Guess what? This is post #50 for Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker! So this post is celebrating not only Valentine’s Day, but also a 50-post milestone. How are we celebrating? There’s a story behind that! I had been thinking about a Valentine’s Day post in the back of my mind for a while now, but until a couple days ago, I hand’t really hit any idea I was set on. I thought of chocolate cake, but I really didn’t need any chocolate cake around the house (as much as I wouldn’t mind having some). Then I remembered the Valentine’s muffin liners and decorative toothpicks I bought last month, and when I realized I had no need for cupcakes either (again, wouldn’t mind having them), I almost set myself on making muffins. But, I then thought about the heart-shaped cookie cutter I have, which I rarely use, and I decided that I wanted to incorporate it somehow. I wasn’t going to make cookies, though, so what could I use the cookie cutter for? Suddenly, it hit me, and I have no idea why… I would make doughnuts!
I knew right away that they would have to be baked doughnuts; there was no way I was about to make myself a bunch of fried ones, nor do I like the fried kind. But baked doughnuts sounded like something fun to try, a new challenge. I had been toying with the idea of a chocolate-strawberry combination for whatever I made – chocolate because duh, it’s Valentine’s Day, and strawberry because it adds some red, also necessary for the holiday. So, I decided to go for a strawberry filling and a chocolate glaze with pink sugar crystals on top. I also ended up making some of the doughnuts without the filling, with a plain glaze and the pink sugar crystals. Different people like different flavors, so I figured I might as well make two options. Both flavors are yummy, and as I suspected, I love the chocolate ones, but some people like the plain ones. Mix up the filling/glaze options however you’d like! The best part is, the doughnut-eaters thought the baked version was just as good as fried doughnuts (more like better!), and the non-doughnut eaters thought they were delicious!
All in all, the doughnuts were a big hit, a little messy to fill and glaze, but worth the effort. They’re so cute; the perfect way to say “I love you” on Valentine’s Day morning!
- 1⅓ cups warm milk (divided)
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 5-5½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Strawberry Filling
- 1 cup pureed strawberries (about 9-10 whole)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cold water
- dash vanilla extract
- Chocolate Glaze
- 1 cup chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60%)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Plain Glaze
- 2½ tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- pink sugar crystals
- Combine ⅓ cup warm milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, stirring together. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter, sugar and remaining 1 cup warm milk. Add to the milk-yeast mixture and stir at lowest speed.
- Keeping mixer at low speed, mix in eggs. Add 5 cups flour and salt, mixing until just combined.
- Switch to dough hook. Knead dough at medium-low speed for about 10 minutes, adding up to ½ cup more flour as necessary to make sure dough doesn’t stick to sides of bowl. When you remove the dough from the bowl, it should not stick, but instead be barely tacky.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place into a large, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until doubled in size. If the dough doesn’t seem to be rising enough, place in the oven and preheat oven to lowest temperature, turning off oven once preheated and letting dough rise inside (I did this for the second half-hour of the rising time).
- Remove dough from bowl and roll out to ¼” thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut dough into shapes, placing shaped doughnuts on two baking trays covered with parchment paper.
- Cover shaped doughnuts with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes, or refrigerate overnight and let rise for 1 hour once removed from fridge.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 F. Bake doughnuts in oven for 8-10 minutes, until barely starting to turn golden on top.
- To prepare the strawberry filling: Combine pureed strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water, mixing together to form a paste. Add to saucepan and set on stove over medium heat. Cook until thickened, stirring often.
- To prepare the chocolate glaze: Microwave chocolate chips on high in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute. Stir, microwaving for additional 30-second increments if necessary until melted. Stir in butter, corn syrup, and vanilla until completely smooth.
- To prepare plain glaze: In a small saucepan, combine milk and vanilla. Place on stove over low heat until warm. Sift in confectioner’s sugar and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and set over a bowl filled with warm water while dunking doughnuts.
- To fill doughnuts, pour strawberry filling into a piping bag fitting with a #230 Bismarck Tip. Stick tip into top of doughnut, halfway down, and squeeze in filling. You can shape the bit of filling that comes out as a heart, but if you’re covering the doughnuts with chocolate glaze, the extra filling won’t show.
- Dunk doughnuts in glaze of choice and place back on lined baking sheet to set. After a few minutes, once glaze has cooled slightly, sprinkle with pink sugar crystals. Doughnuts are delicious eaten warm from the oven. For doughnuts that aren’t being eaten immediately, let set in fridge. Store in airtight bag or container in fridge; they’ll still taste good days later. I like to microwave mine for about 20 seconds and dig in!
Strawberry Filling adapted from: Baking Junkie
Chocolate Glaze from: The Milkman’s Wife
Plain Glaze adapted from: Food Network
This recipe uses:Wilton Sugar Crystals