Friday, December 28, 2012

French Breakfast Puffs

Back when I was still in college at NU, there was a little brunch place across the street from my apartment called Fraiche which was pretty popular with the college folks. I went there relatively frequently with David on Saturday/Sunday mornings. Several months ago, the owner filed a lawsuit against a former baker who reportedly stole cookbooks with proprietary recipes. Supposedly, the books contained shop secrets, among which was a recipe for their signature "cinnamon bombs."

I've seen those cinnamon bombs on display quite often but they never stood out to me. They're just coffee cakes covered in cinnamon sugar really. But Time Out Chicago ranked it as one of the 100 Best Things We Ate and Drank in 2011. And since I'm all about hype, I was pretty curious. I stumbled across this recipe on The Pioneer Woman's food blog and the pictures look exactly like what I saw at Fraiche, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

I only made 1/3 of the original batch aka 4 muffins, since you'll see later that these are terribly unhealthy. Melt 2 Tbsp butter and cream together with 1/3 cup sugar, then add 1/2 an egg and 1/3 cup milk. Mix well.

Add 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, a dash of salt, and a dash of nutmeg. 

Mix well. This is what the batter should look like.

Fill greased muffin tins, then bake in a 350F preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden. 

Now this is the part that makes me wince. In a bowl, add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. In a second bowl, melt an entire stick of butter. Now dip a muffin in the melted butter for 20-30 seconds to let it soak in for a bit, then coat with the cinnamon sugar mixture. I know! These are terrible! But I already committed and there was no backing down once I already started making them. 

Here they are. They tasted pretty good, like a donut-muffin hybrid, but not worth it for something that's rolled in butter. I only ate a bite and felt dirty afterwards. Now keep in mind this isn't the same recipe so Fraiche's may be infinitely better. But from what I can tell, Fraiche's muffins are just coffee cakes rolled in butter and cinnamon sugar. There's nothing original about the concept and even if it's a unique can't really switch this up very much. I'm not sure what the fuss is about.

Would I make this again? No, they were decent but not worth the calories

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