Pioneer Woman calls these delightful muffins "French Breakfast Puffs" because she got the recipe from her French teacher in school. So, since I added apples to these addicting balls of bread and didn't get these from a French teacher (well, not directly), I renamed them "Apple Breakfast Puffs". I bet these would also be good with other types of fruit like blueberries or cranberries!
Although they are called "Breakfast Puffs", you will want to eat them all day long. They are so good. The soft, warm interior of the puffs is so comforting. The apples add another dimension to these puffs making them even more comforting. And the butter and cinnamon topping? O-M-G!! So good! These puffs are so soft. Other tasters of these puffs suggest making them in mini muffin pans. I don't have such a pan, so I can only imagine how good those versions taste.
Not only did I add chopped apples, I also used buttermilk instead of milk to make it richer. They were perfect and very quick to make. I halved the recipe, but I posted the full recipe below. I wish I would have thought to take a photo of the inside of the puffs. I guess I will have to make them again in the near future in order to do that. You know, I have to make these sacrifices for my readers. :D
adapted by Pioneer Woman
(This recipe can be easily halved, but these are so good you may want to use the full version below and freeze the leftovers in a ziploc, freezer bag.)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening (Crisco)
1 cup milk (I used buttermilk)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 sticks butter
1 apple (peeled, cored, and diced into small cubes)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups (I used "Baker's Joy", like Pioneer Woman). Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk mixture, and set aside.
In a different bowl (I used the stand mixer bowl), cream together sugar and shortening, then add eggs and mix. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to creamed mixture, beating (until the flour is mostly incorporated) after each addition and ending with the flour. Fold in chopped apples. (Make sure you do not overmix so that the puffs do not come out tough.)
Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden. In a bowl, melt 1 1/2 sticks butter. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip baked muffins in butter, coating thoroughly, then coat with cinnamon-sugar mixture.