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Hybrid Pastry

I was a bit torn over whether or not to post this recipe. The results were good – very good, in fact, and I had trouble trying not to devour the leftovers. But they could stand some tweaking and perfecting. Moreover, I’ve gone a bit overboard on the baking posts as of late – a trend quite uncharacteristic of my typical warm-weather cooking patterns.

But, thanks to the recent earthquake + hurricane + busy schedule, my kitchen experimentation has been a bit … uninspired as of late. Picture lots of cereal, a few too many tomato sandwiches and more than a few corn tortillas topped with beans and avocado. All tasty treats, but none particularly blog-worthy. 

So, I’ve opted to share with you my experience with the doughnut muffin. I have a recently-pregnant friend to thank for the inspiration for this baked good. She typically lacks much of a sweet tooth, but as her due date approached (and the baby arrived, woo hoo!), it seems sweets are high on her taste bud radar. She mentioned a fondness for a doughnut muffin that a coworker had brought into the office. Clearly, the term “doughnut muffin” gave me pause. I like doughnuts. I like muffins. So a recipe with the ease of a muffin and the flavor of a cake doughnut held massive appeal for this amateur baker.

I tweaked a recipe I discovered over at How To: Simplify. The batter couldn’t have been easier, and the texture is quite nice. The idea is that you bake a simple yellow muffin, dunk it in butter and roll it in a cinnamon sugar mixture. I found that the cinnamon sugar absorbed too quickly into the buttery muffin, which tasted fine but was visually unpleasing and left the muffin with a tacky texture. I’d recommend experimenting with dipping a muffin in the cinnamon sugar mixture sans-butter, or increasing the proportion of sugar to cinnamon – the end result you’re looking for is a muffin thoroughly dusted in a lovely coating of cinnamon sweetness. I MIGHT even experiment with lining the muffin tins with cinnamon sugar, pouring the batter and then sprinkling the top of the batter with more cinnamon sugar.

Make sure you have friends over when you prepare this recipe – the doughnut muffins taste best on the day they’re baked, preferably served hot with a glass of cold milk.

Doughnut Muffins

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 melted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon, for coating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

Then,

Combine dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon – in a medium bowl using a spoon or fork to stir together.

Next,

Combine wet ingredients – oil, egg and milk – with sugar in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients and stir together until just combined. 

Now,

Bake 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick removed from the center of the muffin has just one or two crumbs clinging to it. Cool for 5-10 minutes on a baking sheet, in the tins.

Then,

Use a butter knife to unmold the muffin. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together. One by one, dip each muffin first in melted butter, then in the cinnamon sugar recipe (see my notes above if you want to experiment with a different method).

Finally,

Place muffins on a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

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