Saturday, March 10, 2007
When I first wrote about these muffins, back in the early summer of last year, they were part of a larger post, and I didn't include the recipe - just a link to the post on Orangette where I found it, but these have become such a favorite in this house that I really think they deserve another mention.
Whenever I have made these, it has always been for entertaining, and I have always needed more than 12 (the yield of Molly's recipe.) The first time, I finished the first batch, realized the problem, and and turned right around and made a second. After a little tooling around, I found the original recipe from Kathleen Stewart of the Downtown Bakery and Creamery in Healdsburg - which yields 24 muffins. Molly coats hers with powdered sugar, but I had actually had something similar before, covered with granulated sugar and cinnamon - which is what I used. We've tried them both ways now, and I prefer the granulated sugar, just by a whisker. Somehow it gives them a nicer crusty crunch - which is a good contrast with the tender cakey muffin. I do think it might be fun to use powdered sugar infused with lemon zest, or play around with the flavorings a bit, but it would be hard to improve on the original. I use a little less cinnamon in mine than the recipe recommends - and I found that it called for too much butter, sugar and cinnamon for the rolling - so I've pared the amounts down a bit to avoid waste.
I'm not sure these are actually any better for you than an actual doughnut - once they are dipped in butter and rolled in sugar, but they're pretty easy to make, a little less messy - and they will keep longer than doughnuts. They make a great brunch treat for company - they're easy to eat (while you're finishing the rest of the food) wonderful with coffee, and more than a little bit special.
Adapted from Kathleen Stewart, of the Downtown Bakery and Creamery (and Jimtown Store) with thanks to Molly for bringing them to my attention!
For the muffins:
12 oz. (24 Tbs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 lb. 11 oz. (6 cups) all-purpose flour, sifted
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg (the fresher the better)
1-2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
6 oz. (10 Tbs.) unsalted butter - more as needed
2 cups sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
To make the muffins:
In a large bowl, either sift together the, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg - or sift the flour and whisk in the other ingredients. Grease and flour two 12 muffin tins (I used baking spray.)
Place the oven racks in the in the top and bottom thirds of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°F.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well blended. Combine the milk and buttermilk in a measuring cup.
With the mixer on its lowest setting, incorporate a quarter of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Then add a third of the milk mixture. Scraping the bowl down as needed - continue gently mixing in the remaining dry and wet ingredients alternately, ending with the dry. Mix until well combined and smooth, but avoid mixing too much after the flour is added.
Scoop enough batter into each tin so that the top of the batter is just about even with the rim of the cup, about 1/2 cup. Bake the muffins until firm to the touch, 30 to 35 min. (They won't brown very much.) If you like you can test one with a wooden pick or skewer.
Melt the butter for the dipping mixture. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a medium sized deep bowl. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, remove them from the tin and brush them generously with the melted butter. Roll them around in the bowl of cinnamon sugar and shake off the excess. (Assembly line pictured above.)
Stack high on a platter, and serve!