An Italian Garden in a Muffin – Rosemary Lemon Muffins

Write your text hereSometimes good recipes can come in the most random places, like the January 1, 2018 issue of People magazine. Who knew?

Indeed, I apologize for the size of the pin below. Some online entities just don’t play together so well in the sandbox. This recipe isn’t online, and this person had copied it from the app Texture. I think you should be able to click on it and it’ll open. But sure, go ahead and pay for a subscription to Texture if you’re that into magazines, or just go to your local library and pay to make the copy from the Jan. 1 issue if you want the recipe.

Someone subscribed my husband, of all people, to this magazine last year. I don’t really look at it, even in the grocery store line, so when it started arriving in his name, I was immensely humored. He wants to know who did it so he can smack them. Needless to say, it’s become bathroom reading.

Curiously though, I’d encourage you to check out their weekly book selections – seriously, whoever is in charge of their book selections has a decent popular literary eye.

I’ve garnered a few decent ideas from recipes in the back of the magazine, but haven’t actually seen a recipe, as it’s written, that I genuinely was excited to make. Call me a snot – trust me, you wouldn’t be the first – but I often believe that the recipes that show up in the back of magazines like People might actually be so dumbed down, they are nothing short of gross.  But this recipe didn’t disappoint in any way. As Debi Mazar states, it’s like tasting parts of an Italian Garden, and she’s right. Think zesty lemons and fresh herbs… think happiness.

Think I’m a gonna move under the Tuscan sun, myself. Addio, cold weather.

It shouldn’t surprise you in the least if you’ve read any of my other posts from my #365daysofbaking challenge that something went wrong.

So as I was mixing everything in the bowl, I come to the realization I have no sour cream even though I went to the friggin’ store yesterday with sour cream on my list of ingredients I needed to buy, yet, I somehow forgot it. Shocker. I think I was on the phone when I was in the dairy aisle, and this makes me loathe technology even more than I do of late. And as I was making the muffins, I needed to find a sub for sour cream – an ingredient that will not only add moisture, but also add tang to the overall flavor. I must have opened the fridge door at least 5 times looking for the damned sour cream… like it was going to magically appear. I can’t even remember who I was talking to on the phone to try to lay blame their way. What. The. Fuck.

Think we’ve got yogurt? Nope.

Do a little research online, and oh, thank you, Internet for giving me: Sour Cream Substitutions and Equivalents with Dairy-Free Options. I chose the following substitution quite simply because I found trying to do the other conversions far too confusing.

For baking: 7/8 cup buttermilk or sour milk plus 3 tablespoons butter

Math wiz, I am not. 7/8 was closest to 1 cup, and then I could only use 2/3 of that one cup (well, 7/8 cup). It all got too confusing…

I always have buttermilk powder in the fridge because…I just do. If you don’t have that, then you can make buttermilk by combining 1 cup regular milk with 1-2 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit for 5 minutes and you have a perfectly viable alternative to buttermilk. Trust me. Done it a thousand times.

I diced up the extra butter into tiny cubes. It didn’t say to melt it – and I can be painfully literal at times – so I didn’t.

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Look at the delicious flecks of herb!

Then I questioned my decision to cube the butter after it was all mixed together. You know what they say about worry:

And it all turned out fine. I wish I could take a decent photo inside the oven while these were baking… gorgeous. They had this fluffy high rising crown to them that I want to see on every muffin I ever make from this point forward. Once I opened the oven at the end, though, the crowning jewels shrunk a wee bit, kinda like a dude’s jewels when he dives in cold water.

Look at the beautiful green flecks of rosemary.

My Thoughts After Baking:

  1. did not use dried rosemary. I didn’t have dried, and when I was in the store I thought the recipe called for fresh. Imagine that I would botch a recipe before I even began…
    1. You can learn about the conversion of fresh to dried herbs from dear ole’ Martha, but I knew I needed to add more fresh than the 2 tsp dried called for in the recipe. I’m not a honkin’ fan of rosemary, so I only used 4 tsp fresh, and for my tastes, it was perfect.
    2. P.S. I’ve always thought it backwards that dried herbs are more potent that fresh… I’ve never looked into the science. And this time, I’m not going to. Look it up yourself.
  2. If you had extra Meyer lemons setting around from, say, making a batch of Meyer Lemon Marmalade, chop up all the goodness of the whole lemon and add it to this recipe. I think it’d be a lovely addition with the zest that’s called for.
  3. I’d serve this with dinner any day without the powered sugared topping. Without the glaze, the muffin is lightly sweet, but the savory notes of the rosemary balance out the slightly sweet quite nicely.
  4. As stated above, I did not make the powdered sugar topping. This would dip this muffin into a sweet category, which I think would be delightful, especially with the lemon juice – but I’d also add a bit of zest to the powered sugar glaze. It would also make a lovely snack any time of day, delicious muffin at tea time, or a breakfast muffin with the glaze. But knowing my husband isn’t a massive fan of all the sweets parading through our home lately (he’s training for another bike trip in April), I left it off, whipping out the glorious grapefruit marmalade instead. Holy mother of all goodness! It became an explosion of savory, tart, and sweet. Just, YAS!

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P.P.S. Gettin’ better at these food pics each time.

I’m booking myself on the next flight to Italy so I can grow my own lemons and rosemary under the Tuscan sun and make these muffins. If for no other reason than to say I did just that.

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