A mom's journal of the sweet things in her life...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cake Batter Baked Donuts

It seems like baked goods with cake batter is the latest craze out there these days. Not a lot of it appeals to me...cake batter ice cream?!...I dunno. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be opposed to tasting it but I'm just not sure I want to invest my time in making it. But cake batter doughnuts? That are baked? Well, that's easy to get behind. I knew that my kids would love them. These are not 'that much' worse than a typical muffin. Except for the cake mix. And the glaze. And sprinkles. Okay, let's focus on the fact that they're baked and not fried. That's something.
My only beef with these is that they have a very short shelf life. I made them in the morning, and by early evening they looked wilted and unappealing. Perhaps they should be refrigerated? I'm not sure - but if you make them for a crowd or a play date - I'm pretty sure leftovers will not be a problem.
Recipe for Cake Batter Doughnuts
(Source: RecipeBoy)
Yield: 12 regular sized doughnuts or 24 to 36 mini doughnuts
1 cup flour
2/3 cup Rainbow Bit cake mix (or Funfetti)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs, beaten
 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 Tbsp. sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray a doughnut pan with nonstick spry. In large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Stir in milk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter, stirring until incorporated. Stir in sprinkles. Fill large ziploc bag (or a pastry/icing bag) with the batter, snip the corner and fill the doughnut cavities until just over 1/2 full. Do not over fill.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until doughnuts spring back when touched. Cool before glazing.
*For minis - I used my 'mini donut maker' (which works similar to a waffle maker) and bakes them in about 2 minutes. 
Vanilla Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 to 2 Tbsp. milk
extra sprinkles for decorating, if desired
Whisk the sugar, vanilla and 1 Tbsp. of the milk in a medium sized bowl. Add the remaining Tbsp. of milk 1 tsp. at a time, if necessary, to achieve a consistency that is good for dipping.  Dip the doughnuts into the glaze and then place them on a wire rack to set. Finish with additional sprinkles if desired.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Because it was Wednesday, because we had aging bananas sitting on my counter yet again, because you can only make banana bread so many times before you grow sick of it...I decided it was time to start looking for new ways to use up overripe bananas. I know, muffins aren't much of a stretch, but I had to start somewhere. I found a recipe on Allrecipes but ended up changing it beyond recognition. The kids loved them...even my daughter who is my toughest critic ate 4 of them in one sitting. Don't be shy with the chocolate chips. I like to sprinkle the tops with extra chips before baking so that they're even more enticing for the kids. Works every time. 
Recipe for Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
(Adapted from Allrecipes)
Yields: 36 mini muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups of mashed bananas (about 4 large)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line mini muffin tins with paper liners (36 in total). In medium bowl, whisk the flour baking soda, powder and salt. Set aside. In large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, brown sugar, egg, vanilla and melted butter. Stir until well combined. Fold in the dry ingredients, taking care to mix only until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon batter into the muffin tins. Sprinkle with additional mini chocolate chips, if desired.
Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. (I baked mine for 16 minutes total). Allow to cool on wire rack.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chewy Brownies

I saw this recipe for brownies by Cook's Illustrated, which promises a homemade version of the chewy brownie that comes from the boxed mix. This is one of those rare instances where a close approximation to the box mix is a good thing. I altered the recipe slightly by omitting the 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chunks that were to be added to the batter before baking. I prefer not having the texture of the chocolate chunks interfering with the chewiness of the brownies. Also, I don't like my brownies too chocolate-y, as strange as that sounds. There really is such a thing as 'too much of a good thing'. These brownies were a definite hit - with kids and adults alike. Definitely worth a try - they'll wind up in the favorites rotation for sure. 
Recipe for Chewy Brownies
(Source: adapted from Spring Entertaining | Cook's Illustrated | 2012)
1/3 cup dutch processed cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. instant coffee
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups (17.5 ounces) sugar
1 3/4 cups (8.75 ounces) all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 13x9 inch baking dish with foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang. Spray with non-stick vegetable spray.
Whisk cocoa powder, instant coffee and boiling water together in a large bowl until smooth. Add the semisweet chocolate and whisk until completely melted. Whisk in the oil and then the melted butter. Add eggs, egg yolks and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Add the sugar and whisk until incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour and salt and mix until just combined.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted halfway between the edge and the center have a few moist crumbs attached, about 30 to 35 minutes. (I baked mine for 30 minutes.) Allow to cool in pan for 90 minutes.
Using the foil overhang, remove the brownies from the pan and allow to cool completely. Cut and serve. 

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