Sunday, November 13, 2011

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

I've been on a baked donut kick since I bought my donut pan.  I didn't think anything would be as tasty as the chocolate donuts I made, but I was wrong.  These apple cider baked donuts blew me away with their flavor and donut deliciousness.  I don't make this claim lightly, as I absolutely *LOVE* the fried version.  So much so I almost didn't try to make these since there was no way I could figure it would result in anything but disappointment.  Wrong.  I *LOVE* this baked version!

Making donuts is so easy I'm not sure I will buy fried ones anymore.  Of course, there are a few exceptions.  Whenever I make a trip home to Buffalo nothing can stop me from getting a Tim Horton's peanut donut.  It's a mystery to me why you can only find peanut donuts in Buffalo.  They. Are. The. Best.  I suppose it's better that they remain a rare, special treat for me.  And then there's the blueberry cake donut.  Can't resist them.  I found a recipe for blueberry donuts I will be giving a try.  We'll see how they stack up.  In the meantime, let me share this recipe with you.  I urge you to make them as soon as possible!

Baked Apple Cider Donuts
Recipe adapted from Squirrel Bakes

2 Cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped apple
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup apple cider
1/3 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease two donut pans and set aside.  In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Set aside.  

Chop apple into small pieces or use food processor to puree and set aside

In a large bowl combine egg, brown sugar, apple, maple syrup, apple cider, yogurt and oil.  Mix until well blended.  

In small amounts add in flour mixture and combine until just moistened.  Spoon dough into donut pan about 3/4 full.  Wipe away any dough on the center part of the donut cavity to  ensure a hole bakes in the middle of the finished donuts.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.  This recipe make a dozen donuts.  They are best when eaten within two days of baking them.

I did not have wheat flour so I used all-purpose four.  This may have made the donuts a bit more absorbent when I glazed and sugared them.  I did some reading on substituting whole wheat for all-purpose flour.  You can do it, but you need to adjust the liquid quantities, which I did not do.  I took my chances and they turned out just fine.  Also, I did not puree the apple.  I liked the idea of chunks of apple throughout the donut, and after tasting them I was happy with my choice.

After reading many recipes for baked cider donuts I could not decide if I wanted to sugar or glaze them.  I decided to do both - half glaze, half sugar.  I mixed up some cinnamon sugar while the donuts were baking.  Also, I mixed up the glaze using confectioners sugar, cider, and a bit of cinnamon.  I did not use exact measurements.  I added enough cider to the confectioners sugar to create a paste like consistency.  I really loved the flavor of this glaze!

Cinnamon Sugar/Apple Cider/Cider Glaze
When the donuts were completely baked, I placed them on a cooling rack with waxed paper underneath to catch the excess sugar and glaze.  To coat the donuts in cinnamon sugar I used a pastry brush to paint liquid cider around the top of the warm donut.  Immediately after applying the cider I used a spoon to sprinkle the sugar on the top of the donut.  I spooned the glaze on top the of the remaining donuts.

Once the donuts were coated with their toppings and still warm, I finished up with the last step.  The tasting. A glass of cold cider. A warm cider donut.  Happiness.

Actually, I misspoke.  The LAST last step was finding a home for the remaining donuts.  Luckily, my husband's office staff are more than happy to take baked goods off of my hands.  I packed them up and (a bit reluctantly) sent them on their way.  

I hope they loved these donuts as much as I did!

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