Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Muffins at the Fair

Is there anyone that doesn't enjoy going to the fair? 

Here in the Midwest, fairs are serious business. There are livestock to be worked and groomed, jams to be canned, and tractors to be pulled. But they are also so much fun! There are also water fights to be won, friends to see, and the best lemon shake-ups to drink. At our county fair we even have a cricket-spitting contest! I have never had the desire to enter it, but I'm continually amazed at the number of people who do.

Seriously, who doesn't feel just a little bit more patriotic and hopeful for the future after walking around seeing kids working their hardest to earn a ribbon? Around here, fairs really do bring out the best in people.

That's why I was so excited to see that the lovely AnneMarie of Gen X Quilters was hosting this: 

Quilts and cooking? Sign me up!

So for my part in the cooking festivities, I give you Lemon Ricotta Muffins. Don't they just sound good? And I guarantee they taste better than a cricket!

This recipe is from Giada de Laurentiis of the Food Network. The original recipe calls them biscuits, but they are not at all biscuit-like, so I call them muffins. 

     Lemon Ricotta Muffins
     2 cups all-purpose flour
     1/2 teaspoon baking powder
     1/2 teaspoon baking soda
     1/2 teaspoon salt
     1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar or more as needed for sprinkling
     1/2 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
     1/2 teaspoon almond extract
     1/3 cup thinly sliced almonds

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. 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 (the batter will be thick and fluffy).

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the almonds and then the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar over the muffins. Bake until the muffins just become pale golden on top, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
 Fresh from the oven...
Doesn't that look good?

And how about those cupcake liners, or as my kids call them, "muffin peels" ? Aren't they cute? 
I found them at Ikea. I don't usually even use liners, but I liked these so much I went ahead and got some. They are a little oddly shaped, but once you get the batter in them they spread out a little more and aren't so rigid looking. 

These muffins freeze wonderfully. I made a big batch right before I had our youngest son and put them in the freezer as a quick breakfast for the other boys when I needed an easy way out.
Come back here tomorrow for a fresh new quilt!
I am so excited to be a part of this Summer Fair so I must give a big thank you to AnneMarie for hosting!  Now go check out the other goodies at the Fair!


  1. I love lemon desserts -- these look yummy! I'm definitely bookmarking this for later. :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. These look fantastic. I'm adding them to my try it list. And cool papers from IKEA. I saw them but they were selling them next to the pan of that shape so I passed them up. I may have to just forge ahead and try them like you did. I loved the colors.

  3. Australian measures must be a bit different or we must have smaller eggs! I only used half the sugar but there was still not enough liquid, so I added another egg and half a cup of milk and it worked out beautifully! Thanks Toni!