Honestly I have no idea if these are French. I also don’t know if they are eaten for breakfast there if they are, in fact, French. I just know that was the name typed across the mimeographed, purple lettered, slip of paper I was handed in my 7th grade Home Economics class. Do you remember those purple pages with the smeary type that had that smell to them that came off that beast of a machine somewhere in the school? If you don’t here is an obligatory GET OFF MY LAWN. If you do, join the picnic, there’s Ensure shooters by the grill & the walker races start after Bingo.
Oh yeah…the muffins. They were the first thing that I vividly remember making by myself and being impressed with. Home Ec was a required course at my school district’s Junior High. In one part we had to sew a perfect pillow (mine was pink with an eyelet lace trim and some fab felt balloons w ribbon string) my mother probably still has stored in a box somewhere. The other half of the year we learned to “cook”. Cookies, muffins, quick breads, pizza dough…not rocket science but enough to teach you turn on the stove and what a pot was. I wasn’t at all ignorant in the kitchen, I had been destroying my mother’s kitchen on a regular basis and my dad ran a grocery store; the Bakery ladies exchanged cookies for help and I didn’t consider playing in the bakery to be work so I spent a lot of time there. Looking back now I can totally see that I was going to be a chef when I grew up, but the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind as a career option then and wouldn’t until I was closer to 16.
I remember making these a bajillion times while I was 12, 13 then my interest started to blow up my mom’s willingness to let me destroy her kitchen in new and creative ways bloomed and the recipe just got lost. I thought about them years later and no matter what I googled could never find the one that I made in 7th grade. After some trial and error I came up with this recipe…if it isn’t the one it’s close enough to fool me.
It was the nutmeg, I think. It was the first time that I had used it, for sure. These things come out of the oven smelling all sweet and fragrant nutmeg, then are rolled in melted butter & cinnamon sugar. Note on the nutmeg – yes, you can buy it pre-ground, but my preference is to grate it whole on the microplane. The fresh grated is more fragrant and has a different flavor than the ground that I prefer. It also lasts forever. Not a fan or don’t have it? No worries ~ cinnamon, allspice, mace, pumpkin pie spice…any are adequate substitutes.
I don’t know. They are so simple they border on boring but they are delicious and take all of 5 minutes to throw together and not 1 special ingredient, kinda perfect for a quick Saturday morning batch of fresh baked awesome. Hell, you dont even have to use muffin cups, just spray the pans real quick and off you go.
French Breakfast Muffins makes a dozen
- 2 cups Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- pinch Salt
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg, preferably fresh ground
- 1/2 c + 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 1/2 cup Butter, melted
- 3/4 cup Milk
- 2 each Large Eggs
- Cinnamon Sugar
Preheat the oven to 350, line a muffin pan with liners.
Mix up all the dry in one bowl with a whisk then mix up all the wet in another bowl with the whisk. (Do it in this order so it doesn’t get messy). Make a well in the center of the dry, pour the wet into the well and fold together with a rubber spatula just until combined. Dont want to over-mix it, maybe 12 turns total.
I use a level 2oz, blue handled, scoop to portion these into the muffin pans, filled about 2/3 the way, for perfectly even rounded tops. Bang the pan off the counter before moving to the oven for 22-24 minutes.
Right before they come out of the oven melt 3 Tbsp of butter in a small bowl and get some cinnamon sugar into a container – I use a 16oz deli container. Remove the muffins from the oven when the tops look dry and centers spring back.
When they come out of the oven start to pop them out of the pan, yeah they will be hot but as soon as you can touch them & they are still warm, and roll the top through the melted butter then twist into the cinnamon sugar, set on a cooling rack to cool.
I’ve never had them last longer than 24 hours when I’ve made them, but store them in a covered container and zap them in the microwave if they start to firm up, I kinda prefer them warm. Like I said, so simple they are almost boring, but YUM!