Monday, June 3, 2013

Baked Apple Donuts

When I was a kid I spent the night at my best friend's house probably once a week. And a lot of weekend mornings I was visiting their dad would run off to Dunkin' Donuts to pick up a dozen for our breakfast. This was not a tradition my family had and so I just loved it. 
It make weekend mornings special. Ever since then my perfect Sunday morning involves fresh donuts from the place down the street (figuratively, not literally). I reserve it for random weekend mornings now but it's so fun to do. 
In order to make to my weekend fantasies come true at home and on weekdays, I splurged on Amazon. This donut pan arrived in that brown box a few days later. I knew I needed to christen the pan with some fantastic donuts and when I saw this recipe for cinnamon sugar coated donuts I knew it was the winner. 
These donuts are a light and fluffy baked version of the typical fried variety at the store. And baking them is much less intimidating than frying something, which I have an irrational fear of.
I loved them so much I ate 3 one day. They're just too easy to snack on when sitting on  your counter.
The recipe starts off with simmering dried apples in apple juice to get them really plump and tasty. When added to the batter and baked they're succulent bites that really make the donuts awesome.
The original recipe recommends using a pastry bag to get the batter spread evenly into the pan but I didn't want to get something else messy and used a regular spoon and it was just fine.
See how they come out of the oven? Perfection!
Dipping them into cinnamon sugar is just like the icing on the cake; not necessary but so so good.
And how can you deny something that looks this good?
So go on, buy yourself a donut pan and make your weekend (now weekday) dreams come true.
Baked Apple Donuts
makes 12 donuts
  • 1 cup apple juice or cider
  • 3/4 cup dried apples, in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the topping
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

To Make

1) In a small saucepan, bring apple juice and dried apples to a low boil and simmer, uncovered until liquid is all absorbed. Take off heat and let it cool to room temperature.

2) Preheat oven to 325*. Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray. In small bowl, whisk flours, soda, salt and cinnamon. In another, larger bowl whisk together brown sugar, egg, vegetable oil, applesauce and extract. 

3) Add flour mixture to larger bowl and stir until combined. Finally, stir in the dried apples.

4) Spoon mixture into donut pan, until the cup is about 3/4 full. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove and let cool completely on rack. 

5) In a bowl combine cinnamon and sugar. Dip donuts in the sugar, covering completely and shake off excess. Store in airtight container, sugar will absorb into donut. They're best the day of, but good for 2-3 days after. Enjoy!

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