Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mini Baked Apple Donuts with Maple Glaze

It's a little early for the fall flavors, but I could not resist trying these Baked Apple Donuts from Bakers Royale. They have been on the radar for awhile and I finally caved in when the weather turned unseasonably crisp for a week here in Northern Virginia. We're back to hot and humid in the month of Autumn but that's okay. Fall will be here soon enough!

We love sweet little treats and mini donuts are a household favorite. They're just the right portion size and take the edge off of any sugar craving. Plus, they're simply darling. Half the fun of food is the visual aesthetic and anything teensy is an automatic bonus. 

To help illustrate this point, I have enlisted the help of a friend that I like to call Aslan. For all you other geeks out there, yes- it is in reference to one of my favorite childhood literary series, "The Chronicles of Narnia." He may not look like a lion but he certainly has the spirit of one!

See. This post is getting cuter by the second just having Aslan here. Thanks lil fella!

In the past, I've stuck to cake donuts because they are essentially cupcakes but in donut form. The benefit of this method is it cuts back on the fried factor, avoids an oily mess in the kitchen, takes very little time, and is overall easier. The only deterrent is it does not have the essence of a real donut: warm fluffiness. At the end of the day.. it's a round cupcake. Oh what a wonder it would be to have the best of all worlds... fried fluffy goodness without the oil.

That's where the yeast version of donuts comes into play. No oil and fried food here! They're fluffy, light, and are best served fresh out of the oven. However, as with all breads that involve yeast, it's a waiting game. The dough needs to rise twice and that takes a good 2 hours right there.

Personally, the amount of apple to bread ratio did not justify the time spent making these donuts. I'm so pleased to have satiated my curiosity and they were absolutely yummy. But if I'm going to take the time to make an apple bread, I much rather go with a big ol' serving of apples like in an Apple Braid Bread. That's just me though- I love a lot of fruit in my baked goods.

These mini-donuts incorporate two small apples in the actual batter. Depending on what kind of taste you're going for, add spices accordingly. I added a dash of cinnamon to the batter but I used an alternative glaze. The original version calls for a simple confections glaze with a caramel drizzle. I went for a maple substitute posted below.

Get creative and enjoy!

Mini Baked Apple Donuts with Maple Glaze
For the original recipe with caramel glaze, check out Bakers Royale!

from Bakers Royale

3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 small apples, skins on or off depending on your preference, diced
3 3/4 cups Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bake sheet with parchment.

Place water, yeast, salt, eggs, sugar, apples, flour, and butter in a bowl, using a spoon or a sturdy spatula fold batter until evenly mixed.

Let the dough rest at room temperature covered, for two hours. Transfer dough to refrigerator and chill for at least 3 hours.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip and pipe 3-inch circles on to a parchment lined bake sheet (or alternately pipe into wells of a donut pan).

Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer doughnuts to cooling rack.

Maple Glaze
1/2 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp maple extract
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp melted butter
Dash of salt
1 tbsp brewed coffee (or 1 tbsp milk, if preferred)

Put powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add maple extract, milk, melted butter, salt, and coffee. If you prefer not to use the coffee, substitute 2 tbsp milk. Stir until the glaze is smooth.