Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Baked Chocolate Cake (Donuts)

I'll let you in on a secret.  I don't really like donuts.  I know.  I'm apparently crazy.  Someone on my unit owns a Dunkin Donuts and will occasionally leave donuts right outside of my office, which is quite nice, however I never, ever eat them.  There are many reasons for this.  First and foremost they have too many calories and are not enjoyable enough for me to be bothered with.  I could go on forever about the multitude of atrocities that donuts have committed but I'll spare you my rant.  Second, my office door has the credentials "Registered Dietitian" on it which would make me a really bad example.  But I don't even need a second reason.

Anyway, this recipe is called a donut but really it is a cupcake in disguise.  They're cute, they're chocolate and they're from Joy The Baker.  I just like my picture.  I'm a frosting girl at heart so if I want a cupcake, I really want the frosting more than the cake so that's a drawback if you're like me.  These are really nice though and everyone in my house liked them.  Like most donuts, they are best the day you make them.  I'm really selling this recipe.  Don't be like me.

By the way, who decides if they're donuts or doughnuts?  Homer Simpson?  Mr. Dunkin?  I wish I knew.  I'm very open to either spelling.  I pride myself on my open mindedness. 

Maybe you should just go make some and formulate your own opinion.  It'll be fun.

Baked Chocolate Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze
makes about 6 doughnuts
recipe adapted minimally from Joy The Baker
This is halved from her recipe because I knew I didn't want a lot sitting around and my kids are weird so you never know if they'll eat something or not  (they did).

For the Doughnuts:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted until just browned
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
color jimmies

Preheat oven to 325  degrees F.  Spray a doughnut baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar.
In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together until all of the ingredients are well combined.  Scrape the bowl well.  Use a small spoon to portion batter into the prepared doughnut baking pan.  Each doughnut mold should be about two-thirds full.  Bake doughnuts for 11 to 13 minutes or until a skewer inserted into one of the doughnuts comes out clean.  Remove from the oven.  Allow to rest for five minutes before inverting doughnuts onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Allow doughnuts to cool completely before glazing.
Repeat the baking process until all of the batter is turned into doughnuts.
To make the glaze, in a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.  Add 2 tablespoons of milk and all of the vanilla extract.  Whisk to combine.  Mixture may be thick.  Add milk, a teaspoon at a time, until the glaze is thick but still pourable.
Dip each doughnut (I dipped the bottom side) into the chocolate glaze.  Shake off some of the excess glaze.  Return to the wire rack and sprinkle with color jimmies.   Allow to rest a few moments for the frosting to harden slightly. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Porch Project


We have a  lovely wrap around porch on our house.  We had the floor replaced about 6 years ago and it's in desperate need of a coat of polyurethane.  Over the years we've had lots of different porch furniture.  The stuff we inherited from the previous owner which was ugly but comfortable.  The stuff I bought from Restoration Hardware which was really cute punched metal and really went with the house but was incredibly uncomfortable. It was like this.
Finally I got something a little more comfortable from Target a few years ago.  It's holding up well.  It's not my dream furniture but it was affordable and comfortable.  Anyway, my big plan over the very long, cold, snowy winter was to find a piece of furniture that I could use to put stuff on if we have company.  Like a buffet or something.  After scouring Craigslist for many months and not finding much I decided to shop my house and found a bakers rack that I used to use in my old kitchen.  It was sturdy and the perfect size.  I decided to paint it with milk paint.  My initial thought was to use it as a pop of color so I ordered what I thought was coral and a blue/green as a just in case.

It was really, really pink.  It's Miss Mustard Seed Apron Strings.  It's very pretty but it wasn't going to work the way I wanted.  I had also purchased Eulalie's Sky, which is what I ended up using.

Being that I'll never be a blogger, here's the before...which was really sort of on the way to being after but you'll get the idea.  It was just a stained bakers rack, originally all brown!

This is what it looks like after.  

I really like it although I have to admit that I did not love working with milk paint.  This was the first time I used it and I found it very difficult to mix.  I'm sure I'll use it again sometime but it's not the easiest thing to put on a piece of furniture.  I used it with a bonding agent and it still chipped more than I would have liked.  It just gives it a rustic look so it's all fine.

Here's what it looks like in action (or inaction as the case may be).

I like it.  Of course we didn't end up doing a lot of entertaining so I only used it with stuff on it but it'll be good for the future entertaining I'm sure to do next summer.  Yup.  Next summer.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Non Blogger

I'm fairly sure I'll never be a real blogger.  I can't seem to plan that far ahead.  I don't want to have Halloween in September or Thanksgiving in October.  I don't want pumpkin desserts and holiday decorations until the season is upon me.  Same goes for Christmas.  I lament the fact that it's Christmas in the store as soon as the Halloween candy is gone. Plus, I just haven't been able to get my act together to actually post the cute things I've made.  Anyway, here are a few from over the past months.

Yes, it's March, I know. 

I had great plans for Dr. Seuss's birthday but I ended up decorating a door for Frank and not doing any cute treats.  He had a student leave the Friday before and I made brownies and cookies so they could throw her a little going away party so he didn't want more sugar in the classroom which makes sense I guess.

It's almost St. Patrick's day and I haven't made anything green yet.  You never know.  It could happen but it won't be timely.  Maybe I'll surprise myself.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A quick weekend getaway

We spent last weekend in Ocean City, NJ.  Thursday was our 20th anniversary so we did what anyone would do and took the kids with us to the beach.  We usually go by ourselves but it just wasn't in the cards this year.

It was a beautiful weekend.

The beach was lovely.  The waves were fun and the water was cool.  Maybe 66 degrees but I'll go in as long as it's above freezing. 

I also made this pretty vignette...tiny, tiny shells.
We went out to dinner on Saturday but there was nothing special enough to take a picture of.  Why places say things are spicy when they are not even close, I'll never know.  And I fall for it every time and I'm always disappointed.  You'd think I'd learn but I keep trying to find the perfect spicy item.  I usually have to make my own.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

At least the view is pretty...

I've been getting up in the wee hours lately and this is what I had the pleasure of viewing bright and early the other morning:

At least this is pretty.  The bathroom I took it from is still hideous and now that it's summer, it's scorching hot with no air conditioning.  It is a nice view though.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What's Sid been doing?

Sid has been scratching floors, barking at things that aren't a threat and staring off into space in a disconcerting manner.  He's insane and not in a good way.  In the beginning of February Sid developed separation anxiety.  Every time I would leave to take a kid to school or go to work, he would park himself in front of the door and growl and bark and snap at me if I wouldn't take him with me.  Hospitals as a rule do not like dogs so he has to stay home.  It got so bad that I was starting to get scared of him, which really doesn't help but he grabbed me with his teeth and it was frightening.  I took him to the vet and she suggested we try Prozac.  It's been three months and he was doing ok and then it started up again.  I don't know what to do with him.  He needs to live with someone who is home all the time, has a one story house with no slippery floors and isn't bothered by a dog that walks backwards frequently.  I'll keep looking for this person or if you perhaps know someone who fits that description, please contact me.  I'm not sure I'll make it for another 5 or 6 years.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Storm Clouds Over Philly

We were driving back from Margate yesterday and hit a really big storm on the AC expressway.  By the time we got to Philly, this is what we saw.  It's taken from the car window as we were crossing the Walt Whitman bridge.

The beach was lovely and the water was warm enough to swim in, of course I'll go in regardless of how cold it is but it was fun.  Our first beach trip this season.