Baked Doughnuts (AKA Testing my New Toy)

I bought a new toy. I was searching online for a bundt pan that was a perfect replica of the shape of half a pumpkin… I failed. After about an hour of searching I gave up. I no longer believe in the existence of a half-pumpkin shaped bundt pan. However, in my fervent searching for the non-existent pumpkin-pan, I came across a doughnut pan. “A doughnut pan” you ask? Yes, a doughnut pan. It looks like a cupcake pan but instead of little cups to fill with cake batter there are little round doughnut shapes. I had to buy it. It was a wonderful day when the pan was delivered to my front door. I love getting packages. I love new baking toys. I love baking.

The pan came with cake recipes on the back but the reviews for the recipes said that the doughnuts turned out dry, so I used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe. The recipe is from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolate-Cupcakes/Detail.aspx. I love this recipe because it makes a dense, moist cake and it is super easy. No last-minute trips to the store for buttermilk or 70% cocao required.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the doughnut pan very well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk

Directions:

 Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. Then cream together the butter and the sugar. I was a little discouraged the first time I creamed these together because it didn’t seem like there was enough butter. It took a long time but just keep at it. Trust me the butter and sugar will combine. Then beat the eggs in one at a time and add the vanilla. Here is what it should look like…

Then alternate beating the dry ingredients and the milk. Once combined, fill a pastry bag with the “doughnut” batter. (If you don’t have a pastry bag you can just do what I do and fill a plastic freezer bag with the batter and cut off the corner- works like a charm). Pipe the batter into the pan and pop it into the oven (middle rack please) for 18 minutes. Once they are done let them cool completely in the pan. Then just dump them out.

I’m sure you can eat them as is. However, I like my doughnuts with frosting and sprinkles so I decorated them.

Don’t they look yummy? I made them on a satuday afternoon. Dan ate four of them for breakfast on Sunday. They are all gone now. It is still Sunday. I guess they tasted good.

Advertisements

THE walnut chocolate chip cookie

I was sitting in my cubicle at work, eyes fixated at the computer screen and hands wildly typing away when I heard my name being called. I looked up and knew that my world would never be the same. No… it wasn’t some incredibly hansom Ryan Reynolds look-a-like begging me to leave my (wonderful) husband and whisk me away to a life of luxury. It was a co-worker with a cookie. A REALLY BIG cookie.

She had just gotten back from a trip to New York and a visit to a bakery called Levain. I guess their cookies are somewhat famous. Living on the opposite coast from this amazing confectionery – I had never had the opportunity to be exposed to them. My co-worker knew I loved to bake and brought me one. These cookies are thick, soft and dense without being overly sweet or chewy.One bite and I NEEDED the recipe. 

After searching online I found that the bakery has a website. www.levainbakery.com. Alas, they do not share their cookie recipes – although they encourage people to try to make them and even include links to other’s copy-cat recipes.

I looked at a few of the sites, combined their ideas and came up with my own version. My recipe is similar to the one from http://lisamichele.wordpress.com/2008/05/28/my-much-talked-about-levain-bakery-copycat-cookie-recipes/. – Thank you to Lisa Michelle!

I baked up a batch and handed one to my husband (handing one of these cookies to someone is not an easy feat -it’s like lifting a hand weight). He took a bite and looked like he wanted to marry me all over again. These cookies have become a regular request by him whenever he is craving something sweet.

Without further adieu THE Walnut Chocolate Chip recipe:

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees:

2 sticks cold cubed unsalted butter

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

3 and 1/4 cups flour

3/4 tsp sea salt (you can use table salt- My husband likes little salty bits in his cookies)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups Guittard semi-sweet chips

1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream the butter and sugars until they are well combined and kind of fluffy (be prepared to get an arm workout here). Then add the eggs one at time and beat until combined. Beat in the vanilla.

Dump in the flour, salt, baking soda and powder. Take a big wooden spoon and mix the ingredients until combined. It should make a very thick paste without being too sticky. An easy way to tell if you have it right is to ask yourself if you forearms are about to fall off. If they are burning- the dough is probably fine. Just when you thought your arms get to relax- mix in the chips and walnuts. Now, your arms can take a break. It should look like this…

Wash your hands, take off any rings because if you lose them in this dough you are NEVER getting them back! Now, form 12-15 big round lumps and place the on a lightly greased cookie sheet (I found that an insulated sheet works well but I’m sure a regular sheet will work fine too).

Bake the cookies until very lightly browned (about 23-25 minutes) check them after 17 minutes as oven temperatures vary. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes to set. I prefer to eat these monstrous cookies at room temperature but go ahead and eat them warm if you like. Just know that eating more than one of these will wreck any weight loss progress you have made in the past decade. Enjoy!