10 February 2014

Eats: banana doughnuts with peanut butter glaze

Not only am I still totally fixated on brunch these days, but I’ve gotten super into baking. Make sense, right? It’s midwinter, it’s approximately three degrees outside (NO EXAGGERATION), and I basically want to eat my feelings... provided my feelings are fresh out of the oven. I mean, if I’m going to pay a gazillion-dollar gas bill to heat our home, it’s nice to get some tasty food out of it too. Like DOUGHNUTS.

Yes. Lookit what I got for Christmas! (Thanks, Mom!)

It’s Valentine’s Day this week, my birthday is coming up, and I’m having cake for breakfast! Cake doughnuts, that is.

I’ve often claimed that muffins are just an excuse to have cake for breakfast – probably when I was talking about banana nut muffins. But I was wrong. If you put glaze on a muffin, you turn it into a cupcake. If you put glaze on cake in the shape of a doughnut, it is still a doughnut. That means we can turn our banana muffins into banana doughnuts with peanut butter glaze, a la Tracy Shutterbean! You guys, we are totally upping our cake-for-breakfast game with this doughnut pan.

If you don’t have a doughnut pan, you can get one right here (I have that mini version, so my baking times are based on that, but larger sizes are available too). If you don’t want a doughnut pan, you can still make these as muffins! And insist that “glazed muffins” are totally a thing and you certainly aren’t just eating a cupcake for breakfast. It’s all in the language.

So! Let’s make some doughnuts! We begin, as so many of my breakfast baked goods begin, with two nearly-rotting bananas.

Mash ‘em up! Then add 1/4 cup of oil, an egg, and a teaspoon of vanilla. It can totally be imitation vanilla extract. No judgment.

Mix those together just a little bit (don’t over-mix). Then add 2/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, a teaspoon of baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

I know that dry ingredients are supposed to be mixed separately, but for this I can’t be bothered. My dishwasher needed to be emptied of clean dishes when I made this and the thought of extra dirty bowls was just annoying. It’ll be fine if you do it all in one bowl. You’ll still have doughnuts in the end!

Now comes the messy part. It’s messy EITHER because you have to spoon batter into round-shaped forms, or because you have to add batter to a pastry bag (i.e. a Ziploc with the corner cut off, like what Tracy did in the source recipe). I tried both!

The batter is fairly runny and drippy, so both methods were kind of a mess and neither one was particularly better. So try whichever you like! Trying to fill awkwardly shaped baking molds is our penance for pretending we aren’t just eating cake for breakfast.

Pop them in a 350-degree oven for twelve minutes (or 15-20 minutes if you are making “glazed muffins that are totally not cupcakes”). In the meantime, we’ll make the glaze! Peanut butter with browned butter, mmm.

Although I halved the doughnut batter recipe, I kept the amount of glaze as-is. I reasoned that more small doughnuts equaled more surface area (though I didn’t confirm this with the resident mathematician... just felt right to me) and anyway, who wants a banana doughnut without a LOT of peanut butter glaze? Nobody.

So! I melted two tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring it around for about five minutes until it started to brown. Don’t be scared that it isn’t brown enough! Just remove the pan from heat when it’s turning brown, and keep stirring when it’s off the heat. I don’t have a photo of that because, well, I was making sure I wasn’t burning my butter, duh.

Then I added about half a cup of peanut butter. I hate measuring peanut butter (so sticky! so gloppy!) so I just put my half-cup measuring cup next to the pan and eyeballed that amount. I also didn’t microwave – it melts just fine on the stove when you stir it in the butter (with the burner turned off).

Now SUGAR! A half-cup seemed like a lot, so I added a quarter-cup of confectioner’s sugar and stirred in just a bit more until it was a consistency I liked. They were plenty sweet with that – my teeth are aching just thinking about using the whole half-cup!

Ok, glaze is ready. Now, what about those...

Hey girl hey!

Be sure when they first come out of the oven to give them a lil’ spin in their mold. That way they’ll fall out easily when they cool.

Then dip! I dip, you dip, we dip!

Not gonna lie, this part is pretty messy too. But you can persevere. Your reward is doughnuts!

If you use crunchy peanut butter, as I did, then the doughnuts won’t be perfectly smooth. But I like the texture!

Most of the peanut chunks will stay behind in the pan, anyway. Which means, when you’re done glazing... I guess you’ll just have to get rid of those chunks of sweet, buttery peanuts somehow.

(With a spoon. And your mouth.)

But enough about the glaze. Let’s talk about how ridiculously moist and delicious these doughnuts are.

So moist and delicious that Mr. P took one bite and said, “These don’t taste like doughnuts.” Well, no. They taste like super-moist cake instead of super-greasy cake. Not too sweet, not too savory. I’m ok with that.

It’s obviously more work than I can normally put into breakfast, but these were worth it! And bonus: even though I halved the recipe, there were still some leftover for the next day. Heck yes, cake for breakfast multiple days in a row! Enjoy, dear readers... I know I will.

Finally, this week’s meal plan:

Sunday: chicken saltimbocca, roasted broccoli, and an amazing biscuit recipe I’ll share soon!

Monday: chicken curry with rice and veggies

Tuesday: chili and baked potatoes

Wednesday: spaghetti bolognese and salad

Thursday: mascarpone and prosciutto pizza (it’s so nice that we always have it twice! Also... that’s how much mascarpone and prosciutto come in a package.)

Friday: a basic romantic celebration with pork chops, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and CAKE

Saturday: leftovers in anticipation of a birthday celebration to come!

Have a great week, dear readers! Bake something to stay warm!