Cinnamon Sugar Breakfast Puffs
The good people at Food52 are onto something right here. Made these little cinnamon sugar breakfast puffs this weekend for the family, what a hit!
They are like the best doughnut holes you’ve ever eaten. Cakey and light, with crisp edges and a crunchy blanket of cinnamon sugar, they’re gently spiced, with a murmur of orange zest in the background. Brown butter gives them an especially rich, nutty flavor.
They’re kind of a hybrid of spice cake, muffins, and cinnamon sugar donut holes…so what’s not to love?! Plus they’re remarkably quick and easy. Don’t skip the quick dip in melted butter before you roll them in the sugar — and make sure to enjoy these while they’re still warm!
The Breakfast Puffs
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground ginger
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the 1/3 cup butter, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and nutty smelling. Pour into a mixing bowl and allow to cool completely to room temperature.
2. Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour a 12 cup muffin tin.
3. Add the sugar and egg to the cooled butter. Beat with an electric mixer until all creamed together, lightened in color, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
4. In a separate little bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and zest. Add the dry ingredients in increments to the butter-sugar mixture, alternating with the milk and beating until fully combined after each addition.
5. Divide the batter evenly into the cups of the muffin tin. Pop into the oven and bake until golden brown and fragrant, about 20-25 minutes.
6. While the puffs are puffing, put the melted butter in one shallow bowl and combine the sugar and cinnamon in another one. When the puffs come out of the oven, use a knife to gently pop them all out of the muffin tin.
7. One by one, dip each puff in the melted butter – get it all over it – then roll it in the cinnamon sugar. Transfer it to some lovely, festive serving platter, and continue until you have rolled all of the puffs. Serve warm – they are by far the best when they are still warm – with coffee, tea, mimosas, or other goodies.