New England Apple Cider Doughnuts

I'm willing to bet that if I polled people in the New England area about their favorite reason to go apple picking - apple cider doughnuts would be one of the top responses. It's crazy how good these doughnuts are and it's something about their delivery - still warm, in a single napkin, passed through a window - that really makes me respect how they can hold their own in the ever-exploding trendy doughnut scene. In New England, cider doughnuts are synonymous with falling leaves as one of the first signs of autumn. They surely sell them at supermarket chains but the best doughnuts come from the side-of-the-road farm stores. They are small and dense but pack serious cider flavor. Even the cinnamon sugar crystals linger on your lips and question your decision to order just one. I can't wait to head out to the orchard for my annual picking session and consequent questioning of "okay now what do I do with all these apples?" One thing is for sure - I'll be pondering that over an apple cider doughnut. 

apple-cider-doughnuts

New England Apple Cider Doughnuts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil for frying (enough to fill 3" in a large pot)
  • 1+1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1.  In a saucepan over medium or medium-low heat, gently reduce the apple cider to about 1/4 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed (with the paddle attachment, if using a standing mixer) beat the butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat until the eggs are completely incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  5. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the reduced apple cider and the buttermilk, mixing just until combined. Add the flour mixture and continue to mix just until the dough comes together.
  6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment, wax paper, or a silpat and sprinkle them generously with flour. Turn the dough onto 1 of the sheets and sprinkle the top with flour. Flatten the dough with your hands until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use more flour if the dough is still wet. Transfer the dough to the freezer until it is slightly hardened, about 20 minutes.
  7. Pull the dough out of the freezer. Using a 3-inch doughnut cutter, cut out doughnut shapes. Place the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto the second prepared sheet pan. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes. (You may re-roll the scraps of dough, refrigerate them briefly and cut additional doughnuts from the dough.)
  8. Add enough oil to a deep-sided pan to measure a depth of about 3 inches. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Have ready a plate lined with several thicknesses of paper towels. Keep your eye on this temperature and adjust your burner to make sure it doesn't fluctuate too much.
  9. While oil is heating up, mix together granulate sugar and cinnamon in something with a flat bottom and short sides like a small casserole dish or cake pan. Set aside.
  10. To fry and assemble: Carefully add a few doughnuts to the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan, and fry until golden brown, about 60 seconds. Turn the doughnuts over and fry until the other side is golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Drain on paper towels after the doughnuts are fried. Roll the doughnut in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until fully covered. Set on a cooling rack or eat warm (my favorite!)

Recipe adapted from The Washington Post (2004)
Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography


Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Have you ever had a Cinnabon? Those babies are a sugar induced heart attack disguised with cream cheese frosting. They are also all I ever wanted at any mall or airport growing up (THANK YOU mom to saying no 99% of the time). On the rare occasion that I did get  to indulge in a monstrous Cinnabon, I would basically go straight for the middle by carefully unrolling the bun until I reached that soft, hot, bready core. My fingers would be covered in sticky cinnamon magma that no amount of wet-naps could contain. Looking back I'm realizing where my habit of being the messiest person at the table stemmed from. Oops. Anyway, the maple bacon cinnamon buns I made here remind me of that core because all edges are soft and sugar coated. Nothing is worse than an over-baked cinnamon with hard edges - at least in my opinion. These rolls - stuffed to the brim with cinnamon and sugar - are yeasted but have no rise time. What that means is you can be enjoying a casserole dish full of ooey-gooey goodness in about one hour! 

Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:

Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour  + extra flour if needed, see directions
1 cup buttermilk, warmed 1 min in glass measuring cup in microwave
2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce packet)
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste

Filling
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), very soft
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons cinnamon
2-3 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped

Glaze
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9-inch pie dish or 8x8 inch casserole dish by spraying with cooking spray

2. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all dough ingredients and knead for about 7 minutes, or until dough is soft, smooth, and has come together in a firm mass. If hand-kneading, you may need to knead a few minutes longer.  Note - Dough should be smooth, not overly sticky, and fairly easy to handle. If your dough is very wet, moist, sticky, or gloppy, add flour in 1 tablespoon increments until it comes together easily.

3. Turn dough out onto a silpat-lined or cooking sprayed work surface.

4. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a rectangle that's approximately 9x14 inches.

5. Spread butter in an even layer over the surface of the dough, leaving about 1/4-inch margins around edges; set aside.

6. In a small bowl, add sugars, cinnamon, and stir to combine. Evenly sprinkle mixture over the buttered dough. Sprinkle chopped bacon over cinnamon and sugar.

7. Starting with the 14-inch side, roll dough up into a tight log.

8. Make approximately 1-inch slices using plain (not mint) waxed or unwaxed dental floss. It's the best way to slice rolls so they don't get squished and lopsided.

8. Place rolls into prepared pan.

9. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until cooked through and set. Watch rolls closely so you don't burn them. The dough is so white and will fool you into thinking it's still raw when it's not. Rolls continue to firm up as they cool. While rolls bake, make the maple glaze

10. Over low heat, melt the butter and maple syrup together. Remove from heat and whisk in 1/2 cup powdered sugar. 

Recipe adapted from: Averie Cooks
Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography

Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Chocolate Sprinkle Peanut Butter Cookies

Hey all! I'm on vacation this week so I just made something quick, easy, and delicious. These Chocolate Sprinkle Peanut Butter Cookies are great for a snack on a flight or a long car ride. Expect a more in-dept and exciting post next week! 

Chocolate Sprinkle Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (not all-natural)

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 eggs

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles

1. Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter.

3. Fold chocolate sprinkles into batter and then place batter in refrigerator for 1 hour.

4. Scoop on to baking sheet with a 7/8oz scoop. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 10-12 minutes or until cookies begin to brown. Do not over-bake.

Recipe adapted from: All Recipes 

 

  

Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats

Sometimes it's nice to stick to the classics. It's been a while since I made Rice Krispy treats but they never disappoint. It's kind of amazing how the Rice Krispy cereal brand has made itself inseparable from the idea of making a puffed rice treat. Who knew the pinnacle of brand recognition would be covered in melted marshmallows? 

With only three ingredients to work with - I gave the butter a more complex flavor by browning it first. If you've never had browned butter - its taste is often described as slightly nutty. Of course adding the stick and chocolate drizzle made for a fun presentation but I could've 100% eaten these treats alone.  Both without chocolate and by myself - don't tempt me with a good time! 

Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Rice Krispy Treats | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 10oz bag of mini marshmallows
  • 5 cups of Rice Krispy cereal
  • Chocolate sauce (optional)
  • Treat sticks (optional) 

Directions:

  1. Place Rice Krispy cereal in a large bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Line an 8x8 square baking dish with tin foil so it overhangs on each side. Spray the tinfoil with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Brown the butter by melting it in a sauce pan until it turns a light amber color
  4. Remove from heat and add marshmallows. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth and melted. You can place over burner and let residual heat melt it down if you need a bit of help. 
  5. Pour the butter-marshmallow mixture over the cereal and mix until evenly coated
  6. Transfer to the baking dish and press down firmly. It is important to make these bars as solid as possible. The easiest way to do this is to spray a rubber spatula with cooking spray so the spatula won't stick to the marshmallow as you are pressing down.
  7. Allow to set at room temperature for 1-2 hours or speed up the process in the fridge.
  8. Cut into rectangles and insert sticks. You can also drizzle with chocolate sauce if desired. 
Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)