It is hard to believe that in less than two months we’ll be packing up to head back to Umbria for the 2012 season but now that we have booked our flights and started to sort things we want to pack to take with us, it is a reality that is quickly approaching.
One chore that I need to accomplish every year before we close up and head to Umbria is to empty out our freezer and pantry. Somehow I ended up with three packages of almond paste after Christmas that didn’t get used as planned, so I pulled out one package today to make these muffins.
The muffins are moist and rich with a subtle almond flavor and I added some sliced almonds on top before baking. The muffins turned out delicious, but after tasting them I think fresh raspberries folded into the batter before baking would be a great idea as well.
When we are in Umbria, I bake casual rustic desserts like these muffins throughout the week for our farmhouse guests so I will be working on some new recipes like this one to take back with us over the next month or two. I really liked these muffins and will certainly make them again, but I will add either raspberries or blueberries to the batter next time so I’m including that option into the recipe.
- 2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 (7 Ounce) Almond Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Grated Lemon Zest
- 1 Teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (Or 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon & 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extracts)
- 1/2 Stick or 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted
- 1 Cup Greek Yogurt (I Used Fat Free Fage Brand)
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Heaping Cup Raspberries or Blueberries
- Spoon the batter
- Slivered Almonds
- Powdered Sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Lightly grease 12 medium or 9 count large muffin tin or line with muffin papers.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in one bowl.
- Use a box grater to grate the almond paste into the flour mixture, then use your finger tips to work it through.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the butter, yogurt, zest, extract, and egg until well blended.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix together just until mixed. (If adding berries, add at this time)
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and sprinkle the top with the slivered almonds.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until light golden brown and set.
- Cool to room temperature, then lightly dust with powdered sugar before serving.