May 19, 2015

Avoid bakery lines by making your own Sunday treats

Donuts can be easily customized with the addition of colored icing and sprinkles. What's not to love?

Donuts can be easily customized with the addition of colored icing and sprinkles. What’s not to love?

If you’ve ever gotten out of bed on the weekend, tossed on some sweats and taken a walk to the local bakery, you were likely met with a line out the door. Hungry brunch-goers and young families love to get their donut/croissant/pie fix bright and early on Saturdays and Sundays. This makes for a long wait and possibly even meager selection when you roll in mid-morning. Instead of going through this weekly hassle, make Sunday treats at home. Here are a few to try:

Cronuts
Croissant donuts belong on every Sunday plate. They’re not super healthy – we must admit they are not a yogurt parfait or boring fiber cereal – but just about everyone can get down with this dual pastry. You can even top it off with fruit or homemade jam to get a few vitamins with your carbs. Blogger Baking Beauty makes her own cronuts and adds a sweet vanilla glaze on top. She uses pre-packaged crescent sheets but you can use your Boulder culinary school skills to make your own croissant dough. (Try this recipe from Joy of Baking.) When you read “sweet vanilla glaze” a few sentences back, you probably thought vanilla extract, sugar and water. Baking Beauty uses one single-serving-cup of vanilla pudding as a filler for the cronut and then uses powdered sugar, vanilla and milk for the tasty top glaze. Cronuts are way less messy than powdered donuts, plus they can be quickly made, which is handy when you’re hungry for some sweet brunch treats.

Cookie butter donuts
The latest donut to arrive at Dunkin’ is a cookie dough variety. Pretty Providence found herself addicted to spooning cookie butter and decided to turn her new favorite spread into a donut, similar to the famous chain’s. Instead of using the cookie part as a creamy inside, the blogger adds it to the dough. The entire donut tastes like cookie butter (also known as Speculoos or Biscoff Spread) and then the top is a chocolate frosting. If you’ve never had cookie butter, you are missing a real treat. It’s like a sweetened, less-nutty peanut butter but with tiny granules of gingerbread cookie. The flavor is more like a very light peanut butter than a bitter, dense gingerbread, and it makes for a wonderful donut. She uses a muffin pan to make perfectly-shaped donuts by placing the dough around a rolled-up piece of aluminum foil to preserve the hole. Her recipe calls for sugar, oil, vanilla extract, baking powder, flour and, of course, cookie butter. Mix it all together with a hand mixer and then place it in a plastic bag. You’ll use the bag to pipe the dough into the muffin pan. This method is much less hands-on than rolling the dough and making donut shapes manually.

Oreo cookie donuts
Everyone’s favorite cookie can be made into a donut, making everyone’s favorite donut and a potential sugar coma. Mess Makes Food creates these mini-donuts using flour, baking powder, buttermilk, egg, butter and vanilla extract. With only five crushed Oreos, this mixture turns into tiny donuts that are so small you can eat a handful and still not feel the buzz. Her original recipe is not super sweet or chocolatey, but you can add some cocoa powder if you’re looking for a more intense Oreo taste. Make a simple homemade icing for a glaze and then use extra crushed cookies as sprinkles and you’re set. This does get a bit messy, as crushing things often does, so you will want a clear countertop and perhaps a dog on duty to remove excess crumbs from the floor. A vacuum will also do.