Tuesday, November 09, 2010

What's for dinner? Slow cooker beef stew and Doughnut Muffins

I knew we would be going out sometime in the late afternoon, so stew in the slow cooker seemed like a good choice for tonight.

Beef Stew (from the Rival Crockpot booklet--I substituted water for the beef broth)
Reheated couscous or bread
Salad (lettuce and mushrooms)
Doughnut Muffins (recipe below), clementines and pears

Doughnut Muffins, from More Food That Really Schmecks by Edna Staebler

Ponytails and Crayons are on the second week of their Spice Studies; the spice-of-the-week is cinnamon.  I didn't want to make the cinnamon cookie recipe given in the lesson, but thought cinnamon toast might be a bit too basic; this was a good compromise.  These treats look like muffins but really do taste like Timbits.  Or like something grandma took out of the deep fryer.

This is a half-size version of the recipe from Edna's book; it makes 18 small cakes.  If you want you can double it back again to make three dozen.

1 ¾ cups flour
½ tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¾ cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup shortening, lard, or oil
¾ cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For rolling:
About 1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar mixed with 2 tsp. cinnamon (you will probably not need nearly this much sugar and cinnamon; we had some left over to save for other uses.  You can reduce the amount of sugar coating by sprinkling just a small amount at a time on the plate you use to roll them on.)

Combine dry ingredients.  (Don't omit the nutmeg; it really adds to the flavour.)  In another bowl beat the egg, oil or shortening, milk and vanilla.  Add to the dry ingredients and stir just enough to moisten.  Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full (we used our smaller-size ones) and bake at 350° F for 15 to 20 minutes. (Don't use muffin papers.)  Tap the tins to dislodge the muffins.

Melt the butter and roll the hot muffins in it to coat them all over, then immediately roll them in cinnamon-sugar mixture.  (To make things more organized, have one person dip muffins into the butter with a slotted spoon, let any extra drain off, and then set them onto a plate sprinkled with some of the cinnamon-sugar.  Have another person roll them around and then put them on another clean plate.  Add more cinnamon-sugar if needed.) Eat them warm.

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