Serves: Makes 12 muffins
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 half-pint basket fresh raspberries or 1¼ cups frozen (do not defrost)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Procedures:Soft-crumbed and as comforting as a hug when warm from the oven, these muffins are perfect for home bakers too sleepy to pull out an electric mixer in the morning. Simply combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, the liquid in another, then mix the two and fold in the raspberries. If you measure everything out the night before, these can be tossed together in no time, even on a weekday morning. They’re a great project for kids.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat a standard 12-cup muffin pan with melted butter, oil, or high-heat canola oil spray. Place the flour, ⅔ cup of the sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to blend thoroughly.
In a medium skillet, melt the butter with the lemon zest (this will help to bring out the flavor of the zest and distribute it evenly in the batter). Turn off the heat. Add the buttermilk and let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes, just until it is tepid. Pour the liquid into a medium bowl, and add the eggs and vanilla. Whisk until well blended.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the liquid ingredients into the well. Mix only until there are no more streaks of flour or pools of liquid and the batter looks smooth. A few small lumps scattered throughout are fine-they will disappear during baking. Gently fold in the raspberries until evenly distributed.
Use a large ice-cream scoop or 2 soupspoons to divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Stir together the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle it over the tops of the muffins.
Bake the muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, until the tops feel firm and a skewer inserted into the centers comes out clean. Transfer the muffin pan to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Gently run a knife or spatula around each muffin to free it from the pan, lift the muffins out, and transfer them to the rack to finish cooling (careful, these are tender while hot). Serve warm or at room temperature.