Monday, February 14, 2011

Chocolate Glazed Baked Doughnuts

I think I have been craving donuts since I saw the movie No Strings Attached, which was almost a month ago. If you haven't seen the movie there is a section where Natalie Portman eats a huge box of donut holes. This scene was not a dainty one-donut hole at a time kind of meal. I am talking about a down-in-the-dumps, eating by yourself, powdered sugar on your shirt kind of chow session. Now you want donuts too, don't you?

So this morning I decided to just do it, I figure if I bake donuts I will feel a little better about eating one...or two!

If your looking at this picture thinking its too much work for the early morning, its not. I promise its a quick prep, short bake time, and a great reward in the end.

Chocolate Glazed Baked Doughnuts

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp butter, chilled
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp whole milk
2 tsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease donut pan, if you don't have one use a muffin pan or mini-bundt pan. In a large bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar; whisk till completely mixed. Using a pastry cutter or two forks cut the butter into the dry mixture till a course texture is formed. In a small saucepan heat milk till simmering, set aside. In a medium bowl combine egg, yogurt (I used sour cream because I didn't have any plain yogurt), vanilla, and warmed milk; mix till incorporated. All at once add wet mixture into the dry ingredients and blend just until incorporated, do not over mix. Spoon mixture into donut pan and bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick entered in center of a donut comes out clean. Remove and let cool in pan for 5 minutes; flip pan over and let donuts cool completely on metal rack.

For the glaze, in a medium saucepan combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla. Heat over medium until butter is melted, remove and add chopped chocolate. Whisk mixture till chocolate has melted, if it starts to separate (it did for me) add the confectioners' sugar and keep on whisking! While glaze is still hot, dunk the tops of donuts into the glaze and let cool till dry to the touch. This recipe makes ~8-10 full-size donuts. Enjoy!

I adapted this recipe from the yummy JoytheBaker!

When I made the batter, I thought it looked a bit too thick and when the donuts baked I thought they looked all ugly and bumpy, so if yours looks like this, don't worry! In the end they were springy and moist, just like a good cake donut should taste like! The chocolate glaze was delicious and for lack of a better phrase, the true icing on the cake!

I am super excited about my next post, lets just say I was channeling my inner Julia Child for Valentine's Day!

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...Peanut Butter and Cinnamon Waffles

I love Wordless Wednesdays, it is perfect timing because I am getting super busy at work with the upcoming launch (attempt) of my Shuttle mission. 

If you remember I talked about the Shuttle launch that was supposed to happen in October which got delayed to November...then December...and here we are in February. Launch of STS-133 is set for February 24, mark it in your calendars and tune in to NASA TV to watch one of the last Space Shuttle missions ever!

I made these waffles over the weekend and I can't recommend them enough! They have a wonderfully sweet cinnamon taste mixed with the addition of the salty peanut butter, this waffle is a winner! Check out Steph's Bite by Bite for the recipe.

Not so "wordless", sorry!

Happy Baking!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Need a last minute recipe for the Big Game?

Well this cookie is perfect for the guys on game day with your classic chocolate chip cookie combined with everyone's favorite...BACON!

Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookie

2 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
10 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat and set aside. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl beat butter on medium speed till creamy. Add in sugars and vanilla and beat till fully incorporated, scraping sides and bottom as necessary. Add in eggs one at a time just til incorporated in mixture. Slowly add in flour mixture to wet mixture, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Toss in chocolate chips and bacon, mix by hand with a spatula until batter is even.

To make large cookies, roll into 1.5 inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until cookies are golden brown. This yields 3 dozen cookies. For small cookies, drop by tablespoon-full onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes, this yields 5 dozen cookies. Cool cookies for 2 minutes on pan, then cool completely on metal rack.

I like my cookies on the larger size which gives a slightly crunchy outside, but gooey-chewy inside!

This recipe is an adaption of my favorite chocolate chip cookie, which has changed so much over time I can't tell you where it really started!

Happy Baking!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Valentine Brownie Pops

I love making baked goods for Valentine's Day, everything is so fun and super cute! I don't know when chocolate and this holiday started their relationship, but I am glad they did!

Yes, I am one of those lovey-dovey people at Valentine's Day. Since I warned you, no getting angry at me! 

Now, to me nothing says love like a big box of chocolates. (insert subtle hint to hubbie here) OR a bunch of these super cute brownie heart pops!

Although, I don't know if these pops are going to make it to Valentine's Day...much less past this three-day weekend! Yep that's right, Houston had a "snow" day! With the threat of 1-3 inches of snow and below freezing temperatures, the Space Center closed. Woohoo!

Valentine Brownie Pops

9x13 pan of brownies, cooled
1/2 cup frosting, if necessary
heart shaped cookie cutter
chocolate bark or candy melts
decorative sprinkles
craft or popsicle sticks
styrofoam blocks

Once prepared pan of brownies has cooled, crumble into a large bowl using hands. If using cake-like brownies, add the frosting of your choice. If using fudgy brownies no frosting is necessary. Shape crumbled brownies into the heart shaped cookie cutter and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, set aside.

Melt a small amount of chocolate bark or candy melts according to package directions. Dip the tips of the craft sticks into the melted chocolate, then gently insert one stick into each heart shaped brownie. Place the baking sheet with the brownies and sticks into the freezer for a few minutes to harden. Meanwhile prepare a large amount of chocolate bark or candy melts in a narrow bowl or cup (I used my glass measuring cup). Dip brownie pops into melted chocolate and gently tap on the side to remove excess chocolate. Place pops standing upright onto styrofoam blocks and let dry completely. If using sprinkles, decorate while chocolate is still wet. If you want to write on the pops pour melted chocolate into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (I used Wilton #2). 

If you are looking to decorate a bouquet of these babies, check out the cake pop tag templates that Bakerella has been working on, they are super cute! OR If you are out of popsicle sticks, check out Confessions of a Cookbook Queen she made these adorable candy melt stands for her brownie hearts!

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Avocado Wheat Bread

This morning I woke up to no electricity due to some terrible thunderstorms in Houston.

First thing I thought am I supposed to upload my pictures so I can blog today? How long can my iPhone battery last to give that lifeline to Twitter updates and my morning blog readings?

I think you all understand since the whole country is having some kind of weather issues today. My mom in St. Louis had her work close for only the second time since opening in 1955! I wish I could see the blizzard, you know from the inside of a warm and toasty house though.

So, if you are stuck inside today, that is the best time to turn on the oven and start baking! This quick bread is super easy and provides a hearty breakfast option!

Avocado Wheat Bread

2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar substitute (splenda)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 medium ripe avocados, pitted and mashed
2/3 cup plain greek yogurt
2 eggs
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9x5 loaf pan. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; whisk till combined. In a large mixing bowl, combine avocados, yogurt, eggs, olive oil, and vanilla; beat on low till well combined. Slowly add-in dry ingredients to avocado mixture beating only till combined. Spoon batter into prepared pan and even out the top. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick entered in center of bread comes out clean. Cool bread in pan for 5 minutes, then cool completely on metal rack.

Now if you don't like talking about improper things at the dinner table, then close your eyes...this bread batter looks like a disgusting color of baby poo! I was pretty turned off thinking, "how could this taste good?", but after slicing it open it looked and smelled way more appetizing. After I slathered on a Paula Deen serving healthy amount of butter onto this toasted bread it was delicious. It has the texture of a wheat banana bread, but the flavoring of creamy avocados. If you have never had avocado in bread, you definitely need to try this. If you are turned off by sugar substitute, it is exactly that a substitute for the real thing, so feel free to use that good 'ole granulated cane sugar!

Besides the butter on top, this was a great way to start out my day, that is after the power came back on!

Happy Baking!

P.S. I was just kidding about the Twitter lifeline thing...I'm just new...not know...right?
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