Monday, April 28, 2014

Maple Bacon Baked Donuts

A few months back, I received a cookbook to review. It was full of gluten-free donut recipes, and I wanted to try at least one before I said anything about the book. But each recipe called for several ingredients that we didn't normally have on hand, and it took a while to compile them all. Eventually, everything was in the larder and we were eager to eat some delicious, home-made donuts.

I whipped up a batch for breakfast one day. They looked really pretty, but they were horrible. Dry and flavorless, despite the insane amount of vanilla in them. What a disappointment. (Celiacs, you have my sincere sympathy.)

So now we had these special donut pans that were taking up precious room in the one small cabinet that we use for baking sheets and muffin and cake pans. I had to use them again (and again), but this time, we were going to skip the gluten-free business and going straight for the good stuff: wheat flour. Real sugar. Butter. Forget the applesauce (every damn recipe in that book had a minuscule amount of applesauce in it). An Internet search revealed a recipe for relatively plain baked donuts flavored with nutmeg and I decided to use it as my base. The nutmeg is key in this recipe--it's what makes the donuts taste like donuts. And since we had a few slices of bacon left over from dinner the night before, I sprinkled them on top, with a layer of maple syrup-flavored glaze in between.

Oh so good!

Ok, so while baked donuts aren't exactly like the fried kind, they are pretty damn delicious. The texture is somewhere between a honey dip and a madeleine. Spongy, but not spongecake. Not at all like a cupcake. I'd love to find a recipe for a denser, cake-donut-type baked donut, but I'm pretty happy to eat these until I find one.

Maple Bacon Baked Donuts (adapted from Joy the Baker)

For donuts:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

For frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Splash vanilla
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 slices bacon, chopped

To make donuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 6-well doughnut pans and set aside. (I use this one by Wilton.)

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and sugar. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk egg, buttermilk, and vanilla together. Add melted butter and whisk again. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir together just until everything is combined and no flour bits remain.

Spoon batter into a small zip-top bag, Squeeze out as much air as possible without squeezing the bag too much and seal. Use scissors to cut off one of the bottom corners of the bag. Pipe batter into as many donut wells as you can fill halfway. If you're using the Wilton pan linked above, you should be able to fill all twelve. Don't overfill, otherwise the donuts will rise too much and the holes will close.

Place pans in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pans to a rack and allow to cool completely before unmolding donuts.

While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze.

To make the glaze, in a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and cream until smooth.

Once the doughnuts are cool, dip top-side-down into the glaze. Return to the wire rack and sprinkle with bacon. Eat immediately, or, if you want to put a couple away, wait until the glaze has set and wrap each donut separately in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Posted on