Guess what? I finally bought the donut pan. I was in Joann this weekend picking up miscellaneous stuff and I walked by it… four times. I waffled with the idea of buying it. I didn’t really NEED another pan and thought about the cake pop, mini loaf, gingerbread man and about four other pans that just sit in the cake pan cupboard dying for use. When I look in that cupboard I start to feel like a hoarder because, well, I only use five of the 20 odd pans in it.
But then I had a revelation: I didn’t buy most of the pans. I inherited them from my mother. Yes, I did buy about five of them, but I use three pretty regularly so my track record is pretty good in that aspect. So I bought the donut pan. And with my coupon, it only cost me $6.
And then I started thinking about donut recipes. How could I make something totally out of character while still staying within The Hero’s ‘palette zone’? Having just bought a refrigerator full of stuff, I figured the easiest way would be to add fruit to the mix.
I found this fantastic recipe on King Arthur Flour’s website that I made some time ago with a muffin pan (because I told myself I didn’t need a donut pan). They were delicious and I promised if I ever bought a donut pan, this would be my go-to base recipe. The beauty of the recipe is it gives a person like me (with very little understanding of the food science behind recipes) the courage to branch out and make some pretty significant substitutions without fear of a whole batch of beautiful nastiness. Of course, you can change out the spices, fruit puree or anything else your heart desires. You can even make a wonderful glaze to go on top. The Hero prefers ‘em plain though so I skipped that step.
adapted from King Arthur Flour
¼ cup butter
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup strawberries, pureed
¼ cup milk
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Puree the strawberries and mix with the milk. Set aside. Lightly spray the wells of a donut pan. Skip this step if using a nonstick pan.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth.
Add the eggs, beating to combine.
Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.
Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
Spoon the batter evenly into each well, filling the cups about ¼: shy of the rim.
Bake the muffins for about 10 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown.
Remove them from the oven, and let them cool for a couple of minutes. Remove from the pan and enjoy.