I am one of those people that has all of the kitchen things. Between my personal love for cooking (and therefore all things kitchen!) our wedding in the last year and the move to Chicago (with a much bigger, beautiful kitchen than we had in NYC), it is a mecca.
Perhaps the one thing I didn’t have – that is, until our office Secret Santa – was a donut pan. Donuts aren’t something that typically call to me. Don’t get me wrong, they’re awesome, but realistically I probably eat donuts once or twice a year, at best. If you know me or you’ve been following along long enough, you’ll know that I also don’t like to fry things. 1) It’s messy and it really stinks up your house. I have a hard enough time cleaning olive oil / miscellaneous kitchen oil splatter off of our modern cabinets and shiny floors (all beautiful, but wow they hide nothing) and 2) it’s just not good for you, so it’s not something I’ve ever felt the need to get into.
It would be cliché for me to say donuts are having a moment because you could argue that they have always been in that moment, but certainly in the last two years, I would say they’ve come back as a more beautiful, healthier, more complex version of their original selves (apparently the donuts in my version of this story have quite a personality). Maybe they’ve always been baked rather than fried, but baked donuts started to catch my eye, and in particular, a recipe from Last Ingredient for Baked Apple Cinnamon Donuts with a Maple Bourbon Glaze. So when Secret Santa came along, I knew this was exactly what I wanted, and he (she) delivered 🙂
When I set out to make a day of a recipe (going to the store, prepping the ingredients, cooking / baking, photographing, and of course eating), I’m really aiming for a certain level of complexity. Essentially, I would be disappointed if I could do the whole thing in an hour. I don’t necessarily want to sign up for 6-hour escapade, but I do want to make an afternoon of it.
I started out with this recipe thinking it was shockingly simple. The donut base is easy, there is no way around it. You pop them in the oven and it’s really like making cookies – that amount of mess, time, etc. so I found it a little underwhelming. Where it gets fun, though, is when you bring them out of the oven and they’re these adorable little donuts (geez, I’m really drinking the Kool Aid with the whole food blog, right??) and they get dusted with cinnamon sugar, then they cool, and then there is frosting, and more setting. It’s almost the anticipation that gets you more than anything!
And they are gorgeous the whole time (nothing more disappointing than making something that is really unappealing aesthetically). Really, the recipe is super simple, overall the whole process is very easy, and the time comes in as you’re waiting between the various steps. At the end of it, you have these beautifully glazed donuts, topped with dried apple slices (not to be forgotten!) and they are delicious.
My husband actually made the comment that in his opinion, these donuts might be his favorite thing I’ve ever made. Just let that sink in for a moment. Of all the food that passes through our kitchen, he chooses this one. I suggest you make the donuts 🙂
You can find the full recipe here. The only thing I changed was to use almond milk instead of regular milk, but I think you could use this with any milk you prefer and they would still be great.
When you store them, keep them out on the counter / out in the open rather than putting them in a bag or sealed container. They will maintain their hard icing exterior if they can breathe (whereas in a bag, they soak up additional moisture and get a bit sloppy).
Happy baking and let me know how it goes!