Baked Peanut Butter Doughnuts

In recent years, in lieu of buying my friends and work colleagues presents for their birthdays or anniversaries, I like to ask them if I can bake them something.  Yes, I know, I sound like a cheap-ass (because I am haha!) But really this serves a dual purpose:

1) As people get older, I find it’s harder to buy material gifts, but almost everyone will say yes to home-baked goods.

2) Asking someone what they want me to bake for them is like a mini baking challenge. Sometimes the request will be for something I’ve made in the past, but occasionally I’ll ask a picky eater and that’s when I have to start digging for recipes.

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This was one of those times. My teammate at work, Prissy, claims she doesn’t like chocolate. Well, that takes away just about 85% of my favourite recipes. So I threw out a few options for her (scones, fruit bars, blondies) but there was always something she didn’t like – no fruit bits, no granola, no white chocolate.  She started hinting that I should just get her a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

I was stumped. Then she (oh-so-casually) throws out, “Well, what about peanut butter?”. Ding! I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t suggested that, considering peanut butter is practically my favourite thing on the planet.  If there’s one thing Prissy and I have in common, it’s a love of peanut butter.

After mulling it over, suddenly it dawned on me: peanut butter doughnuts! Prissy has a love affair with Krispy Kreme, so why not combine two of her favourite things?!

A bit of background here: a couple of years ago I was a woman possessed – I had seen mini-doughnut pans in a baking magazine and I wanted some for myself. I was imagining baking hundreds of tiny doughnuts like my own personal Tiny Toms shop. Cut to two weeks later when I had visited every baking store and Marshalls in Toronto and still hadn’t managed to find some. In a stroke of luck however, I was wandering around a Michael’s Arts and Crafts store that weekend and lo and behold, two glorious, perfect mini-doughnut pans were left on the shelf.

I snapped them up, but they turned out to be the fiddliest things I had ever tried to bake with (including vanilla caramels). After making several batches of UFO-shaped “doughnuts”, I put the pans away in a huff. This is what I’d spent two weeks searching for?!

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Well today was the day for those pans to make a comeback. I found this peanut butter doughnut recipe – one bowl, a handful of ingredients I already had, mildly healthy, and a request to fill from a friend. I was going to make these pans work if it killed me.

Luckily, these doughnuts were the easiest things in the world to make. Literally 20-25 minutes from start to finish (including baking and cleanup), these are the perfect things to whip up on a random weeknight.

The original recipe was from Breakfast Drama Queen and the only change I made was to omit the almond meal since I didn’t have any.  Give them a try – they’re just like the hot, fluffy Tiny Toms you can get at The Ex but with a fraction of the calories!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour (if you prefer to use almond meal, reduce to 1/2 cup flour)
  • ¼ cup  almond meal (omit if you prefer to use all flour)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 12-hole mini doughnut pan with cooking oil spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg with a fork. Whisk in the peanut butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Pour in the milk, and whisk until completely combined.
  3. Add the flour, almond meal (if using), baking powder and salt. Mix until just combined.
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared mini doughnut pan, filling each hole approximately ¾ of the way up.
  5. Bake for 9 – 12 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean (or with a few crumbs). Let the doughnuts sit in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

These taste amazing all by themselves, but if you want to sugar coat them, you can melt about 2 tbsp of butter and brush the doughnuts with it. Get a small bowl and mix 1/3-1/2 cup granulated sugar with 2 tsp cinnamon. Drop the buttered doughnuts into the bowl and gently stir to coat.

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I highly recommend sugar coating these right after the doughnuts come out of the oven and eating them warm. They’re DIVINE.

Happy eating!

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