Tag Archives: Valentine’s day

Baked Chocolate “Donuts”…Oh My

“How bad is it if my dinner consists only of chocolate donuts?”

After conducting a quality control test of the batter (always a necessary step) and then the final product of my experiment, I was so incredibly satisfied that I had to send the above text message right away.  Partly because I was ecstatic that I baked something that didn’t feel as hard as a brick when finished, and partly because I knew that if I didn’t keep my fingers busy with something besides these donuts, there wouldn’t be any left to take pictures of.  Oh my, my, these are fantastic. 

I have to warn you that these are not your typical donuts.  If you are envisioning steamy Krispy Kreme glazed beauties to pop out of the oven…stop.  These looked more like cupcakes (I don’t own a donut pan and didn’t really want to go buy one) but they taste just like cake donuts from Dunkin’.  Nutmeg is the key ingredient to this flavor, so don’t leave it out!

If you have a donut pan, go on and use it.  But by no means is it necessary.  Once topped with a quick and easy chocolate glaze, you will see the beauty in these giant, baked donut-holes and will probably wish to make them your dinner, as well.  Seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day, I think chocolate for dinner is perfectly acceptable.

Baked Chocolate Donuts
Makes 9 to 10 “donuts”

Adapted from King Arthur Flour recipe

7/8 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. kosher salt
dash of ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. plain non-fat yogurt 
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.
2.  Using a hand mixer (or just a whisk), mix yogurt, eggs, and oil in a small bowl until well combined and foamy.
3.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until just combined.  Batter will be thick and very gooey.

4.  Heat oven to 375 F, and grease muffin pan (or donut pan) with butter or cooking spray.
5.  Fill cups half-way with dough.
6.  Bake for 7 to 10 minutes.  Check every minute once they reach the 7-minute mark (all ovens are different).  You know they’re ready when you gently touch the tops and the dough springs back without sinking. 
7.  Let rest for 5 minutes before gently removing from muffin cups and placing on a cooling rack.

Quick Chocolate Glaze
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. milk

1.  In a small saucepan, heat butter and chocolate chips over medium-low until chips are melted.
2.  Beat in sugar and milk.  Until just combined.
3.  Drizzle glaze over donuts while still warm.  Let rest for 5 minutes to harden.

“All I need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Lucy van Pelt, from Peanuts by Charles Schulz


Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Kale and White Bean Penne

In need of a good Valentine’s Day dinner recipe?  Then look no further than this one.  Sure, it may be a little garlicky, but that’s not an issue to me.  If I get married in the future, the hubs better be able to handle me smelling like onions and garlic or else it just won’t work.

This, on the other hand, works.  It’s easy, filling, and delicious.  Plus, Listerine was invented for a reason. 

Kale and White Bean Penne
Serves 4 to 6

12 to 15 leaves of kale
10 oz. whole wheat penne
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. capers
½ to 1 Tbsp. caper juice (to your preference)
½ cup dry white wine
15oz. can diced tomatoes (no salt added variety)
15oz. can great northern beans, rinsed
15oz. can cannelini beans, rinsed
Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1. Rinse kale and remove tough stems from leaves.  Pile 3 to 4 leaves on top of each other at a time, roll them together into a log, and slice into 1/2″ strips (this is called chiffonade).  Place shreds into a bowl and save for later.
2. In a pot, boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.
3. While pasta cooks, heat oil over medium in a large pan. Cook onions for 5 minutes until translucent.  Add garlic, red pepper flakes, capers, and caper juice.  Cook for another minute stirring constantly.
4. Add drained tomatoes, beans, and wine to mixture.  Allow wine to boil and cook another 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Smash some of the beans to thicken the sauce.  Add a little water if desired (½ to 1 cup).
6. When pasta is done cooking, toss the kale into the hot water.  It will cook quickly, and as soon as the color turns a vibrant, bright green, it’s done (about 30 seconds).
7. Drain pasta and kale, return to pot.  Add sauce, and stir to coat.
8.  Grate cheese on top of pasta before serving.

**Note:  You probably will not need to add salt to the dish as both capers and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese have very salty flavors themselves.  Taste before adding any additional salt!

**Double Note:   If you’re really concerned about having garlic breath, just leave the capers and caper juice out.  It’s an easy fix, and the dish will still taste great.

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