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1/2 cup sweet cream butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar or lemon sugar (see below)
2 large eggs, separated
1-1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sugar (coarse raw or regular)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Beat well after each. In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredient, poppy seeds, and lemon zest. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating two times with the buttermilk, then lemon juice, and then vanilla. Beat just until smooth.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold them into the muffin batter until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, 3/4-full. Sprinkle each muffin with coarse raw sugar or lemon sugar. Bake at 350°F. for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely.
Lemon Sugar: Remove the zest from 3 large lemons with a vegetable peeler. Try not to get any of the white pith on the zest, as it is bitter. Place zest strips in a food processor and add 1/2 cup sugar. Pulse nil the zest is evenly distributed. Add another 1/2 cup sugar. Pulse until zest is finely ground. Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Makes 1 cup.