Baked Chocolate Doughnuts

So… yeah.  I know I defiantly stated that I’d be making pumpkin doughnuts this weekend, Sean’s opinion be damned!  Just forget all about that.  I instead opted for some chocolate doughnuts that we would both enjoy equally.  There’s plenty of time for pumpkin doughnuts, anyway =).


This recipe was found at Handle the Heat, and originally came from Lara Ferroni.  


I doubled the recipe listed at Handle the Heat, so keep that mind.  The doubled recipe is as follows, and yielded approximately 18 doughnuts.



You’ll need:


Doughnuts
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tbs natural cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
4 tbs butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
glaze or frosting (optional; see below)
sprinkles (optional)


Frosting (if you can call it that)
2-3 oz. chocolate chips/peanut butter chips/some combination of the two
1 tsp vegetable oil


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease your doughnut pan (or a muffin pan would do here in a pinch if you don’t have a doughnut pan).


In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.  Whisk in the sugar, nutmeg, and salt.  


Add the butter.  Using your fingers, rub it into the dry ingredients until it becomes coarse crumbs.  In an effort to avoid having to handle butter with my bare hands (something about it makes my skin crawl a bit), I tried using my food processor to “cut” the butter into the flour mixture, and it actually didn’t work out so well.  I ended up needing to just get my hands dirty anyway, so just dig on in.


In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream/yogurt, vanilla, and eggs.  Add it to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Resist the urge to overmix, lest your doughnuts end up being rubbery!


Now it’s time to fill your doughnut pan.  You have a couple of options at this point.  1) Fill a ziploc bag with the batter, cut one corner off of the bag, and pipe the batter into each cup; 2) Use a spoon to fill the doughnut cups with batter.  Either way, make sure to only fill them 1/2-3/4 of the way full.  Any more than that and the doughnuts will puff up so much that you don’t have a hole in the middle anymore.


Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough springs back when you press on it lightly.  Let them cool slightly on a rack before frosting.


While they’re cooling down, put your chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a small microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate has all melted and is smooth and shiny.  Dip your doughnuts into the melted chocolate, place on a wire rack, and top with sprinkles if desired!  You can let the doughnuts sit for a bit so that the chocolate hardens a bit, and is less messy.  


Make sure to re-grease the doughnut pan between batches.  Even though my pan is non-stick, I didn’t re-grease between the 1st and 2nd batches and some of the doughnuts really stuck to the pan.  When I tried to pop them out, some fell apart.  

Adorable, right?  The ones on the left have plain chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles, while the ones on the right are frosted with a mixture of melted chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.  Next time I think I’ll frost some solely with peanut butter frosting, and will definitely try to have some more exciting sprinkle options on hand.
 
My taste testers (not Maeby this time, don’t worry) and I agree–these are delicious!!  In case anyone was wondering, as noted on Handle the Heat and on Lara‘s blog, the addition of nutmeg to these doughnuts is really necessary.  It gives them a recognizable doughnut flavor.  Without it, they would just end up tasting like chocolate cupcakes rather than doughnuts.  Not that chocolate cupcakes are a bad thing… but we’re going for doughnuts here, people! =)

For those of you who don’t have a doughnut pan, I’d highly recommend picking one up.  They’re really inexpensive, and a lot of fun.  I found mine for about $10.  I hope you get the chance to try these out!


If anyone does happen to try them, and gets a little creative with the toppings or modifications to the recipe itself, please let me know how it goes!  

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