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Sometimes simple is best. There’s nothing crazy about the recipe for cinnamon sugar muffins I came across in the May issue of Bon Appetit - no special ingredients, no fancy maneuvers. But make it once and you’ll want to make it again, and again, and again.
It doesn’t hurt that Bon Appetit perfectly describes these muffins, called Dirt Bombs and fashioned by the Bantam Bread Bakery in Bantam, Conn., “like a cinnamon-sugar doughnut in muffin form. You’ve been warned.”
I made these for my friend Anna as a thank you for watching my dog while I was out of town recently. I made them the morning I was leaving; they were still warm when I dipped them in their cinnamon sugar topping and grabbed one for the ride to the airport. I thought one would be enough. How foolish of me - I think I gobbled it up before I’d even gotten on the highway.
These muffins are super easy to make and incredibly satisfying, light and airy and with a surprisingly fine crumb. Anna compared them to pound cake, simple and reliably good.
I made mine with vanilla almond milk because I didn’t have any milk lying around, but the muffins turned out so nicely with the almond milk that that’s what I plan to continue to use. For when I make these again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after...
Dirt bombs (cinnamon sugar doughnut muffins)
from Bon Appetit
2 1/4 all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk (can substitute with almond milk)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
To make muffins:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners or spray with oil.
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Keep mixer on low speed as you add the dry ingredients in three additions and the milk in two additions. Start and end with the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Drop batter into muffin cups and bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until tester inserted into center of muffins comes out clean. Let cool slightly, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.
Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip top of each muffin in melted butter, then the cinnamon sugar.
Like Pavlov’s dog, the start of fall triggers an unhinged desire to buy more apples than one person can responsibly eat, and drink gallons of apple cider, and wrap myself in cozy sweaters and read by pumpkin-scented candles.