Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Doughnut Muffins.

Alternate title: And the mystery continues.

07 29 2009 - Justice and muffins 013 - e

These are the muffins I made before my kitchen imploded. And, although they're a bit pointy (better than the alternative, right?) and my boyfriend could point out all the reasons these wouldn't be considered real muffins, they sure tasted good.

I love muffins. Seriously. Love. It was back in '07, on our road trip through New England, that I had my very first taste of Dunkin' Donuts. Holy Mother of Sweet Pastries. Their coffee was great. Their muffins were AMAZING.

It was early morning on one of the two days we spent in Boston. We had plans to walk the Freedom Trail (which they say is only 2.5 miles, but really it's, like, 11 if you get lost somewhere around the U.S.S. Constitution like we did), but since we were totally sleep deprived still on west coast time, I told The Husband I would not leave the room without the guarantee of coffee.

So, before starting out for the day, we stopped at Dunkin' Donuts. Oh, glorious muffins. I was afraid we wouldn't find ourselves near another DD and loaded up. The Husband was stuck carrying around a box of muffins for the rest of the day.

But, turns out, they were everywhere. Much like Starbucks. And I needn't have worried that I wouldn't get my muffin fix wherever we found ourselves.

I would totally move to Boston if I didn't think I'd freeze to death in my own home during my first real winter.

Now, here's the mystery.

This is the first muffin recipe I used. J and I made these together. I wouldn't say we half-assed them, but we certainly didn't go to such extremes as I did with the others.

Last night, as I was typing up the recipe, I realized that I only used 3/4 of a TEASPOON of baking powder. The recipe calls for 3/4 of a TABLESPOON. Baking fail, right? Except these turned out TEN TIMES BETTER than when I followed every minute instruction to the letter.

What the hell gives?!

Doughnut Muffins

3/4 cups butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well between additions.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg together. Add half to the creamed mixture with half of the milk. Gently fold the ingredients together before incorporating the remaining flour and milk. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan, filling each hole to about two-thirds full.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins are lightly brown and firm to the touch.

For the topping, mix the sugar and cinnamon together. While the muffins are still warm from the oven, brush lightly with melted butter and sprinkle over the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Eat warm or cold. (Totally awesome when warm, but then again, what isn't?)

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  1. Baking powder is supposed to be a leavening agent, make things lighter and fluffier. It shouldn't affect taste as much as mouthfeel. If you watch Alton Brown's show on chocolate chip cookies he goes through a bunch of things that make the shapes different, including butter and baking powder. Don't ask me why I have this memorized, I always use the recipe on that bag of chocolate chips anyway...

  2. 3/4 of a tablespoon seems like a helluva lot of baking powder for one muffin recipe. Seems to me that most cookie/cake/muffin recipes call for a teaspoon or so.Maybe it was a misprint and too much baking powder made the batter too light and unstable and they eventually fell?

  3. P.S. Now I'm giggling about unstable muffins...

  4. 3/4 of a tablespoon sounds like a lot of baking powder! I wonder if it was a misprint. I am so craving everything sweet right now, so my mouth started watering when I saw your post! I don't like nutmeg, do you think I could eliminate it or substitute something else?

  5. I need to find a bakery around here, stat!

  6. Okay, so it's not just me. 3/4 of a tablespoon sounds like a lot. Does that mean we're getting somewhere? Gayle, I think you could totally substitute the nutmeg. I used a 1/2 teaspoon of the ground stuff, could barely taste it, and I still enjoyed the muffins. They're very lightly sweet. Not overpowering or heavy at all.

  7. These sound fabulous! I love the idea!

  8. Your muffins look great and I'm glad you enjoyed Boston and the bounties of coffee shops. I'm embarrassed to say that as a Bostonian, I've never walked the Freedom Trail though, so well done!

  9. Hi, I made a similar recipe by Baking Bites (and blogged it) about sugar doughnut muffins...and that recipe only calls for 2 tsp baking powder.These are my Fave to have, I just love the nutmeg in them. =)

  10. Hey you were in my home town! I couldn't stop laughing at the "freeze to death" comment. I seriously don't know how I do it every year. I HATE snow...but I've never lived anywhere other than New England...mmmmm Tom Brady *drool* . Yes dunkins is EVERYWHERE!! I used to drive about 2 miles to work and pass about 5 on my way! -L

  11. Love D&D.; On our last trip to NE, we plugged every D&D; into the GPS because it thrilled us to see so many. There's only one D&D; in outer Jcrewville and we think we're kind of cool because we go there so often they know us (though I do love my Starbucks).Meanwhile, my teeth are jonesing for the sugar on the side of that muffin. It's obscene. Mmmmmmmm. I think you should lose the boyfriend. Sorry, but you seem to be doing much better on your own.

  12. Thanks! I'm printing this out. I'll try it when my kitchen isn't too hot, or when I just can't wait any longer!

  13. Justine: it's okay. There's a lot I've never done here in southern California. Rachelle: thanks. "Tablespoon" must be a typo. These are so tasty, I'm not surprised they're a favorite.L: you may live closer to him than I do, but I will fight you for Tom. Just as soon as he ditches that ugly supermodel wife of his. Small Town Small Times: ditch the boyfriend? Alton Brown??? How could you even suggest such a thing?! No, you may have a point. But he just seems so knowledgeable. And so authoritative. Like you could never doubt a word he says. And, well, that receding hair line... and those glasses... *swoon*