Orangette's Nutmeg Doughnut Muffins

This post is dedicated to my friend Michelle - "Optimista," if you will - who has been very excited about this recipe after seeing my Instagram photos. Hi Michelle.

I've had some time off from work over the holidays and have been doing a lot of cooking and baking lately. Man, my interns are missing out.

This afternoon (because I now wake at 11:00am or sometimes 1:00pm) I made Orangette's Nutmeg Doughnut Muffins for breakfast. You read that correctly, doughnut-muffin hybrid. Baked in a muffin pan, tasting like a doughnut.

Orangette is one of my favorite food blogs. Ever. I was lucky enough to see hear her speak at SXSWi last year. Here are my Orangette sketchnotes.

I saw so excited about the recipe, I got all spirited and wore my Doughnut Plant NYC shirt. Wearing doughnut clothes while making doughnut muffins is totally my style. Wearing a pizza costume while recruiting for Whole Grains Pizza Iron Chef competition entrants: apparently also my style.

You can find the Nutmeg Doughnut Muffin recipe on Orangette's blog. I've also included the recipe below with my comments in grey.

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
Scant 1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg *Mine was not freshly ground. I'm sure it would have been even better if it were
¾ cup plus 1 Tbs whole milk
2 Tbs buttermilk
1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 Tbs granulated sugar
2 large eggs

For topping:
4 - 6 Tbs unsalted butter
1 ½ - 2 cups powdered sugar

*I used organic eggs, butter, milk, and flour. OMG organic dairy tastes amazing.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and set a rack to the middle position. Spray a standard-size muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg, and whisk to mix them thoroughly. Set aside.

Combine the milk and the buttermilk in a measuring cup, and set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or, alternatively, in a large mixing bowl with electric beaters nearby) *I actually had a KitchenAid stand mixer with an electric beater next to it, and beat on medium speed for a few seconds, until the butter is soft and creamy. With the motor running, add the sugar in a steady stream. Continue beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, until the mixture increases in volume and lightens to pale yellow. It should look light, fluffy, and wonderfully creamy, like frosting. This could take a couple of minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until they are just combined.

*Is anyone else scared of cracking eggs? After years of baking I'm still frightened. I have some sort of egg shell fear.

With a wooden spoon, mix ¼ of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add 1/3 of the milk mixture. Continue to add the dry and wet ingredients alternately, ending with the dries. Mix until the dough is smooth and well combined, but do not overmix.

*I refrigerated the dough overnight so I could eat my doughnut muffin brunch at 1pm. I knew I wouldn't be waking up earlier than 10am. Orangette wasn't lying the dough does keep well in the fridge.

Divide the batter between the cups of the muffin tin. *I tried to use a scoop. My scoop was too small so I had to put multiple scoops of batter in each muffin circle. It did make for a nice picture. Bake until the muffins are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-32 minutes.

When the muffins are cool enough to handle, prepare the topping: melt the butter in the microwave or on the stovetop, and pour the powdered sugar into a deep bowl. Using a pastry brush and working one muffin at a time, lightly brush the entire outside of the muffin with butter, and then roll it in the powdered sugar. *During the brushing, I accidentally buttered my hand. Mmm...organic buttered hand.

 Shake off any excess, and place the finished muffins on a rack or serving platter. Serve.

This is the second time I've baked these muffins and they are best on first day. Next time, I'll probably divide the batch and bake half one day and the other half the next. Twelve nutmeg doughnut muffins in one day, though quite delicious, may be too many. I ate three today.

Lil Phan loved these so much she's now looking for a way to make enough money to support me so I can just cook and bake for her every day while she works.

She looks like she's eating a snowball, but I can attest to it being a doughnut muffin covered in Imperial powerdered sugar. I will testify to this in a court of law. I can only hope it would be televised and called Confection Court and feature characters from Candy Land with court-related titles. But I digress...

I am now scrambling to find ways to use the rest of my buttermilk before it goes bad. Maybe I'll try Orangette's buttermilk cookies with lemon zest before I have to go back to work next week. I seriously Googled "orangette buttermilk" hoping for positive search results. Thanks SEO.

Odd Couple: A Hot Double-Date at Austin Trailers

On a bright hot early summer day, the redhead and I had the pleasure of dining with our friends Jason and Jenny who were in town visiting family and trailers. J&J aren't just any friends. They are foodie friends. They were foodies before it was cool. I mean, they got engaged at WHOLE FOODS after all...

In addition to agreeing to marry a man in an avocado aisle, Jenny blogs about eats and the making thereof at Spoonraider.

They wanted to enjoy the trailer part of the trip with us (thanks guys!). This particular Friday trailer excursion included the near-South Lamar two-step: Odd Duck and Gourdough's.

Man was it tasty. I ate my way through an heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad and a broccoli rice pilaf at Odd Duck and moved onto a Gourdough's donut so sweet that it gave me a sort of amnesia - I can't remember which one I had; there are no photos documenting the donut. Maybe there was an extended Hangover-like episode where what happened was so good it had to be deleted.

Jenny and Jason were so excited and, with their mouths full of trailer food, they explained Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill doesn't have much of a food trailer scene.


Jenny and her well-documented Porky's donut.

Apothecary Wine Bar with Striped Men

A few weeks ago the Phantastics and the Kap-Rochs met at Apothecary Cafe and Wine Bar for a catch-up session full of wine, small plates, and bubbly. It's always a great time when we get together and it usually involves cheese.

The dudes were on the same wavelength and showed up wearing black and turquoise stripes.

Ryan seemed perplexed by this and then angry. The redhead was simply terrified.

 

Luckily the anger and confusion subsided when this delicious cheese plate from Antonelli's Cheese Shop* arrived at our table.

*I've been trying to take one of their cheese classes for six months.

I love how they identify the type of milk with cow and goat stickers.

Dee would probably skip a meeting in the name of cheese. Actually, so would I. My Wednesday 10:00AM? Consider yourself cheesed.

Angry Birds Game Cake Pops

Photos by Tina Phan

Finally, Rovio Angry Birds inspired cake pops from kathyphantastic and Objects of Confection.

These aren't our first iPhone inspired creations, but they are our first iPhone/iPad game-based cake pops.

This blue angry bird looks tired, sad, AND just a little angry.

Unfortunately, some of these cracked. I think if the redhead wanted to look like one of the characters, he could become the pig. I'd need to start calling him the red mustache.

How would Words With Friends look as cake pops? I'm thinking inferior ("inferior" is ≥ 11 points).

What's your favorite phone game? Snake? Brick Breaker? Do you want to see it as a cake pop?

Obviously, I take after the blue Angry Bird.

Cupcake Smackdown

Due to a crazy busy day, the redhead and I stopped by Jennie (MisoHungry) Chen's Cupcake Smackdown 2011, arriving only 15 minutes before the frosting-covered event came to a close.*

*One of the reasons we got there so late was a family graduation - one strange enough to possibly warrant its own blog post someday.

We missed out on the cupcakes, but were there long enough to witness 2 firings of the cupcake cannon (including a direct crotch-shot) and take a picture in Annie Ray's photobooth.

I also managed to get the redhead to agree to let me shoot him with the cupcake cannon next year in the name of charity.

Jennie, if you're listening, please organize another Cupcake Smackdown in 2012. I really want to shoot that cannon!

See the full Cupcake Smackdown 2011 wrap-up post on MisoHungry.

Today I Love: Mrs. Johnson's Donuts (and other doughnuts)

Happy National Donut Day. Lil Phan bought a bunch of donuts from Mrs. Johnson's Bakery to share! Ever since the redhead and I took her there the other week, she's been looking for excuses to go. The promise of Rapture was a really popular one a 2 weeks ago. I'm glad it's National Donut Day as donuts make a sweet ending to a mostly bad day.

Here's an old post on Gourdough's doughnut trailer.

AND another picture from Lil Phan taken at Doughnut Plant in NYC. Unfortunately, I haven't been there in 3 years.

If you click through on that picture, you'll see it's part of the "Donut Whores" flickr pool. Really?!

So what's the verdict: what's your favorite donut, and do you call them donuts or doughnuts?

East Side King Austin Food Trailer

photo by Tina Phan

East Side King is getting to be my favorite food trailer these days. Now don't get me wrong, I still love Chilantro and have posted about it multiple times.

That said, East Side King's semi-permanent locations are conveniently close to a couple of things I also love, Austin's East side and gin and tonics. Also alluring is that each location offers different food selection.

At the Liberty, the beet fries and veggie meshi are must. I like to mix sriracha and soy sauce together and pre-dip the beet fries before quickly dunking them in the kewpie mayo. (Liberty Menu)

At The Grackle, I have to get the grilled romaine with tom yum mayo dressing and the mushroom rice. I've eaten the eggplant, which was good, but I can't seem to wean myself from the mushroom rice. (Grackle Menu)

photo by Tina Phan

The other weekend, East Side King happened to be at Book People at the food truck event coinciding with the Food Trailers book signing. Here I quickly ate the brussels sprout salad (pictured above) which was was quite good. I added some sriracha for an extra kick and looking back I think it was probably too much of a kick. Might I add, this was the quickest East Side King experience I'd ever had. Because of ESK's deliciousness, they often have a long wait for food.

I found this picture of me (in the giant hat - no not that one, the one on the left) on East Side King's Facebook after they'd added me as a friend.

"East Side King has requested to add you as a friend?" Yes, please. Does that come with a side of tom yum mayo dressing?

At this event I also heard whispers that the newest East Side King may end up at Shangri-la.

I'm lucky to have partaken in ESK a number of times. Here are pictures from multiple adventures:

Coreanos Korean Mexican Food Trailer

via kathyphantastic flickr.com

Coreanos food trailer is the new go-to escape-the-office lunch spot for me and my work partner-in-crime, Meagan. Feeling royally tired (Meagan woke up at 4:00 am to watch William, Kate, and most importantly, Princess Beatrice's hat), Meagan decided we needed to go to lunch.

Located a short walk away from the office a few times each week, eating at Coreanos provides a great way to leave the windowless office for a relaxing lunch outside.

As expected, Coreanos offers a fusion of Korean and Mexican food specializing in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, fries (which are neither Korean nor Mexican), and tostadas (which they have renamed the Kingstada). I had the tofu Kingstada which had a fresh crispy tostada shell that tasted good, but was kind of small - and therefore expensive - at over $4.00. I'd say it should have been $2.75 - $3.00 Kingstada.

Meagan had one regular style taco and an el scorcho. Fearing fatty meat, she veered away from pork belly. She said both tacos were good but that they were still fatty. Something about the the texture creeps her out. I'm sure fatty meat lovers would have had a field day.

"Where the Wild Things Are" Cake Pops

The first day of April is one of those I don't look forward to - April Fool's Day. Despite being full of (mostly good-natured) mischief myself, I still don't like a day dedicated to tricks. As frequent readers know by now, I much prefer treats to tricks.

On this day of deception, The University of Texas' School of Information hosted the Austin Edible Book Festival. It sounded like an April Fool's, but it was no joke.

Having attended a few years back, I was happy to see there would be another one. I was even happier to know that working on campus, I'd probably be able to attend, and maybe even enter.

Colin Walsh suggested Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. There's a reason I keep that guy around - he's brilliant!

I used Objects of Confection's signature red velvet cake balls to make Max, Moishe, Tzippy and Bernard.

Spike Jonze, eat your heart out.

The talented Aimee Wenske took these great pictures.

Fun WTWTA connection: Her boyfriend Josh was very popular Max for Halloween a few years back.

There were a few great entries and some rather strange ones. Next year, I might aim for something punnier.

The treats provided at the Festival also gave me the perfect excuse to eat Amy's Ice Cream for lunch. Mint Chip for the win.