My super sweet 5-year-old nephew gave me a donut pan for Christmas. (Thank you, Shane!!) I had every intention of baking these with him while we were all at my parents’ house for Christmas, but time got away from us. He did wear his tiny apron and boss me around while we made lasagna together though. He said making dinner was a big responsibility and he had a lot of experience, so I just kept my mouth shut and let him be in charge. (Seriously, this boy is so stinkin’ adorable that you’d do whatever he told you to too!)
But back to the donuts. Or doughnuts. Whichever way you wanna spell them, they’re a fun treat to make in your own kitchen. My kiddos started back to school today with tired eyes and a shuffling step. They got kinda used to staying up late and sleeping in over the break, so this was a particularly rough Monday morning. I thought it’d be fun to surprise them with some chocolate cake donuts when they got home. They liked the ones with sprinkles the most. Big surprise. What would life be without sprinkles?
Recipe: Chocolate Cake Donuts
(source: slightly adapted from baking pan packaging)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2/3 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. milk, any fat content
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 Tbsp. hot water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and lightly spray donut pan with cooking spray.
Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk eggs with sugar and vanilla until thick and combined. In another small bowl, combine milk and melted butter. Alternately add the milk mixture and egg mixture to the flour mixture. Mix until the batter is smooth.
Fill donut cups 2/3 full. (Using a piping bag or large ziploc bag with the corner cut off works great here.) Bake 7 minutes for mini donuts. Cool donuts on wire rack while you make the glaze.
To glaze: Whisk water and confectioner’s sugar together until smooth. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of each donut with glaze. If adding sprinkles, do so while the glaze is still wet.
Imagine a dark chocolate peanut butter cup all melted and warm in a mug. Now add a sprinkle of sea salt and a couple of toasted marshmallows to finish it off. Nothing more to say. Mmm.
Recipe: Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
(slightly adapted from Dinner with Julie)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup water
3 cups milk
3-4 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips or 3 oz. finely chopped chocolate
In a saucepan, add the sugar and cocoa and whisk in the water until smooth, then whisk in the milk over medium-high heat. Heat until steaming. Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Let sit for a few seconds, then blend with a hand-held immersion blender or whisk until frothy. Finish with a touch of sea salt and some toasted marshmallows. (Don’t skip this part, because you’ll really be missing out!)
Make no mistake, this could be the best banana bread you ever make. Just look at it. None of those dark flecks of banana that usually abound in banana breads. Just beautiful bread studded with bananas that actually look like bananas. Crazy, I know, but I’m kinda smitten with it. Don’t ya think it’s pretty?
Recipe: Buttermilk Banana Bread
(slightly adapted from My Kitchen Cafe)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup mashed bananas (I use about 3 bananas)
4 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Spray 1 large loaf pan with baking spray with flour, such as Bakers Joy.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla until the batter is well mixed. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, and soda. Mix until well combined. Divide batter into greased and floured bread pans and bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
If you’re looking for a quick appetizer for the holidays, or something to nibble on while dinner’s cooking, this might be it. We’ll be enjoying it with a delicious array of goodies on Christmas Eve at my parents’ house.
I don’t know where this recipe comes from, but I clipped it from a magazine ages ago and it’s been in my recipe binder ever since. It comes together in a snap, and is light and tasty served with some good buttery crackers. I think it’s pretty rolled up into a ball, but you could skip that part and serve it from a bowl instead. Truthfully, I’d enjoy it on a bagel too, and I just may do that if there’s any left by Christmas morning.
Hoping you all have a lovely weekend. Merry Christmas!
Recipe: Cranberry Cheese Ball
1 8-oz. package of cream cheese
2 Tbsp. concentrated orange juice (slightly thawed)
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
zest of one orange (or 2 Tbsp. dried orange zest)
1/4 c. finely chopped pecans + more to finely ground for covering cheeseball
1/4 c. finely chopped dried cranberries
crackers for serving
In the bowl of your mixer, combine cream cheese, orange juice concentrate, cinnamon, and sugar until smooth and creamy. Fold in orange zest, pecans, and cranberries. Spoon mixture into the center of a piece of plastic wrap and mold into a ball. Set aside. In a food processor, finely grind a handful of pecans. Transfer to a plate or bowl. Unwrap cheese ball and roll in ground pecans until coated. Chill until ready to serve.
Oh my gosh, I think this is a fabulous idea! Amanda, from Crafts by Amanda, totally rocks. I get so annoyed by those little plastic bread tags, because I can’t recycle them and I’ve never thought of any way I can use them. Problem solved!
Wouldn’t you love getting a bag of Christmas cookies with one of these little snowmen fastening it closed? Just adorable. Check out Crafts by Amanda for an easy tutorial. You’ve still got time to add these to your holiday treat bags!