Doughnut muffins—as happens to cooks, Orange Coast Senior Editor Chris Christensen was seized by a reminder of this concept, and was sure she had one in her own recipe files. (You can imagine that the recipe files of a former newspaper food editor are likely to be pretty extensive.) She found the recipe, and it’s lucky for us, because this simple-to-make treat is one that belongs in everyone’s personal recipe compendium. I made ‘em Christmas morning (with apricot preserves) and as they very quickly disappeared the easy consensus among my eaters was: Remarkably doughnutlike.
These are buttery, light and tender, and if you close your eyes and bite into one warm from the oven, you might think it’s a freshly made cake doughnut rolled in cinnamon-sugar. Inside each is a spoonful of jelly or jam, so children seem to love them. Sometimes I fill them with Concord grape jelly, and roll them in finely chopped peanuts. Or use almond flavoring instead of vanilla, and fill them with a dot of cherry pie filling instead of jam. Use your imagination!—Chris Christensen
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
About ¾ cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon each salt and nutmeg (I grate fresh nutmeg and use a bit more to taste)
1 large egg
½ cup milk
About ½ cup (1/4 pound) melted butter, divided
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons jelly or jam
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl, mix flour, ½ cup of the sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. In another bowl, beat egg to blend with milk, 1/3 cup of the butter, and vanilla; add flour mixture and stir just to moisten.
Equally spoon half the batter into 12 buttered, 2½ –inch muffin tins/cups; add ½ teaspoon jam or jelly to each. Top equally with remaining batter. Bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Mix 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon. Brush doughnuts with 3 tablespoons butter and roll in sugar. Serve warm or cool. (Makes 12 small muffins.)
NOTE: This recipe doubles nicely, and the muffins freeze well.
(Adapted from a 1994 Sunset Magazine recipe.)