Lemon Ricotta Blackberry Muffins

I know that the calendar says January 6th but you wouldn’t know it by walking outside these past few days. We have had bright sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 50’s. That’s amazing because the average high in January in central Illinois is about 29 degrees.  I know I shouldn’t get used to this weather, especially since we average about 26 inches of snow winter, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it now! :)

Walking through the grocery store the other day I spotted blackberries for $1 a pack. I was so excited that I pick up a few containers to use now and to freeze for protein smoothies.

I have had this recipe for Lemon Ricotta Blackberry Muffins bookmarked for a while and it was the first thing I thought of when I spotted the blackberries. I added the lemony sugar topping from my favorite Blueberry Muffins to these and they tasted incredible! It added just the perfect amount of crunch to these moist muffins!

Lemon Ricotta Blackberry Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

For the Topping:
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon

For the Muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blackberries

Directions:

For the topping: In a small bowl, stir together sugar and lemon zest. Rub between your fingers; set aside.
For the muffins: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer add the sugar and lemon zest. Rub the lemon zest and sugar together with your fingers. Attach the paddle attachment and beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest mixture together until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the ricotta cheese and beat until smooth. Beat in the egg, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Using rubber spatula, fold in flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix.) (batter will be thick)
Fill each muffin cup halfway with batter. Add three blackberries to each muffin cup. Top the muffins with remaining batter so blackberries are covered. Sprinkle lemon sugar topping evenly over muffins.
Bake muffins for about 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes before serving.

Source: adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

Don’t forget to check out Sweet Pea’s Kitchen Top 10 of 2011

 

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