I have tested many recipes from this cookbook all with great success. The book is divided into sections based on ingredients which is unique because most publishers prefer to break up segments based on type of dessert (cakes, cookies, bars, etc). Anna has an entire section dedicated to vanilla and that is where I ventured today.
To start off my baking extravaganza for the week I decided to try out Anna's recipe for Vanilla Jam Muffins which in essence are donut muffins filled with a dollop of your preferred jam.
The key to success with this recipe is to choose a thick jam. Do not go with runny or you will have a "puddly" mess instead of a fluffy, sweet, jam filled breakfast treat.
This recipe makes a lot of batter. Though it states it makes 12 muffins it made 18 for me and I had the liners filled to the top. They don't overflow and make a mess either. They puff up nicely and result in perfect muffins tops.
The crowing glory is the topping. After they are baked you simply dip the tops in melted butter then in a sugar/cinnamon blend. This step really is important as it creates that donut flavor we all love.
I did alter her recipe as I went along. I wanted to use my new vanilla bean paste so went that route (along with pure extract) versus steeping beans in warm milk. I also found that the recipe called for a large quantity of nutmeg: 1 teaspoon. I added 1/2 teaspoon instead. I find nutmeg is a wonderful addition but be careful with the amount. Too much can overpower all the other flavors.
I also filled a few with Nutella instead of jam for my daughter who loves Nutella. They turned out very well too and she was one happy kid. Happy Kid = Happy Mommy!
So let's get started!
*source recipe, Vanilla Jam Muffins, Sugar by Anna Olson
WHAT YOU NEED
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cups vegetable oil (neutral flavor)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup jam (thick variety)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
PREHEAT oven to 350F
LINE 12 muffin cups with paper liners
IN MEDIUM BOWL, whisk together first 6 ingredients
IN LARGE BOWL, whisk together remaining muffin ingredients except jam
FOLD wet ingredients into dry ingredients blending just til combined. Do not overmix!
FILL muffin cups 2/3 full with batter
SPOON tablespoon jam on top of each muffin
TOP with muffin batter filling to top of paper liners
BAKE 35-40 minutes (do not over bake or bottoms will be dry). Mine were perfect at 35 minutes
LET cool in pan 5 minutes
TRANSFER to cooling rack
PREPARE two bowls for toppings: one with melted butter, one with combined sugar and cinnamon
DIP warm muffin tops in melted butter then in sugar/cinnamon mix
DIG IN !