Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Delicious Hot Pink Baked Donuts

I'm trying to blog from across the country while on vacation, and the internet service is making this as difficult as possible!  Two days later, I am finally able to get this post up.  I should be able to blog until I return home with no issues now.  We'll see!  So, onto the donuts. 
I've come across some recipes for donuts that really have my curiosity piqued.  I mean, I love donuts!!  The ability to make them at home?  Sign me up!  However, I'm also trying to be mindful of what I eat (especially since I am baking and sampling, essentially ALL THE TIME!) so I thought I'd give some BAKED donuts a try.  They are much healthier than their fried counterparts.  They won't taste at all the same, I understand, but will they taste good?  Armed with a recipe and a donut baking pan I set to finding out!
In keeping with my Pink theme for this week, I settled on buttermilk donuts, which I would dye pink, with an icing glaze and pink sanding sugar.  I think these would be a great breakfast treat to bring to one of the many Breast Cancer Awareness Race for the Cure events that take place around the country.  I've participated in quite a few "walks for a cause" that provide donuts to the racers before and after the event.  Why not a healthier, pretty pink version to promote breast cancer awareness?

Fluffy Cake Donuts (adapted from allrecipes.com)

 2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sat
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon melted butter

Donut Glaze

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a doughnut pan.  In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Beat together until well blended.  Fill each doughnut cup approximately 3/4 full.  Be sure to go all the way around the circle so your baked donut will not end up looking like a "C".  An excellent tip for spreading the batter around the circle of the pan is to pour the batter into a ziploc bag and cut one of the ends off to pipe the donut batter evenly around cavity.  Wipe an residual batter off of the middle part of the donut ring so you will end up with a perfect donut hole in the center. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated oven, until doughnuts spring back when touched. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan. 

To make glaze, blend confectioners' sugar, hot water and almond extract in a small bowl. Dip doughnuts in the glaze and place on a wire rack with waxed paper underneath to catch the glaze drippings.  Sprinkle with pink sanding sugar.

Some final notes about this recipe.  I am not so sure I like the buttermilk taste with the sweet icing.  The tang of the buttermilk, to me, does not match so well with the sugar.  I think the buttermilk may be more suited for a cinnamon sugar/butter topping.  When I make this recipe again I will use regular milk and add cinnamon.  Making baked donuts was a lot of fun, though, and I can't wait to experiment with more flavors such as apple, blueberry, and chocolate!

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