I messed up.
Like most people, I usually make a few New Year's resolutions, which inevitably are broken or, as I like to say, become more "loosely interpreted" by the end of January. "Broken" is such a negative way of putting it, don't you think?
For 2012, I resolved to not make any New Year's resolutions. Part of my decision was based on the fact that people generally expect resolutions to be broken, so they never really have a fighting chance. I also couldn't settle on just one or two items. I had too many ideas running around in my head for things that I wanted to accomplish this year. Oh yeah, I have big plans for 2012.
So, I did what any slightly nerdy and super Type-A person would do. I put together a Power Point presentation entitled "My Goals for 2012." Yes, really.
I'll give you a moment to snicker.
Here was my reasoning: If I had simply scrawled a goal list on one of my 139 legal pads, it would be neither be organized nor legible. It would just be a mess of random phrases with lots of !!!'s and ***'s. Plus, I would likely lose the list or spill red Crystal Lite all over it. So that method was out. By arranging my goals neatly by category on PowerPoint slides (i.e. "Granola", "Fitness", "Writing", "Home Improvement"), they seemed much easier to tackle, and they were easier to prioritize.
By presenting my slides to an audience of Eric and my dogs (and yes, I actually did this--do you need more time to snicker?), I upped my level of commitment to the goals. Plus, who can't afford to brush up on the ol' presentation skills? Apparently I could be a bit more engaging. The dogs are a tough crowd. One fell asleep while the other chewed on his foot.
Also, PowerPoints are kind of fun to put together. Did I just type that? Wow, I am a nerd.
So back to the "mess up." I've been doing pretty well with my PowerPoint of goals, crossing off at least a few items every week. One of my ongoing goals is to start eliminating the clutter from our house. While we are by no means hoarders, we have somehow managed to accumulate unnecessary "stuff", and lots of it. For example, it might be time to cut the cord and get rid of our impressive VHS tape collection, especially since we have not had a VHS player for close to a decade. Just a thought.
Anyhow, this de-cluttering most certainly applies to my kitchen as well. Like many of you, I'm sure, my cabinets are jam-packed with oddly shaped bakeware, super-specialized tools, and items that I don't recall ever seeing before.
NO MORE! I am going to get this kitchen tidy, cleaned out, and organized, and I am not going to buy any new stuff (unless of course I really need it.)
Then I went to Target on Monday. Target is my kryptonite. (Shakes fist) Darn you Target and your reasonably priced, adorably themed holiday displays!! This is all your fault!!
Long story short, I bought a heart-shaped doughnut pan.
In my defense, it was only $7.99, and it's pretty slim, so it won't take up much room. Plus, it was just too cute to pass up. There must be some sort of cuteness clause that makes this a viable purchase, right?
Well, time to make the doughnuts 🙂
This was my first attempt at making increasingly popular "healthier" baked doughnuts, and I was a bit skeptical of how they would turn out. The flavor choice was dictated by ingredients that I had on hand, specifically, ripened bananas. I've always liked cardamom in my banana bread, so I added it to the doughnut batter, along with toasted pecans, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I opted for oil instead of butter in the batter, as I thought that it would help to keep the doughnuts moist. Overall, I was very happy with the results -- nice banana-y flavor and cake-like texture. In my opinion, the sweet glaze is a non-negotiable. Even if you don't want to do a coconut glaze, do some sort of glaze (vanilla, chocolate, maple, etc.)
Glaze, for lack of a better word, is good.
Here are some extra tips for making these healthier banana bites:
- I like to puree my bananas in a food processor when adding them to batters, but you can simply mash them in a bowl or squeeze them in a sealed zip-top bag. The only difference is that you might have a few larger banana pieces in your doughnuts.
- If you don't want to glaze the doughnuts, you can roll them in confectioner's sugar or in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar while they are still warm. I do suggest coating them with something though.
- These doughnuts are best eaten the day that they are baked.
Baked Banana Bread Doughnuts with Coconut Glaze
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup golden brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups banana puree
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
For the Glaze
2 cups confectioner's sugar
2-3 tablespoons coconut milk (or whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
Toasted shredded coconut, sprinkles, additional confectioner's sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spray a doughnut pan with nonstick baking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar with the oil and the eggs at medium speed for 2 minutes. Mix in the banana puree, the buttermilk, and the vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing until incorporated. Mix in the pecans.
Transfer the batter to a large zip-top bag, and cut off one corner. Pipe the dough into the doughnut pan, filling each mold about halfway full. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the doughnuts spring back when lightly touched. Carefully remove the doughnuts from the pan and allow them to cool on wire racks.
Prepare the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, coconut milk (or milk), and extract until smooth. You can add a bit more of the extract if the flavor is not "coconutty" enough for you.
Dip the cooled doughnuts in the glaze and decorate with toasted coconut, sprinkles, or your topping of choice!