I hosted my church lady friends for a retreat recently and I pulled together a menu that was a departure from the tradition breakfast casserole. I enlisted the help of my friend Pam and we created a “spa-inspired” menu that not only delighted the senses — bright colors in the fruit and vegetables, and the scent of lavender, citrus, mint and rosemary, but their taste buds, too.
Lavender is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to heal minor burns and bug bites. Research suggests that it may be useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness. I enjoy diffusing lavender while I am getting ready for work in the morning especially if I anticipate a busy day ahead.
I found this recipe for Lemon Lavender muffins from A Pinch of Yum. I didn’t make the time to prepare these in advance to try them first, so I was a little nervous to experiment on a new recipe (Mother always said, “never serve your guests a recipe you haven’t tasted yourself first.”) Hoorah, they were a success! You could definitely smell and taste the blend of lemon and lavender. They weren’t a fluffy muffin, more like tea bread consistency. I think next time I might make them in a loaf pan rather than a muffin tin to see how they turn out.
I purchased organic lavender buds from Amazon. You zest and juice a whole lemon then make a lemon-lavender infused sugar for the batter and to sprinkle on the tops of the muffins after they are iced.
A Pinch of Yum – Lemon Lavender Muffins:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried lavender buds
- 1 lemon – juice and zest
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup Almond Milk (I used almond vanilla)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon (more or less) Almond Milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pulse the sugar, lavender, and lemon zest in a food processor until smooth. The goal is to break down the lavender. Set 1/4 cup aside.
- Beat the 1/2 cup sugar, butter, and eggs until fluffy. Beat in honey, almond milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients gently until just combined.
- Pour the batter into a prepared muffin tin (I just greased mine, no liners). Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and the tops spring back when you touch them.
- Whisk ingredients together for glaze. Pour a spoonful over the top of each muffin and sprinkle with reserved sugar.
Note from Mrs. Twist: This batter is super thin and chunky from the butter. This worried me because I am used to a batter consistency that is thicker. But, it didn’t seem to affect the outcome so push forward.
These muffins would be lovely wrapped up in cellphane with a sprig of lavender and a ribbon to give as a gift or lovely gesture.
I’ll share the other recipes in a follow up post — Fruit gazpacho with pureed cantalope, peaches and mango, and an egg-spinach bake in sweet bell pepper cups.
I had the opportunity to sample these delicious muffins. They are superb, just the right amount of sweetness. The muffins were a delightful addition to an outstanding spa menu!