Granted I have a hard time calling these muffins, they’re really more like buttery baked donuts piled inside a muffin liner, but tis the season to be indulgent. Actually these are mini-brioche liners that I got from fancy flours, but you can really use them for whatever you’d like. I loved them and thought they’d be cute and funky for these muffins. Monkey bread brings me back to 8th grade Home Ec, where we made a traditional bundt pan-sized version using store-bought biscuit dough. But I STRONGLY urge you, if you have a few extra minutes, please try making this dough yourself. It’s really not that hard, saves you money, and the taste/texture is amazing.
This would also be a great project to do with kids — plus you could use a few extra hands rolling all the little balls of dough. If they don’t quite have the dexterity for forming balls, have them man the butter/sugar/cinnamon station instead. Boyfriends work well for any of these tasks as well. But you can save them from doing extra dishes by baking these in liners rather than right in the pan — I love mine too much to make him do that kind of labor.
Recipe adapted from Rachel Ray
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tbsp milk- Move an oven rack to the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Line 1 muffin tin with 12 liners
- In a small bowl, microwave 4 tbsp butter and the maple syrup at high power until melted, about 30 seconds
- In a small bowl, mix together 1/3 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon
- In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, the remaining 2 tbsp of granulated sugar, and salt. Pulse until well combined. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and pulse together until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Pulse in the buttermilk until the dough comes together.
- Transfer to a floured work surface, and pat dough into a 10″ square. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to quarter the dough, then cut each quarter into 16 equal pieces. Roll into balls
- Dip each ball in the maple butter, then the sugar mixture. Place 4-5 coated balls into each muffin cup press down gently.
- Tent the muffin tin with tin foil and bake until cooked through and golden, about 15-17 minutes.
- Mix together confectioners sugar and milk to make the glaze. While the muffins are still warm, drizzle the glaze over the muffins. Serve warm.
Recipe yields 12 muffins