Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins are a giant treat in a tiny package.
Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins are a giant treat in a tiny package. (Mel Barber — mbarber@yorkdispatch.com)

Doughnut muffins being an overly long name for such an adorably tiny snack, my co-workers and I dubbed these treats "duffins" (because the other name mash-up option sounded vaguely inappropriate).

If you own a mini-muffin pan, these bite-size treats are a must. Be warned, you'll find yourself eating four or five at a time.

I doubled the recipe the first time just so I could have 36 cinnamon-sugar duffins and 36 blueberry-topped duffins to share at work. The butter topping can be replaced with any fruit preserves of your choice.

The texture is the perfect mixture of moist and crumbly, a bit cake doughnut and a bit cornbread without the cornmeal.

The batter is a little thicker than pancake batter, but that's what it smells and tastes like. If you were to taste it, which you wouldn't, because raw eggs, salmonella, dire warnings of death, etc.

The main recipe comes from the Mom's Test Kitchen blog (momstestkitchen.com), and the optional blueberry preserves recipe comes from The Ginger Snap Girl blog (thegingersnapgirl.blogspot.com). I substituted frozen blueberries for fresh in the preserves recipe, with no ill effects.

Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins

1/3 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1-1/2 cups flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Use a nonstick mini-muffin pan or line one with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, mix the shortening, sugar and egg until fully combined. In another medium bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together.

Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the shortening mixture until just combined.

With tops swirled in warm blueberry preserves, the doughnut muffins get a boost of rich, tart flavor.
With tops swirled in warm blueberry preserves, the doughnut muffins get a boost of rich, tart flavor. (Mel Barber — mbarber@yorkdispatch.com)

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full (a small cookie scoop works well for this) and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan and allow to cool.

Combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip the tops of the muffins in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Makes 32 to 36 mini-muffins.

Blueberry Preserves (for topping)

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/3 cup sugar

1 -1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and cook on medium high heat.

Boil mixture for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened. It will continue to thicken upon cooling.

Swirl the tops of the muffins in the blueberry preserves instead of melted butter, and then dip in cinnamon sugar mixture as usual.

— Reach Mel Barber at mbarber@yorkdispatch.com.