Thursday, June 5, 2014

Back in the Day Bakery - Donut Muffins

I confess, I'm not a breakfast person. Even with the rabid brunch / breakfast trends going on now, I find it impossible to get myself up before noon to consume those hefty plates that have been trending on Instagram.  Since primary school, I would happily forsake minutes of brekkie for extra sleep, and slake my hunger with full meals at the school tuckshop - Fish Ball Soup, Fried Rice, Lor Mai Kai. The savoury options were forever my go tos (back in the day). As I grew older though, and my lifestyle grew more hectic, the need for portable meals became necessary. So begin my love / hate affair for breads, cupcakes and muffins - delicious, cakey and the perfect vehicle to stuff frosting in my face ^^

Cheryl and Griffith Day weave a beautiful book full of traditional Southern treats, handed down from Cheryl's grandmother to Griffith's personal brainstorms. There were a few that stood out - Donut Muffins, Bourbon Bread Pudding and 'Nana Puddin. 

These are my spin of their donut muffins -  Plain Muffins stuffed with a Nutella peanut mix, and then rolled in cinnamon sugar. Mmm Mmm MMM - Cakey, with a lovely crunchy exterior and interior thanks to the tumble with cinnamon sugar and peanuts. Paired with a steaming cup of coffee, the perfect accompaniment whilst marking my scripts. 

Back in the Day Bakery’s Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins (Makes 12)
3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg    
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom  
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons buttermilk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs

12 teaspoons Nutella 

1/4 cup chopped peanuts 
For the coating:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1.  Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 175◦C. Lightly spray 12 large muffin cups with vegetable oil spray.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom. In a medium bowl, combine the milk and buttermilk.
3. In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, cream the butter for 2 to 3 minutes.  Turn the speed to low and gradually add the sugar. Continue to mix until the mixture lightens in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until combined. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk mixture, mixing just until smooth; do not overmix- or they will be dense.
4. With a large ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, 1/3 way through. Top the batter with a teaspoon of Nutella and a sprinkle of peanuts. Top with more batter till about 2/3s full.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch and lightly golden.
5. While the muffins bake, set up two bowls to dunk them in. In one bowl you will have the melted butter, and in the other bowl you will have the cinnamon sugar.
6. Let the doughnuts cool completely on a wire rack. Dunk them in the melted butter, then coat them with the cinnamon sugar. The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Baker Notes
1. These muffins are surprisingly not very sweet, the addition of Nutella and outer coating of cinnamon sugar made it just nice.

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