For the muffins:
10 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup sliced roasted almonds
For the topping:
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Turbinado sugar (for garnish)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the middle.
2. In a large bowl, gently whisk to combine the flour, confectioners' sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk to combine the eggs, milk, cream, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, superfine sugar, and almonds on low speed for 2 minutes, or 1 minute for muffin caps.
4. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle the liquid mixture into the butter and sugar. It will look lumpy like cottage cheese.
5. Quickly add the flour mixture in 3 scoopfuls. Stop the mixer and fold it a bit by hand. Do not fully combine.
6. To make the topping: In a small bowl, whisk to combine the almonds, sugar, milk, and vanilla and set aside.
7. Spray the muffin pan really well with nonstick spray, then line with paper liners.
8. To get a big muffin cap, fill the liners to the top. Drop large clumps of the almond topping onto the batter for each muffin and gently press into place. Sprinkle the tops with a little turbinado sugar.
9. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. The muffins should be light and golden in appearance.
10. Remove from the oven and allow them to rest in the pan for at least 5 minutes before serving.
— From Cakelove in the Morning, by Warren Brown (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2012)