I can’t believe Christmas has already come and gone. It felt like the just holiday flew by this year, despite a 4-day weekend – very long by my standards – and two separate celebrations. I always think after the fact that I wish I’d gotten more into the holiday spirit. After all, it is my favorite time of year, but somehow it always sneaks up and then disappears, before I even have time to register it’s presence. But New Years is still looming in the near future, so there’s one more exciting event to look forward to before the long winter. Plus now that the holiday has passed, we can move onto bigger and better things that aren’t all about Christmas cookies and cranberries and gingerbread. To be honest, those are all things I LOVE, but so are things like these outstanding and unbelievably scrumptious lemon cream flax muffins – that are not the tiniest bit festive, but are every bit delicious.
I made these on Christmas Eve morning, after much deliberation and indecision about the best breakfast treat. I picked these because they sounded like the perfect balance of good (flax) and bad (cream), plus we love citrusy things in my family, and they sounded too interesting to pass up. I made them in jumbo sized muffin tins, so each muffin was effectively two, but even that didn’t stop me from wanting to gobble up more than one…
These muffins are so incredibly tender, probably many thanks to the aforementioned cream, but also the tantalizing lemon cream glaze that they get doused with when still warm, so it has time to soak into all the little crevices. I think the addition of ground flax does more to make the muffins hearty than to give them any hint of flax-flavor, but I did really enjoy the texture of these muffins, because they were firm but soft at the time. Do you follow? Soft and firm? Crumbly but moist? That’s just how they are, if you don’t believe me, you’ll just have to try them yourself.
Lemon Cream Flax Muffins
adapted from How Sweet It Is
makes 12 muffins, or 8 jumbo muffins (jumbo highly recommended)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract, emulsion or essential oil (I substituted lemon juice – about 1 tbsp)
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup cream
1/4 cup milk
zest of 3 lemons (I only used 2)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners.
1) In a bowl, combine flour, salt, soda and flaxseed, then mix well to combine. Set aside.
2) In a large bowl, whisk sugar and egg thoroughly until smooth. Add in lemon zest, vanilla and lemon extracts, whisking again until smooth. Add in cream, milk and melted butter, mixing until combined. Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing with a spoon until just combined – do not overmix. The batter will be thick, but that’s okay. Using an ice cream scoop or about a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop batter into muffin liners. If using jumbo muffin tins, use two scoops per muffin.
3) Bake for 14-17 minutes (a bit longer for jumbo muffins), or until muffins are set and no longer jiggly in the middle. While muffins are baking, prepare glaze, and as soon as they come out of the oven, drizzle glaze over top. These are best served warm, but do keep at in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days.
Lemon Cream Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract, emulsion or essential oil (I used lemon juice again here, probably about a tbsp)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons cream
Combine all ingredients together and mix thoroughly until a runny glaze forms. If too thick, add more cream. If too thin, add more powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.