When the baking babes from Twelve Loaves put out the call that this month we would be baking something with spice, I went right to a book that has been on my shelf for a year, turned to page 184 and sighed in anticipation.
Doughnut Muffins — rich with pure butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar straight out of the oven – make any day a party just by showing up in the bread basket. And since they are from a cookbook called “Seriously Simple Parties,” by Diane Rossen Worthington (Chronicle Books), I knew I could pull them off without a hitch.
You see, I have been her fan since 1983, when I read her “The Cuisine of California” from cover to cover, gaining inspiration and confidence in the kitchen as she reinterpreted traditional dishes for our newfound lighter desires, adapted recipes from the state’s talented chefs and created her own originals. I was smitten by her talent!
Flash forward 30 years, and here she was back on my bookshelf, still teaching a new generation of eager cooks, only this time the topic was how to take it easy, and make it easy. She began in 2002 with “Seriously Simple,” then followed that with “Seriously Simple Holidays,” and now has weighed in with “Seriously Simple Parties.”
She wants us to know how to throw a party without being overwhelmed by all the planning, shopping, prep work, cooking and serving. This book is aimed at reducing party anxiety, and we can all take a page from her playbook to entertain rather effortlessly.
I have bookmarked her CC Cooler (cucumber, vodka and my beloved St. Germain liqueur), her Parmesan Artichoke Dip, her Quinoa Salad with Pomegranates and Persimmons, her Deli Frittata stuffed with leeks and chard, and her Israeli Couscous with Caramelized Leeks, Carrots and Zucchini, just on the first pass through. Anyone want to come to my party?
Alas, I will get to those, but first, we’re eating breakfast. And we’re having these delicious muffins, heady with cinnamon and coated with crunchy sugar.
Life is sweet!
Recipe: Doughnut Muffins
Summary: Sweet, spiced, heavenly nuggets are reminiscent of cinnamon-sugar doughnuts without the deep-fat frying or mess, and perfect for breakfast or brunch.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 1/2 cup (1 stick), melted
- 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter and flour four mini-muffin pans or one regular muffin pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, buttermilk, and eggs until well blended.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the room-temperature butter and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar together on medium speed until light yellow and the sugar granules can’t be seen, 4 to 5 minutes. Decrease the mixing speed to low and add the dry ingredients and milk mixture in thirds, alternating between the two and beating after each addition to incorporate it into the batter. Stop beating once the batter is completely mixed. Do not overmix or the muffins will be tough.
- Using a small ice-cream scoop for mini-muffins or a regular ice-cream scoop for large muffins, fill the prepared muffin cups, just up to the top, with the batter. Bake for 13 minutes for mini-muffins or 17 to 18 minutes for regular muffins, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Do not worry if the tops of the muffins have not browned. Remove the muffins from the oven and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack lined with foil or wax paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Put the melted butter in another small bowl. Set up an assembly line with the muffins, melted butter, and sugar mixture. Dip a muffin in the butter or brush the muffin with butter, coating it lightly all over. Try to get the sides of the muffin, so it will have more topping. Then coat all over liberally with the cinnamon-sugar. Shake off the excess and transfer to a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining muffins. Serve immediately.
- Makes 48 mini-muffins or 12 regular muffins.
“Seriously Simple Parties,” by Diane Rossen Worthington (Chronicle Books, $24.95). Recipe and photo used with permission. Disclosure: Chronicle Books sent the book for review.
- These are best eaten warm.
- You can make them 1 day ahead and keep them in an airtight container.
- The Clever Cook could fill a pastry bag fitted with a small tip with a mixture of peanut butter and jelly for kids, or just jelly. Use the tip to poke a small hole in the bottom of each muffin and fill it. This works best with large muffins.
- When she can’t decide between mini-muffins or large ones, she bakes 6 large doughnut muffins and 24 mini-muffins.
- If she is having young children over, she times the muffins to come out of the oven when they arrive, so they can help roll them in cinnamon sugar—a fun activity for kids and adults.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 12
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
Our Twelve Loaves bakers this month are:
- Cinnamon-Cardamom Buns by Heather at girlichef
- Cinnamon Crusted Pumpkin Bread by Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins by Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
- Cinnamon, Orange and Chocolate Chip Bread by Deepti at Baking Yummies
- Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Rolls by Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Cocoa Clove Pumpkin Bread by Renee at Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Ginger Pull-Apart Bread by Lora at Cake Duchess
- Honey Spice Bread by Holly at A Baker’s House
- Persimmon Gingerbread Muffins with Caramel Drizzle by Krista at A Handful of Everything
- Pumpkin Cardamom Bread by Dionne at Try Anything Once Culinary
- Spiced Buns by Renee at Magnolia Days
- Sumac Spicy Crackers by Rossella at Ma Che Ti Sei Mangiato
- Sweet Potato Spice Swirl Bread by Paula at Vintage Kitchen Notes
1. Wording: When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure your bread is inspired by this month’s theme – spice – with a yeast or quick bread, either a single loaf or individual breads. This includes muffins, scones, flatbreads, crackers, pretzels, etc.
2. Link it up: Please link your post using the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to this Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Deadline: Post your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked in November 2013 on your blog by Nov. 30, 2013.
Would you like to bake along with us? #TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and we welcome new members. #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of Paula from Vintage Kitchen Notes and Renee from Magnolia Days. Follow @TwelveLoaves on Twitter to see what’s freshly baked, and follow our Pinterest board.