As some of you know, I did my undergraduate research on self-control failure (for a very brief overview and an excellent recipe for chocolate lovers, check out my lavender brownie bites post). The cool thing about studying a topic like self-control is that it extends to pretty much everything: emotion regulation, dieting, aggression, interpersonal relationships, risk-taking, etc. Granted, we can’t all be great at these things all the time, and sometimes it has nothing to do with self-control when something goes wrong. Let’s face it–things simply like to go wrong every once in a while.
Should you find yourself wondering now why on earth we are talking about self-control failure when we could, instead, be drooling over the doughnut muffin recipe I’ve promised, fear not! It is coming. You see, just as all of those other things are affected by your self-regulatory faculties, so, too, is decision-making. And I have made enough good and bad decisions in succession that they all just kind of negate one another. Case in point: these muffins.
It’s appalling, I know. How could anything dipped in butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar involve any poor decisions whatsoever? Excluding the number of these delicious muffins that I managed to devour myself…I sent out stupid, immature text messages to everyone I planned to share them with. I blame my sugar-induced delirium on how entertaining I found Bon Appetit’s name for them–Dirt Bombs, heh. And, after many agonizing hours of waiting to share them with the people I had texted, feeling guilty about my lack of maturity and even guiltier that it had not warranted a response, there was a brief moment wherein I finally found myself less embarrassed. It was that singular flash between two occurrences we often miss, focusing instead on the beginning (opening up the container packed with doughnut muffins) and the end (devouring the doughnut muffins): that magical moment when muffin meets mouth meets taste buds. There is nothing more satisfying than baking something new, embarrassing yourself in the process, and witnessing everyone take that momentous, lip-smacking, loud first bite of something truly great. In the end, I guess I redeemed myself.
Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnut Muffins
Recipe from Bon Appetit
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 1/4 cups 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
TOPPING AND ASSEMBLY:
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
MUFFINS: Preheat oven to 375°. Coat a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions alternating with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 30–35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to a wire rack.
TOPPING AND ASSEMBLY: Mix sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Working one at a time, dip tops of muffins in melted butter, then cinnamon sugar.