Monday, July 23, 2012

Kid Bites: Baked Donuts

My children must be spoiled.. At least in the "dessert-and-other-sweet-treats" sort of way. Every morning without fail, my son comes downstairs half asleep and asks me through barely open eyes, "Mommy, can we have cinnamon rolls for breakfast?" If I answer no, which is most days of the year, he'll proceed to list his favorite breakfast items (muffins, crepes, french toast, pancakes, scones, etc) hopeful that I'll say "yes" to one of them. Most days I don't (most technically means greater than 50%..) but when I do, the eyes open wide and a big grin spreads across his face..

One such morning happened upon us the other day and my son asked "Donuts?" He was pleasantly surprised when I said, "Sure!" I'd made his day. He was even more excited when I told him he'd be making them.

Always trying to be as healthful as I can while juggling my love of baking and raising two kids, I decided to bake, rather than fry, these donuts. Which is one of the reasons this recipe is so kid-friendly - no pot of splattering hot oil. Another plus - no kitchen appliances needed. Just mix the ingredients together by hand and bake them off. It will take you 10 minutes from start to finish (that's factoring in the kids)!
These donuts were soft and fluffy and a marvelous start to the morning alongside a cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk. Remember that when *baking* donuts, the end product will not have the crispy sort of outer layer that a traditional donut usually does, since we are not frying it. But that was a-okay with my family as they helped themselves to seconds and thirds (which of course, weren't allowed).

Baking with your kids is great fun as long as you know there will be plenty of messes and spills and that preparation time will most likely be at least doubled. But those things are temporary. The memories will last forever.

Baked Donuts
(Recipe by: Leelabean)

Yield: 10-12 regular-sized donuts OR 40-45 mini donuts.

1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
3 T light brown sugar
2 T granulated white sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/8 t nutmeg
1 large egg
3 T oil
1/4 c buttermilk
1 t vanilla extract
2 T maple syrup (you may omit this and substitute an extra tablespoon of sugar, here)

4 T unsalted butter, melted (for coating the donuts in cinnamon sugar)

Cinnamon Sugar

1/2 c granulated white sugar
3 t ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350F. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg. Whisk together until well incorporated and any lumps from the brown sugar are broken up. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and maple syrup, if you are using it. Whisk to form a homogeneous mixture. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the batter is even. Be careful not to overmix.
Liberally coat your donut pan with cooking spray. I used the Wilton regular and mini donut pans. Fill each cavity of the regular-sized donut pans with 2 level tablespoons of batter. Fill the mini-sized donut pan with a heaping 1 teaspoon of batter. You do not want to fill the donut sections more than 1/2 full because they will overflow and look more like muffins sporting a holey bottom than donuts.
Bake the mini donuts for 8-10 minutes and the regular donuts for 10-12 minutes. They will become a golden brown when they are ready and a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the donuts will come out clean. Let them cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
While the donuts are cooling, make your cinnamon sugar by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Take a cooled donut and brush it with melted butter. Then toss it in the cinnamon sugar to coat. These are best eaten the day they are made.

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