Friday, February 14, 2014

Baked King Cake Doughnuts {Doughnut Diaries}

So on Sunday, I'm headed to New Orleans.

For an interview that I have on Monday. 

Just a few days before my birthday.

The weekend that Mardi Gras parades start.


Sorry to shout. 

If you follow me on Instagram, I'm just giving you a heads up but I most certainly will not apologize for this -- prepare yourselves for a New Orleans food tour. It's going down. I may have been slightly obnoxious the other day when grabbing lunch with a colleague at McAllister's. They have a muffaletta on their menu that sounded pretty good, but then I was all, "Why ruin a muffeletta for myself when I can be enjoying the best.muffalettas.ever in insertnumberofdayshere."

It happened. It's ok, you can throw shade. 

So what's on my food tour list? O, you know -- Gumbo, shrimp po' boys, beignets, Hurricanes, muffalettas, boudin, gator, oysters, crawfishAbita, an Old Fashioned and Sazerac, and all the sights and sounds like Tabasco Country Store, the Mississippi River, French Market, Saint Louis Cathedral, Marie Laveau's tomb, the Natchez, Bourbon Street, parades, and so.much.more. This actually isn't my first trip to the Crescent City, there are just so many things I want to do but time simply won't permit. Hopefully I'll be able to visit all the things I want at leisure if I end up in the Big Easy!

While playing the waiting game, I've attempted to immerse myself in all things New Orleans. Before you know it, those gaudy, pre-fab, King Cakes will be hitting grocery store shelves near you. May I suggest another alternative? How about making your own BAKED KING CAKE DOUGHNUTS???

Sorry -- I'm shouting again. But for reals though -- King Cake is actually quite delicious and the tradition behind its existence is pretty awesome too. Which version is accurate, I do not know but you can read about its history here, here, here, and here.  

Where was I? O. Right. Baked King Cake Doughnuts. Would you believe Krispy Kreme even has their own version?? I can assure you that those babies ain't baked! To round out all things King Cake, I should also mention that Blue Bell makes Mardi Gras King Cake Ice Cream. I haven't had any luck finding it in Virginia, but I expect it's a regional flavor. Maybe I'll swing through a convenience store and snag a pint since I'll probably be famished while in New Orleans . . . HA! 

Why didn't I just make the normal King Cake ring? Well, because. Yeast. Know what I ain't got time for? 

That. I do not have time for that. Cue the doughnut pan.

Baked King Cake Doughnuts 

What You'll Need (~ 6-10 doughnuts, depending on how much you fill each cavity)
    Doughnuts (adapted from Fit, Fun & Delish who adapted them from Ina's Foolproof)
  • Baking spray
  • 1 C flour all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 C + 1 tbsp. whole milk
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

    Frosting (adapted from theKitchn who snagged it from Cooking Up A Storm)
  • 1 & 1/2 C confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 - 3 tbsp. almond milk
  • Purple, green, and gold sprinkles/sugar -- optional, but suggested!
  • Plastic babies (found in the Mardi Gras/baby shower section(s) at Party City)

How To Make Them
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two doughnut pans (6 cavities each) with baking spray and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix your dry ingredients. 
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix your wet ingredients.
  • Add your wet mixture into your dry mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Spoon your doughnut mixture into each cavity, filling each one about 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes or until doughnuts are lightly brown on top/toothpick pulls clean.
  • Cool in pans for five minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack.

  • While your doughnuts are baking, mix together your ingredients for the frosting.
  • After doughnuts have cooled in the pan for five minuets and on a cooling rack for five minutes, dip your doughnuts into the glaze and sprinkle with purple, green, and gold sprinkles/sugar, etc. Plop your plastic babies in the center and bam. Done!
  • Tip -- If your frosting is too thin, add more confectioners sugar. If your frosting is too thick,  add more almond milk. Taste and adjust accordingly. 

Isn't that cinnamon/almond combo just divine!

Happy carnival season, peeps! Geaux enjoy some King Cake Doughnuts!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chocolate Bourbon Cups

Let's chat bourbon. Better yet, let's chat about putting bourbon in your baked goods. 

For reals though -- you can't go wrong.

What can I say? I love booze with my sweets. 

On Super Bowl Sunday, I made my first batch of these bad boys inspired by the ones that Minimalist Baker made a few days before. This week, I made a few tweaks and gave them as gifts to my preceptor and the other student I was on rotation with. Often I go a little overboard with the alcohol/sweet combo (evidence = Car Bomb Cupcakes), but with these I stayed a little more reserved since they're a tad on the rich side. Feel free to modify the filling as you see fit.

Chocolate Bourbon Cups

What You'll Need (for ~18 large cups)
  • 16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (I have baking squares and Trader Joe's Semi-Sweet Chips -- I prefer TJ's chips because they melt faster and are pretty inexpensive. I keep a couple bags on hand)
  • 1/2 C unsalted, raw almond butter (I use Woodstock -Foods' All Natural Raw Almond Butter, unsalted)
  • 1/4 C creamy peanut butter (I use Jif's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. bourbon (I use Bulleit Bourbon)
  • Sea salt or kosher salt for garnish
  • Cupcake liners and cupcake pans
  • Melon ball scoop and measuring spoons

How To Make Them
  • Line your cupcake tins with liners and set aside.
  • Combine almond butter, peanut butter, maple syrup, salt, and bourbon with a rubber spatula or whisk in a medium-size mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Melt your chocolate using a double boiler or the microwave method (in 20-30 second increments). 
  • Spoon 1 and 1/2 tsp. of chocolate into each cupcake liner. Place your tins on top of a towel and tap on the counter a few times to ensure the chocolate is evenly distributed. 
  • Place your tins in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the chocolate to set up.
  • Next, using your melon ball scoop or 1/2 tbsp. measuring spoon, place 1 scoop of nut butter mixture onto each chocolate disc. Using the back of a spoon, spread out nut butter mixture almost to the edge of your liner.
  • Pop in the fridge for another 10 minutes -- during this time, make sure your chocolate has not hardened. If so, pop back in the microwave and melt. If your chocolate is looking a little low, add a little more to it and melt.
  • Now you're ready for your last layer of chocolate! Spoon 1 and 1/2 tsp. of chocolate over your nut butter mixture or enough to cover the nut butter. Tap on counter to evenly distribute chocolate and sprinkle a little kosher salt on each cup.
  • Place tins back in the fridge for 15 minutes, allowing the chocolate to set. 
  • Remove from fridge and store in wide-mouth jars or in a tupperware container!

Feel free to change up the chocolate based on preference (dark, milk, white, etc.). You can also modify the filling and the type of bourbon you use. A lot of fillings use a peanut butter, confectioners sugar, softened butter combo -- I wanted to keep them as 'clean' as possible, so I opted for the method above.

I was able to fit five cups in a wide-mouth pint jar, made a simple tag for the top, and gave them as gifts! You can download the jar topper here.