Alright, so my turkey turned out pretty good. It did. But honestly, it wasn’t great, and that made me a little sad. Just a little. I wanted to make a super fantastic, mouthwatering, irresistible turkey dinner. Instead I made a nice turkey dinner. I think, though, that mostly it was just that the work involved didn’t really give a big payoff. As I said before, I usually just make turkey breast for Thanksgiving, and I’ll be doing that again next year, because in the end, the results were no different.
Why would they be? Something in my brain had me convinced that roasting a whole turkey this year would yield something far different than just roasting a turkey breast. What was I thinking?! They’re basically the same thing! Unless, of course, you’re craving a drumstick…
I brined the turkey using PW’s favorite turkey brine, but I have to be 100% honest and tell you that it didn’t do a whole lot for our turkey.Well, the turkey was juicy, yes, but it didn’t seem to pull any of the flavors from the brine, which was disappointing. I rubbed the whole turkey with a delicious herb butter that we all enjoyed very much, though, and I’ll definitely be doing something similar from now on. All in all, it was a good bird, and definitely a good learning experience.
Anyway, though, our Thanksgiving was wonderful, and dinner was delicious! I also made homemade, creamy mashed potatoes (and totally fried my blender in the process), green beans, sweet cranberry sauce, and (my favorite!) homemade dinner rolls. Not much, but there were only the three of us, and even this was still too much for us. For dessert we had mini pumpkin cheesecakes and pumpkin bread, both with fresh whipped cream.
I had decided a few nights before the big day, though, that I wanted to do something fun for breakfast too. I quickly settled on donuts.
Um, can you say yum?! Donuts are the best thing ever! I. love. donuts. If there are donuts, I can’t resist. It’s a little ridiculous how much I love them.Which is why it’s so ironic that I’ve never made them before… But then again, I never had this pan before:
The hubster got me this adorable mini donut pan a few weeks ago. Mine is made by Norpro, but there are a few other options to choose from. I could hardly wait to try it out, and decided thanksgiving was a great excuse to break it in! I only had to decide on the flavor. I knew I wanted to make either a sweet and cinnamon-y option, or something chocolaty, but it was the hubster who decided because I froze with indecision. He was more intrigued by a spicy chocolate and marshmallow idea, so I went for it, and they turned out really tasty!
I have to admit, though, that these were more time consuming than most of the treats I tend to make. The donuts themselves, as well as the glaze I used, were super easy and fast. I had four dozen donuts mixed, baked, and glazed in about 30 minutes. It was the frosting that took a while. But really, it only added another 30 minutes or so of time, and if you’re not worried about getting your hands a little sticky, then the work is simple too. The donuts themselves, as well as the glaze, can be made vegan and dairy-free (but not the marshmallow frosting).
For these donuts, you’ll need flour, cocoa powder, milk (or soy milk), eggs (or applesauce), melted unsalted butter (or margarine), vanilla extract, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and ground chipotle. If you want to punch up the chocolate flavor, you can also add a little instant espresso powder.
Combine the spices, salt, baking powder, sugar, flour, and cocoa. Stir in the milk, butter, and vanilla, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, and mix until just combined. Scrape the bowl and give a final stir.
To get the batter neatly in the donut pan, I used a piping bag. In order to fill it without a lot of hassle, I just placed it in a tall drinking glass and folded the top of the bag over the edge of the glass.
Bake the donuts at 425 degrees for four to six minutes. They’re done when they spring back lightly to the touch.
While the donuts cool, whisk up a simple glaze consisting of confectioners’ sugar, milk (or soy milk), and vanilla. Just mix all of the ingredients together until smooth and set aside until ready to use.
Allow the excess glaze to drip off, then place the dipped donuts onto a wire cooling rack set over Silpat mats or parchment paper. Allow the donuts to rest until the glaze has set. Once the glaze has set, you can dip the tops into the glaze too, or, if you are going to use the marshmallow frosting, you can just move onto the frosting (these are excellent with just the glaze).
To make the marshmallow frosting, just combine sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar in a large bowl set over a pot filled with a couple of inches of barely simmering water. Whisk the mixture frequently to prevent the egg whites from cooking. Continue whisking until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the mixture on high until it is shiny and stiff peaks form, then stir in vanilla extract.
With clean, dry hands, use a finger to gently touch the donut where the hole should be and pull the excess frosting away. Trust me, this is very simple, and works every time. Or you can leave them completely covered! They’re great either way.
Toasting the tops is very easy, too, though. Just place all of the donuts on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat mat or parchment paper and place them under the broiler to toast. Watch them closely to prevent burning. If you have a super crappy broiler, like me, then you may have to shift the pan around in the oven to get them evenly toasted (what kind of stupid oven on has a strip right down the center for broiling?!?!).
Plus, they ended up being so much faster and easier than I expected that I can hardly wait to make more! If you don’t have a donut pan, I very highly recommend investing in one…soon! It’s very much worth it, and I’ll definitely be sharing more donut recipes. Enjoy!
Mexican Hot Chocolate Donuts
with Marshmallow Frosting
Makes 4 dozen mini donuts
FOR THE DONUTS
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE GLAZE
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk
FOR THE FROSTING
3 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the donuts: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, chipotle, and salt. Stir in the milk, butter, and vanilla, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, and mix until just combined. Scrape the bowl and give a final stir.
Fill a decorating bag with batter and use it to fill each donut ring half full. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the donuts spring back to the touch. Allow to cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before glazing.
To make the glaze: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.
To make the frosting: Combine sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar in a medium bowl set over a pot filled with a couple of inches of barely simmering water. Whisk the mixture frequently to prevent the egg whites from cooking. Continue whisking until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the mixture on high until it is shiny and stiff peaks form, then stir in vanilla extract.
Assemble donuts as directed above.
Recipe by Darla