Packed with lemon and mandarin orange flavors and toasted sliced almonds, these light and bright muffins will bring a little sunshine to your breakfast. The recipe includes honey, olive oil and cornmeal for a unique flavor and light texture. Topped with a simple lemon glaze, these are the perfect sweet and tart morning bite.
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 18minutes
Sugar Infusion 1hour
Total Time 33minutes
1orangemandarin or navel
1.5Call purpose flour
1Csliced and toasted almonds*
To make citrus-infused sugar
Before starting the recipe, you'll need to make citrus-infused sugar. This step really makes a big difference in the citrus flavor of the finished muffins. I've found the citrus to be a little puny when I didn't use an infused sugar. Don't worry though, the sugar can sit for as little as an hour and still be effective.
Zest 1 orange and 1 lemon with a Microplane (if you don't have one, check out the link above) and add the zest to 1/2 C of white sugar and mix well with a fork until the zest is evenly distributed throughout the sugar. Set aside for a minimum of an hour of up to 48 hours.
To make muffins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin pan very well with baking spray or line the pan with liners. I like to forego the liners so I get the lovely golden brown edges that will stick to the liner if you use them, but no doubt they make cleanup much easier.
Add the eggs, infused sugar, and honey to a large mixing bowl. Using a stand or hand mixer, whip the mixture with a paddle attachment for about one minute until the mixture turns a pale yellow color and smooth texture. Turn off the mixture and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Turn the mixer back on to medium-low and slowly drizzle in the olive oil with the mixer on. Once all the oil has been combined, turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl again.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients including flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, and salt. Set the dry ingredients aside. Juice the lemon and the orange into the same liquid measuring cup used to measure the olive oil. Be sure to remove any seeds.
Add the vanilla and almond extracts to the juices. Last, add the milk and stir to combine. You don't want to leave the citrus and milk sitting for too long or the mix will get a little clumpy. Just have everything ready to combine, and it won't be a problem.
Turn the mixer back on to low speed and add a third of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. As soon as you can't see any dry ingredients in the mix, add half of the citrus juice and milk. Once the liquid has been absorbed, add another third of the dry. Then the last half of the wet, and finally, the last third of the dry. This technique of starting and finishing with the dry ingredients is common in cake recipes to ensure the ingredients are well combined without overmixing.
Turn the mixer off as soon as the last batch of dry ingredients is incorporated. Using a spatula, scrape down the bowl and finish mixing by hand. Once the batter is smooth, add the sliced almonds and fold them gently into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Fill each cup up 3/4 of the way. The muffins will rise quite a bit so don't fill to the top. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until the edges are browned and the top of the muffins are firm to the touch.
Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before glazing. The warmer the muffins are, the more the muffins will absorb the glaze. If the muffins are cooled completely, the glaze will sit on top as pictured.
To make the glaze
Add 1/2 C powdered sugar to a small mixing bowl. Zest the remaining lemon and add all the zest to the bowl. Next, juice the lemon into the powdered sugar, being sure keep the seeds out of the mix.
Using a whisk, combine the sugar and lemon juice. Add the whole milk 1 Tb at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stop adding milk when you reach a pourable consistency that still has some viscosity. It should be the thickness of molasses or a thick syrup. If the mixture gets too thin, just add a touch more powdered sugar. Last, add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
Drizzle the muffins with lemon glaze and enjoy!
*Fisher now sells sliced almonds that are already toasted which is such a convenient shortcut. If you can't find them, you can toast the almonds by placing them on a sheet pan and toasting in the oven at 350 for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and watching closely.