Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Doughnut" muffins filled with Nutella

Happy Tuesday!  Get ready for the fourth installment in the March doughnut series.  Yes yes, some of you may question the doughnut name if it's not ring-shaped or even fried.  Well, I'll give you that.  But these taste like doughnuts, and isn't that what matters most?  Plus, they are by far the easiest of the five doughnut recipes.  And, probably, the healthiest (relatively speaking).

This is such a quick recipe to throw together, and very versatile.  I'm not a fan of jelly-filled doughnuts, hence the Nutella substitution.  And, by adding the filling before baking, you avoid having to fill baked muffins with a pastry bag and the mess that would probably ensue.  Too much fuss, really.  The wonderful thing about these "dough-muffins" is that they are great make-ahead treats (since they aren't fried) if you have guests coming for breakfast or a dessert date. 

A few notes: Make sure you grease the muffin pan well if you choose to do without paper liners.  Trust me, it'll make removing and handling the hot muffins easier later.  As for assembly, fill the cups first, then add filling, and finally cover the filling.  If you let the filling sit too long, it will slowly start to sink down into the muffin batter and you'll end up with Nutella sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Nutella-filled "Doughnut" Muffins
(adapted from here)
-makes 10

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
Nutella (or filling of your choice -- jam, jelly, preserves)

For topping:
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon, whisked together in small bowl

Preheat oven to 350F.  Fill a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners OR coat with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.  In another bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg, and milk.

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just incorporated.  Fill each muffin cup just under half full.  Add a teaspoon of Nutella (or your chosen filling) in the center on top of the batter of each cup.  Add just enough batter to cover filling, but not exceeding 3/4 of the cup's volume.  Bake at 350F degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

With melted butter in one small bowl and cinnamon sugar in another, immediately remove each muffin from pan (be careful as these will be hot!), brush top of each muffin with butter and dip in cinnamon sugar.

Serve immediately or store in a sealed container for up to 2 days.  If you like your "dough-muffins" warm and the Nutella center slightly oozing, microwave for 20-30 seconds.  Simply delicious!

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