3/4 cup plain yogurt (plain Greek yogurt works, too)
1 large egg (update 3/20/14: use 2 eggs for richer and slightly fluffier, more cupcake-like muffins)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your muffin pan using butter or non-stick cooking spray. (Pro tip: grease only the bottoms and halfway up the cups so your muffin tops don’t flatten out while baking.)
Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl. Use your fingers to rub the zest into sugar until the sugar is fragrant and pale yellow throughout. Whisk in the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a separate, smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, yogurt, egg, vanilla and the juice of one of your bald lemons.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a large spoon to mix the two together. Stir only until the flour is fully incorporated into the liquid.
Divide batter evenly between the 12 muffins cups. The batter will be thick but don’t worry, your muffins will turn out great. The cups should not be more than three-fourths full. Sprinkle the muffins with turbinado sugar and wipe off any sugar that lands between the muffin cups.
Bake for 16 to 19 minutes, until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then carefully transfer the muffins to a baking rack to cool completely.