It is that time of year again in Minnesota, when the weather goes from 90°F one day, to 48°F the next. It is bittersweet to lose summer, but we enthusiastically head into baking season. This time of year also brings the apples, glorious apples. This week alone I have made pie, fritters, waffles and these baked doughnuts with all the apple varieties I found at the farmers market (or your favorite orchard). Baked Doughnuts? Many of you have requested a doughnut recipe that is not fried. I admit I was hesitant, since I am a doughnut fanatic and was afraid the baked version would be a poor substitute. I am, once again, thrilled to announce YOU WERE RIGHT! The baked apple doughnuts are tender, sweet and studded with pieces of tart apples. The trick is to coat the dough in lots of cinnamon sugar, then bake them so they are still soft on the inside and have a wonderful sugar crust on the outside. The Maple Glaze gives them an even more decadent feel, even though they are the healthy version of our favorite treat. You may never miss the fried version again, but if you are like me, you’ll make both.
Baked Apple Doughnuts:
makes about 18 doughnuts.
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 teaspoons yeast
2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 small apples, skins on or off depending on your preference, cut into small dice (updated 10/9 – I reduced the amount of apples because many people found the dough way too wet. I must have been using firmer apples)
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Let the dough sit, covered, for two hours. Refrigerate the dough to chill it for at least 3 hours.
After the dough is well chilled the dough can be used, or you can store it for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
To make the baked doughnuts: Pull out 3-ounce (plum-sized) pieces of dough and form it into a ball. Then poke your thumbs through the middle of the ball and create a hole. Stretch the hole so that it is about 3-inches wide. In a bowl combine the cinnamon and sugar. Dredge each of the doughnuts in the cinnamon-sugar.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the doughnuts for about 18 minutes or until golden brown.
Set the doughnuts on a Cooling Rack. Mix together the confectioners’ sugar, cream, maple syrup and vanilla in a small bowl. Once the doughnuts are cooled, drizzle the glaze over them and let them set up.
You will want to place the baking sheet under the doughnuts as you are glazing them, to catch the drips.
Serve them right away.
They are perfect with coffee. If you have any left over they make great bread pudding, although it is doubtful there will be any to spare.
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