Favorite food: Homemade cinnamon doughnuts

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One of my favorite things is waking up on a lazy Saturday, when you have nothing planned, and nowhere to go. You have an entire day to spread out, stay in your PJ’s, get some chores and homework done, and actually…finally…relax after a long week. It really is the greatest.

Because I’m getting old and can’t sleep in as long as I used to, I tend to wake up pretty early on the weekends, even when we have nothing to do. J likes to sleep a little longer, which means I occasionally have an hour or more to myself. While I definitely fire up the coffeemaker during this time, and get cozy on the couch with some Pioneer Women re-runs, I occasionally will work up the motivation to make J and myself a nice, special weekend breakfast. J is normally the breakfast-maker in our house – he’s the king of bacon-frying, pancake-flipping, and waffle-making (especially the homemade kind) – but I know how to make one thing: homemade doughnuts.

Specifically, these baked cinnamon doughnuts from the Barefoot Contessa. I’ve made a few doughnut recipes over the years, including some made from fancy box mixes. But I love these because they’re relatively quick and easy, and require only basic baking ingredients I nearly always have on hand.  Plus, they’re baked, which means they’re slightly better for you, and I can make them with the fancy doughnut pan from our wedding registry (we had our priorities in the right place).

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Gather your tools:

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbl butter, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla

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Making them is easy. Combine your dry ingredients in one bowl, your wet ingredients in another. Mix, stirring with a spoon or spatula (no mixer required!). I’d say the dough is slightly thicker than cake batter, and just as awesome. I use the “two spoons methods” of getting the dough into the doughnut pan, though there’s typically some (a lot of) spillage. Oh well! Oh, don’t forget to grease your doughnut pan with some baking spray or Crisco – if you forget, you’re likely to have trouble evicting your doughnuts from the pan (though after a few batches, any attempt at greasing the pan become fruitless and your doughnuts will inevitably be imperfect).

They bake for 17 minutes. Let them cool a few minutes in the pan before turning them out onto the cooling rack.

The original recipe tells you to melt some butter and dip your doughnuts there before dunking them into a cinnamon-sugar mixture. I find that this makes the topping super clumpy and way too buttery (J is a fan of eating straight-up butter, I am not). Instead, I dip the “messy” side of the doughnut (the side that was facing down in the pan) into the cinnamon and sugar – it sticks just fine.

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Enjoy your freshly baked doughnuts with a big cup of coffee while you watch the flakes fly. Side benefit: your house will smell AMAZING first thing in the morning, and when he does finally stumble out of bed and finds a heap of doughnuts in the kitchen, your husband will think you’re super cool.

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