Favorite Spice | Nutmeg Doughnut Muffins

Who doesn’t love a powdered sugar doughnut? I remember reading a book as a kid where the main character dipped his powdered sugar doughnuts in coffee. Naturally, this sounded like an awesome combination, so one day my 12-year-old self snagged some of Mom’s morning coffee and dipped away. HUGE disappointment – because what I didn’t know then was that black coffee is gross, or that dipping doughnuts in coffee would be an epic fail until I was old enough to recognize that coffee tastes better – on its own or with doughnut dippers – with a little cream and sugar.

Anyway, adulthood has left me consuming fewer doughnuts than my tastebuds would prefer – no thanks to mid-thirties metabolism. So when I stumbled upon this recipe at www.orangette.com, I was intrigued by the prospect of creating a (somewhat) healthier version of the classic powdered sugar doughnut. Yes, yes, the butter-flour-sugar combo in these muffins is naughty, but if nothing else, at least the fried food element has been eliminated! End result? Deeeeeeelicious, and highly reminiscent of the powdered sugar doughnut…and they’re great dipped in coffee. 🙂

I did make a few adjustments: used white whole wheat flour, doubled the nutmeg, and created mini-muffins out of the batter. Also tried a glaze on a few, instead of the powdered sugar roll – a move successful enough for me to think that these babies would be great with a cinnamon-sugar coating or dipped in chocolate glaze.

Nutmeg Doughnut Muffins Recipe from www.orangette.com

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
Scant 1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
¾ cup plus 1 Tbs whole milk
2 Tbs buttermilk
1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 Tbs granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 – 6 Tbs unsalted butter
1 ½ – 2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and set a rack to the middle position. Spray a standard-size muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg, and whisk to mix them thoroughly. Set aside. Combine the milk and the buttermilk in a measuring cup, and set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or, alternatively, in a large mixing bowl with electric beaters nearby), and beat on medium speed for a few seconds, until the butter is soft and creamy. With the motor running, add the sugar in a steady stream. Continue beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, until the mixture increases in volume and lightens to pale yellow. It should look light, fluffy, and wonderfully creamy, like frosting. This could take a couple of minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until they are just combined.

With a wooden spoon, mix ¼ of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add 1/3 of the milk mixture. Continue to add the dry and wet ingredients alternately, ending with the dries. Mix until the dough is smooth and well combined, but do not overmix.

Divide the batter between the cups of the muffin tin. Bake until the muffins are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-32 minutes.

*Note: My mini versions only took 12-15 minutes in the oven. After they were cool, I packaged them in threes and stored in the freezer for a quick breakfast grab.