If you have young children, the thought of including them in your kitchen activities may seem overwhelming. Before I had children, I imagined us happily cutting out sugar cookies together, neatly, in a perfectly clean and sunshiny kitchen. The reality was much messier and featured me trying to figure out exactly how much flour would need to be re-added to the mixture to make up for the massive amount on the floor and countertops.
But here's the thing: if you can include the children when they are young, and if you invest the time to teach them basic kitchen skills, then it will pay off, I promise. One day you too will hand your children a knife and a scrub brush and come back to clean, cubed potatoes. I know, it's hard to imagine when you're watching your children peeling carrots at the rate of one carrot for every ten minutes, or when cracking an egg is more like smashing an egg and then spending half an hour picking out shards of eggshells, but eventually, with patience and practice, your children will be able to actually HELP in the kitchen.
Which brings us to this recipe. If you're looking for a fun activity with the kids, this recipe is perfect. Even young kids can help spoon the jam, dip the muffins in butter, and roll them in sugar. There is very little chance of a baking catastrophe! It is a fast recipe, too, which is a nice bonus for little ones with short attention spans.
These treats are muffins that taste like doughnuts, which is pretty fun; sampling them is a perfect reward for those little helpers. The only problem I have with this recipe is what to call these tasty delights. I suggested to my younger son that maybe I should dub these "moughnuts" or "duffins", and he gave me the look that only tweens do so well. "I think, Mom," he said, "That you should just say that they are doughnut-flavoured muffins."
Preheat oven to 375 degrees; spray or grease mini muffin pans.
Mix together flour and baking powder, set aside.
Whisk together melted 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla. Gently whisk in dry ingredients until just combined.
Fill muffin tins 1/2 of the way full with the batter. Top with a scant teaspoon of jam, then with remaining batter. Spread the top portion of the batter carefully to cover all the jam.
Bake for 15 minutes; allow to cool for ten minutes before removing from the pan.
Dip muffins in melted butter, then roll in the sugar to coat.
Yield: 24-30 mini muffins, depending on the size of your muffin tins.
Adapted from Fresh Juice magazine