NOTE: This photo is from Fine Cooking. Looks good, huh? My version turned out a lot different! Read on...For me, I am cursed with a very active part of my brain-- the one that is connected to my taste buds. I find that my thoughts become so focused on a particular flavor or craving, that I develop a mission to get busy in the kitchen. Last night, I was determined to bake a New York Crumb Cake recipe that I've saved, at least a year ago. This morning, I was feeling a little groggy. I couldn't bond with the thought of rolling crumbs, by hand (this is the technique of the recipe that intrigued me). I was still determined to bake something for breakfast as a treat to myself and my family.
Then, I remembered that I had baked doughnut muffins months ago (Fine Cooking). I read my notes, and I realized that I have never given my "Muffin Crown Pans" a maiden voyage! Never heard of a Muffin Crown Pan? I confess-- when I eat a muffin , or a cupcake, I pull the bottom off and eat that first. Then, I enjoy the top. This pan, in theory, bakes only the top. I bought this pan, last July, at the King Arthur Flour website (note: KAF calls this a Muffin Top Pan).
I also made a few modifications to the recipe-- first, I cut the recipe ingredients in half. The last thing I need are 24 muffins in my kitchen! I increased the buttermilk and added a little bit of vanilla to the batter. The Fine Cooking recipe said to blend the dry and milk ingredients, by hand. I used my stand mixer (since I had to cream the butter and sugar together), but I used the lowest speed, and only in spurts. I'll take any shortcut that I can!
The tricky part, was trying to guess how much dough to fill each muffin well. Next, I wondered how long to bake these (in a traditional muffin tin, the recipe said 25-30 minutes).
I used an ice cream scoop, and I got a total of 10 muffins.
Note to self-- maybe you need to use about 1/4 less of an ice cream scoop. I thought that the muffins rose a little too high. I baked the muffins for 15 minutes.
I allowed the muffins to cool for about 3 minutes before they easily came out of the pan. I was disappointed that the bottom of the muffins were too brown, and bordering "burned".
One more note to self: place the rack a little higher and consider decreasing the baking time to about 13 minutes.
The male vultures (husband and son) had to be chased away so that a) they wouldn't block my light to photograph and b) I had to brush melted, unsalted butter on top.
Last, I used my shaker to sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the muffins. (The original recipe said to brush melted butter and to roll them in cinnamon sugar... I didn't care for that. It looked "gloppy"). I also thought that these could be glazed, while hot-- not quite Krispy Kreme, but a nice alternative.
Overall, the muffins are good. Do they taste like doughnuts? I think that's a stretch. I would say that these resemble Snickerdoodles. They're great with a cup of coffee.
I'm going to start using this pan, more often. Come to think of it, I originally bought this pan to make Whoopie Pies! I've never made them, but I've got a recipe I've been anxious to try.