My favorite flavor is lemon. There’s a video when I was a toddler, probably around two, sitting on top of my cousin Karen, sucking a lemon and drooling all over her. She starts to scream and I start to laugh–it’s one of my favorite childhood memories.
Jump ahead a few years to my college days. The one thing we stocked in our mini fridge were cans of seltzers and lemons (or limes). My roommate Stephanie and I would each take a lime, squeeze it into a big red cup and pour an entire can of seltzer in. Then we’d binge watch bad TV and order Chinese food.
And these days, when I visit my cousin Lauren in Los Angeles, I drink coffee in her backyard in the early morning and stare at her beautiful citrus tree. I think to myself, “why don’t I live here?” And then I sit in hours of traffic on my way to the airport and I’m reminded why New York City is the perfect place for me. Which finally brings me to the point of this post…
You know those yellow muffins in New York bagel shops studded with poppy seeds, reeking of artificial lemon extract? I thought, what if I made my own version with lots of California lemons? And instead of poppy seeds I could finally use up all of those black sesame seeds that have been sitting in my cupboard since the summer (mmmm black sesame ice cream).
Well this lemon sesame muffin is inspired by that deli muffin but without any of the artificial lemon flavor. Instead of poppy seeds, I’ve opted for the still crunchy black sesame seed.
These muffins are subtle. They don’t knock you over the head with acidity but the glaze is a perfect balance of tart and sweet. And they make me happy! Hope they bring a little sunshine your way too.
Lemon Black Sesame Muffins
Yields around 16 medium sized muffins.
1 stick softened unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup raw black sesame seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup full fat plain yogurt
2 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon zest
1 cup powdered sugar
sesame seeds for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350.
Cream butter and sugar with a paddle attachment on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla.
In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, sesame seeds, lem baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.
Add eggs, one at a time to butter and sugar on medium speed.
Mix together the lemon juice, zest and yogurt.
Alternate adding dry ingredients and yogurt into the mixer on medium speed. Make sure you end with dry mix.
Scoop into greased muffin tin or greased muffin liners. I love making my own liners by cutting parchment paper into 5-6 inch squares. Lay on top of muffin tin and tuck into place with a small can or spice bottle. And voila!
Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. I recommend the toothpick test at 25 minutes, just in case.
Let muffins cool. Add lemon juice to powdered sugar slowly, until it’s nice and thick. Add lemon zest. Dip or drizzle over muffins. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.