Monday, July 5, 2010

Reduced Guilt

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.


Julie said...

Oh my, just delicious! Could you send some my way?

Melinda said...

This recipe came with my last KA email. I printed it off to try out soon because it sounded so good.
Your addition of a jam centre sounds delicious! I am pleased they have the CBL seal of approval. I must make them this next weekend for our treat!
Hope you are feeling a little better today. x

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I too try and avoid doughnuts but I sometimes grab a gox of Tim Bits (tiny wee doughnuts) across the street. I don't think I could resist these ones Lynn.

Elle said...

Haven't had a doughnut in a while...for much the same reasons you give. This could be a good way to get that doughnut flavor with slimmer waistline (well, a bit). Thanks!

Unknown said...

These look really fantastic, yum

grace said...

more jam, more muffins--win-win! these really deliver in the appearance arena, lynn--i love that purple-y marionberry jam!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Hey this sounds divine: trade a thickend waist (aka fried ball) for a slim (aka your marionberry muffie). Does that sound perfect? Yes. ...
Don't ask for the equation, just pass the muffies please.

We Are Not Martha said...

Yum, those look fabulous. I love the idea of a doughnut muffin!


CaSaundraLeigh said...

This post has me craaaaving doughnuts now :-) My favorite are long john doughnuts filled with vanilla creme. Heavenly!

The Blonde Duck said...

I acutally like this better than doughnuts!

Big Boys Oven said...

lovely just love those deep hidden fillings! :)

LyB said...

That is such a wonderful idea! I've been craving muffins the last few days, probably because it's just too freaking hot to bake! I'm bookmarking this for cooler times! :)

Homemade Heaven said...

I love this idea of a baked doughnut. I am always looking for ways to have my cake and eat it, without buying new jeans.
This is a must make. Thank you.
I think this weekend with the rain and snow coming, my family could be in for a real treat.

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo I just saw these on someone else's blog and have already saved the recipe! Can't wait to try them. Love that you filled them with jam!

Elizabeth said...

Mmm, nothing like a jelly buster but they do tend to be so so sweet.

These jelly-buster-muffins are right up my alley.


Unknown said...

I'm not at all successful at resisting temptation, so these reduced guilt muffins are perfect for me!!

csr said...

You've successfully turned this recipe into Almost Guilt Free Bismark Muffins! Happy Baking!
Irene @ KAF