Lemon and poppy seeds in sweet muffins and a rich rugalach cookie are favorites of many.
The muffins were requested by Mary R. Spero of Severn who noted that she preferred a low-fat version while Linda K. Kough of Towson requested "a more flavorful recipe like the ones my children just loved from Burger King."
A rugalach, a bite-sized crescent-shaped cookie made with a rich cream cheese dough and filled with fruit and nuts was requested by Joanne S. Cabral of Sandy Bend, Ore.
Chef Gilles Syglowski chose a rugalach sent in by Peggy Via of Baltimore.
1 cup butter, softened
2 small packages cream cheese, softened
2 3/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup seedless raisins, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 egg yolk, beaten
Combine butter, cream cheese, flour and salt thoroughly. Wrap and chill this dough for at least 2 hours. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, raisins, nuts and cinnamon. Divide dough into 9 equal pieces. Roll each piece into an 8-inch circle and sprinkle with the sugar-nut mixture. Cut circles into 8 wedges and beginning at base of each wedge, roll to the point. Place point side down on ungreased cookie sheet and brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes in a 375-degree oven. Cool on wire rack.
Chef also liked the pastry filling sent in by Susan Manning of Cockeysville which called for 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup golden raisins, 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
The low-fat version of lemon poppy seed muffins was sent in by Lillian Wasarhelyi from Glen Burnie.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin
Makes 1 to 1 1/2 dozen
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 eggs, lightly beaten, or egg substitute equivalent
1 1/4 cups skim milk
3/4 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons lemon extract
Combine flour, sugar, poppy seeds and baking powder in large bowl. Combine eggs, milk, applesauce and lemon extract and stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full and bake at 350-degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until muffins test done.
Joan Demshock of Timonium sent in a "more flavorful recipe" which Chef chose.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin
Makes 12 jumbo muffins
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 container (16 ounces) plain yogurt, low-fat if preferred
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Heat oven to 400-degrees. Grease 12 large (3 1/2 -inch) muffin cups.
Combine flour, sugar, poppy seeds, lemon peel, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine yogurt, lemon juice, oil, eggs and vanilla in smaller bowl until well blended. Stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon into prepared muffin cups filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove and cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm or cool.
* Ann C. of Westminster would like help in finding a coconut soup "sometimes found in Indian restaurants. It is a wintertime comfort food."
* Victor J. Romeo of Cockeysville writes that its wild raspberry season and he'd like to have a pie or cake recipe using the fresh fruit.
* Joan Bartholow of Timonium writes "my husband loves the shrimp imperial like the one that Thompson's, once on York Road and now in Ocean City, serves."