In elementary school, nothing said peak winter like a snow day. As much as I looked forward to not going to school, pretending to help shovel the driveway, and frolicking with my dog in the backyard, my favorite part was making donuts with my mom. Real donuts, you guys! Not the baked nonsense I make these days. Real-life, fried rings of dough.
Today I'm pretty off-put by frying in my tiny kitchen with a 10" skillet. Been there, done the hot oil burns. And while I firmly believe there's no substitute for what you're craving (eat real cheese! fake cheese will only leave you sad and lonely), it's also nice to occasionally lighten up your most indulgent favorites.
During last weekend's New York blizzard, I decided I had to make donuts, just like my mom — minus the terror of actually frying them. While real donuts are obviously better, for me, baked donuts exist in their own class. You can't compare them to a fried dough ring (clearly the winner), but you can enjoy them for what they are: ring-shaped cakes with frosting. These particular cakes bow down to winter citrus and are topped with a pink glaze that you simply must cover with the sprinkles of your choice. They're not as good as my mom's, but I feel less guilty eating two in a row every time I decide to dig in.
For the vanilla bean baked donuts:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons milled flaxseed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup vanilla agave nectar (or use maple syrup and double the vanilla)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 blood orange
- 1 vanilla bean
For the blood orange glaze:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
- Juice squeezed from half of a blood orange.
Yields 6 donuts
- Add water to the flaxseed and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Add flour, salt and baking soda to a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Add coconut oil, agave nectar, vanilla and flaxseed to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Zest a blood orange and stir into the batter.
- Slice a vanilla bean pod lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, an stir into the batter.
- Grease your donut baking pan with coconut oil. Divide the batter evenly among six donut wells in the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until just golden brown.
- While the donuts cool, whisk together your glaze. If it's too runny, you can always add more powdered sugar (or more blood orange juice or milk if it's too thick.
- Place the glaze in a small bowl. Dip the donuts, then place on a wire cooling rack. If too much glaze soaks into the donuts, you can always drizzle more on top.
- Decorate with sprinkles of your choice (optional; highly recommended; sprinkles are the best).
Photos and text by © Theresa Berens, 2016. Donut recipe adapted from Detoxinista. All rights reserved.