The Alphabet Muffins
I decided that I will practice my baking skills by launching into a Project I am calling The Alphabet Muffins. Each week or so I will bake with a letter of the alphabet. I started out with my new mini muffin tin, and began searching online for an amazing recipe with apples. Well, I never found an apple recipe per say, but I did find a buttermilk doughnut recipe from William Sonoma online,incidentally Chika of She Who Eats & 101 Cookbooks has also posted about the beauty of this recipe.
I sent the Boy to the grocery store and he couldn't find proper Buttermilk, so he got reduced fat instead. The texture is still extremely fluffy and light, so I don't think it made a huge impact on texture. By not using proper full fat buttermilk you loose out on the acidity of the cultured buttermilk. It acts as a tenderizor to the batter making it very moist and light. baking soda reacts with the acidity in buttermilk letting carbon dioxide release which gives you the rounded plump shape of the muffin. Inside the texture is fluffy with miniscule air pockets throughout.
I used my Kitchen aid mixer, which I highly recommend to get a nice creamed consistency with the sugar and butter. Adding a letter of the alphabet to the recipe, I shredded a ripe Fuji and incorporated it into the batter. The recipe made 24 mini muffins from and 6 large heart shaped ones. The mini's will go to Grandma's house for her birthday and the heart shaped ones are for The Boy.
Without further delay I present to you:
Apple doughnut Muffins
For the muffins:
7 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
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
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the topping:
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat an oven to 350ÃÂ°F. Grease 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.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Muffins,by Beth Hensperger (Simon & Schuster, 2003).