I just about fainted with joy. For the last month and half I have been living with a broken oven. That meant no baking cakes, cookies, or pies, no roasting chickens and vegetables; it was all stove-top, all the time. It meant a lot of pasta dishes, soups and stews, salads, and lots and lots of rice pudding (I have an addiction now, it can’t be stopped). It’s not like I should be complaining, those things are all delicious.
But I missed baking. Baking is what I look forward to doing in my free time; it’s my creative outlet and my relaxation technique. So there was definitely a void. A void which can now be filled; with muffins, and cakes, and breads, oh my!
It’s good to have you back oven. I missed you old friend.
Lemon Ricotta Muffins
From Giada De Laurentiis
A note on these muffins: They are absolutely delicious. The lemon and almond mix together in the perfect combination of flavor and their texture is terrific. The ricotta helps makes them moist and yet they are still light at the same time.
Cooking notes: Be careful not to over-bake these. Don’t wait for the tops to get golden brown; they can get a little dry if they stay in the oven that long. 20 minutes was just right for my oven. These muffins do not have a super-strong lemon flavor, so if that’s what you are looking for go ahead and double the amount of lemon zest and juice.
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar or more as needed for sprinkling
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup thinly sliced almonds
Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar, butter, and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the ricotta. Beat in the egg, lemon juice, and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the almonds and then the remaining teaspoon of sugar over the muffins. Bake until the muffins just become pale golden on top, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and then remove from muffin tin.