Phil Dunn is a local chef/caterer/legend that periodically teaches cooking class. I've taken severalclasses from him from chocolate goodies to pasta making over the years and they are always a ton of fun. Not only are participants given a great hands-on cooking lesson from someone that has been in the business for years, we get booze, a meal, leftovers to take home, the opportunity to meet new people, and have a ton of fun.
The most recent class I took from Phil went to our Farmer's Market to buy ingredients to use in a brunch type meal. The one item on the menu that didn't involve the use of any ingredients from the market were Phil's Cinnamon Puffs. See that's that thing about Phil, he is going to make sure you get a full meal.
I enjoyed all of the things we made that muggy Saturday morning, but these cinnamon puffs were my fave. Mini-muffins that cook up light and fluffy are immediately dunked in melted butter and then rolled in cinnamon sugar. Rolling them in butter while they are still hot gives them a slight crunch without frying. Genius!
Here are the simple, step-by-step instructions with photos a la Pioneer Woman:
The ingredients - I bet everything is in your fridge and pantry!
Place butter, sugar, and eggs in a food processor and mix.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. (Note: Phil didn't sift so neither did I.) Per Phil, the nutmeg is what makes the puffs taste like doughnuts. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to the batter. (Again, I did as Phil did and dumped the dry ingredients and milk in at the same time.)
Fill greased mini muffin pans 2/3 full. In class we used a pastry bag with a large tip. As much as I love to use a pastry bag, it was early and I was tired so I used my mini cookie scoop instead.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
While the muffins are baking, melt the butter for the coating in one bowl. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in another bowl.
Once the muffins are done, remove from oven and immediately turn them out.
Roll hot muffins in melted butter.
Then roll then in sugar-cinnamon mix.
I immediately thought of a ton of ways to modify this recipe but made them as written the first time. I think a small splash of vanilla would add a bit more depth. I think a dollop of lemon curd or preserves in the center of each puff would fancy 'em up. Roll in powdered sugar. Drizzle with chocolate. Endless possibilities!
P.S. If you are in Central Kentucky and would like more information on Phil's classes, let me know!
Phil's Cinnamon Puffs
1/3 cup soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk (I used skim, as did Phil but he said to use whatever was in your fridge)
Place butter, sugar and egg in a food processor and mix. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to the batter. Fill greased mini muffin pans 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter
Combine sugar and cinnamon. Roll hot muffins in melted butter, then in sugar-cinnamon mix. Makes 2 dozen puffs.
NOTE: I needed more butter and sugar-cinnamon so I would suggest upping the amounts to 1/2 cup sugar with 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 6 tablespoons of butter.