Monday, June 10, 2013

Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar and Buttermilk Doughnuts

Vanilla Cinnamon Sugar and Buttermilk Doughnuts - made June 2, 2013 from Channeling Contessa
So apparently, last Friday, June 7, was National Doughnut Day.  I didn't know that so my timing is off with these doughnuts because I made them before June 7 and didn't blog them until after.  I should pay more attention to the food calendar but I'm usually indifferent to doughnuts.  I mean, I'll eat it if there's one in front of me and it's fresh (nothing worse than a stale doughnut), if I'm at the airport abominably early in the morning and Dunkin' Donuts is the only one open at that hour, or if I'm in a Vegas casino and happen to pass by a Krispy Kreme and my sweet tooth gives it the beady eye.  But I don't love them enough to go out of my way for one and I don't crave them.  Nothing wrong with a good doughnut but they're not high on my list of diet-breakers.
But for some reason, I did have a hankering for a doughnut last week.  I think it's because I wanted to buy a doughnut pan rather than I actually wanted a doughnut.  Let's face it, it would've been easier to buy a doughnut than to go hunting for a doughnut pan. Yet, it's been awhile since I bought a baking gadget and that just felt....unnatural. I was actually trying not to buy more gadgets but, well, you know.  Sometimes you just have to give in and tell yourself, "it's just a doughnut pan.  Buy it and stop spending all that time and energy wishing you had one." So I did.  I checked that shopping enabler known as amazon but it turns out I could get the same thing cheaper at Michaels by using that week's 50% off coupon.  I don't mind paying for what I want but I'm cheap thrifty enough to get a deal when I can.  And, no, don't ask me why, when I'm not a doughnut person, I want a doughnut pan.  Because it's there.
There were two baked doughnut recipes I found on pinterest that I wanted to try.  First up was this one from Channeling Contessa.  It seemed like a safe bet to start out with because there are very few things that wouldn't taste good rolled in cinnamon sugar.  When I do buy a doughnut from a doughnut shop, I either get the glazed yeasted doughnut (Krispy Kreme), a cinnamon twist (Dunkin' Donuts at the airport) or an apple fritter (calorie bomb from anywhere).  So I had to adjust my tastebuds' expectations because a baked doughnut is more like a cake doughnut than a yeasted, fried doughnut.  This was lighter than the typical cake doughnut but not as light as a yeasted doughnut.  It was pretty good, thanks to the cinnamon sugar, although I admit I didn't go into raptures over it.  I think that was due more to not being a doughnut person though than the actual recipe itself.  It was easy to make and my spanking new doughnut pan worked beautifully to release them intact when I pulled them out of the oven and turned them onto a wire cooling rack.  The first picture has a darker coating because that's the side I dunked in melted butter before dipping in cinnamon sugar.  The picture below is the underside of the doughnut that didn't get the melted butter treatment.  The cinnamon sugar adhered to it just fine though, albeit a little lighter looking in color.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the topping
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean (optional if you don't have a vanilla bean)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°. Spray the doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients for the doughnut batter. In a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and mix until just combined. 
  3. Fill the wells of the doughnut pan 3/4 of the way with batter. Bake for 17 minutes until golden brown and a tooth pick or cake tester comes out clean. Let rest in pan for another 5 minutes and loosen them from the pan.
  4. Set up a bowl for your melted butter, and another for your sugar mixture. For the sugar mixture, combine the sugar and cinnamon first. Then work in the vanilla seeds with the back of a fork. Dip the donut first in the butter on both sides, and then in the cinnamon sugar.

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