Time to Make the Donuts! - Jorj Morgan
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Time to Make the Donuts!

I have a new puppy, Brownie (obviously a food name…) who likes to wake up early! I find myself walking her at zero dark thirty in freezing temperatures wrapped in a long coat, gloves and scarf sweetly recommending that she “hurry up, good girl”.  Flashback to that early Dunkin’ Donut commercial of that sweet, balding, old man waking up in the dark because it is “time to make the doughnuts!”

Doughnuts are a process. Make the dough, let it rise, cut out the circles, not forgetting the holes and frying them up in batches. Well worth the effort, yes, but what if we could short cut the procedure and have similar results?

Say, “Hello” to DOUGHNUT Muffins! I ran across a recipe in a recent issue of Fine Cooking magazine. I am a fan of their recipes because they explain the why behind the steps. It is almost a scientific approach to baking, which really helps the novice cooks. Of course I tweaked the recipe, just a bit, and will continue to do so, but for now these results are worth posting.

With the holidays upon us it is great to have an easy, go-to baked treat to start the morning off, or in my case to serve at my granddaughter’s Christmas tea party.

Let me know what you think and how you would tweak your doughnut muffins. Remember, Dunkin’ has seventy varieties and still counting!


Sugared Doughnut Muffins

Close your eyes and take a bite of this sugary, warm, light-as air treat and convince me you are not eating a doughnut! Then again, try a second one and convince yourself!

Makes 12 muffins
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes

Preheat the oven to 350°

For Muffins

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature, 1 ½ sticks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup buttermilk

For Topping

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoon butter, melted, 3/4 stick

Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray and dust each cup with flour. Use an electric mixer to cream together ¾ cup softened butter with 1 cup sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and stir in the vanilla. Remove the bowl from the mixer.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and baking soda into a bowl. Do this by putting all of the ingredients into a fine sieve colander and shaking it over the bowl. It works!

Stir together the milk and buttermilk in a third bowl.

Use a wooden spoon to stir ¼ of the flour into the butter. Stir in 1/3 of the milk. Stir until the ingredients are just combined, taking care not to overwork the batter. Continue this process until all of the ingredients are combined. The dough will be thick and sticky.

Use an ice-cream scoop to fill each cup in the tin. Bake the muffins until firm to the touch, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the muffin tin from the oven and allow the muffins to cool slightly. Carefully lift each muffin from the tin to a rack to cool for at least 5 minutes.

Stir together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Brush each muffin all over with melted butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the tops, sides and even the bottoms of the muffins. Serve warm!

Variations

  • Brush warm muffins with maple syrup and dust with granulated sugar.
  • Add chopped blueberries or other fresh fruit to the batter before baking.
  • Add peppermint extract in place of vanilla. Brush the tops of the muffins with butter and sprinkle with crushed candy canes or peppermint candies.

Little Hands

Get everyone into the act when making these doughnut muffins. Little ones can brush the warm butter and sprinkle the toppings. Older kids can stir the ingredients together and wash up the bowls!

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