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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pumpkin Ice Cream Muffins

I'm seeing a lot of muffin recipes out there these days that claim the muffins taste like doughnuts, but none has sold me yet.  But then there is this recipe for a quick bread made with melted ice cream that doesn't even tout itself as a "doughnut muffin", and yet really does taste like a doughnut! Especially when the muffins are rolled in cinnamon-sugar...

Now, I'm not a fan of novelty gadgets, especially since I have very limited storage space in my kitchen.  But I am tempted to go buy one of those doughnut baking pans JUST so I can complete the disguise. They're that good.

The original recipe's claim to fame is as a 2-ingredient recipe.  Yes, that's correct:  a quick bread that requires only two ingredients.  But one of those ingredients is self-rising flour, which is really three ingredients, and the other is ice cream, which is at least four.  When you think of it that way, it all starts to make sense.

I don't stock self-rising flour, so I had to look up how to substitute for it.  Just as well, because I prefer to use at least half whole wheat flour in muffins.  Most people will have the ingredients in their pantry already, but I do buy the Trader Joe's seasonal pumpkin ice cream just to make these.  It is very strongly flavored, so it really works well here.

Here's what I used: 

1½ cups Trader Joe's pumpkin ice cream (or other intense ice cream flavor)
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 - 1/2 cup butter
1/2 - 1 cup cinnamon-sugar (about 1 teaspoon cinnamon per 1/2 cup sugar, or to taste)

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease 8 muffin tins. (I prefer to use silicone liners.) Allow the ice cream to sit out in a medium-sized bowl until it's nearly melted. Sift the flours, salt, and baking powder together and add to the softened ice cream; mix thoroughly. Scoop the batter into the tins, and bake for about 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. The muffins will be fairly pale.

They're begging for a topping.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small bowl;  place the cinnamon-sugar in a separate bowl large enough to roll a muffin around in.  While still warm, dip each muffin briefly in the butter, and then roll through the cinnamon-sugar to coat. Alternatively, for a less sweet muffin, just dip the tops in.  (In this case, you would want to use the smaller quantities shown.)

Conclusion:  These are pretty decadent, but I don't think they're quite as bad for you as doughnuts and are every bit as delicious.  I  added nuts to the batch in these photos, which detracts a little from the "doughnuttiness", but was still tasty.  These would also be excellent with a cinnamon-streusel topping.  Another good ice cream flavor for the muffins would be a deep, dark chocolate, but something like butter-pecan might not add much.

Original recipe:  Two Ingredient Ice Cream Bread via Kirbie's Cravings

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