On Saturday morning, we rounded up the gang and headed to the Durham Farmers Market to pick up some fresh produce and enjoy some fresh air. It really was a perfect morning weather-wise: a breezy low 60s with plenty of sunshine. Beany loves to be outside, and we were all do for dose of open air. It’s so easy to get stuck behind the computer (or puzzles or LEGOS, as far as Beany is concerned). Sometimes we have to force ourselves out the door, particularly when it’s early on a Saturday morning, but we’re always so glad we went.
The farmers market here is pretty great, with lots of farmers, crafters, food trucks and music. We picked up enough fruits and vegetables to last us well into next week, and Jared grabbed a breakfast sandwich from the Pie Pushers food truck, which he’s been jonesing to visit since we moved to Durham almost two years ago. I, however, opted for a donut muffin from Scratch, a local bakery that runs a stand at the market. For those of you who know me and my aversion to donuts, no, I haven’t changed my ways. A donut muffin, or breakfast puff, is exactly what its name implies: part donut, part muffin, all the best parts of each. I’ve learned that my real dislike of donuts applies only to those that are deep fried (I know, I’m an odd duck). Donut muffins are baked, not fried. Hence, they are glorious.
This wasn’t our first visit to Scratch. In fact, it was about a year ago to date that Jared’s grandma sent us a $20 bill in a card that said, “I read about a bakery in Durham called Scratch in Southern Living. Have a pie on me.” Who are we to argue with that? We headed downtown for a couple slices of pie (lemon for me, chocolate for Jared) and snapped this photo of our sweet Beany. I can’t believe how little she looks! And to think, she hardly knew how wonderful pie was then. I think her sweet tooth has grown as much as she has.
Jared and Beany didn’t get to try my donut muffin (I’m so greeeeedy!), so I thought I’d try to recreate the recipe at home. You know, for the sake of my family.
The Kitchy Kitchen posted a recipe for vintage French breakfast puffs a while back that sounded pretty similar to what Scratch was serving up over the weekend, so that was my jumping-off point. Although they don’t look amazing when they emerge from the oven, a quick dip of butter (salted!) and a roll in cinnamon sugar makes for a super special breakfast treat that tastes nearly as good the next day. As Beany’s cinnamon-covered smile can attest, they disappear quickly. Next time, I’ll make a double batch.
Vintage Breakfast Puffs
Adapted from The Kitchy Kitchen
Makes 8 puffs
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 ½ cups flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon cloves
• ½ teaspoon ginger
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ cup whole milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the unsalted butter and ½ cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, and mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cloves, ginger and cinnamon. Slowly add the flour mixture and milk to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, alternating between the two. Add the vanilla, and mix to combine.
Fill greased muffin tins about 2/3 full, and bake until the puffs are barely golden, about 25 minutes. Remove the puffs from the tins right away using a butter knife to carefully loosen the edges.
Working as quickly as you can, dip the tops and sides of each puff into melted butter, and then roll them in a cinnamon sugar mix (1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon). Serve them hot, warm, cold, in a house or with a mouse. They are good anytime, anywhere.
Have you made any trips to the farmers market lately? What’s the skinny on the bakeries near you? I’d love to hear about it!