French Breakfast Puffs

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by Heather Harris Brady

It’s no exaggeration to say I’ve had this recipe in the back of my mind for years. When I first read it, in my vintage 1959 copy of The Blueberry Hill cookbook by Elsie Masterston, it jumped out at me. The ingredient list was simple, which leaves space for magic to happen – as writer types say. And magic they are – rising triple or even quadruple in size to puffs of buttery crumb under a veil of more butter and cinnamon sugar.

I made these last Sunday morning for my valentines, and I spread the batter in cute little mini-doughnut pans. If you don’t have those mini-muffin pans would work.

French Breakfast Puffs Blueberry Hill, Makes about 24 mini puffs

  • 1/3 c. soft butter (softened to the consistency of mayo)
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 6 T. melted butter
  • Cinnamon sugar: 1/2 c. granulated sugar mixed with 1 t. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the butter, sugar and egg in a mixer bowl.

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Stir the flour and baking powder together.

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Beat the egg, butter and sugar together well.

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Alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk, 1/3 of each at a time. Beat well after each addition, until its all incorporated.

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Add the vanilla and beat for another minute to a thick creamy batter.

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Grease your baking tin and add the batter. As you can see these little muffin tins are barely 1/2 full.

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Put them in the oven and bake about 20-25 minutes. You might want to watch because it’s pretty amazing – this tin below is the baked version of the above!

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Have your butter and sugar standing by when you take them out of the oven. Loosen the cakes and dunk them, one side at a time, in the butter and then in the sugar.

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Take them straight to the table for a few minutes of silent bliss. The outside is buttery and slightly crunchy from the sugar, while the inside is light and velvety.

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I covered a few in chocolate just to see what would happen. They were, as one might expect, good that way too.

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These aren’t meant to keep, so make them close to breakfast or teatime and invite some friends if you need someone to save you from eating them all. I have teenagers, so… there wasn’t a crumb to be had even 10 minutes later.

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Three years ago: Champagne Sabayon
Two years ago: Chard Quiche
One year ago: Buttermilk Cupcakes


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