Almond Poppyseed Muffins

You may be more familiar with the lemon-poppyseed combination, but almond-poppyseed is also quite common, and happens to be the version that I grew up eating most often. In fact, I remember being disappointed as a kid when I would, on a rare occasion, get to eat a store-bought poppyseed muffin, only to discover it somehow wasn’t quite what I was expecting. The following recipe is slightly adapted from the one my mom passed along to me:  notably, I added a little almond flour. I made this particular batch mostly into mini-muffins, which turned out to be absolutely addictive. I made them because I had house-guests staying over, but by the time anyone else came downstairs, I had already eaten half a dozen little muffins by myself…

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This is one of the easiest muffin recipes I have, mostly because it doesn’t involve any fruit and can stand alone without any special toppings (though you can mix up a quick powdered sugar icing if you want to be fancy). Poppyseeds are slightly expensive, and so is almond flour, but otherwise the ingredients are pretty straightforward. You can make your own almond flour if you want, by putting almonds in a food processor. Alternatively, you can just replace it with regular all-purpose flour. You can probably put this recipe together in an hour, baking time included. Makes about 2 dozen regular-size muffins.

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Almond Poppyseed Muffins
Ingredients
1½ C all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour
½ C almond flour or almond meal
2¼ C sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp salt
1¼ C oil
1½ C milk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 TBS poppyseeds

Directions
1. Mix dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking powder, salt) in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. In a smaller bowl, beat eggs. Add oil, milk, and almond extract.

3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Stir until just mixed (look for pockets of flour hiding, scrape sides and bottom of bowl with spatula). Add in poppyseeds and stir until distributed.

4. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two regular-sized muffins pans with paper liners (or spray with cooking spray if not using liners). Fill each muffin cup approximately 3/4 full.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in pans for a minute or two before removing and cooling on racks.

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6. Optional:  Mix a few tablespoons of powdered sugar with a little bit of milk, cream, or half-and-half. Add a drop of vanilla extract. Spoon or drizzle over cooled muffins.

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