Thanks so much for all your messages and comments about the Pumpkin Crunch! It was fun to hear your stories of making and sharing that simple but delicious dessert. Whether you made one or seven (what?) I hope you savored it and plan to keep it along with other favorites in your very own repertoire.
It's natural, no matter if you're a seasoned cook or beginner, to stash away a few special recipes in your own personal arsenal. Those become the favorites that you rely on over the years whether for their ease of preparation, wonderful flavor, or simply for their familiarity.
The Pumpkin Crunch is certainly in my own favorites stash.
Let me tell you about another.
I first had these delicate and scrumptious muffins at the home of my dear friend, Ann. Her Mom made them for breakfast one morning when I visited there on a weekend break from college. Just the name, French Breakfast Puffs, sounded pretty fancy to me. I had certainly never been to France and was pretty sure I'd never eaten anything that could be classified as French. Unless you counted fries.
As it turns out, they're not even particularly French. But in this case, as with many old, popular recipes, no one really cares. As a matter of fact, I made these so many times when my boys were at home that the name simply evolved into their favorite "Brown Sugar Muffins." (even though there's no brown sugar involved) It seems we were not particularly fancy (or French) at all.
Since my very first taste of these all those many years ago, I have in fact enjoyed visiting France and have therefore decided that they likely got the french part of their name purely from the fact that the French, without doubt, are the undisputed experts in all things pastry. The delicacy, the texture, the taste? Incredible. It was a chore to tear myself away from all the pastry shoppes just to be able to say I saw the Eiffel Tower.
I recently served these in mini size at a Brunch Buffet and was surprised at how many people had never had them before. I think it's only fair that I get the word out.
So whether you make these for your family for breakfast, or make them mini-sized to serve alongside a fruit salad and some Brown Sugar Bacon on a Holiday Buffet, consider this an early Christmas present from me!
And not that I would know, but they also go especially well with Mimosas!
French Breakfast Puffs
1/3 c. shortening
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 c. milk
extra sugar and cinnamon
1. Mix shortening, sugar and egg in electric mixer.
2. Sift together the flour, Baking powder, salt and nutmeg
3. Stir the dry ingredients into the shortening mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
4. Fill a 12- cup muffin pan. (or use a mini-muffin pan to make about 24)
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. (slightly less if using the mini pan)
5. While still hot remove from muffin pan and roll each muffin in first melted butter, then in a mixture of about 1 cup sugar and 1-2 T. cinnamon (depending upon your taste)