Friday, July 13
Because I can easily inhale several bowls in one sitting, I try not to eat pasta very often. So if I know that I'm going to turn into a whiny, lethargic sloth for several hours, I like to be prepared. This preparation includes lots of strategically placed pillows on the living room floor, a few favourite movies (Thank you, Netflix, for being the best invention since pay-at-the-pump), and of course, any dessert that's just as coma inducing as pasta.
And because shame loves company, pasta-sugar-movie night is the perfect time to have friends over. If I have a garlicky, Parmesan-laced bowl of pasta in front of me, I can even put up with watching the occasional romantic comedy. (I just go to my "happy place..." the pasta comes with.)
On just such an evening, I made these adorable mini doughnuts. It's equally adorable that mini versions of desserts come off as innocent and inconsequential. At least they're baked. That counts for something, right?
I don't care, really. They were spectacular!
Earlier this summer I won a Williams-Sonoma gift certificate from Laura, of the beautiful blog, Tutti Dolci. Along with a pie crust protector (the baker's version of a pocket protector), I bought a mini doughnut pan. I am in love with both!
I scoured the foodie sites for mini doughnut recipes, but since they're basically all the same, I decided to just use the recipe that came with the pan. (Because I knew it was there the whole time.)
I was a little bit worried that these might end up on the dry side, but they were surprisingly moist! Fueled with enough sugar craving, the doughnuts could be enjoyed even without the glaze. And speaking of the glaze, feel free to use any kind preserves. Or, if you prefer, you can brush the doughnuts with melted butter and roll them around in cinnamon and sugar.
Doughnuts are almost as fun to decorate as cookies. And thanks to their unassuming fluffiness, it's quite alright to enjoy more than your fair share. ;-)
Apricot-Glazed Mini Doughnuts
makes about 30 mini doughnuts
for the doughnuts
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Grated zest of one lemon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
for the glaze
1/4 cup apricot preserves (well-stirred)
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly spray the wells of a mini doughnut pan. [Note: Mine pan has 12 wells.]
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the granulated sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingertips to work the zest into the sugar until it becomes moist and fragrant; Set aside, allowing the mixture to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
In a separate, medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.; Set aside.
In another separate bowl (or a measuring cup), whisk together the buttermilk and whole milk; Set aside.
Add the butter to the stand mixer bowl containing the lemon/sugar mixture. With the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar mixture together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg. Beat for about 1-2 minutes.
On low speed, add the flour mixture in three separate additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Only beat each addition until just blended. (Try not to over-mix, or the doughnuts will be tough.)
Pour a scant Tablespoon of batter into each well. [Note: I found that it was much easier to use a piping bag fitted with a large, plain tip.] Don't overfill the wells, the batter should just reach the edges.
Bake for 5-6 minutes, or until the doughnuts spring back when lightly touched. [Note: The original recipe said 8 minutes, but I found this to be far too long. The doughnuts will be pale, not golden brown.]
Remove the pan from the oven and allow the doughnuts to rest for about 2 minutes before inverting the pan onto a cooling rack. Once all the doughnuts have been removed, wash, dry, and re-spray the pan, and repeat until all the batter is gone.
Cool the doughnuts completely before dipping them into the glaze.
Prepare the glaze: In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the apricot preserves, confectioners' sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. If it's too thick, add a splash more lemon juice. If it's too thin, add about 1/4 cup of confectioners' sugar. The glaze should be on the thin side, but feel free to add even more sugar if you prefer a more frosting-like consistency. Dip each doughnut into the glaze and set them on a wire rack with a sheet of parchment paper placed underneath to catch any drippings.
The little gems are best enjoyed on the day they are made. If you want to keep them overnight, store them in an airtight container.
Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma