Valentine's Day Breakfast: Cinnamon Sugar Breakfast Puffs

Everyone gets caught up in the perfect Valentine's Day dinner -- but today, it's time to consider the perfect Valentine's Day breakfast.

Cinnamon Sugar Breakfast Puffs are the only way to start off Valentine's Day right: they're easy to make, and are light, sweet, and buttery all at once.

>>RELATED: Pair these little puffs with the perfect hot chocolate.

You don't want to overwhelm your loved one's day with too many activities. Save the ultimate gesture for that dinner at the end of the night. But a small act of kindness will get you just as far when that special someone wakes up to the scent of sugary, cinnamon-y, homemade, baked-not-fried doughnut holes.

>>RELATED: No need to go out on Valentine's Day -- make that steakhouse dinner at home.

The browned butter adds an unforgettable nuttiness lest you worry that these little babies are too sweet, and the tiny bit of orange zest lends brightness. All it takes to wow your Valentine is a quick whipping of wet and dry ingredients and a brief 20-minute stint in the oven.

Serve these little ones warm -- it's the best and only way to enjoy them.

>>RELATED: Save room for a slice of chocolate cake.

Cinnamon Sugar Breakfast Puffs

Makes 12

The Breakfast Puffs

1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground ginger
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

The Cinnamon-Sugar Coating

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

1. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the 1/3 cup butter, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and nutty smelling. Pour into a mixing bowl and allow to cool completely to room temperature.

2. Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour a 12 cup muffin tin.

3. Add the sugar and egg to the cooled butter. Beat with an electric mixer until all creamed together.

4. In a separate little bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and zest. Add the dry ingredients in increments to the butter-sugar mixture, alternating with the milk and beating well after each addition.

5.
Divide the batter evenly into the cups of the muffin tin. Pop into the oven and bake until golden brown and fragrant, about 20-25 minutes.

6. While the puffs are puffing, put the melted butter in one shallow bowl and combine the sugar and cinnamon in another one. When the puffs come out of the oven, use a knife to gently pop them all out of the muffin tin.

7. One by one, dip each puff in the melted butter - get it all over it - then roll it in the cinnamon sugar. Transfer it to some lovely, festive serving platter, and continue until you have rolled all of the puffs. Serve warm - they are by far the best when they are still warm - with coffee, and mimosas, and other goodies.

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Photo by Nicole Franzen