Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mini Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

I'm from Kalamazoo, MI (odd name, I know) but they're home to some of the best donuts (doughnuts?) in the country - Sweetwater's Donuts. I have found no real comparison in Los Angeles, so when I saw this recipe on AverieCooks, I thought I'd make my own as a nice morning treat with a cup o' coffee. If you have half an hour to spare and a mini muffin tin, you should definitely give these a shot (I may or may not be typing with one hand with a mini doughnut in the other...)

To make 24 mini donuts, you'll need:
1 large egg
5 Tablespoons of softened unsalted butter
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3/4 cup of buttermilk (I used 2% and they came out fine)
1 1/4 cup of flour
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
Pinch of salt

For the sugar coating you'll need:
3 Tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup of sugar
1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon (the more cinnamon you use, the darker they'll look)

Start by preheating your oven to 350 and spray the inside of your mini muffin pan with PAM.

Add the egg, butter, sugars, and vanilla to a stand mixer and beat until it's light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape the sides to it's all whipped together. Add the (butter)milk and beat to combine.

Add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt on low until just incorporated. Expect it to be a little lumpy and thick.

Add the mixture to your mini muffin pan until each cavity is 3/4ths of the way full.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick and the center comes out clean. Let them cool for 10 minutes in the pans before removing, at which point, you can make your sugar coating.

To make the sugar coating, use two bowls - one with the melted butter (about 20 seconds in the microwave should do it), the other with the sugar and cinnamon. Do not combine the two!
Once the donuts have cooled, dip the tops into the melted butter bowl and then roll around in the cinnamon sugar bowl so the tops are completely covered. If you want to cover the entire donut with cinnamon sugar, just make sure you melt enough butter and have enough cinnamon sugar on hand! Note that depending on how much cinnamon you use will depend on how dark the donuts look.

You can eat these right out of the oven, refrigerate them for later, or freeze them for up to 3 months for another morning snack (though to be honest, I'd be surprised if these lasted for more than a couple days in any household!)

TOTAL COSTS: About $24 (if you don't have any ingredients - prices from Vons)
$2.79 for eggs (though you only need one)
$.99 for butter
$2.69 for sugar
$2.29 for milk
$3.29 for flour
$4.79 for cinnamon
$1.99 for baking powder
$3.98 for nutmeg
$.99 for salt (though you only need a pinch)
Used homemade recipe for brown sugar and vanilla extract

15 minutes to prep mini donuts
10 minutes to bake
10 minutes to cool
5 minutes to dip all in butter and cinnamon sugar

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 2 out of 5
The hardest part is making sure they don't burn in the oven but as long as you keep an eye on them, they'll be fine. My favorite part? They're enjoyable for any season!

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