Sunday, April 22, 2012

Definitely my cup of tea

I don't like the taste of coffee.  I like the smell, and I don't mind adding espresso powder to chocolate recipes, but I don't like the flavor of coffee or most coffee-flavored things.  But that's okay, because I'm a tea drinker instead.  If I'm in the right mood, I'll drink fruity or herbal teas, but I mostly drink black teas, with milk and a bit of sugar.  My current favorites are from Stash--I order a lot of loose tea, but get some of my favorites in teabags, too, for the convenience.  I don't have to do that as much anymore, though, since they also make these handy filter bags so I can just make my own.  If I had to pick one favorite, it would be Christmas Morning, which I drink year-round.  I love the combination of flavors, especially the bit of jasmine.  

I make a lot of tea at home, and most mornings I'll fill my travel mug as well, but occasionally I run out of time.  So sometimes I'll get my tea fix at Starbucks.  I originally only went there for hot chocolate, then sometimes I'd get hot tea.  I really like their iced tea, too.  Then one day I discovered tea lattes (though I don't get one often, since they're more expensive).  Not the chai ones, since I don't like the chai they use, but black teas lattes.  The only problem is that the newer cashiers always seem so confused when I order one.  It took three or four visits for the latest guy to get it right--first he put it in as a coffee latte and I had to get it re-made.  Then he put regular black tea, which I caught, but in the process I didn't get the non-fat milk I requested.  Then the most recent time, he tried to do that again, but someone looked over his shoulder and showed him where the right button was.  We'll see what happens next time...

I admit, I sometimes succumb to the siren call of the pastry case at Starbucks as well.  The only problem is that the baked goods usually look better than they taste.  I do like the Maple Oat Pecan scones, but I tried a piece of lemon cake recently and was very disappointed.  Except for the tart icing, it tasted like it was made with lemon extract and it was too sweet.  It reminded me of why I need to make sure that I have homemade baked goods available for breakfast.  We're set for the beginning of this week, at least.  One of the first things I read in my Google reader is any new blog post from King Arthur Flour's blog.  A couple weeks ago they had one about a delicious-looking lemon streusel cake.  It immediately went on my list of things to make, but somehow I got sidetracked during my vacation and didn't get to it.  I thought about it again yesterday when I was trying to figure out a plan for Sunday breakfast.  I decided that I wanted to change things up a bit, though, and make it into muffins instead.  

I took an educated guess and figured that two-thirds of the batter would be about right for a dozen muffins.  I was hoping that would work out, since it was reasonably easy to reduce the ingredients by a third (the original batter called for three eggs, for instance).  I always have pecans on hand, so that was my choice for the nuts.  I didn't have the lemon juice powder, but the recipe says you can use extra lemon zest.  Since I wanted a bit of tartness that the zest alone wouldn't provide, I added a little citric acid to the topping and batter.  I also used the optional lemon oil in the batter.  The only change I made to the mixing method was an accident--I melted the butter for the streusel.  I've made plenty of other crumb toppings with melted butter, so I just went with it.  After I mixed up the topping ingredients, I put the mixture in the fridge so the crumbs would firm back up.  I divided the batter and topping evenly among the 12 muffin cups, using a scant quarter cup of batter for each (I used my #16 disher to fill the cups).  I stuck with the 350º baking temperature and my muffins took about 20 minutes to bake.  Once they had cooled for a few minutes, I drizzled lemon glaze on top of them.

The verdict?  I wasn't sure if I'd like the combination of lemon with cinnamon, but it ended up being quite tasty.  We all liked the muffins a lot, although Gillian wasn't thrilled that I had pecans in the topping.  She picked them all out.  If I'd chopped them fine instead of leaving them in bigger pieces, she might not have noticed them.  In any case, I'm sure this will be a repeat recipe around here.  The amount of batter ended up being just right for a dozen muffins, too--no messy overflow.  

If you'd like to try the original cake, you can find the recipe here at King Arthur Flour.  I love that their recipes give you the option for volume or weight, including both ounces and grams.  I'm including my ingredient list here as well.

Lemon Streusel Muffins - ingredients

For the streusel:
60 grams all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
zest of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of citric acid
60 grams unsalted butter
60 grams coarsely chopped pecans
70 grams light brown sugar

For the batter:
160 grams all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon citric acid
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
75 grams unsalted butter, softened
140 grams sugar
zest of 2 lemons
1/4 teaspoon lemon oil
2 eggs
150 grams sour cream

For the method, refer to the original recipe.  


  1. Those look wonderful, Di! Perfect for breakfast or any time of the day.

  2. Those look great, Di! And thanks for the link to the filter bags; I didn't even know they existed! I drink tea every morning, too, but always buy the bags since I take it with me in my travel mug...I'll have to check these out! :)

  3. Your muffins look and sound delicious. I look in the cases of coffee shops for inspiration but I rarely buy because I know homemade tastes ten times better.

  4. I was wondering about these when I saw you post them on instagram yesterday. Such a fun switch up from the KAF recipe, they look great! I'm never tempted by the Starbucks pastries because I'm never there since I don't drink any hot beverages really. The pretzels/popcorn at Target and my local warehouse club are my huge downfall :)

  5. wow...looks amazingly tasty
    new to your space..
    lovely space you have
    happy following you..:)
    do stop by mine sometime
    Tasty Appetite

  6. Must Make these soon. Very very soon. Gorgeous!

  7. Wow, I didn't know you could get a tea latte at Starbucks that *isn't* chai. I love their chai and Oregon chai, but Peet's near us uses some other brand that is horrible.

    I made something accidentally once with lemon and cinnamon and quite liked it. Another combo I like is peanut butter and cinnamon. Or maybe I just like cinnamon a lot :D