Monday, February 27, 2017

Doughnuts!


Doughnuts, doughnuts and more doughnuts. More doughnuts that we could possibly eat in one sitting, but with my decision to abstain from eating desserts for 40 days starting Wednesday (the beginning of Lent), I figured it's time to indulge these last few days. 
The period before Lent that is called Carnevale in Italy is called Fasnacht in Southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Alsace region of France, when doughnuts and other fried foods are traditionally consumed. Many descendants of Germans who live in Pennsylvania, (called the Pennsylvania Dutch - although they probably misappropriated the word Dutch from the word Deutsch, meaning German) also celebrate the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday as Fasnacht Day, and eat doughnuts, which they refer to as fasnachts.
The doughnuts my daughter-in-law and I made weren't fried, but baked, and hopefully contain fewer calories. But no promises here.
 If you want calorie-free doughnuts, take a look at these -- they're painted by Wayne Thiebaud, an American artist known for his colorful paintings of pastries, cakes and other foods. 

Fellow blogger Stacey Snacks gave me the idea to make baked doughnuts after she showed the pan she used when she made them. I quickly ordered one online:
But Thiebaud's art was the inspiration for glazing my doughnuts in a medley of colors and flavors - from cinnamon sugar coated, to chocolate glazed, to powdered sugar coated, to lemon glazed, blueberry glazed and blood orange glazed.
My daughter-in-law Beth piped the doughnut batter into the greased doughnut pan using a pastry bag. If you don't have a pastry bag, use a plastic baggie, cutting off a tip at one corner.

They take only 10 minutes to bake and you might be tempted to leave them in longer since they'll be quite pale on top. Don't. The bottoms are much browner and if you leave them in longer, they'll be overcooked and dry.
You also don't want to fill them too high, otherwise you risk losing the "hole" of your doughnut.
Flip them over to cool a bit, and then go to town with the frostings and toppings. I can just imagine sprinkling some chocolate "jimmies" or chopped nuts on top of this doughnut, couldn't you? Why didn't I think of it when I was frosting them?
 Or maybe some coconut on top of this doughnut glazed with confectioner's sugar and the juice of a blood orange.
Invite a crowd over when you make these (or give some to the neighbors as I did), because this recipe gave me about two dozen doughnuts, even though it said it yields 12. 
But who's counting? You've still got a couple of days left before Lent. Make merry and indulge.
And for those of you who don't observe Lent - you have no restrictions. What are you waiting for? 

Want more Ciao Chow Linda? Check out my Instagram page here to see more of what I'm cooking up each day. 
You can also connect with Ciao Chow Linda here on Facebook, here for Pinterest or  here for Twitter. 


Baked Doughnuts

King Arthur's website says this recipe makes 12 doughnuts, but I got 24! My pan was obviously smaller than what the flour company uses.

1/4 cup butter (4 T.)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
3/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
2 2/3 cup King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup milk


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans. 
  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until smooth.
  2. Add the eggs, beating to combine.
  3. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.
  4. Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
  5. Spoon the batter into the lightly greased doughnut pans, filling the wells to about 1/4" shy of the rim.
  6. Bake the doughnuts for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and wait 5 to 7 minutes before turning them out of the pans onto a rack. 
  7. For cinnamon doughnuts, shake warm doughnuts in a plastic bag with about 1/4 to 1/3 cup cinnamon-sugar. For sugar-coated doughnuts, shake doughnuts in a plastic bag with about 1/2 cup non-melting topping sugar (for best results), or confectioners' sugar.
  8. For the chocolate frosted doughnuts, place 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, 2 T. butter, 1 T. plus 1 t. light corn syrup and 1/4 t. vanilla extract into a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir until the chocolate is melted and everything is blended. Microwave for a few seconds longer, if necessary. Add extra corn syrup if needed to make a smooth, shiny glaze. Yield: about 1/2 cup glaze.
  9. Linda's note:
  10. For the paler pink glazed doughnuts, I mixed confectioner's sugar with the juice of 1/2 blood orange, adding enough liquid until it reached proper consistency. For the more vibrant pink color, I mixed confectioner's sugar with some blueberry syrup I made by cooking blueberries, water and a little sugar with a little cornstarch and a squirt of lemon.
  11. For the white glazed doughnuts, mix some confectioner's sugar with lemon juice until proper consistency. For the white powdered sugar doughnuts, put some powdered sugar into a small brown paper bag, add the doughnuts and shake.

Bookmark and Share

11 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

So pretty and tempting!

Cheers,

Rosa

Chiara Giglio said...

lo stampo è perfetto per i tuoi deliziosi doughnuts ! Un abbraccio

Ely said...

I love, love, love these doughnuts. <3 Tasty, colorful and full of sweetness! Oh my, I want one of them, now!! <3 Congratulations <3

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

The doughnuts look so good. I'm sure once Lent is over you'll be making another batch. I really think your treats look so much better than the painting. Have a great week.

Proud Italian Cook said...

These are the prettiest looking donuts and I love that they're baked! All your frostings sound amazing too, these would be hard to resist!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I've never made doughnuts but your baking pan and pretty frosting make me want to try some~ They are beautiful and I love the inspirational painting :)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

What a fun way to enjoy "Fat Tuesday!! Your donuts look amazing! I saw many donut shops were decorating their donuts this year with Mardi Gra colors.

One of the favorite activities that my friend Rosemary and I would do was to drive to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and sit at the counter of Peter Pan Donuts and have coffee and one of their yummy jelly doughnuts. Then we would shop in all the ethnic Polish food stores....fabulous kielbasa and pirogue, among other things.

Janie said...

I don't think doughnuts count as a dessert if you have them for breakfast!

Stacey Snacks said...

OMG! your donuts look so amazing! I would happily buy them!

I love the blood orange icing.......time for more donuts!

:)

Paola said...

These look especially delicious and eliminating the frying is a plus no matter which you you look at it. A nice alternative to cupcakes when entertaining a group. So lovely to see you and your daughter-in-law preparing them together.

Anna and Liz Recipes said...

HI Linda! I gave up sweets for Lent too and wished I had seen your doughnut post sooner. And baked! even better, and I'm drooling over the blood orange frosting.... I can't wait for Easter to come so I back these doughnuts! lol ... thanks for the recipe!
xo Anna and Liz