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Why do I ever doubt the Pioneer Woman?

July 22, 2010

I saw this post on the Pioneer Woman that featured this recipe from Tasty Kitchen, and I immediately remembered the fact that I’m supposed to be half-hosting another coffee break at work today! These seemed perfect for the event, as they looked to be the appropriate sweetness to drink with coffee, but were not chocolate-related (my co-host is making something very chocolate-related indeed).

Cake donuts? Yes, please. Cinnamon sugar? Mmmhmmm. Nutmeg? Hold on.

Wait.

Nutmeg? Really? NUTMEG?

So let me tell you a story about nutmeg. For whatever reason, to this day, I hate the taste of nutmeg. I use it, particularly for savory things like mac and cheese, and I tolerate it for things like eggnog…and that’s basically it. Nutmeg: out of my spice cabinet!

So, of course, when I saw it in this recipe…I was skeptical. However. One of these days, I’ll learn to stop doubting PW, because, as usual, no matter what my silly prejudices against simple spices are, she wins.

Three little muffins in a row...

A few words on this recipe. First of all, lest you think I am intentionally making it look like I baked 8,000 full-size muffins, I actually only made 1 full recipe of these.

It's only supposed to make 12 full-sized muffins.

so I, of course, went mini. After much debating on Facebook and scouring of the interwebs, I settled on the mental image that this recipe would *probably* generate 3 to 4 times as many minimuffins as actual muffins…and discovered that batter for 12 muffins yielded exactly 36 minimuffins. Yay that.

I also found, in my travels through space and time, this site, which gave some specific recommendations for how to achieve minimuffin glory while simultaneously minimizing minimuffin overflow and overbrowning. I have to give Cara props – the girl knows her minimuffins! I turned the oven down to 325°, which kept the minimuffins (can I please call them something else? The ms and ns and fs are getting to me…also spellcheck things minimuffins don’t exist, but that’s OK because according to spellcheck “spellcheck” doesn’t exist either…) from browning too quickly, and then watched them like a hawk before piercing one with a toothpick (I have no idea how long it took…possibly 18 minutes?).

A note on the naked minis: when these muffins came out of the oven, they were pale white, with just a kiss of color around the edges where the batter literally touched hot metal. I was a little worried, because her muffins are so dark brown and luscious. Recipe fail? Not hardly. You actually have to dunk the entire muffin in the butter before rolling it in the brown sugar. So they turn out like this:

Don't they look just like cake donut holes??

The other trick Cara describes for minis is trying very hard not to overfill the pans. That’s how I ended up with exactly 36 minis – I filled each of the cups about halfway, rather than 2/3 of the way, which is what I normally do for full-size muffins. The baking powder poofed them up plenty, which made me very happy, and Cara very correct!

The taste is somewhere between cinnamon toast and eggnog muffins…the nutmeg really does come through fairly strong (and sticks with you). I would say a cup of coffee is obligatory for consuming these muffins…they definitely pair perfectly!

Despite the fact that these are pitched as being “better for you” than donuts, I’m not sure I’m convinced, given the whole stick of butter and 2/3 cup sugar I used to top these suckers…But since when does that matter on Cupcake?!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 23, 2010 7:11 am

    oooohhhh. i remember these little buggers. they were so, so delicious.

    my expanded waistline curses you.

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