Vanilla Bean Baby Doughnuts
Spring 2012 has been quite a season for baking cookbooks. I've found so many talented bakers and artists releasing their cookbooks in the last few months. One of the most artistic cookbooks I've seen this spring is SprinkleBakes by Heather Baird, published by Sterling Publishing. And, you can tell from the subtitle, "Dessert Recipes to Inspire Your Inner Artist", that you're in for a baking cookbook that's different and unique.
This cookbook begins with a blank canvas meaning it begins with basic recipes that will be used as the canvas for the artistic inspiration to come. You'll find recipes for simple sugar cookies, shortbread, gingerbread cookies, butter cake with simple syrup, chocolate cake, candy recipes such as creme candies, modeling chocolate, caramel and spoon desserts such as vanilla pastry cream and chocolate mousse. There's also a whole variety of frostings that will be used throughout the remainder of the cookbook.
Then, the art lessons begin. Lessons on line, sculpture, color, and mixed media. The recipes that follow are accompanied by full-color step-by-step photos with detailed instructions. Templates for some of the cookies are included at the end of the book.
Would I say this is a cookbook for the beginning baker? No, I definitely think this is a cookbook for experienced bakers looking for artistic inspiration, looking for ways to go beyond cute cupcakes and cuddly cookies.
I was happy to find some recipes that I felt like I could pull off with my limited decorating skills: Salted Caramel Cupcakes, Colorful Spiral Cookies, Neopolitan Cake, and these Vanilla Bean Baby Doughnuts.
Putting my mini doughnut pan to use.
Vanilla Bean Baby Doughnuts
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Seeds from one vanilla bean
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, and butter and beat until just combined.
Spray the doughnut cavities with cooking spray or brush them with butter.
Transfer the batter to a piping bag without a tip or a zip-top bag with the corner snipped off. Fill each doughnut cup approximately halfway.
Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until the top of the doughnuts springs back when touched. Let cool in the pan for 4 to 5 minutes before removing.
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 drops of liquid blue food coloring
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until the sugar is completely dissolved.
the food coloring
Add the food coloring and stir until the color is uniform.
Immediately dip the doughnuts into the glaze. Let stand briefly for the glaze to set.
Sprinkle on the nonpareils.
Note: Doughnuts are best when eaten the same day they are baked.
My sons loved these doughnuts. They ate a dozen of the doughnuts before I could even glaze them. I loved finding a recipe that could put my mini muffin pans to use. I especially appreciated Baird's tip of using a zip-top back to add the filling to the molds. It made the process clean and quick.
Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with a copy of the cookbook, but the opinion expressed here is my own.