Monday, March 11, 2013

Three words...Baked "Samoas" Donuts

I need to tell you a little story about these donuts.  I made them last Thursday to take to work, and like during donut December, I prepped the ingredients the night before, but this time I actually dreamt about making the donuts Wednesday night into Thursday morning.  Granted this is not the first time I have dreamt about baked good...normally though the dreams are more like nightmare, like somehow I frosted a cake and I wake up to find the frosting has some how completely slide of the cake or the cake has fallen in.  Seriously, I have woken up and had to go downstairs to check and make sure the cake, pie, cookies are still in one piece.  

The dream about these donuts though was less of a nightmare and more like reality.  In the dream, I woke, and then literally went step by step making them.  Then, I woke up from the dream and did exactly that.  These donuts literally turned out exactly as I dreamed they would too.  The donut is light and airy, while the caramel is rich and buttery.  The toasted coconut adds excellent crunch and the chocolate ties the entire donut together, truly making it a "samoa" donut.  I kind of think that girl scouts should be jealous they didn't get to try these...but that's just my opinion.  I definitely think you should give these a try...I myself will be making them this coming weekend for my mom!

Bottom left: The night before, I mixed all of the dry ingredients and stored them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Top left:  Well sprayed donut pans...there is one hiding out off camera too

In the middle: Eggs and vanilla extract

In the middle top: Melted butter

Right side: Buttermilk...well skim milk and a teaspoon of white vinegar 

Whisk just until combined.

Fill the pans 3/4 full and then into the oven.

Using a spoon or pastry brush carefully cover just the top with caramel, then dip in toasted coconut.

These donuts deserved a "donut shop" was totally even pink on the outside.

Baked "Samoa" Donuts: (donut recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes you can Trust)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup skim milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Almost burnt caramel sauce: (recipe from The Joy the Baker Cookbook)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
3 tablespoons salted butter or (3 tablespoons unsalted butter + 1/4 teaspoon salt)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping:
1 - 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted 
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Make ahead - Caramel Sauce:
1.  Place a medium, heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.  Add the sugar, water and corn syrup to the warming pan.  Whisk the sugar occasionally as it begins to heat to ensure that the sugar cooks evenly.

2.  Cook the sugar to a nice dark copper color. The sugar will go from golden to dark copper fairly quickly.  To help control the sugar, turn off the heat and move the pot to a cool burner just before you reach the dark color you'd like.  The bottom of the pan will still be hot enough to continue to cook the sugar.

3.  Over low heat, whisk butter, all at once, into the copper-colored sugar.  When butter is melted, pour in the cream.  The mixture will bubble and froth, but keep mixing.  When bubbling subsides, add vanilla extract.  Stir.  The caramel might feel to loose. Don't worry; it will thicken as it cools.

4.  Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  

For the doughnuts: 
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a baker’s spray to coat doughnut pan.

2.  Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. (This can be done the night before.)

3. Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

4.  Fill the wells of the doughnut pans a bit more than three-quarters full with the batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the wall of a doughnut comes out clean and the doughnuts are puffed and lightly browned. Let them cool (in the pan) for 5 minutes, then gently remove the doughnuts to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

5.  While donuts are baking, place coconut on a baking sheet with a rim and place in the top of the oven.  Stir coconut after 3 minutes and to let toast evenly.  Let bake for another 3 minutes or until you begin to smell the coconut and it is a nice golden brown color.  Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.

6.  Once donuts are cooled, place the jar of caramel in the microwave for 20 second.  Test, with a spoon, to see if it has thinned out enough to spread.  If it is still to thick, microwave for another 20 seconds, or until caramel has thinned but is not hot.

7.  Now it is almost time for assembly, but while we are coating the donuts with caramel and coconut, melt the chocolate oven medium low heat using a double boiler. (I just use a metal bowl or a medium sauce pan filled 1/3 full with water.  Just as long as the water is not touching the bowl.)  Occasionally take a minute to stir the chocolate while you are coating the donuts.

8.  Using a spoon or small pastry brush, coat the tops of cooled donuts with caramel and then dip in coconut. Repeat this process until all donuts are covered.  Once donuts are covered, drizzle them with the melted chocolate, serve and Enjoy!

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