Friday, November 2, 2007

Cinnamon Buttermilk Muffins

I love muffins. I think they are the greatest breakfast food. Sarah eats the tops off. I think David just eats them to humor me as he isn't much of an eater in the morning. This is one of my favorite muffin recipes from Williams Sonoma. (You simply can't go wrong with Williams Sonoma.) It can be found in the Muffins cookbook.

For the muffins:
7 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (Who grates their own nutmeg? Not me!)
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the topping: (I just do half of this and always end up with extra anyway.)
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted


Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease 9 (I do 12 instead of 9) standard muffin cups with butter or butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray; fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent warping.

To make the muffins, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well until pale and smooth.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Add to the butter mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. Stir just until evenly moistened. The batter will be slightly lumpy.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each three-fourths full. Bake until the muffins are golden, dry and springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the muffins and let stand until cool enough to handle.

To make the topping, in a small, shallow bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Put the melted butter in another small bowl. Holding the bottom of a muffin, dip the top into the melted butter, turning to coat it evenly. Immediately dip the top in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, coating it evenly, then tap it to remove excess sugar. Transfer the muffin, right side up, to the rack. Repeat with the remaining muffins. Let cool completely before serving. Makes 9 muffins.

Note: These cakelike muffins are made from a batter similar to that used for preparing doughnuts, but they are baked instead of fried.

*As I don't usually have buttermilk on hand, I substitute it with 1/2 Tbsp. of lemon juice and enough milk added to fill 1/2 cup. Other possible substitutions for buttermilk include:
1/2 c. plain yogurt or sour cream
1/2 Tbsp. vinegar plus enough milk added to fill 1/2 cup
1/8 c. buttermilk powder and 1/2 c. water


Eric said...

I can attest to these muffins being good.

michelleyv said...

These sound heavenly. I'm going to test them out tomorrow morning. A big thank you for the buttermilk substitution options. I rarely (a.k.a. NEVER) have buttermilk lying about.

Eric said...

Oh, and you would grate your own nutmeg if you had ever tried it. It's fantastic. The nutmeg root is a wonder.