Saturday, February 11, 2012

Better Mini Donuts

Alright.  Raise your hand if you splurged on the mini donut maker thinking you could make delightful mini donuts to thrill your children (occasionally, of course).  You then brought it home, made the recipe that came with the directions and were subsequently not thrilled.  The donuts tasted like waffles and you thought: bummer.  Anyone?  Anyone?  I know there's at least one hand up out there.
After that first try, I put the donut maker away - far back in the cupboard and forgot about it.  Then last night my son was talking on and on about how much he loves donuts and how we should really have some for breakfast in the morning.  This woke up my curious brain and I while I was reconsidering the donut maker, I wondered if using something similar to cake batter would get better results.  So, this morning I dug out the donut maker and looked at my various cake recipes and decided to do a little experiment.  I liked the results a lot better than that first disappointing try.  In fact, I would venture to say that if you use enough PAM in the pan, you get pretty close to cake-donut-flavor/texture.  So here's the recipe, for all of you that hung your head in shame for falling for a very unnecessary kitchen appliance (I still can't help you with that sandwich maker from 1998 collecting dust back there too - I got rid of mine ages ago).

Buttermilk Mini Donuts
1-1/4 cup flour
1 Tbls cornstarch (because I add it to all cake and baked goods for smoothness)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
6 Tbls butter (melted)
1 egg + 1 egg white
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup buttermilk
(food coloring is optional but festive)

Since we're not making a fancy cake, just beat all the ingredients together at once until just smooth.
Pour a heaping tablespoon of batter into each donut compartment of hot donut maker.  Cook as directed.  For donuts with a little bit of crispy texture on the outside, spray lots of PAM on the top and bottom of the pan between each batch.  Makes about 4 batches of 7 donuts - maybe 5 if you don't over-pour.

Chocolate Glaze
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 cup powdered sugar

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.  Dip slightly cooled donuts into glaze before serving.

(And yes.  I too am laughing that my previous post was for a very healthy breakfast and this, as my 4-yr-old said after proclaiming it the most delicious breakfast he had ever had, is very unhealthy.  I would argue that it is at least slightly healthier than ordering donuts from your local donut shop.  I am a great believer in moderation in all things.  Variety is the spice of life, as they say.)

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