Lemon-Yogurt Muffins

I honestly can't believe how fast this year has flown by! It seems like just yesterday that we were saying "Wow, we're in 2009!" when in a few weeks we'll be saying "Wow, we're in 2010!" As the weeks have gone by, I've been busy catching up with school work and also with my baking. To start off the baking and posting spree, I decided to post these muffins up. This recipe comes from Williams-Sonoma: Bread, and it doesn't disappoint. It has a tripe shot of lemon in it: lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon oil. The texture of the muffins is really nice, but one thing I didn't understand is why they didn't really grow. They grew just a bit above the rim, but my muffins usually grow more than just a bit over the rim. One thing I didn't like about the recipe was the topping. The topping includes mace, which I had never baked with before. As the muffins were baking, the mace let out a weird smell throughout the house, and then it gave a weird aftertaste. If I were to make these again, I'd definitely change up the topping. One thing I did like about the recipe was the fact that it included yogurt. It added moistness and a nice subtle flavor to the muffin. The recipe gave me a nice side note about yogurt:

"YOGURT: Yogurt, a thick, creamy fermented milk product, contains beneficial living bacterial cultures and is an easily digestible food. Made from whole, low-fat, or nonfat milk, yogurt may be used as the liquid ingredient in quick breads, bestowing a tart flavor and tender texture. It can also substitute for sour cream in many baking recipes, delivering the same pleasant dairy taste with far fewer calories. Before purchasing a carton of yogurt, always check the sell-by date to ensure the freshest possible product."

Lemon-Yogurt Muffins
*makes 12 muffins*

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
1/4 tsp lemon oil

1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground mace

1) Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.
2) In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Make a well in the center and pour in the yogurt, eggs, melted butter, lemon juice, and the lemon oil. Vigorously whisk together the wet and dry ingredients until thoroughly combined, about 20 strokes. The batter should be fluffy but slightly lumpy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each cup between three-fourths full and just short of its rim.
3) To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the walnuts, sugar, and mace. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons topping over each muffin.
4) Bake until golden around the edges and dry and springy to the touch, 16-20 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean. Using a small metal spatula, remove each muffin from its cup and place on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.