Sunday, October 17, 2010

Globular Clusters

Globular clusters are some of the oldest formations in the universe, older than the galaxies that they are gravitationally bound to. They are tightly bound clusters of several hundreds of thousands of stars; in fact the stars are so close to one another that there are often collisions between stars. It is so dense in the center of the cluster that are hundreds of stars in a region of less that 3 light years wide. This image of M13 is one of the brightest globular clusters in the northern sky; if you have access to a telescope I highly recommend observing it.

These cinnamon sugar cake bite doughnut things will blow your mind. Seriously.

There is this late night bakery in Boulder called Boulder Baked. This place is awesome, they make cookies to order along with grilled cheese and other late night snacks. Its the type of place that I don't go to on a regular basis (thankfully, for my health's sake) but rather its the type that once I "rediscover" it, I'm hooked for a solid 3 days.

I introduced this place to my friend Nick and he became addicted to it, no joke. We would walk to Boulder Baked at 1am during the summer and eat all the cookies before we even made it back home. It's all about the journey not the destination, or something like that. On a few occasions when I would stop by his apartment on my way to class in the afternoon I found him passed out on his couch with a empty box of boulder baked cookies on his lap, a victim of an apparent sugar coma. I wish I had thought to take a picture. Priceless.

Last time I visited Boulder Baked I was feeling impatient about waiting a whole 10-12 minutes for a cookie and found these little cake-like doughnut things in the display case. Biting into them is pure heaven. They are soft and cake-like with a crunchy cinnamon sugar shell.
They have this cake-like taste but with the consistency of a moist doughnut... Its really hard to describe accurately. I knew that I had to recreate these at once. After questioning the guy working behind the counter for about 5 minutes he finally asked me if I was wanting to make them at home. Uh... obviously.

Since they would not divulge their "secret" recipe I turned to the internet. Coming up empty handed, I decided to combine a vanilla cake recipe with elements of a baked doughnut recipe and here is what I came up with:

Globular Clusters (aka Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut-Cake Bites):
(Note: I have no idea what their formal name is so I'm going to call them Globular Clusters--I think it rolls off the tongue easier than Super Yummy Cinnamon Sugar Two Bite Cake Doughnut Fritter Things)
makes 14

3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 c. melted butter
3/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

For the topping:
melted butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees and spray a muffin tin with cooking oil.
2. Beat together sugar and the egg (~2 minutes).
3. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg; combine with egg mixture.
4. Mix in melted butter, milk, and vanilla.
5. Divide evenly among muffin cups, filling it about a quarter full, and bake for about 10-15 minutes.
6. Once they have been removed from the oven lightly brush the surface with melted butter and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.

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