Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cinnamon Puffs (King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion)

In my fantasy life, I throw quirky dinner parties and brunches where no one wants to leave, spend mornings piping perfect rosettes on tiny cakes, and make my own candy, which I hand out freely in whimsical, hand-decorated containers. (In my fantasy life I might be Molly Wizenburg, except even in my fantasies I'm not crazy enough to actually open a restaurant.)

In real life, I might have a half hour free in the morning before meeting friends for a too-rare lunch out. A half hour that will also involve reviewing notes for a meeting and rescuing the baby when she crawls under her playpen/chair/busy board.

So I decide to make muffins.

And forget to set the timer. And realize that there's a typo in this recipe, but don't remember which of the two values they give I used last time I made these. I peek at them often, recall the old guideline that they're ready when you can smell them, and hope for the best.

I am a devoted fan of quick breads, and (typo aside) I consider these muffins to be pretty near to perfect. For one thing, they taste like snickerdoodles, which is awesome. For another, they call only for ingredients I always have. That stops Fantasy Me from taking over the grocery shopping and loading up the cart with various strengths of cream, which then languish sadly, watching their expiration dates recede in the distance. (Fantasy Me uses everything she buys, and never lets a leftover go to waste. Unfortunately, Real Me has to clean the fridge.)

If Fantasy Me ever opens a bed and breakfast, these will go on the menu. It sounds like a lot of nutmeg, but it's great. Trust me.

Cinnamon Puffs
3 c (12 3/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c (7 oz) sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/4 c milk
5 1/3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In another bowl, beat the eggs slightly, then add the milk and melted butter. Add the wet mixture to the well in the dry mixture. Stir just until moistened. Line or lightly grease 12 muffin cups. Fill about three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until muffins are golden and springy when touched.

While the muffins are baking, mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

When the muffins are done, let them cool just enough to handle. Dip the tops into the melted butter, then into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve warm.

Makes 12 muffins. Try not to eat them all yourself. :)

Fantasy Me never has to clean up cat puke while typing up a recipe....

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