I don't think it's a stretch to say that I learned to bake in self-defense. I grew up surrounded by Ring Dings, Devil Dogs, Oreos and Chips Ahoy cookies - sickeningly sweet and processed. A layer of cheap industrial plastic was always between me and my dessert. By the time I was eight I couldn't take it anymore.
One Sunday morning, I woke up before dawn, tiptoed into the kitchen, cracked open an old cookbook and began to assemble ingredients. I pulled out the rotary beater and began mixing. I couldn't resist. I loved the way the flour fell into the bowl and the way the ingredients came together. I scooped the batter into the muffin cups, placed them in the oven and waited patiently.
The French Breakfast Puffs were perfect and smelled divine. I carefully rolled each Puff in butter, then cinnamon and sugar and poured myself a big glass of milk. I remember feeling thrilled over my success. I sat at the kitchen table triumphantly chomping on the muffin while perusing one of my favorite childhood books.
Because the muffins were so easy I felt justified in tackling pancakes and then cookies and then cakes. As you can see, things have only intensified since then.
Now, of course, I'm a huge advocate of teaching children how to bake. Not only is it fun but it teaches them precision, patience, experimentation and they can even learn about science.
Did you bake when you were a child? What was your first recipe? Do you let your kids bake now? If not, I definitely recommend this as a starter recipe. I've talked to many people who have said that French Breakfast Puffs was their first recipe too. It's extremely easy and pretty much guaranteed to be a success on the first try. (They're delicious for adults too). I hope you and the children who are part of your lives enjoy them.
French Breakfast Puffs
204 g flour (1 1/2 c)
95 g sugar (1/2 c)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
121 g milk (1/2 c)
76 g melted butter (1/3 c)
51 g sugar (1/4 c)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
76 g melted unsalted butter (1/3 c)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, 95 g sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine vanilla, egg, milk and melted butter. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and mix just until blended.
Lightly grease muffin cups or line with muffin papers. Fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake 20-25 minutes.
In the meantime, melt butter. In a separate bowl combine sugar and cinnamon.
Allow muffins to cool for at least 10 minutes. Roll muffin tops in butter, then sugar.