Friday, February 24, 2012

My doughnut obsession

I made a double batch this morning and decided to roll half
of the doughnuts in cinnamon sugar and glaze the other half.
My kids have always loved doughnuts but I try not to indulge that particular craving too often. However, after finding this recipe for baked gingerbread doughnuts and discovering a doughnut pan at Michaels, I have been testing various recipes and feel less guilty about letting everyone stuff their faces full of doughnut. How bad can they be if they are baked, right?

This morning, inspired by the over-abundance of carrots from our winter farm share, I decided to make carrot cake doughnuts. I found a good baked doughnut recipe on the King Arthur Flour website and figured I'd adapt it to my purposes. The results were definitely worth it!

Baked Carrot Cake Doughnuts
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

Makes 6 doughnuts and 4 - 6 mini muffins (doughnut holes!)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot (about one small carrot)
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease the doughnut pan and mini muffin pan if you are using it.
  • Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • Stir the shredded carrot into the flour mixture, making sure it is evenly distributed.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, oil and buttermilk until foamy.
  • Pour the liquid ingredients all at once into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  • Fill each doughnut form half full. I typically use a pastry bag to do this. Use any remaining batter to make mini muffins.
  • Bake the doughnuts for 10 to 12 minutes. When done, they'll spring back when touched lightly.
  • Remove the doughnuts from the oven, remove them from the pan. 
  • While they are still warm, roll them in cinnamon sugar or dip them in glaze. 

Yummy doughnut glaze
(from Pinch of Yum)
2 TBSP butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 - 2 TBSP milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Melt the butter and brown sugar together in a small saucepan. 
  • Bring the mixture to a boil for about 2 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and add milk. 
  • Return to burner and stir in powdered sugar - I typically turn the heat down to it's lowest setting to do this. Add a little more milk if the glaze seems too thick. I swear it never seems to come out the same way twice.
  •  Dip the doughnuts in the warm glaze and then set on a rack. The glaze will harden almost immediately.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mysterious slow cooker dinner

Have you ever thrown together dinner in the slow cooker in the morning, come home to a great meal, and then after eating thought, "I really wish I had written down how I did that?" That's what happened to me today.
I should have taken a picture when I
plated the dish but I was too hungry!

I had taken out some great short ribs that come from my farm share. I thought they might work well in the slow cooker with lentils and root vegetables (from another farm share). This is what I ended up making.

Short Ribs with Lentils
Makes dinner for two with leftovers

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, halved and cut into 1/4" slices
2 cloves garlic
Beef short ribs - I had 4, bone-in ribs (maybe about 2 pounds?)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 turnips, peeled and chopped
1 cup dry lentils - I used a blend of red and brown
3 cups chicken stock
2 TBSP sherry
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a skillet. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook one minute more. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and place them in the skillet. Brown on both sides.

Put the lentils in bottom of the slow cooker. Place the ribs, onions and garlic on top. Add the carrots and turnips. Return the skillet to the stove and deglaze with 1 cup of the stock. Add the sherry, thyme, rosemary and tomato paste. Stir until paste is dissolved in the stock mixture (add more stock if you need to). Season with salt and pepper. Pour contents of skillet and remaining stock into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for up to 8 hours. Serve with crusty bread. No need for knives - the ribs will fall apart.