This spring may be the best I can remember. Sure, it’s not super warm out and we’ve had quite a bit of rain as of late (but April showers bring May flowers, you know), but we haven’t had measurable snow since the very beginning of March.
The temperatures are seasonably warm, the birds are singing all the time, the daffodils and tulips are just starting to bloom, and having the windows open keeps it just a little too chilly in the house in the best possible way. Eating dinner when it’s still light outside is such a treat too. It changes my whole outlook on life.
I always thought summer was my favorite season, but I’m realizing when spring actually decides to grace us with its presence it may best summer by just a little. Don’t get me wrong, I love those warm, even hot days, with the sun beating down, the flowers in full bloom, their scent wafting through the air with the breeze.
But spring signals so much hope. The world comes alive with color and plants and animals. After the long, desolate winter, spring is such a delightful time. It makes me feel alive right along with the rest of nature.
Perhaps I just feel that way about this spring since there’s no longer any snow on the ground and my winter coat has been safely stowed away. Whether this spring is an anomaly (though it shouldn’t be) or a sign of wonderful things to come, I am making sure to enjoy it as much as possible.
I don’t know why, but these Doughnut Muffins remind me of spring. They don’t have any especially springy ingredients, but they make me feel bright and springy on the inside!
When these are baking, they seriously smell like the best doughnuts EVER! It’s crazy because they are clearly not doughnuts, but if you close your eyes and inhale, you’ll think you’re in the middle of a doughnut shop.
They don’t quite taste like doughnuts, but that’s okay because they are still amazing. These beautiful, domed muffins have a firm exterior with a fluffy, moist interior, and that glaze with the little vanilla bean specks. Let me just say make extra.
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk (I used almond, use what you love)
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk (I used almond, use what you love)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but you could use a hand or stand mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla bean paste.
Alternately add the flour and milk, beginning and ending with the flour. You should do three additions of flour and two of milk. Once the flour and milk are fully incorporated, scoop the batter into the prepared pan, filling the tins almost all the way full. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool while you prepare the glaze.
For the glaze, whisk sugar, milk, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Add more sugar or milk as necessary until a thick, yet pourable glaze is formed.
Dip each muffin into the glaze and allow the excess to drip off before placing on a rack or serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature. Muffins may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil, and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy