Friday, October 26, 2012

Mini Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

A trip to cider mill is one of my favorite ways to spend a fall afternoon. Few things beat the simple pleasure of biting into a freshly picked apple on a cool fall day. While I am a big fan of apples and all of the offerings at the cider mill, my favorite are the doughnuts. Hot from the fryer and covered in a generous dusting of cinnamon sugar they are too much for me to resist. Sadly I have not had the chance to visit the cider mill this season. After a little searching I was able to find this recipe for baked doughnut muffins. I adapted it slightly so I could bake them in mini muffin pans. After the muffins are coated in cinnamon sugar they can easily pass for doughnut holes, albeit slightly misshapen ones.

Mini Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
recipe slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker originally adapted from Martha Stewart

For the Muffins:
10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 ¼ cups pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 eggs

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Coating:
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup granulated sugar
2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour 48 mini muffin cups (I used 2 mini muffin pans).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and pumpkin; set aside.

Beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of the pumpkin mixture, beating until barely combined. Turn off the mixer and fold the batter a few times with a rubber spatula to catch any pockets of flour that weren't incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the muffins cups (I used a 1-ounce ice cream scoop). Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let the muffins cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

While the muffins are resting, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.

Working with one muffin at a time, remove the muffins from the pan, brush all over with the melted butter, then toss to coat in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Return to the wire rack and let cool completely.