When Spring hits, I start dreaming of asparagus and fresh flowers and fuzzy chicks and green grass.
Most of all? I dream of lemon.
Yellow, vibrant, sunny, happy, tart lemon!
When you add lemon to a dish, whether it be the zest or the juice, it livens up the flavors. Suddenly salt is elevated to a variety of textures. Pepper never tasted so warm.
The only problem? You need to take out a second mortgage to afford lemons these days.
That is, unless you own black clothes, a ski cap, and don’t mind hustling some off an overhanging tree at 3 in the morning.
I never did that, by the way.
Okay, I did it once.
Whatever, I did it
twice four times.
The owner of the tree should thank me. I’m certain they’re glad I’ve confiscated their fruit and alleviated their tree of the oppressing weight. Plus, part of the tree hangs over public sidewalk, so technically it’s anyone’s fruit for the picking.
P.S. If you go all lemon ninja at 3 am, bring a big bag and comfortable shoes. Smuggling lemons by cradling them in the lower portion of your shirt while you run down the sidewalk of what would have been a busy street makes for comical times. Imagine lemons flying, me chasing them, trying to continue to run, getting tripped up by my own clumsy feet, and ultimately making it back with just three lemons on my first heist.
And so in my haste to “hide the goods” – that’s street lingo for eating the food I stole (I’m so hood) – I made Lemon Yogurt Muffins. That’s what lemon ninjas do – they make baked goods.
Plus, since I have a mild addiction to all things Chobani Greek Yogurt, this recipe furthered my foodie addictions.
I adapted my pumpkin and chocolate peppermint bread recipes to make this one. Like I’ve said all along, all you need is a good skeleton recipe from which you can modify and make into something different. This bread recipe adapts perfectly if you understand how it works – a liquid component, creamy component, and dry component.
The result is an extremely moist, spongy bread with a tart kick that will satisfy your lemon cravings. If you don’t want the tart kick that this bread carries, I suggest backing off the lemon juice to just 1/4 cup.
Copious amounts of crispy crumble is a must though.
I went to remake these muffins recently and had mountains of issues when I halved the recipe. I hope you didn’t run into the same issues. I learned quite a few things when I retested this recipe – if your muffins fall flat, there’s a reason – baking soda and yogurt are destined to be enemies. When soda hits the yogurt, a chemical reaction far beyond my scope of comprehension happens and causes the batter to stay flat. Who would have known? Also, I swapped out butter for butter flavor Crisco because not only is butter ridiculously expensive right now but the batter texture improved drastically by limiting the dairy to just the yogurt.
So here is the new and improved super duper fantabulous recipe for Lemon Yogurt Muffins. It’s been tested and tested and tested and it’s teenager approved.
- ½ cup Butter Flavor Crisco
- 1 cup Sugar + 1 tbsp
- 2 Eggs
- ¾ cup Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt
- ½ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 cups Flour + 4 tbsp.
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Vegetable Oil
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Line a 12 cup muffin tin with papers. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer affixed with a paddle attachment, combine shortening and 1 cup sugar. Cream on high for 2 minutes.
- Add remaining wet ingredients. Mix on medium for one minute. Scrape sides, then mix for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low until just combined.
- Scoop mix into papers and fill ¾ full. Set aside. (You may have extra batter for additional muffins.)
- In a small bowl, combine 4 tbsp. flour, 1 tbsp. sugar, and 2 tsp. vegetable oil. Use your fingers to sprinkle small amounts of crumble on top of each muffin.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool for five minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.