Me Day

“How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.” (Virgina Woolf, The Waves)

Every so often, I just need a day or two for myself. A few days of quiet. A few days just to introspect and collect myself and to recover from all the noise and activity. Life gets really busy, so I appreciate my solitude when I can get it.

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Cinnamon Brown Butter Puffs
Source: Smitten Kitchen
I’ve been wanting to make homemade donuts à la Hint of Vanilla, but I just haven’t had the time or an accomplice to help me in the kitchen. Luckily I stumbled on SK’s post and it is the perfect little donut hole to hold me over until I can make real donuts. Right out of the oven, these little puffs get dunked in melted browned butter and a cinnamon sugar dusting – soft and pillowy – such great cake donut holes. I recommend eating these within a few hours of making, as they become more dense and heavier with time.

Ingredients
Coating:
2/3 c granulated sugar
1 tbs ground cinnamon
6 tbs unsalted butter

Batter:
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/3 c unsalted butter, room temp
1 egg, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c buttermilk [or 1/2 c sour cream + 2 tsp lemon juice], room temp

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick spray or brush with melted butter.

For the coating: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat, stirring often, until the butter crackles and browns. There should be some solids floating in the butter, and it should smell very nutty and fragrant. Once dark brown (don’t want to burn it), remove from heat and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and cinnmaon, then set aside.

For the donut holes: In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar and cream until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg, and beat until combined. Add the buttermilk (or in my case – sour cream + lemon juice), and beat until very few lumps remain. Add the flour mixture, and mix just until combined. Do not over mix.

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Using a small ice cream scoop (I think mine is a 1 or 0.5 oz scoop), scoop batter into muffin cups. Using a small ice cream scoop keeps all the donut holes the same size, minimizes mess, and prevents over-filling of each muffin cup. I was able to get about 30 mini muffins. Bake for 10-14 minutes (depending on pan color and oven). Muffin-donuts will be done once a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Once done, remove from oven and immediately durnk each muffin-donut hole into the browned butter. You can choose to dunk the whole puff, or just the tops. Either way, delicious. Allow excess butter to drip off before rolling the muffin-donut into the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Transfer to a wire rack and enjoy.

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These muffin-donut things don’t sit on the counter too long. David came home after work and probably wolfed down a dozen on his own. These are pretty tasty, and while not nearly as satisfying as real yeasted donuts, they definitely hit the spot. And given the effort-benefit ratio, you are getting so much yummy for very little effort. I highly recommend these.

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So this weekend, in focusing on myself – I had time for kitchen therapy. I cleaned. I cooked some more. I organized thousands of photos from our last few vacations. I finished up some loose ends at work. Ok – so it doesn’t sound much like ME time, but for me – this is ideal. For me, this is enough.

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Thanks for stopping by.
AnhD

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