Cinnamon Sugar Breakfast Puffs

by Hilary Gauntt on March 13, 2015

You have to respect a recipe with staying power. This originated in a 1950’s Betty Crocker Cook Book, and remains a bakery and food blog favorite. It’s like a light, cakey donut hole, but baked with crisp edges and rolled in cinnamon sugar. Not being the earliest riser, baked breakfast goodies have never been my specialty. However, no less an authority than Thomas Keller has stated muffin batter can be stored up to three days in the refrigerator before baking, so why not these puffs?  That’s what I tried; I made the batter the day before and then filled the muffin tins right before popping them into the oven – delicious!  These really should be eaten warm, so microwave for 10 seconds to melt the sugar a bit, or freeze and reheat.  This version is from a food blog called fiveandspice, and I think her improvements of browned butter and additional spices make these irresistible.

1/3 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 1/2 cups flour

1  1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. allspice

1 pinch ground cloves

1 pinch ground ginger

1 tsp. orange zest

1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

Cinnamon-sugar coating:

6 Tbs. butter, melted

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the 1/3 cup unsalted butter and cook over Medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and nutty smelling.  Pour into a mixing bowl and allow to cool completely to room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and lightly flour a 12 cup muffin tin.

Add the sugar and egg to the cooled butter. Beat with an electric mixer until all creamed together, lightened in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

In a separate little bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, spices and zest.  Add the dry ingredients in increments to the butter-sugar mixture, alternating with the milk and beating until fully combined after each addition.

Divide the batter evenly into the cups of the muffin tin.  Pop into the oven and bake until golden brown and fragrant, about 20-25 minutes.

While the puffs are puffing, put the melted butter in one shallow bowl and combine the sugar and cinnamon in another one.  When the puffs come out of the oven, use a knife to gently pop them all out of the muffin tin.

One by one, dip each puff in the melted butter -get it all over it-then roll it in the cinnamon sugar. Transfer it to some lovely, festive serving platter, and continue until until you have rolled all of the puffs.  Serve warm -they are by faaaar the best when still warm . Makes 12 puffs




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