A Doughnut and a Cuppa Joe, Easy to Take on the Go: Coffee Doughnut Muffins

I love the Los Angeles Times Culinary SOS Column as much as I loathe the newspaper's recent website redesign. I have a paid subscription to website, but I swear, navigating it now gives me a headache and either Culinary SOS has become quite infrequent, or I just can't find the dang columns. In any case, I was elated to see a promising recipe in the column a few weeks ago: Coffee Doughnut Muffins from Sweet Butter in Sherman Oaks.

To make the muffin batter, you beat softened butter with sugar, incorporate eggs, and alternately add in the remaining dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, espresso powder) and liquid ingredients (brewed coffee, buttermilk, vanilla). You pour the batter into buttered muffin pans and bake.
After the muffins are completely cooled, you release them from the pans, brush them with melted butter, and roll them in a mixture of granulated sugar and espresso powder. The first time I made this recipe, I divided the batter evenly between 24 muffin cups. The muffins rose in the oven to form wide crowns that became stuck to the top of the tin, making it very difficult to release the muffins from the pan. I broke off a few crowns while trying to pry them loose. The second time I made these muffins, I used less batter in the pans so that I ended up with short hockey puck-like muffins that didn't rise above the top of the pan. I had enough batter left over to make 24 mini-muffins as well.

These muffins are the most delicious thing I've made in recent memory. The texture of the muffins is very soft and super moist, and the fact that they are coated in crunchy sugar evoked the sensation of eating a sugared cake doughnut. The coffee flavor is quite strong, but I loved it. Eating these muffins is basically like eating a sugared doughnut and drinking a cup of coffee at the same time. And even though the recipe says they should be served immediately, I found that they held up well over a few days under a cake dome.

Insanely good. Love, love, love!

Recipe: "Coffee Doughnut Muffins" from Sweet Butter, published in the July 11, 2014, Los Angeles Times.

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