My brother asked me the other day if I ever got tired of receiving cookbooks for Christmas. This year may have been a record: eight cookbooks. I guess he thought that was a little excessive, but I honestly never get tired of them. I love reading through each and every page and finding recipes to try out. The best part is that you never grow out of a good cookbook. A great recipe 50 years ago is most likely a great recipe now (with the exception of recipes from the jello mold phase that my grandmother attempts to bring back from time to time). Cookbooks are timeless.
I've been wanting The Pioneer Woman Cooks for a long time now. I got it this Christmas, and I am already obsessed. There is nothing fancy about the cookbook, but it's good. In fact, it's great. I'm at the beach this week with family and friends, and there are 19 of us to feed. What better time to break out the new cookbooks? I started by making these breakfast puffs because there's a bakery in town that makes something very similar. They're called doughnut muffins at the bakery, but that doesn't matter because french breakfast puffs have now replaced doughnut muffins for all of us. These are not light and airy like the name "puff" might imply, but the incredible flavor works well with the dense centers. I would compare them to the consistency of a poundcake. The 19 people who ate these will all vouch that they are delicious. The only issue I ran into was that there weren't enough to go around. That's not an issue at all, though. Batch number two is on the way!
French Breakfast Puffs
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
1 cup milk
1/2 pound (2 sticks butter)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening.
- Add the eggs and mix again.
- Alternate adding one-third of the flour mixture and one-third of the milk to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.
- Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden. Remove the muffins from the pan and set aside.
- To make the coating, melt the butter in a bowl or glass pan. In a separate container, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
- Dip the warm muffins in the butter, coating thoroughly...
- Then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Also: after cooling completely, puffs can be frozen in plastic bags and reheated later.