Monday, July 5, 2010
As a child I adored doughnuts. I loved the pillowy softness of raised doughnuts, the super-sweet sugary icing, and, of course, the sprinkles. My very favorite doughnut, though, was a Bismark, a raised doughnut with a raspberry jelly filling. I'd get quite cross if I got a lemon-filled one, by accident, so I'd carefully look for the reddened exit wound before making my selection.
As I grew up a bit, my tastes changed. I found maple bars too cloying, chocolate icing not very chocolatey, and too my surprise, I found that the formerly spurned cake doughnuts were not bad at all. So long as they were not dry day-olds, they, too, could be delicious.
But also as I grew up and sampled many doughnuts, I grew out. Eventually I realized that a lifestyle that included a lot of doughnuts did not include buttoning the top button on my jeans, so I gave up doughnuts. To me, they just weren't worth the calories. Every once in a blue moon, I'd yearn for a doughnut, buy one, take a bite, and be done.
But what if I could have that delicious doughnut flavor without frying? In a muffin? Muffins are healthy, right? That was the train of thought I took when I spied the latest temptation from King Arthur's Kitchen. It looked insanely delicious, but it lacked something....filling!
I ladled a teapoon of marionberry jam in the batter, hoping that it wouldn't sink or make the whole muffin gooey. It worked perfectly! It was a hidden surprise that elevated the muffin from really good to ohmygoshthisiswonderful (mumbled through a mouthful of crumbs).
Next time I make them I think I'll increase the jam to a tablespoon. That will mean that there will be a bit of batter left over, making perhaps 15 muffins instead of 12, but I think it'll be worth the extra hassle.
Jam-Filled Doughnut Muffins
- adapted from King Arthur Flour
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg, to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup favorite jam (or more, as desired)
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
1- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin.
2- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth. Add the eggs, beating to combine.
3- Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.
4- Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
5- Spoon the batter into the tins, filling them about halfway. Carefully spoon a teaspoon of jam into the center of each well. Spoon the remaining batter over the tops of each muffin, making sure the jam blob is totally covered and sealed in.
6- Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they're a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted near the center of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
7- Remove them from the oven, and let them cool for a couple of minutes, or until you can handle them. While they're cooling, melt the butter for the topping (this is easily done in the microwave). I used a small heat-proof bowl with a rounded bottom (like a wok shape). Put the cinnamon sugar in a similar bowl.
8- Holding the muffins by the base, dip the tops of muffins into the melted butter, then dip them in the cinnamon-sugar.
9- Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Store for a day or so at room temperature. ( I stored mine in a covered container and they stayed moist and delicious for three days).
Yield: 12 muffins.