Showing posts with label donut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label donut. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fresh Baked Doughnut Muffins and a Chance to Win $25 in Books from Cleo Coyle

Ever since Roast Mortem first hit the shelves in hardback last year, fans have asked me to post this doughnut muffin recipe. Well, today is the day! But first two quick contest announcements…

Cleo Coyle, who does not know
the muffin man, is author
of the Coffeehouse
Dru, a follower of this blog, is also a dedicated book reviewer. Mysteries are her specialty, and she’s running a contest this week. Leave a comment on her new review post, and you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of Murder by Mocha. 

BTW, Dru's blog is a great one to follow, with authors who regularly post creative entries. Click here to jump there and have fun! (If you're wondering what Dru said about Mocha, here's a quote I think any writer would be proud to hear. Thank you, Dru...)

Win a signed copy
at Dru's blog by
clicking here.
"This wonderful story boasts a brilliant cast, a great setting, tantalizing conversation and recipes that will whet your appetite...." 

Fresh Fiction is also running a Coffeehouse contest. Prizes are spiffy and include a $25.00 gift card to your favorite online bookstore; a Gimme Coffee Latte Cup and Saucer (made in Italy); and signed copies of my newly released culinary mysteries (Murder by Mocha and Roast Mortem). Click here to jump there, and good luck!

And now…

Let's Eat!
(at least with our eyes...) 


Photos (c) Alice Alfonsi who writes as Cleo Coyle in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. All rights reserved.

Tender and sweet, these muffins taste like old-fashioned cake doughnuts, the kind you might order at a diner counter with a hot, fresh cuppa joe. Clare, my amateur crime-solver, bakes them up one morning to calm her nerves after a ruthless firebug torches her friend's cafe. "The coffee shop arsonist" is only getting started, but then so is Clare Cosi....

You will find this recipe, along with many others, in the recipe section of my culinary mystery Roast Mortem, now a national bestseller in paperback. 

Makes 12 standard-size muffins (Note: The muffins make look big in the photos, but these babies were made with my regular, old muffin pans.)

For the batter:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork
1 cup whole milk 
2-½ cups all-purpose flour
2-½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the cinnamon-sugar topping:

½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Step 1—Prep your oven and pan: First preheat your oven to 350° F. This recipe bakes up nice, coffee shop-sized muffins with generous tops, so lightly spray the tops of your muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. This will prevent the tops from sticking to the pan. Line the muffin cups with paper holders.

Step 2—Make the batter: Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs and milk and continue mixing. Stop the mixer. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg and mix only enough to combine ingredients. Batter will be thick. Do not over mix at this stage or you will produce gluten in the batter and toughen the muffins.

Step 3—Bake: Using two tablespoons (one to scoop, the other to scrape in the thick batter), fill each cup to the top, dividing any remaining batter among the 12 cups.

Bake for 20-25 min­utes, or until the muffin tops spring back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. After a few minutes out of the oven, remove muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack. (Muffins that remain long in a hot pan may end up steaming, and the bottoms may become tough.)

Step 4—Finish with cinnamon-sugar topping: Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Melt the butter, brush it lightly over the muffin tops...

Roll the buttery tops in the bowl of cinnamon-sugar, and… 

Eat with joy!

Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To get more of my recipes, win free coffee,
or learn about my books, visit my online
coffeehouse by  clicking here.

See more of the recipes featured in
Roast Mortem by clicking here.

“Coyle's strong 9th coffeehouse mystery pays tribute to New York City firefighters.…Coyle even provides an appendix of useful tips and tempting recipes.” ~ Publishers Weekly 

A Reviewer's Pick: "Favorite Book of the Year"

“Fast pacing and clever dialogue…a fantastic mystery.” 4-1/2 stars ~ RT Book Reviews 

Now a National Mystery
Bestseller in Paperback! 

To visit Amazon's Roast Mortem page, click here

To visit Barnes & Noble's page click here.
Or try your favorite bookseller.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Welcome Guest Blogger - Jessica Beck and Donuts to Die For...

Please welcome Jessica Beck to our kitchen. Jessica is the penname of an author who was nominated for the Agatha Award and named an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association national bestseller nearly a dozen times. This month, St. Martin's Press is launching her new series of mysteries set in a cozy North Carolina donut shop. Here's a little peek at Glazed Murder, the first novel in her series...

Glazed Murder

Suzanne Hart, owner of Donut Hearts, is at her store at 2 AM when she looks out the window and sees a body being thrown from a speeding car in front of her shop. She can’t see much, but it becomes obvious that the driver thinks she witnessed the whole thing. Suzanne endures a series of threats until she is forced to investigate the murder herself. To make matters worse, Suzanne’s ex husband Max is trying to work his way back into her life, something she’s not at all sure she wants to happen.

0-312-94610-4 / 978-0-312-94610-4
Coming August 2010
FATALLY FROSTED 0-312-94611-2 / 978-0-312-94611-1

Coming December 2010
SINISTER SPRINKLES - 0-312-94612-0 / 978-0-312-94612-8

You can visit Jessica at this Web site:

And now, here's Jessica...

Everyone deserves the chance to indulge themselves now and then, whether it comes in the form of escaping with a good mystery, carving out five minutes of blissful silence in a hectic day, or savoring a bite or two of a delicious, homemade donut. I would never dream of advocating a steady diet of donuts alone, but at the same time, I couldn’t bring myself to give up one of the special little perks that remind me of just how nice life can be. While donuts probably aren’t going to bring about world peace, they can sometimes create a little joy in our lives, and that can never be a bad thing, can it?

My family got hooked on homemade donuts early on. My mother-in-law, thankfully a true joy to have in my life, got me started doing two things in the kitchen: creating pie crusts by hand using lard, and making donuts dusted with powdered sugar. The donuts were an Easter event for my spouse’s family, a tradition I quickly adopted for my own clan. There’s something comforting about sharing the treats these days, and they’ve become something much more than just a delicious bite; they remind us of those who may be gone now, but will be with us in spirit as long as we keep up our family traditions from one generation to the next. The last time I made these donuts, my teenaged daughter watched every move, and I suspect that someday when I’m long gone, these will be a reminder for her as well. All in all, it’s not a bad legacy for a donut to have, is it?


This donut is a good place to start your morning, or your donut-making career. It’s a fairly simple recipe that yields good results, and with a little practice, can be your go-to recipe when you need a quick fix. ~Jessica


4-5 cups bread flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 dashes of salt
½ cup sour cream
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk


Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and sift it into another bowl. Add the beaten egg to the dry mix, then add the sour cream and the buttermilk to the mixture and stir it all in lightly. You may need more buttermilk or flour to get the dough to a workable mix. This varies based on temperature and humidity, and the dough should resemble bread dough when you’re finished. That is, it shouldn’t stick to your hands when you touch it, but it should be moist enough to remain flexible. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

Knead this mix lightly, then roll it out to about 1/4 of an inch. Then, take your donut hole cutter-a simple circle with a removable center-and press out your donut shapes, reserving the holes for a later frying. The cutters are inexpensive, and worth having on hand, but a floured drinking glass could be used, too.

Set your fryer for 375 degrees, and when the oil is ready, put four to six donuts in the basket, depending on the size of your equipment. This can also be done in a deep pot, but I find the precision of the fryer worth the money, especially if you’re going to make donuts very often at all.

Let the donuts cook for around two minutes on one side, then check one. If it’s golden brown, the shade I prefer, flip it over with a large chopstick or wooden skewer, and let that side cook another two minutes.

Once the donuts are finished, remove them to a cooling rack or a plate lined with paper towels, being sure to drain them thoroughly before serving. You can coat the top with butter and then sprinkle them with powdered sugar, cinnamon, or eat them plain.

Thank you for
joining us today, Jessica!
~ Cleo


The first book in Riley Adams' Memphis Barbeque series, Delicious and Suspicious, will be released July 6. To celebrate its upcoming release, Riley is throwing a giveaway! :) Are you interested in winning Williams-Sonoma’s Ultimate Grilling Rub Collection? It’s easy to be entered! Just send us an email to with “Contest” in the subject line.
Grilling Rub Collection Really, really want to up your chances? You’ll get one extra entry if you follow us on Twitter, one extra if you subscribe to our posts (in the right hand sidebar under “Subscribe”), and one extra for becoming a follower (by clicking the “follow” button in the right hand column under our book covers and blog roll.) Just send us an extra email at and let us know what you’ve signed up for. If you’re already a follower or subscriber, let us know that, too!

Comments for Jessica welcome!
Just hit the comment link below...