Just after I had graduated college, I did something rather daring. I moved halfway across the country for a job…and a boyfriend! Right away I found a great apartment, right on the river in gorgeous, Boise, Idaho. I loved living in my tiny one-bedroom apartment. In college I always had roommates, and before college I had stinky brothers to deal with. It was the very first time in my life where I was living all by myself.
Just down the street from my apartment was this amazing bakery, called Pastry Perfections. On Saturday mornings, I would walk over and treat myself to a cup of coffee and one of their amazing rolls, pastries or muffins. One of my all time favorites was their glazed lemon poppy seed muffins. They were completely drenched in an icy-lemon glaze, which locked in this wonderful moist lemony cake studded with poppy seeds. These were AMAZING…and somewhere around 400 calories a pop. Ummm, yeah, I gained about 15 lbs. that first year I lived there. Eeek!
I wanted to stroll down memory lane, and recreate these amazing muffins, but not with the gigantic calories to go with. I wanted to skinny up one of my recipes that I already had, but still keep the great lemon flavor, and the ultra-moist cake-like quality that made those muffins from Pastry Perfection….well, perfect!
I ended up reducing the sugar, adding some lemon Greek yogurt to bump up the moisture, and added the zest of a lemon to keep that great lemon flavor. Instead of completely submerging the muffins in the glaze (yeah, I totally wanted to do that!), I lightly drizzled with the glaze. The drizzle of glaze was just enough sweetness, and complimented the lemon flavor inside the muffin. You would have never known this was a light version of that old favorite of mine! Here’s how they came together:
Looking back, I really loved that little apartment of mine. I loved my little walks to the bakery. I eventually lost those 15 lbs, but kept some really fond memories of Boise, where I lived for nearly a decade. That first job that I moved to Boise for turned out to be a dud, but that boyfriend of mine turned into my husband. We miss Boise, but we can always make a batch of muffins to relive the Saturday morning walks from my tiny little apartment by the river.