(From Elaine Magee's new cookbook, Fry Light, Fry Right: Fried-Food Flavor Without Deep Frying)
These are a cross between a fried jelly doughnut and a moist muffin. Fill them with your favorite jelly (mine is boysenberry).
- Place milk in a microwave-safe glass and microwave on high until fairly hot to the touch, about 1 minute. (Or put in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until just hot).
- Place 2 tablespoons of the canola oil along with the cream cheese, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low until blended. Slowly pour the hot milk over the cream cheese mixture, and continue to beat until well blended.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir together 2 cups of the flour and the yeast in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture slowly to the milk mixture and beat on low until smooth. Beat in the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
- Place the dough in a large mixing bowl that has been lightly coated with canola oil or canola margarine. Turn the dough over to coat the entire surface with oil. Cover bowl and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/4 hours.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of the canola oil to the bottom of each of 16 muffin cups. Punch down the dough and split it into 16 equal-sized balls (about the size of golf balls). Using your hands, press each ball into a 1/2-inch thick circle, and then spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons of jelly into the middle. Bring up all the sides of the dough to wrap the jelly, squeezing the dough ends together well to seal. Place each ball in a muffin cup, and roll around to cover the entire surface with oil.
- Let rise in a warm place until almost double in size, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops of the doughnut muffins are nicely browned. Remove from the oven to cool. Top with a vanilla glaze if desired (made with 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 teaspoon water, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract).