baking · Easy recipe · Fall

Cider Donuts

When I was a child, we would make trips to a cider mill near us. The highlight for me was getting to enjoy a doughnut and a little cup of cider while there. Maybe this is where my love for a cake doughnuts began. Oh my! It was such a treat! I recently made a Cider Donut recipe that took me back to that childhood memory!

These Cider Donuts from Sally’s Baking Addiction have a lovely apple flavor that is enhanced by the addition of the cider, of course, but also the apple pie spices in the dough and in the sugar topping. These are baked, so they’re more healthy than the fried versions. Okay, the butter they’re dipped in might add some calories and fat, but every fall needs an occasional treat, right?!

Here’s the simple recipe with my additional notes and improvisions.

Apple Cider Donuts – These make about 18

  • 1 and 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice*
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Reduce the apple cider: Stirring occasionally, simmer the apple cider in a small saucepan over low heat until you’re left with about 1/2 cup. Start checking at every five minutes, etc until you have 1/2 cup. (Mine took about 30 minutes.) If there are any spices or solids on top of your reduced apple cider, leave them. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Whisk the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together. Pour into the dry ingredients, add the reduced apple cider, and whisk everything together until smooth and combined. Batter will be slightly thick.
  5. Spoon the batter into the donut pan—I highly used a large zipped-top bag and cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and piped the batter into each donut cup, filling about halfway.
  6. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of the donut. If the donut bounces back, they’re done. Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.
  7. Coat the donuts: Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together in a medium bowl. Once cool enough to handle, dunk both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the apple spice topping.
  8. Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I only baked up one dozen, then put the bag with the batter into the fridge overnight. The next day I baked off the next pan of six, and they did great! Then I froze them uncoated. A couple days later I pulled them out and dipped them in the butter and sugar coating. Yum! This was a great way to have a homemade donut at a moment’s notice!

If you don’t have apple pie spice (like me!), you can mix up your own using this recipe:

  • 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom – I didn’t have this and left it out. It was still great!

All these need is a cold glass of milk, a cup of coffee…or of course a glass of cider to make the perfect fall treat!

If you’re a cake donut fan, you’re going to love these!

Some other donut suggestions – Have you tried these light donuts I posted a while back? Also if you don’t have a donut pan, you could bake up these muffins that have a very similar taste as the Cider donuts!

baking · Comfort Food · Fall

Link to Favorite Fall Foods

Would someone explain to me why when fall rolls around I get this insatiable desire to bake everything delicious? The temps drop, and I seriously want to make Cinnamon Rolls, Apple Cake, Donuts, Muffins of every sort, and a whole assortment of cookies! I need to join a support group.

If you’re like me, then I’m going to help you. I wrote a post last year about my Roll Call of Favorite Fall Foods. I recently added a BUNCH more of my favorite recipes to that post! To make it easy to find, I have added a “Seasonal Foods” category to my recipe index. Scroll down below 30-minute recipes and you’ll find Fall Favorites there.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

This is an example of one recipe in my line-up of fall favorites – I’m pretty sure I post this recipe for Pumpkin Crunch Cake every year, but it’s with good reason! It’s the BEST pumpkin recipe I’ve ever made. Everyone loves this cake and it’s so easy it’s crazy!

The list of fall foods is complete with main dishes, breads, soups, all my favorite pumpkin recipes and more! I hope you’ll avail yourself to my list and cook and bake up a storm this fall!

Who else gets the urge to bake when it turns cool outside?

With love from my country kitchen,

baking · Cookies · Lightened Up Recipe

Cocoa Fudge Cookies

I love it when simple meets delicious! These fudgy cookies can be mixed right in a saucepan and spooned onto the baking sheet. They end up crispy around the edges and soft in the middle.

I made these last weekend for a girl’s trip I went on, and they were the perfect ending to our poolside lunch! They were also the perfect little snack in the middle of the day! If you love chocolate AND a soft cookie, this is your recipe!

Cocoa Fudge Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup plain low-fat yogurt 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Step 2 Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, soda, and salt; set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa powder and sugars (mixture will resemble coarse sand). Add yogurt and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add flour mixture, stirring until moist. Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray.
  • Step 3 Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until almost set. Cool on pans 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.

I failed to mention that these are only 78 calories! Cooking LIght does a great job at providing low cal treats! These Raspberry Strippers are another favorite cookie recipe I found on their site.

Are you a crispy cookie lover or do you prefer a soft cookie?

Happy baking!

baking · Bars · Easy recipe · snack

Your Favorite Granola Bar

Homemade granola bars that are full of good protein and fruit are snacks I try to keep in my fridge. Before I walk in the morning, on a busy day when I don’t fix breakfast, or when I need a little afternoon pick-me-up, these are the perfect bars to grab!

Pan is ready for granola bars!

Cooking light has given a recipe that gives you the necessary amounts of grains, nuts, butter and fruits, then gives you the option to choose your favorites of each so you can create your best-loved granola bar! In other words, they give the formula to successively create your kind of granola bar your way. Here’s how to create them:

Create a base

Toast oats in the oven to give them a nutty flavor. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 2 cups old-fashioned oats onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 12 minutes. Transfer oats to a bowl, and cool to room temperature.

Add richness

Creamy nut butter and toasty coconut oil enrich the bars. Liquid sweetener, well, sweetens them. Place 1/3 cup nut butter,1/4 cup liquid sweetener (such as honey, maple syrup, or agave), and 11/2 Tbsp. coconut oil in a bowl. Microwave 30 seconds or until warm.

Boost the flavor

Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt to the nut butter mixture to heighten the flavor; whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1 large egg white; it’s a key part of the binder that will hold all the ingredients together.

Add Crunch and Chew

Stir 1/2 cup unsalted roasted nuts (or broken-up pretzel pieces) into the cooled oats for hearty crunch. Add 1/3 cup dried fruit (chop the pieces if they are large) for bright, sweet flavor and textural contrast.

Mix and Press

Pour nut butter mixture over oat mixture; stir well until all pieces are evenly coated. Transfer mixture to an 8-inch square metal baking pan lined with parchment paper. Press mixture very firmly into pan; packing tightly helps keep bars from crumbling.

Bake and Cool

Bake at 350°F until lightly browned around edges, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Lift bars out of pan with parchment paper; cool completely on rack before cutting (warm bars might crumble).

MY favorite combination is oats, walnuts, dried mixed fruits, maple syrup (or honey) and peanut butter. I store them in the fridge because I find it helps them not crumble as much. So good!

Rather than buying these, consider baking your own so you can customize them to your dietary needs and likes! Because of that, they will be your favorite bar!!

baking · Easy recipe · Quick Bread

Three-Ingredient Donuts

donuts 1 (3)

Maybe you don’t need another donut after all these weeks of being home and baking, but you do need this recipe for the days when you open your front door to usher in guests once again.

Often we feel money is too tight to have guests over.  We may also be too busy to think ahead to make a dessert.  This recipe takes care of both of those issues!  Ten donuts costs the amount of a can of biscuits and they’re finished in under 15 minutes! All you need is some oil and then some sugar to coat them in after frying!

Here’s what you need:

Canned biscuits
Granulated Sugar – Place about 1/2 cup sugar into a shallow bowl

Oil for frying  – I like Coconut oil, Crisco works well, too

You need about 1 inch of oil in your pan.  Bring the oil to 350 – 375 degrees.
Meanwhile, prep your biscuits.  I use a melon baller to make holes in the middle of the donuts.  If you want to fill them with jam, just leave them whole.

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Once the oil is hot enough, place the biscuits into the hot oil and cook until the donuts are light brown. It only takes a minute or so!  Brown on one side, flip over and brown the other side.

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Place browned donuts on paper towel to drain.  Then quickly toss them in granulated sugar.  Place on platter.

donuts 1 (1)

If you want to fill the donuts with jam, cut a small slit in the side and spoon in a tablespoon or so inside.

donuts 2

I love that idea that if I have a can of biscuits in my fridge, I can make a batch of donuts in minutes, if company were to drop in, or we would invite someone over last minute!  I hope you’ll soon open your door to guests and pop open a can of biscuits so you can enjoy these hot donuts!

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