Sunday, January 13, 2008

Doughnut Muffins

I am a fan of cake doughnuts and crullers and all those thicker types of doughnuts, so I thought these muffins would be super-awesome. They were very easy to make and came out looking quite lovely. However, they are not really that great, and they definitely don't taste like doughnuts. I don't get it. They tasted ok when they were warm, but now that they've cooled off, they are just meh. I'm pretty disappointed.

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Doughnut Muffins
©2004 The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This basic muffin is not your stir-it-gently, dense, fruit-and-nut-filled health muffin. Instead, it's a beat-it-up, cake-type muffin, high-crowned and very "vanilla-looking." This is a great muffin for kids (young or old) who don't want a lot of "stuff" in their muffins—with its basic sugar-cinnamon-nutmeg flavor, it's more reminiscent of a plain doughnut (without the deep-fat frying) than anything else. As plain as it is (which is just the way some people like things), it's a good candidate for additions of dried fruit and/or nuts to the batter, as well as a garnish of flavorful jam or preserves when serving time rolls around.

Batter
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk

Topping
1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons butter, melted*
2 to 4 teaspoons cinnamon-sugar*

*Use the greater amount for an extra-sugary top.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper or silicone muffin cups, and grease the cups with non-stick vegetable oil spray; this will ensure that they peel off the muffins nicely.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar till smooth. Add the eggs, beating for several minutes and scraping the bowl, till the mixture is smooth and light colored. Beat in the baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.

Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined. Spoon the batter evenly into 12 lightly greased muffin cups.

Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, or until they're a pale golden brown. 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 (this is easily done in the microwave).

Use a pastry brush to paint the top of each muffin with the butter, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Repeat the process, if desired. Allow the muffins to cool on a rack.

Yield: 12 muffins

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