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Entries in donuts (3)

Friday
Oct042013

Forbidden Donuts

It was September 22nd and I was sitting on the floor of my parents' basement, unpacking from my London trip. I was rifling through my suitcase, pulling out all my race gear: heartrate monitor, aero helmet, running shoes stuffed with a finisher's medal and assorted GU's...

I lined all these things up on the floor and just stared at them. And then I started to cry. Real tears! Why?

Let's be clear: I had just disembarked from an international flight in which I had spent the duration of seven hours:

1. Watching the Karate Kid.

2. Poking a travesty of an airline BBQ chicken chunk with a plastic fork, willing it to be something better than what it was.

3. Begging my eardrums not to burst due to a raging sinus infection.

I was clearly not in good form.

The sight of my squished and useless racing flats stuffed with gooey carbs that I no longer required pushed me over the edge much like that unpainted fence post for Daniel-Son. Except now, the final tourney was over.

So I cried because it felt like the end of a relationship, rather than the end of a racing season. I had spent a year prepping for this race. A year of mental Olympics, early mornings, injuries, sweat and not eating things like donuts.

And so now I'm on the other side...the "off season", and even though I can stuff my face full of donuts, sleep in, and take it easy a bit, it feels like a loss somehow. At least for now.

So I am approaching those forbidden donuts with caution, much like my off season. Instead of committing to the full-fledged fried version, I baked them. And made them mini-sized. And gluten-free!

At the very least, this slightly healthier version makes me think I really CAN stuff my face full of them while sleeping in to the barbaric hour of 7am.

Go on...eat one...No, I shouldn't....Well, maybe just one. Or twelve...

Gluten Free, BAKED Cider Mini Donuts (for your on and off again season).

Recipe adapted from this one.

What You Need:
2 cups of apple cider, preferably freshly pressed; boiled down to yield 2/3 cups and cooled

8 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 cup coconut sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

½ cup almond or coconut milk

1 3/4 cups sweet sorghum flour

1 3/4 cups gluten free oat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground if possible

For the topping:

2 tablespoons melted butter (or coconut butter)

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

What You Do:

NOTE: I used a Sunbeam mini-donut maker. But you can pop them in the oven, too.

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
 
In a food processor, cream the butter.  Add the coconut sugar and cream together.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.

Add the milk and reduced apple cider. Mix to combine.

In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients: flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (in the food processor) 1/4 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.

Prepare donut pans or donut iron with cooking spray.  Fill the donut cavities no more than 2/3 full.  Place in the oven for 7-9 minutes until donuts spring back to the touch. If using the Sunbeam donut iron, bake according to manufacturer's instructions.

Remove donuts and allow to sit in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Prepare the topping by mixing together the sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl. Lightly paint the melted butter onto the top of a donut with a cooking/basting brush.  Then, sprinkle the sugar and spice mix onto the buttered donut.

 

Monday
Jan142013

Training Diary - Mini Chocolate Donuts

The first week of training has come and gone. I am happy to report the following:

I did not, even with the repeated 4:30 am wake up calls, face-plant at my desk this week....although it was close on Wednesday. Verrrrry close.

I have made new friends with the coffee vendor at Columbus Circle, who was still sporting some festive lights.

Hunger levels are back up. I did my best impression of a raccoon in the trash when I tore into a co-worker's bag of pistachios on Thursday. Thanks, Debbie.

I swallowed so much chlorine in the pool on Wednesday that I almost blamed breakfast. Chlorine and coffee do NOT mix, people. At all.

I'll tell you what does mix though - chocolate and mini donuts. 

I was gifted a Sunbeam Mini Donut Maker for Christmas. This was probably my favorite gift that Santa toted down the Iaciofano family chimney.  

Back in the fall, I was biking to the Orchards for donuts. That was an 80 mile ride, round trip. Now I just have to go to the kitchen to fire up, "7 delicious donuts in minutes!" But since that biking trip, I had been thinking that these little guys would make great cycling snacks, if made with the right ingredients.

So, of course, I made them with the right ingredients. And I must say, even if you don't plan on getting out of bed at 4:30am, biking 80 miles or making friends with the coffee vendor at Columbus Circle, these donuts are going to make you think you can.

Now, a small caveat: You do need a mini donut maker (I recommend the Sunbeam version) to make these. However, you could also use the batter in a waffle iron, or even on a griddle for pancakes. It's the triathlete of batters.

Hey, batta!!! OK, let's get going:

What You Need:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup almond milk (you can use regular milk or soy milk as well)

1 egg, beaten

What To Do:

In a food processor or large bowl combine the whole wheat and almond flours, the cocoa powder, unsweetened coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking powder. Mix to combine. If you're not using a food processor, just fire up a sturdy wisk and mix it up in a regular bowl!

In a smaller bowl, combine the beaten egg, milk and maple syrup. Whip it up with a fork to combine.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until it is all incorporated.

Heat up the donut maker (or waffle iron) according to the manufacturer instructions. I recommend spraying to greasing it with a non-stick spray if possible.

Pipe in your donut batter carefully. I loaded a ziploc baggie with batter, then trimmed out a small whole in one of the corners of the bag so I could squeeze the batter through with some control. But keep the plastic away from the heated donut maker because it will melt. And how!

Fill all the little donut circles, shut the lid and let the maker go to town! It will. In minutes you will have the cutest, chocolatey donuts you have seen this side of 4:30 am. Dust them with powdered sugar for a little sweetness (and, let's face it, looks) and pop them in your biking jersey, your kid's lunch box, YOUR lunch box...make it happen.

 

Thursday
Sep202012

Bike To The Orchards For Donuts

It's officially the off season for triathlon. At least for me, it is. I've thrown in the towel on racing until the spring. So what do I do now, gorge myself on donuts? 

The answer to this question is yes.

But let's not get crazy. The weather is pure perfect autum – clear blue skies and excellent for biking. And I have a brand new roadie named Sheena (the punkrocker). Sheena enjoys long rides, especially when they end in donuts. We get along famously.

So my "training plan" for the fall involves biking around for food. This past Sunday it was to The Orchards, a farm stand and orchard in Concklin, NY.

It's a 40 mile ride to The Orchards from New York City, so round trip makes it a cool 80 (ish) miles. I figure this ride earns me a donut (or two).

I was told The Orchards had good cider donuts. But were they good enough to bike 80 miles for?

Yes. Yes, they were.

My only regret is that I did not purchase more of them and stuff them into all the pockets of my biking jersey.

They were somewhere between mini and full-sized. A perfect overgrown snack-size. They were moist, encased in a browned shell that was generously sprinkles with large granules of sugar for a sweet crunch. The insides were speckled with fall spices – cinnamon and nutmeg if I'm correct.

I devoured one and then sized up the second. I ate half of it and then casually asked one of my co-riders, "How long until we have to climb a hill on the way back?" Too soon, apparently, so I packed the remaining half in my bike pouch. I ate this half later in the ride when I needed a little extra energy.

I HIGHLY recommend getting yourself by bike or by car to The Orchards. Their market is stuffed with other baked goods if donuts aren't your thing (they are though, aren't they??): pies, an assortment of cookies, butters (like apple and pear), jams and cinnamon buns!

I'm going back with a backpack. And skipping all the hills on the way back.