Donut Holes with Maple Sauce

Well, December is finally about over.  2015 was a decent year but, after the craziness of a move, I’m ready for an easy 2016.  I have some food goals for the new year but thats a boring post.  You’d rather see donuts, right?

I love donuts but I’m firmly in the Cake Only Donut Camp.  Do not bring a krispy kreme anywhere near me.  I just don’t get the appeal–its like eating a sugary sponge?  Anyway–if you like Krispy Kreme, thats fine.  I just prefer my donuts with some texture.

The downside to donuts?  They are kind of a pain to make.  What with the rolling out and cutting…I love to cook but, come on, I want my donuts first thing in the morning!  I’m not going to wait around for hours!  Its lunchtime by then and I’ve moved on to other food groups.


This recipe to the rescue!  It is the drop biscuit of donuts.  Quick, easy, minimal ingredients…  and yet it delivers everything I want in a donut: the crunchy exterior, pillowy cake interior, and vehicle for other delicious flavors.  In this case, it is a simple maple syrup dipping sauce with just two ingredients.


The recipe makes a pile of donuts and, start to finish, took me about 20 minutes.  winner winner, donut dinner.

 


Donut Holes with Maple Syrup Sauce

Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Vermont Donut Holes

1 cup (8 ounces) milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) melted butter
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons (4 1/2 teaspoons) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Dredging:
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Maple Sauce:
2-3 tablespoons of Maple Syrup (the real stuff!)
1/2 cup of powdered sugar

For the Donuts: Heat your deep fryer to 350, or add enough oil (I used peanut but vegetable oil would work) to a heavy bottomed pan to reach a depth of 1-1.5 inches. Make sure there is plenty of space in the pan above this level as it will bubble up when you add the donut mix.

Combine the egg and milk. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the butter and incorporate.

Drop into the hot oil with a small scooper or set of spoons. I used a number 50 scoop for golf ball sized donuts. If you are using a fryer like I am, put the basket DOWN before you drop the batter in or it will just go right through the basket and you’ll have a mess on your hands.  Fry until golden brown (about 2 minutes per side), flipping with tongs as necessary to get even cooking. Remove to a paper towel to drain, then dredge with the cinnamon sugar mix.

For the Maple Sauce: Combine maple syrup and powdered sugar. Adjust with more syrup if too thick (or more sugar if too thin) to achieve the right consistency for dipping.

Apple Butter Muffnuts

oh, muffnuts. Let me sing your sugary praises. So donutty. So muffiny.  I’ve been thinking about these since the first time I made them about a month ago.  They were amazing but, as I pondered what to do with a big batch of apple butter I’d made, I thought maybe the two were meant for each other.

 

 

As before, the dough came together in a snap and was thick and amazing.  With the extra heavy application of cooking spray, they baked up with a great looking crust and slightly darker than the original version–probably because of the added apple butter.
Then it was time to brush with butter and roll in the cinnamon and sugar.  I didn’t change anything about this step from the original recipe.  My son could barely contain his little muffnut-stealing hands.

 

When I first tried them when they were warm, I was sadly underwhelmed.  The cinnamon and sugar overwhelmed the little bit of apple flavor from the apple butter.  However, they improved as they cooled and the apple started to shine even up against the heavy coating.  If you ever had the great north-midwestern experience of having cinnamon cake donuts with fresh apple cider, these will taste very familiar.

I’m not going to say I’ll never make the plain version again but, if I have my apple butter laying around, I’ll probably opt for this version.

I made just a couple of substitutions to accommodate the apple butter in the recipe:

 

Makes 12

2 3/4 cups (13 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 cup (7 ounces) sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup of Apple Butter

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs

COATING

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray. Whisk flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together in bowl. Whisk buttermilk, melted butter, apple butter and eggs together in separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just combined.

Scoop batter into prepared tin. Bake until doughnuts are lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 19 to 22 minutes. Let doughnuts cool in tin for 5 minutes.

Whisk sugar and cinnamon together in bowl. Remove doughnuts from tin. Working with 1 doughnut at a time, brush all over with melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar, pressing lightly to adhere. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve.

Muffnuts

  
The original name for this recipe is “muffin tin donuts” from Cook’s Country but come on, people–they are just screaming to be called muffnuts. 

This batter came together in a cinch. I always use a one bowl technique for recipes like this. I add all the dry ingredients first and stir them together. Then I add the wet ingredients without stirring until they are all in the bowl. Stir gently until it all just comes together. 

  
You’ll need to liberally spray your muffin tin for this recipe. Both the spray and the (amazingly large) amount of butter in the recipe are going to act together to create a bit of a crispy crust to simulate the fried exterior of a donut. 

  
Once the muffins are done, you melt MORE butter to slather all over them. Then dredge them in a cinnamon sugar mixture. The recipe has you melt and entire stick of butter and make a ton of the sugar mix. I probably only used about 2/3 of each. You are supposed to let them cool for 15 minutes after this last step but you probably won’t. I know I didn’t.  These were AMAZING.  Really close to a donut hole flavor and the cinnamon sugar exterior was just right. A perfect-in-every-way experience. 

  

Muffnuts

Makes 12

2 3/4 cups (13 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 cup (7 ounces) sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup buttermilk

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk

COATING

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray. Whisk flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together in bowl. Whisk buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs and yolk together in separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just combined.

Scoop batter into prepared tin. Bake until doughnuts are lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 19 to 22 minutes. Let doughnuts cool in tin for 5 minutes.

Whisk sugar and cinnamon together in bowl. Remove doughnuts from tin. Working with 1 doughnut at a time, brush all over with melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar, pressing lightly to adhere. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve.