that are good plain or toasted and buttered.
Yesterday, I went to visit my friend Kate and her new baby girl and took along a batch of these Lemon Buttermilk Muffins (yes, this is where the buttermilk from the cultured butter I wrote about last week went). These muffins are good for new parents because they can easily be eaten one-handed (a nice, firm crumb means that they won’t break to pieces), they aren’t too sweet (eat them for breakfast or alongside a cup of soup for lunch) and since they’re made with whole wheat flour, they feel more virtuous than a cookie.
The recipe is a further tweak of this one that I posted exactly two years ago today (amazingly, I didn’t plan that, it just happened). The yogurt gets replaces with buttermilk, the number of eggs is reduced and I brought in lemon instead of orange. What’s more, if you happened to make a batch of the lemon sugar I mentioned here, this is an excellent place to use it.
Of course, you don’t need to have a new baby around as an excuse to make these muffins. They’re good just about any time.
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cup cane sugar
- 1 lemon, zested
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- scant 1/2 cup of olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a larger mixing bowl, rub the sugar and zest together until combined and fragrant. Add the buttermilk, eggs, extract and olive oil and whisk together.
- Add the dry ingredients and combine.
- Scoop batter into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. When the tops of the muffins are golden brown, they are done.