Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dangerous Doughnut Muffins (Gluten-Free!)

I love food TV. Admittedly, some of the shows are pretty goofy and others are just plain bad. But over the years, I've learned a lot about cooking from these shows, mostly long before the Food Network or the Cooking Channel were even around. Nothing against the current food and cooking programming I certainly watch a few of the shows. If it's about food, after all, it's pretty easy to draw me in.

One evening recently, my son was watching with me. It was one of those shows where they feature the best restaurants and bakeries around the county. They were spotlighting Chocolate Doughnut Muffins. They didn't sound particularly amazing to me, but my son was enthralled and could hardly go to sleep that night because he wanted to travel to this bakery in Durham, North Carolina that very night to get one of their delicious confections. I told him there was no way we were traveling to North Carolina anytime soon, but we'd look for a recipe and try to make our own. I actually thought he'd forget all about it by the next day, but he did not.

So, I found a recipe online. Of course, I had to convert it to gluten-free if I was going to be able to partake. So, I took the recipe I'd found, and a doughnut recipe from a gluten-free baking book I have, plus what I learned about the doughnut muffins from the food show, and came up with a recipe I thought might work. The kids helped me to mix it all together. After baking, we rolled them in melted butter I guess you have to do something to make up for the fact that the "doughnuts" are not fried and then in cinnamon and sugar.

Guess what? They were good, really good! Softer and springier than a cake doughnut definitely more like a muffin,  but that touch of nutmeg in the batter and the cinnamon-sugar on the outside gave them that doughnut quality. They're dangerous because after eating one, you really want another, if only to ponder the question: Is it a muffin or is it a doughnut?

Chocolate Doughnut Muffins (Gluten-Free)  PRINTABLE RECIPE

1-1/2 cups brown rice flour blend  PRINTABLE RECIPE
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350° and spray a standard muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. Combine flour,  cocoa powder, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and nutmeg in a small bowl and whisk together.

3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Gradually add the flour mixture, and then the oil, milk, cream, and vanilla. Mix for about a minute on low speed. The batter will be a little lumpy.

4. Divide the batter evenly into 12 muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin center comes out clean.

5. Let the muffins set in the tin for about a minute or so, then remove to a wire rack. While they cool a bit, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. In separate bowl, melt the butter in the microwave; or melt on the stove top in a small saucepan.

6. Roll the warm muffins in melted butter to coat all over; then roll in the cinnamon-sugar, again coating all sides.

Delicious warm or cool.

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