Looking for a project with the kids home for a few days? If you're not too tired of working in the kitchen, how about making doughnuts? These are the baked kind, so you need not worry about youngsters being around hot oil. No electric mixer needed either.
The recipe calls for using doughnut pans, preferably nonstick, but you can make these doughnuts without them -- though they won't look quite the same as the ones made in a pan.
Youngsters probably will get a big kick out of greasing up and dropping glass marbles -- you have to use the glass kind -- into lined muffin pans to make the doughnuts. No kidding. Or, use a mini muffin pan. Not quite the same effect, though.
See the alternate directions for both at the end of the recipe, which is adapted from "Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust," by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, 2012).
Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the doughnuts: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a baker's spray with flour, such as Baker's Joy, to coat 1 or 2 doughnut pans. (See alternate directions below.)
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a mixing bowl.
Whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Fill the wells of the doughnut pans a bit more than three-quarters full with the batter. Bake for 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the wall of a doughnut comes out clean and the doughnuts are puffed and lightly browned. Let them cool (in the pans) for 5 minutes, then gently invert the doughnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet.
While the doughnuts are cooling, make the topping: Melt the butter in a small saute pan over medium-low heat.
Whisk together the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Brush the warm doughnuts with the melted butter, then dip them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture on one or both sides. Serve warm.
Makes 12 doughnuts, each with 320 calories, 4 grams protein, 51 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium, 35 grams sugar.
Alternate ways to make baked doughnuts minus doughnut pans:
The marble method from Livestrong.com: Place a muffin-pan liner into each cup of a muffin pan. Pour prepared doughnut batter into lined muffin cup, filling it halfway.
Spray a large, glass marble with a thin layer of cooking spray and drop it into the center of the half-full muffin cup. Repeat with the remaining muffin cups and glass marbles. Line a second pan and repeat the process if necessary.
Bake the doughnuts for the time specified by the recipe. Check the doughnuts' doneness with a toothpick approximately five minutes before the specified time is up. The marble heats up and often cooks them faster than normal. When a toothpick comes out clean, the doughnuts are ready to come out of the oven. Repeat the test every five minutes until they are done.
Allow the doughnuts to cool for 30 minutes and remove the liners from the pan. Peel the liner off one doughnut and use your finger to poke the marble out of the center. Cut out excess dough with a sharp knife to form the doughnut shape. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.
The mini way: Spoon batter into mini muffin pan; bake 7-8 minutes.
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