Brown Butter Breakfast Puffs


You know how sometimes you wake up in the morning, with a long day of doing nothing in front of you, and you feel like having an indulgent breakfast? It doesn’t happen very often for me (at least not the “doing nothing” part), but recently I found myself with just such a day, and decided to take advantage of it. But what to make? Pancakes weren’t special enough, I didn’t have any good bread to make french toast, and we didn’t have any good omelette fillings in the fridge. I scrolled through my list of bookmarked breakfast ideas when I came across a recipe for “breakfast puffs.”

Breakfast puffs (also referred to as “french breakfast puffs” or “doughnut muffins”) are basically nutmeg-scented muffins, dipped in melted butter and rolled in cinnamon-sugar while still warm. They supposedly taste just like warm doughnuts, but without the frying. Sounded perfect.

I did a little digging online and decided to try an adaptation from (you guessed it) Smitten Kitchen, which used brown butter instead of regular melted butter to dip the muffins in. The resulting breakfast puffs were light, fluffy, delicious, and on my plate in less than an hour– I’d call that a success!

I will say that the creaming method (where you cream softened butter and sugar together to make the batter) is a bit more trouble than I usually like to go to for a breakfast item– usually for muffins I use oil or melted butter– but it did make for a very light puff. That being said, I might try to melt the butter for a future iteration, just to streamline the recipe a bit and obviate the need for an electric mixer.

Brown Butter Breakfast Puffs (from Smitten Kitchen)

2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (or a 50/50 mixture of milk and yogurt)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin generously with baking spray.

2. To make puff batter, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and continue beating until light and aerated.

4. Spoon 1/3 of flour mixture into butter-egg and beat until combined. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and beat to combine. Continue alternating flour and buttermilk until incorporated. Batter will be very thick.


5. Fill muffin cups with batter and bake 12-15 minutes, until the tops spring back when pressed.


6. While the muffins are baking, take your 6 tablespoons of butter and heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the milk solids turn golden brown. Set aside.

7. Mix cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl and set aside.

8. After your muffins are done and barely cool enough to handle, remove them one at a time from the pan and dip the tops in the brown butter, then roll the dipped portion in cinnamon-sugar. Set onto a wire rack to cool slightly.


9. Once all of your muffins are dipped and rolled (you’ll have leftover butter and sugar), eat them immediately, as they’re best warm.

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