Old Fashion Donut Muffins

Friday, 10 October 2014

Donut Muffins, or Donut Loaf

You know, without a doubt, that I am procrastinating and have a deadline due if you find me baking. Not that I don’t love to cook or bake (I do), it’s just that when I am fighting a story or an article, I take cover in my kitchen and get elbow deep in brown sugar. My family rarely complains.

Probably the most popular thing I bake while procrastinating is muffins—old fashion donut muffins, to be exact. They are a big hit with my family. Seriously. A couple of weekends ago I made 14 muffins and there were 6 left within the hour. There are only 4 of us in the house and the little one can’t reach the stove where I sit the platter.

Yesterday, I tried the same recipe but in two loaf pans instead of muffin cases. As I suspected, it still had the same, spicy scent and flavor that reminds me so much of October. The only complaint was that the icing-to-cake ratio is better with the muffins. That led to my son sneaking icing off the second loaf every time I turned my back.

I can’t remember where I can across this recipe originally, or who to credit it to, but I have made my own tweaks to it over the years. I find the recipe makes on average 12-14 muffins, or two average size loaf pans. I have reduced the amount of water in the glaze to produce a slightly thicker, icing-type glaze which stays nicely on top of cooled muffins or loaves.

For the muffins:
1/4 C butter, softened
1/3 C vegetable oil
1/2 C caster sugar
1/3 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
3/4 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
3/4 t salt
1 t vanilla extract
2 2/3 C flour
1 C milk

For the glaze:
3 T butter, melted
1 C powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1 T hot water

1.     In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, oil, and both sugars. Using an electric mixer, if possible, whip these until smooth.
2.      Add the eggs one at a time, making certain they are mixed in well.
3.      Add each of the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla, again, blending them in well.
4.      Add 1 C of flour. The batter will become thick and sticky like dough, then add 1/2 C of milk to loosen the batter.
5.      Add another 1C of flour, followed by the remaining 1/2 C of milk, and finally the remaining 2/3 C of flour.  
6.      Line a muffin tin with cases or loaf pans with parchment paper and spoon the batter into the cases or tins evenly.
7.      Bake until the muffins or cases have risen and are lightly browned. A toothpick or metal skewer should come out clean when used to pierce the center of the cakes.
8.      Allow your muffins or cakes to cool completely before icing them so that the glaze does not melt and run off.
9.      To make the glaze, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, adding the hot water last, and beat with a wire whisk until smooth. If you prefer a thinner glaze, add additional water a few drops at a time until you reach a consistency you are happy with.
10.  Ice the muffins or cakes by spooning the glaze over them. If you like, you can allow that layer to dry and harden and then follow it with a second layer.

And there you have it! By now you should have a tray of muffins or loaves which smell heavenly and taste like the kind of old fashion donuts you used to buy at the fair when you were a child. Enjoy them, but beware—they won’t last long, especially if you have little monsters in your kitchen. J

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