Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Busy Bee

3 1/2 weeks until my due date and boy have we been busy. Between baby showers, getting the house put together & childbirth classes, we haven't had time for much else. I finally had time this weekend to do a little baking, although I sat there the entire time thinking about how I should be cleaning out the bathroom cabinet to make room for the baby stuff, but I knew a little baking would make me feel better. I even had time to make a menu plan for the week that didn't consist of sandwiches or eating out. So we may have some updates this week!

Whenever I go to the store and I buy buttermilk I almost ALWAYS buy too much. I just can't ever remember how much I need for my recipe. So I am trying to use up some that I have in the fridge. I came across these cinnamon buttermilk muffins & whipped them up Sunday morning.

Cinnamon-Buttermilk Muffins
For the muffins:
7 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
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 (I used dried)
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 350°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.

Note: These cakelike muffins are made from a batter similar to that used for preparing doughnuts, but they are baked instead of fried

As the note says at the bottom, these are like donuts but much healthier. They were so light and not too sweet. Williams-Sonoma recipes have never done me wrong!

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