I looked into my cabinets this morning, after a week of work and activity that kept me very busy, and realized that there wasn’t much in there to work with! My last trip to the grocery store was eight days ago. Hmm.
It was challenging and, honestly, a bit of a relief. Limited ingredients eliminates so many choices, you know? When you have, for example, no fruit, no nuts, no cocoa powder, etc., it removes hundreds of options. That’s not such a bad thing on a lazy morning.
I went to a few of my go-to blogs, looking for an idea. I found a fabulously simple recipe using fairly few ingredients: flour, butter, an egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and milk. Simple. I have that.
After mixing up the dry ingredients, I wondered if there would be enough muffins to feed everyone, as it’s a rather small amount of flour. Luckily, only one of my boys was home, so I might be ok with a single batch.
It’s so easy, too. All this recipe requires is mixing up the dry ingredients in a medium mixing or batter bowl, mixing the wet ingredients in the mixer bowl, gently combining, and then scooping into muffin tins.
I used my mini-muffin tins.
The fun part comes after the muffins are baked; that’s when you have ready some browned butter and cinnamon sugar to dip the warm muffins in.
Browned butter is simply butter that is melted in a saucepan while being stirred, until brown bits form on the bottom of the pan. When the brown bits appear, the butter is taken off of the heat and stirred. That’s all there is to it. The point of it is the enhanced, nutty flavor the butter develops in the process of heating to that point. It’s noticeably richer and more flavorful.
This recipe is easy, doesn’t take many ingredients, and makes a wonderful breakfast on a lazy weekend morning. The crunchy cinnamon-sugar coating, especially if the whole muffin is dipped in it, makes these taste like tender little puffs of doughnutty deliciousness.
I think you’ll enjoy it!
The recipe is from one of my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen. This blog is beautifully done and has a relatively extensive recipe index. There are no recipes including meat of any kind, but you’ll find practically everything else you might be interested in.
Sunday Morning Spiced Muffins:
(Adapted from Betty Crocker and others by Smitten Kitchen)
Yield: 9 to 12 standard muffin-size puffs or about 30 miniature ones.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (nutmeg from a spice jar will work, of course)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup (5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing muffin cups
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray 12 standard size or 30 miniature muffin cups, or line cups with paper liners.
In a small saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons butter over medium heat and continue to cook it, stirring frequently, until brown bits form on the bottom. Immediately remove from heat. In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
Prepare muffins: Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together in a medium bowl and set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Mix in 1/3 of flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of milk, repeating again and finishing with the flour mixture. Mix only until combined.
Spoon into prepared muffin cups, filling only 3/4 of the way.
Bake standard sized muffins for 20 to 25 minutes and miniature muffins for 12 to 14 minutes. Muffins will spring back when touched when ready, and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack.
When the muffins are still hot, but not so hot that you’ll hurt yourself, dip them one by one in the butter, allowing the butter to begin absorbing for a few seconds. Then dip into the cinnamon sugar.
(note: if you would like to dip the WHOLE muffin into the butter, not just the top, then add two TBS butter to the amount that you brown in the saucepan.)
Place on a cooling rack , or pop into your mouth! They really are best when warm. Reheat leftovers on a cookie sheet in a warm oven, or individually in the microwave.
(Have a favorite muffin recipe to share? Link it or paste it into a comment below! )