Sunday, February 19, 2017

Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts


With the weather cold here I find myself baking a whole lot more that usual.  Is that strange?

There just seems to be something comforting about baking on the weekends and having a leisurely breakfast, especially if it is raining outside.  So looking through my Pinterest Boards for inspiration I decided to make baked doughnuts.  Because, they are healthier when baked right? 

So today's indulgence is going to be Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts because I LOVE anything chocolate (who doesn't?).  I rarely make doughnuts and haven't ever posted a recipe for them yet so here we go!  Don't be fooled by doughnuts as they are easy to make and you only need a specialty doughnut pan to bake them in.  I used this one here


Baked doughnuts are still an indulgence but since they are baked you lose all the fat from frying.  There is nothing better than the smell (and taste!) of hot chocolate cake doughnuts fresh from the oven!  If you can contain yourself and wait until they cool you can sprinkle powdered sugar on top for an extra special sweetness.  To be honest some of ours didn't make it that long!

Wonderfully moist, these chocolatey decadent cake doughnuts can be made in about 30 minutes.  You'll have a perfect breakfast treat, or snack for the weekend. 

Kitchen Tip:  The batter is thick and it is easiest to pipe the batter into the ring molds.  Use a piping bag or just a plastic zip lock bag and snip off the tip as a make shift piping bag.  This is what I did.  You'll have the doughnuts done in no time.  This recipe makes about 20 doughnuts so using two baking pan works.  If you don't have two just bake them in the one pan in batches.


Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

makes 12

1 3/4 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two regular sized doughnut pans. If you don't have two pans, simply bake the batter in two batches.
    In a large bowl, add the, flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, . Set aside.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, and vinegar, and oil. Add to the dry ingredients. 

    Mix until well combined.  Spoon the batter into a plastic bag and seal.  Cut off one tip to form a piping bag, and pipe the batter into the pan about almost full.  

    Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

    Remove the doughnuts from the oven, and after loosen their edges, turn out onto a cooling rack.  Allow to cool and then sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.  

    adapted from King Arthur Flour

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    Orange Salad with Arugula and Spinach


    I've been posting a lot of soups lately such as my Greek Style Lemony Chicken and Orzo Soup and the latest, Seriously Good Tortellini Vegetable Soup.  We always love a good soup when the weather is cold, but we also love a good salad to go with it.

    I would say that soup and salad are MGG's favorite meal.  So when there's soups there is also salad right behind it.  I usually gravitate to produce that is in season to inspire my salad.  My local grocery store had some wonderful looking oranges.  These were Cara Cara oranges and I find them slightly more sweet than navel oranges and a little less acidic.  The flesh is a little deeper orange and they taste a little like a berry.  I love them so I bought a bunch and used them in my salad.  Orange have tremendous health benefits and they make the salad light and fresh tasting.

    Orange Salad with Arugula and Spinach

    You certainly don't have to buy Cara Cara oranges for this dish, navel orange are fantastic and taste wonderful as well.  Along with the oranges I mixed some arugula and spinach together as the base.  Keeping the toppings simple, I added feta cheese and some chopped almonds for crunch.

    The dressing is light and bright to match the salad.  A lemon vinaigrette is enhanced with some chopped mint, which just takes the salad to the next level.  You have to try this salad!!!

    So next time you have soup make sure to make a salad as well to round out the meal.  Or just have the salad as a light lunch or along side some brunch dishes.  This one is a keeper, so make it before all the wonderful juicy oranges are gone until next year!


    Orange Salad with Arugula and Spinach

    serves 4

    2 cups arugula
    2 cups baby spinach
    2 oranges, peeled and thinly sliced
    1/3 cup feta cheese crumbled
    1/4 cup almonds, chopped

    2 Tablespoons shallots, diced
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    2 Tablespoons mint, chopped
    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    2 Tablespoons olive oil

    In a jar add all salad dressing ingredients and shake well to combine.  To a large platter add arugula and spinach.  Add a little dressing and toss to coat.  Layer on the orange slices, feta cheese, and almonds.  Drizzle additional dressing over the top and serve.

    Monday, February 13, 2017

    Valentine Rice Krispie Treats


    Happy Valentine's Day!

    If you need a quick last minute treat to make for your kids class at school, or for your honey, these adorable Valentine Rick Krispie Treats are ideal!

    These treats are extra special when cut with a heart shaped cookie cutter.  To take normal rice krispie treats over the top I've use strawberry flavored marshmallows and mixed in some tart dried cherries.  To take it up another notch for Valentine's Day I dipped one side in dark chocolate and sprinkled them with valentine colored sprinkles. 


    What's better than berries and chocolate?  Why I believe that they go hand in hand.  So instead of dipping strawberries in chocolate, dip your strawberry flavored rice krispie treats in dark decadent chocolate.  The combination is perfect!

    So why not make these super cute Valentine's Day goodies. Just 6 ingredients and you are good to go.  This batch made 14 treats for me, and will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutter.


    Valentine Rice Krispie Treats

    makes 14

    3 cups Rice Krispie cereal
    2 1/2 Tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
    1 10oz package of strawberry flavored marshmallows
    1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
    1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, melted
    Valentine colored sprinkles (optional)

    Place the butter and marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat on full power for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.

    Add the cereal and cherries to the bowl and stir until well combined.  To a 9x13 pan lined with wax paper and sprayed with cooking spray, add the cereal mix and spread out evenly with a spatula.  Refrigerate until set about 30 minutes.

    In a deep bowl add dark chocolate and melt in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring between sessions, until melted.

    Remove the rice krispies by the wax paper and cut out the heart shaped treats.  Dip one side in the chocolate and place on another piece of waxed paper.  Top with sprinkles if desired.  Return to the pan and refrigerate until set!


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