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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Can-Do Baked Whole-Grain Apple Doughnuts/Muffins with Apple Glaze

You know by now that for recipes, I unabashedly peruse not only cookbooks, but magazines and newspapers as well.  I always remind you to keep an open mind, as some of my best recipes have been inspired by these publications. I've adapted this recipe from the Fall/2011 Publix magazine "Family Style"'s been on my to-make list all this time.  It drew my attention because it looked like a healthy recipe to try in the unused doughnut-pan set, which was a gift from my daughter to her dad.

Referring to them as "do-nots", I've always avoided eating doughnuts like the plague! I can only tell you that I wish I'd tried this recipe sooner and that I'm now excited to keep trying doughnut recipes in the non-stick pans! These easy and healthy baked whole-grain apple doughnuts are surprisingly moist, light and tender.  Absorbing the marvelous apple glaze, these not-so-typical doughnuts are simply super good! 

                                          "Yes Virginia" There Are...
                                             Can-Do Doughnuts!                  

Makes 6 doughnuts


The Doughnuts
  • 3/4 c. whole-wheat pastry flour (or...what I used:  1/2 c. all-purpose flour & 1/4 c. whole-wheat flour)
  • 1/4 c. ground flaxseed meal (milled flaxseed)
  • 1/4 c. granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp. apple pie spice (or...what I used: 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. ground allspice & a dash of ground ginger)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 TB salted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1/3 c. buttermilk (see my Morning Muffins w/Bran & Raspberries for the buttermilk blend I use as a substitute for buttermilk, because it has a better shelf life...follow directions on the can for how much you need.)
  • 1/4 c. plain or vanilla yogurt--99% fat free, 2%, or full fat--(I used vanilla, 99% fat-free yogurt)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature), slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped (about 3/4 c.)
  • butter-flavored non-stick cooking spray

The Glaze
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 TB apple juice


The Doughnuts
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together well the flour, flaxseed meal, sugar, apple pie spice, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  With a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until the size of small peas.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, yogurt, egg and vanilla until well combined.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients just until combined (don't overmix).  Gently fold in the chopped apple.
  3. Coat a six-cup, standard, non-stick doughnut pan with the cooking spray.  Using a teaspoon, equally distribute the batter into the pan*.  Lightly drop the pan on the counter to spread the batter evenly.  Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. After the first 45 minutes of refrigeration, Preheat The Oven to 350º.
  5. After the doughnuts have been refrigerated for a full hour, remove from the refrigerator.  Bake for 13 to 15 minutes; or until lightly golden brown, the doughnuts spring back when gently pressed with your finger and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (Mine were done in 13 minutes.)
  6. Cool the doughnuts in the pan on a wire rack for at least 1 hour or overnight.  The doughnuts will be very tender, so handle carefully:  If necessary, run a very thin-bladed knife around the edges of the doughnuts and cup them with a plastic spoon to loosen.  Invert onto another wire rack with wax paper underneath. 
*The original recipe directed to use a pastry bag with a 1/2" round tip to fill the pan.  I knew better, but followed these directions.  The flaxseed stuck to the bag; and it was altogether a messy, more time-consuming experience.  Grant you, my bag is a traditional cloth pastry bag; maybe if I'd used a disposable bag, I would have been happier with the directed technique. In conclusion, I would discourage using a pastry bag for this recipe unless you're making a large quantity...and then, use a disposable bag.

The Muffins

All directions remain the same as for the doughnuts; except, using the cooking spray, coat a standard muffin pan with six/ea. 2 1/2" cups.  With a large, scooped cooking spoon, divide the batter evenly between the cups.  (I've adapted these directions from the original recipe. Although I've not yet used this recipe for muffins, I'm sure they would be great!)

The Glaze

Whisk together the powdered sugar and cinnamon; and then, whisk in the apple juice.  Using a plastic spoon, carefully add the glaze to the doughnuts or muffins...then, spread the glaze with the back of the spoon.

Because these doughnuts have apple in them, I suggest you refrigerate any left over after a couple of days.

Enjoy these doughnuts guilt free; because not only are they healthy and delicious, they're very satisfying... therefore, you will not be tempted to eat too many at once!

I have not, to date, provided any nutritional facts for any of my recipes; but I thought you would appreciate these facts, as they were included in the original recipe:

Per Serving:  221 cal., 7 g total fat (3 g sat. fat) 47 mg chol., 368 mg sodium, 39 g carb., 3 g dietary fiber, 5 g protein.

Printable Recipe

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cherry Butter Cream Filling & Frosting ~ Directions For Chocolate Pound Cake Included!

It's chocolate and cherries!   It all started with a jar of McCutcheon's amazing cherry butter...My son, who loves cherries, introduced me to it at a wonderful brunch he prepared for this past Mother's Day, and I became completely hooked!  He discovered this lovely cherry butter at a local farmers' market.  It's made from red and black cherries, and the ingredients include pure vanilla extract.  Because I was just dying to pair it with something chocolate, I created a very easy cherry butter cream filling and frosting for these tender and delicious, chocolate cupcakes.  I experimented with more than one batch of frosting:  I added almond extract to one batch; and although my son loved this frosting, I decided I liked the first frosting I made in which I added no extra flavorings.  With the almond extract in the cake batter, you just don't need it in the frosting.  I didn't add vanilla because it was in the cherry butter.  All the flavoring you need for the frosting is in this fantastic cherry butter!

I've adapted the recipe for the cake portion from a chocolate pound cake recipe which was in the cookbook that accompanied my KitchenAid mixer.  I don't have a date on this cookbook.  Now, don't laugh, but it's probably from the 70's.  (Are you starting to put my age together?) When my children were small, I made all my breads, in addition to lots of other baked goods, from scratch with my KitchenAid mixer.  Never mind that my husband was sneaking store-bought white bread to my children while I tried to make wholesome breads for them!  I digress...anyway, years ago, the local KitchenAid repairman (do they still have them?) said he'd never seen anyone almost burn up a KitchenAid motor!  My one and only KitchenAid is like the old Timex slogan:  "It takes a licking" (pun intended) "and keeps on ticking"!

                                           Chocolate and Cherries...

                                              Just Meant To Be!

Makes 36 cupcakes


The Cupcakes
  • 36 ea. standard-size cupcake papers*
  • 3 c. sifted all-purpose flour--I use White Lily
  • 1 c. cocoa
  • 1/8 tsp. ground mace spice
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  •  3 c. sugar
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature, cut into 1/4 c. portions
  • 1 1/2 c. milk (whole or 2%)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. evaporated milk
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. pure almond extract

The Frosting
  • 2 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. jarred cherry butter--I used McCutcheon's  (This frosting may also be good with a jarred raspberry or strawberry butter, if you'd like to try one of these.)
  • 1 tsp. evaporated milk
The creamy cherry frosting carries through to the middle of this luscious chocolate cupcake!

                                              Tantalizing Reveal...

                                              Of Pure Pleasure!               

The Cupcakes
  1. *Line standard-size cupcake pans with the cupcake papers. (If you're using papers with a pattern and/or color you would like to be visible, these kind of papers generally don't show well on baked chocolate cupcakes.  So, just bake the cupcakes first in some inexpensive plain papers. After the cupcakes are completely cooled, cored and frosted, remove the plain papers...then just place the cupcakes in the pretty papers before you serve.)
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients, but the sugar, with a fork in a large bowl.  Sift the dry ingredient mixture alternately with the sugar into a large mixer bowl.  Make a well in the center and add the butter and whole or 2% milk.  Mix well on the lowest speed of your mixer.  Stop and scrap the bowl.  Turn the mixer to medium high speed (6 on a KitchenAid mixer) and beat 5 minutes.  Stop and scrape the bowl again.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  4. Turn the mixer back to the lowest speed and add the eggs one at a time, beating 15 seconds after each addition.  Add the evaporated milk, vanilla and almond extracts.  Turn the mixer to medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid mixer) and beat the batter 15 seconds more.
  5. Using a large, scooped cooking spoon, fill the paper-lined cupcake pans about two-thirds (or 1/3 c.) full of batter, per cupcake.  For even baking, equally distribute the mixture by adding or subtracting batter to each cupcake with a teaspoon.  Lightly tap your pans to spread the mixture evenly.  For easier clean up after baking, wipe any extra batter that spills onto the pans as you fill them.
  6. Bake about 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a couple of cupcakes comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly touched with the finger.
  7. Cool the cupcakes about 10 minutes in the pans...then carefully lift them individually with your fingers from the pans and finish cooling on racks, away from drafts.
For a Chocolate Pound Cake:  Preheat the oven to 325º.  Line a 10" removable tube pan with wax paper (See my Very Happy Birthday Pound Cake with directions on lining a removable tube pan with wax paper.) and spray the whole pan, including the tube, well with a non-stick butter cooking spray. (You don't want any white residue on a chocolate cake, so don't use a baking spray or butter and flour to grease the pan...also, dusting the pan with cocoa is not necessary.) Lay a sheet of aluminum foil on the rack below the one you will bake the cake on just in case the tube pan leaks a little grease. Pour the batter into the tube pan and bake for 1 hr. and 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly touched with the finger.  Cover with a clean dish towel and cool completely overnight.  When you remove the cake from the pan, do not invert:  lift by the tube from the pan.  If you elect to frost with the cherry frosting, use half of the recipe.)

Coring The Cupcakes
  1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper to hold the cake you core from the cupcakes.  (You can save these for extra bites or serve with little swirls of frosting in individual small paper cups...these would freeze very well.)
  2. Using a cupcake plunger (I used Chicago Metallic's which I found in store at Bed Bath & Beyond), hold each cupcake firmly without squeezing and center the plunger over the cupcake.  Holding the ruffled edges of the plunger, push the plunger carefully down into the cupcake, about 1/4 of the way of the plunger (before the first line).  Holding the plunger with one hand and the cupcake in the other, twist in opposite directions as you separate the core from the cupcake.  To release the core, press down on the spring. Wipe the plunger with a paper towel in between cupcakes.  (The directions that accompany the plunger are pretty good...I just don't push the plunger as far down as they suggest.)           

The Frosting
  1. If you have one, add a mixer shield to your mixer to avoid the powdered sugar from flying (or cover the top of the mixer with a clean dish towel).
  2. Beat the powdered sugar with the butter; then beat in the cherry butter and the evaporated milk until well incorporated and creamy.
  3. Using a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used the bag and star tip from Ateco No. 1465 Pastry Set), fill each cupcake with the frosting: starting with the center, build to the top and using a swirl pattern, cover the top of the cupcake without going completely to the edges of the cake.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
This frosting would also be great on my Fudgy Classic Brownies or as a filling in my Brownie Sandwich-Cookie Cake!  Use 1/4 of the cherry frosting recipe for the brownies and 1/2 of the recipe for the sandwich-cookie cake. Enjoy!

Disclosure:  I have not communicated regarding endorsement with any of the brands referred to in this post.  I mentioned them because I have enjoyed their products.

Thought you would enjoy this photo taken of my precious granddaughter at her first birthday party which was held this past weekend.  She managed to look beautiful even though she was very sick. 

                                       Happy Birthday Precious...

                                Bon Bon Loves You Very Cherry Much!