Doughnut Muffins

When I first saw this recipe my mouth started to water and my stomach started to rumble. Not that this is an unusual reaction when I am drooling during a recipe browsing session, but this was different – my heart skipped a tiny bit of a beat too. Homemade doughnuts are a winter tradition my grandmother established with us decades ago, and the proposition that I could whip up something quickly and easily with almost no mess and no fuss was immensely appealing to me as a Saturday morning breakfast option. Add to that the fond mental connection we all have with fresh, warm doughnuts and we had a very special recipe in our hands.
These were soft and moist and not overly sweet — that’s where the cinnamon and sugar topping comes in. Instead of brushing the muffins, I just dipped the tops in melted butter, then in the cinnamon and sugar mixture and they came out with a nice thick/crunchy topping that stayed put. These little beauties will definitely be making many appearances at our weekend breakfast table, warm from the oven.

Recipe:

Doughnut Muffins

Prep: 15 mins Bake: 20 Mins
Cool: 5 mins Oven: 350

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the cups of two 6-cup muffin pans, or line muffin tins with paper liners, set aside.
In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl beat 1/2 cup sugar and the shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until well mixed. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to egg mixture, beating well after each addition. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full.
2. Bake about 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin tins.
3. In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon. While still warm, brush all sides of muffins (or just the tops if you’re using paper liners) with melted butter and dip into the cinnamon sugar.

Source: Adapted only very slightly from Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications “Food Gifts” 2011

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