Today I made French Breakfast Puffs, from the Pioneer Woman Cookbook. We loved them!
The only problem with these is that they will forever go down in history (in my mind, anyway) as The Muffins Who Almost Made Me Question My Entire Identity As A Woman And A Baker. That's Evil Muffins, for short.
These are not to be confused with The Cookies Who Almost Made Me Question My Marriage. Someday I might blog about this story. It involves a high altitude mishap, a sweet and innocent husband who took baking tips from a well-meaning female co-worker, and a hormonal and completely irrational wife who apparently feels the need to be the only competent baker in her husband's life. (In case it's not clear, I'm the wife. I have issues.)
But back to the Evil Muffins. They look pretty innocent, right? Well, that's because you are looking at the second batch.
The first batch ended up as a crumbled mess at the bottom of my kitchen trash can. The first batch had me doubting my faith in The Pioneer Woman (almost sacrilegious, I know). The first batch is the one that made me question my identity and my love of baking. That first batch was the stuff nightmares are made of (I lead a very sheltered life).
You see, the tops of the first batch were completely sunken and they would not stay together. The worst part was that I had a whole cup (2 sticks) of butter already melted and waiting for the muffins to be rolled in, but the minute I attempted to remove them from the muffin tin, they disintegrated into a million crumbly pieces. The wasted butter was just sad...
I was cleaning up the mess, ready to curse the high-altitude, The Pioneer Woman, my Pampered Chef muffin pan, and the high price of butter these days when I saw it: the 1/2 cup measuring spoon covered in Butter-flavored Crisco.
I had used this scoop instead of the 1/3 cup by mistake, ending up with a cup of shortening in the batter instead of the 2/3 cup that the recipe called for!
The mystery solved, I gleefully made another batch (fortunately I had saved the butter). The second batch of batter happily turned into the beautiful, sweet creations that Pioneer Woman promised they would be. All was right with the world.
French Breakfast Puffs
yield: 16 muffins
3 cups all-purpose flour (add 1/3 cup flour for high altitude)
3 tsp baking powder (2 3/4 tsp for high altitude)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
1 cup milk
1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
Alternate adding one-third of the flour mixture and one-third of the milk to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.
Serve warm for breakfast, dessert, whenever! Apparently these are great to make ahead and freeze, then reheat in the microwave for a quick treat, which I am excited to try.