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by Heather Harris Brady

A new mini doughnut place opened in a town near us and it is an amazing thing to contemplate a case of 30 gorgeous little designer doughnuts. But what’s a girl to do when she wants doughnuts and they happen to be a good 45 minutes away on a Sunday morning? Just whip some up, of course!

These little doughnuts have greek yogurt, so they are nice and moist – the perfect vehicle for any toppings you can dream up. They’re also baked, so you don’t have to deal with deep frying. In the picture above the white chocolate has mini Guittard chips and the chocolate dip has toffee crumbs. Note – you will need a nonstick mini doughnut pan for these!

Mini Cake Doughnuts, Makes about 18

  • 1/3 c. soft butter
  • 2/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • ¾ t. baking powder
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • 1/3 c. greek yogurt
  • 1-1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 T. milk
  • Toppings of your choice: frosting, glaze, couverture, crushed candy, mini chips, coconut, etc.

Preheat the oven to 375. Cream the butter and sugar together well, beat in the egg and the vanilla.

Beat in half the flour, and the yogurt.

Finally beat in the baking powder, baking soda, remaining flour and milk.

You should have a thick creamy batter. To keep the tins as neat as possible I put the batter in a pastry bag. I also greased the pan REALLY well, especially the upright center part of each impression.

Bake about 10-12 minutes, until light golden brown.

The tops get puffy and a little wonky, but that’s a good thing – more surface area for the toppings! Turn them out to cool.

Assemble your toppings and have them ready. I used 1 c. of white and 1 c. of dark chocolate couverture (melted), as well as toffee bits, mini chips and coconut flakes.

These will keep three to four days at room temperature. Freeze for longer storage.


Four years ago: Strawberry Cookie Cones
Three years ago: Traverse Cherry Pie
Two years ago: Strawberry Lemon Torte
One year ago: Chocolate Pie with Meringue Crust


puffs16_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

It’s no exaggeration to say I’ve had this recipe in the back of my mind for years. When I first read it, in my vintage 1959 copy of The Blueberry Hill cookbook by Elsie Masterston, it jumped out at me. The ingredient list was simple, which leaves space for magic to happen – as writer types say. And magic they are – rising triple or even quadruple in size to puffs of buttery crumb under a veil of more butter and cinnamon sugar.

I made these last Sunday morning for my valentines, and I spread the batter in cute little mini-doughnut pans. If you don’t have those mini-muffin pans would work.

French Breakfast Puffs Blueberry Hill, Makes about 24 mini puffs

  • 1/3 c. soft butter (softened to the consistency of mayo)
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 6 T. melted butter
  • Cinnamon sugar: 1/2 c. granulated sugar mixed with 1 t. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the butter, sugar and egg in a mixer bowl.

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Stir the flour and baking powder together.

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Beat the egg, butter and sugar together well.

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Alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk, 1/3 of each at a time. Beat well after each addition, until its all incorporated.

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Add the vanilla and beat for another minute to a thick creamy batter.

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Grease your baking tin and add the batter. As you can see these little muffin tins are barely 1/2 full.

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Put them in the oven and bake about 20-25 minutes. You might want to watch because it’s pretty amazing – this tin below is the baked version of the above!

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Have your butter and sugar standing by when you take them out of the oven. Loosen the cakes and dunk them, one side at a time, in the butter and then in the sugar.

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Take them straight to the table for a few minutes of silent bliss. The outside is buttery and slightly crunchy from the sugar, while the inside is light and velvety.

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I covered a few in chocolate just to see what would happen. They were, as one might expect, good that way too.

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These aren’t meant to keep, so make them close to breakfast or teatime and invite some friends if you need someone to save you from eating them all. I have teenagers, so… there wasn’t a crumb to be had even 10 minutes later.

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Three years ago: Champagne Sabayon
Two years ago: Chard Quiche
One year ago: Buttermilk Cupcakes


faschingkrapfen14_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Around 15 years ago you had to seek out a Polish community to get paczki, now they’re ubiquitous to every supermarket doughnut case for a month ahead of Ash Wednesday.  Nothing against them (unless they’re just an overstuffed version of the store’s usual jelly doughnuts), but Poland isn’t the only country with a pre-Lent doughnut tradition. Faschingkrapfen are the Austrian/German version. If you make these yourself they are feather-light and not at all greasy.  I made them for a family Sunday brunch so they could go from sugarcoating to plate in minutes.

If you have dietary or other reasons for avoiding fried foods, I’ve given you an option – faschingkrapfen as kolacky. Open-faced pastries baked and drizzled with icing. I split the recipe and did half each way. The recipe is from Rick Rodgers Kaffeehaus cookbook, one of my favorites. The filling and the icing are my own recipes.

Faschingkrapfen, Makes about 20 doughnuts or 12 doughnuts and 10 kolacky

Sponge

  • 1 package fast-rising yeast
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 t. sugar

Dough

  • 4 T. butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 3-1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

Apple Filling

  • 2 large well-flavored apples
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1 c. water
  • Cinnamon

Streusel for Kolacky

  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

Icing for Kolacky

  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 T. milk (or as needed)
  • 1 t. vanilla

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Start the sponge: Warm the milk to lukewarm and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Set aside for 30 minutes.

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While the sponge is rising make the apple filling. This recipe makes enough to fill all the pastries, but feel free to use your favorite jam or fruit butter as well. The important is – make sure the jam or fruit butter is not runny at all.

Wash and dice the apples into a pan with half the water. I cut the apples into different size pieces, some small and some large, so I ended up chunks in the filling. Simmer until the small pieces start to fall apart (about 10 minutes). Combine the rest of the water with the sugar and cornstarch. Stir it into the apples. Cook until thick. Add cinnamon to taste. Set aside.

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Your sponge should look something like this now:

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Warm the second 1/2 c. of milk, add the butter and egg yolks.

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Whisk them in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer.

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Put the bowl on the mixer and hook up the paddle attachment. Slowly mix in the flour and beat for two minutes. If the dough is super-sticky, add a little more flour. Take it off and knead it until smooth. Let rise in a greased bowl until doubled.

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Punch down the dough. If you’re making the kolacky (unfried option) jump down to that part now. If you’re making half kolacky, set half of the dough aside. If you’re making all doughnuts, carry on! Roll out a manageable section of the dough to about 1/4″ thick. Cut into 2″ rounds.

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Add a dab of filling to half of the rounds.

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Put a plain round on top. You can either cut down with a smaller cutter or pinch the edges like I did.

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Heat your frying oil. I used a small pan with 1 c. canola oil and about 1-1/2 c. olive oil. I had nearly all of it left over at the end so I filtered it for reuse. Heat the oil to 350. Drop in a scrap of dough to test it. It should immediately bubble all over if it’s hot enough. Greasy doughnuts come from oil that’s too cold.

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Fry the doughnuts about one minute on each side. This goes really fast and I didn’t have time to take pics. Spoon them out onto paper towels to drain and dust them with powdered sugar.

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They’re best in the first few hours. Warm any leftovers in the microwave for a few seconds so they get tender again.

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To make the kolacky – roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thick if you can.

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Lay the rounds on a greased cookie sheet and top each one with a dab of filling. Let rise until they start to puff at the edges.

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Make the streusel, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and work them into a crumble with your fingers. Preheat the oven to 375.

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Sprinkle some streusel on each pastry. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

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While they are baking make the icing. Combine the softened butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. Stir well and add milk as needed until you get a good consistency for drizzling. Let the pastries cool before you put the icing on.

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It’s best if you store these uncovered so the icing doesn’t get runny. Happy last few days of Carnival/Mardi Gras!

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One year ago: Chocolate Pudding

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