Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon extract
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour
8 oz cream cheese - try to get a block instead of a tub
powdered sugar for dusting
muffin pan with optional liners
Step 2: Mix the Batter
Melt the butter on a stovetop or in the microwave.
Mix the butter, milk and sugar into the eggs.
Add the extract, juice, salt and baking powder. If you're using a fresh lemon add some zest, too.
Mix in the flour immediately. It's okay to leave some chunks in the batter. I've read many times to barely mix muffin batter for fluffier muffins, but I've never noticed a significant difference when I under or over mix.
It's important to mix in the flour right away because there's a slight risk of a chemical reaction between the eggs, milk, acidic lemon juice and alcohol in the extract. The flour should be more than enough to displace any potential issues!
Step 3: Read for the Oven
Divide your batter into the 12 cups.
Open up your block of cream cheese. Cut it into 12 equal pieces. Drop one piece into each muffin.
You've reached a fork in the road and you must now make some decisions:
- Leave the cream cheese exposed, or use a spoon to pull some batter over it.
- Sprinkle granulated sugar over the top now, or dust with powdered sugar immediately after baking.
Bake at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges and a toothpick into muffin, not cream cheese, comes out clean. Mine took 25 minutes, but my oven tends to be a bit slow.
If you've chosen the powdered sugar topping, be sure to sprinkle it immediately upon removal from the oven.
Step 4: Enjoy!
I'm quite sure this recipe would also be delicious with orange in place of lemon, and if I did that I'd be tempted to add some chocolate chips!