Monday, July 12, 2010
Just the title alone, before I had read the list of ingredients or the preface to the recipe on King Arthur Flour, I knew I was going to have to make this. I love doughnuts. I love muffins. I love the idea of combining the two and I love the idea of baking, not frying the doughnut!
One of the most exciting things about this recipe is that all the ingredients are basic. You don't need anything fancy, and I'm referring to ingredients and appliances and tools. No deep-fryer needed!
So what is it about this recipe that makes the muffin taste like an old-fashioned cake doughnut? The nutmeg. That is the secret! And so I suggest you use more, not less. The recipe calls for 1 or 1 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg. I'd say go all the way and add the maximum recommendation.
These muffins really do taste like doughnuts. Next time, I want to play around with mix-ins, maybe adding some toasted walnuts or chopped chocolate to the batter. I also want to try replacing the cinnamon sugar topping with a glaze, just the way I remember cake doughnuts. But even the most plain version, simply following the recipe as is and not veering off to experiment, this recipe is a real winner.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg, to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter (I used unsalted)
3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin or use 12 paper liners...the cuter the better! :)
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth.
3. Beat in the eggs until well-combined.
4. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla. If you want, taste the batter to see if you like the flavor because now's the time to add even more nutmeg, or introduce a whole new spice, like cinnamon!
5. Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. I did this: 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 the milk, 1/3 of the flour, last 1/2 of the milk, last 1/3 of the flour.
6. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full. Resist the temptation to use less batter in each muffin cup so you can make more than 12 muffins. The batter is the perfect amount for 12 muffins and they grow into beautiful crowns when baked!
7. Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they're a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean. It took my muffins exactly 15 minutes so you might want to start checking after about 13 minutes.
8. Remove them from the oven, and let them cool for a couple of minutes, or until you can handle them. While they're cooling, melt the butter for the topping in the microwave.
9. Brush melted butter on the top of each muffin using a pastry brush, then roll the muffin in a shallow bowl of cinnamon sugar to completely cover the top. Don't skimp here; be liberal with the topping! Place the muffins on a cooling rack to allow the topping to set for a few minutes.
10. Serve warm, or cool completely on a rack so you can store airtight. If you know you can't finish all the muffins in a day or two, store the extras in the freezer in an airtight freezer container.
Yield: 12 muffins.
Step-by-Step in Pictures
Cream together the butter, oil, and sugars...
Add the eggs, then the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla...
Beat until well combined...
Add the flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour...
Adding the milk...
Your batter is ready!
Spoon the batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups...
Bake at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes...
Let cool a few minutes, then loosen the muffin from the pan...
Brush the muffin with melted butter, then roll in a shallow bowl of cinnamon sugar...