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.