Baked Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Glaze (Williams Sonoma Junior Chef Recipe).

IMG_4093

Finished Product

Took a stab at a Williams-Sonoma Chocolate Baked Donut Recipe that I found on a flyer at a store a few months ago.   I have not seen the recipe on-line.

These were very easy to make and taste mighty chocolately.  Only suggested changed is to bake the donuts closer to 12 minutes not 10.  At 10 minutes the donuts really failed the toothpick test but at 12 they were perfectly done.  My batch created 9 donuts and the recipe says 18.    This is the pan I used.  I am not being paid to advertise this and worked very well.  Perhaps the donut mold at WS is smaller and can make 18 vs 9.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FY9IQAC/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Ingredients

For the Donuts:

  • Nonstick cooking spray  (worked like a charm as the donuts easily inverted)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • Measure 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, then
    sift
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup of buttermilk (3 FL OZ)
  • 1/3 cup of  whole milk (3 FL OZ)
  • 6 tablespoons or 3/4 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup or 4 ounces of white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • For the chocolate glaze:
    • 1/4  cup (2 fl. oz,/60 ml) heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup or 4 oz of semisweet chocolate finely chopped (I just used chocolate chips)
  • Sprinkles – Optional

Steps:

To make the donuts, preheat the oven to 375”F.

Set out your butter to soften.

Coat the wells of a 6-well donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.  (I used a 9-well.)

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder (remember to sift it first), espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk and whole milk. Set aside.   (I used a buttermilk powder to make my buttermilk and had no negative consequences.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the
butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stop the
mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with
the buttermilk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition
until just blended.

Pour 2 Tbs. batter into each prepared well.  (I just filled each well 2/3rds full and that seemed to make perfect sized donuts)

Bake, carefully rotating the pan 180 degrees halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted into the donuts comes out clean, about 10 minutes.    I SUGGEST TURNING AT 6 MINUTES AND REMOVING AT 12 MINUTES.

Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan.  (Surprisingly inverting was not difficult and no donuts broke).

Let the donuts cool completely.   (Takes no more than 10 minutes)

Meanwhile, wash and dry the pan and repeat to bake the remaining batter in
2 more batches.   (I did not have any batter after filling my 9 donut well)

To make the glaze, pour the cream into a small saucepan, place over medium heat
and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted.
Transfer to a heatproof bowl.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip the cooled donuts, top side down,
into the glaze. Place them, glazed side up, on the prepared baking sheet.

Serve right away with the glaze still wet or let stand until the glaze hardens, about 5 minutes, then serve.   If adding sprinkles due immediately after dipping in chocolate.

Makes 18 donuts.  (9 IN MY BOOK)

Adapted from The Junior Chef Cookbook by Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen (Weldon Owen, 2015)

 

 

IMG_4077

Ingredients

IMG_4091

Makes 9 Donuts

IMG_4081

Pre- Glazed

Advertisements

Easy Tasty “Scratch” Chocolate Brownies

IMG_7580

These brownies are terrific and super simple.  They can go into the oven in 15 minutes with little cleanup!

Ingredients

  • 1/3rd Cup of Butter of 2.5 ounces (cut into a few pieces)
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts optional
  • 1 oz powder sugar optional (but makes the brownies even prettier and tasty)

Need

  • 7X7 square pan preferred but ok in 8X8 but brownie will be much thinner
  • parchment liner piece of paper or grease bottom well

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over almost boiling water (or use a double boiler pot if you have one).  Make sure the water does not touch the bowl.
    • Leave until melted on own, then stir together
    • Remove from heat
  • Stir sugar into the butter and leave for 5-10 minutes to cool
  • Beat eggs into bowl with butter and sugar
  • Add the flour and the pinch of salt. and stir being careful not to overmix
  • Add nuts and stir if desired.
  • Cut a piece of baking parchment paper or waxed paper for bottom.
    • If desired butter the bottom of the parchment
  • Pour mixture into the lined baking tin and level the top by tilting the pan or using a spoon
  • Cook 25-35 minutes until firm around the edges but still slightly soft in the middle
    • Do not overcook – 28-30 minutes for a 7X7 should be perfect, shorter if larger pan.
    • Test with toothpick
  • Sprinkle powder sugar over brownies
  • Cool on a cooling rack carefully lifting the paper and brownies onto the rack.
  • Cut into 9 – 12 squares
  • Enjoy

Apple Muffins from Scratch

IMG_8813

Easy recipe and kid helper friendly.   Without a kid helper, prep time is 15 minutes.  With a kid helper … 🙂

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pull out your butter to start softening.  Prep all ingredients until butter is soft prior to creaming it.   This apple muffin is a little more tasty and less healthy than my other apple muffin.  It is a better brunch muffin and presents more upscale.

Makes 12 regular sized muffins.

Muffin Batter:

1/2 Cup White Sugar

1/4 Cup Butter (half of a typical US stick of butter or  4 tablespoons ).   Soften approximately 15-20 minutes.

1 Egg

1 Cup Milk (2% fine)

2 Cups Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon (will need again for topping)

1 Teaspoon Allspice

1 Teaspoon Nutmeg (optional but I used)

1 1/2 Cups Peeled Small Diced/ Chopped Apple

Muffin Topping:  

1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

 

Directions:

In a large bowl add flour, salt, baking powder and spices for batter.  Stir to mix ingredients.

Mix in another small bowl the two muffin topping and set aside

Cream on a medium speed in mixer with paddle attachment the softened butter and sugar.  Add egg and mix some more.  Add milk and mix on low speed some more.

Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and blend/stir until all is lightly moistened.  It is properly mixed when you do not see much flour but batter is still lumpy.

Add diced apples to batter and blend throughout.

Evenly fill a well-greased muffin tin or use liners.  These muffins do stick some.  I recommend spraying your liners some if you are using with some non-stick spray but is not totally necessary.   In a normal 12 muffin pan the batter will be a little more than half filled prior to cooking.   Sprinkle with a spoon the muffin topping across all muffins.  You may not need all the topping.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Test after 20 minutes with a toothpick but in most cases 2-3 more minutes gives a more done muffin without any harm.

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Pudding from Scratch – Kid Helpers Welcomed

Finished Product in a Serving Bowl

Flipping through Look and Cook (A Cookbook for Children) by Tina Davis (http://www.amazon.com/Look-Cook-A-Cookbook-Children/dp/1584793589), I came across a seemingly simple recipe for chocolate pudding.  My husband, the frequent taste tester, smugly said instant Jello Pudding would have been a lot simpler.  After looking up how to make instant Jello Pudding, I would have to conclude instant pudding is simpler (you don’t have to cook it for fifteen minutes or clean a pot) but the taste of the real deal was excellent and let’s be serious, the extra work for the real deal is 15 minutes, and it costs way less per serving and no foreign sounding ingredients.  I did not have to shop for a single ingredient.  Furthermore, my kid helper did just about everything but crack the eggs and measure the milk.  I even managed to squeeze in a fraction lesson as we experimented with the recipe.

Real Deal Pudding Ingredients:

5 tablespoons of sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons of cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon of salt

2 1/2 cups of milk (I used 2% with no problems)

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup (8 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon good vanilla extract

whipped cream optional

Real Deal Chocolate Pudding Directions:

  1. In a heavy saucepan (small to medium size will do) whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. Add the milk and eggs and whisk until no lumps.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a full boil for a minute or two.  I did not set the timer, but I stirred on and off (but mostly on until it boiled quite a bit and the mixture moved from a loose liquid to the texture you normally associate pudding with.)  I would guess it was on the stove for about 12-15 minutes.  Your common sense will take over when appropriately done.  Once it starts to boil watch carefully as you would not want to scorch your pot.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  6. Pour the pudding into a large serving bowl or individual dishes.
  7. Top with whipped cream if desired.
  8. You can serve warm, room temperature or chilled.
  9. If you are not going to serve the pudding right away, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
  10. Cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge and serve cold with whipped cream if desired.
  11. Serves 6 to 8 portions (book says 6 but those would be big portions)

My husband and I thought the taste was great.  Our daughter will do her taste testing at dinner tomorrow night.  The pudding was appropriately sweet and a good consistency.

I thought clean up was simple – one pot which needed a good wipe down, a bowl to crack the eggs, a large whisk, and a few measuring spoons.

For those that need instant gratification or are curious what ingredients are in a box of jello instant pudding

Jell-O Instant Pudding Ingredients:

1 Box = 3.9 oz (110 g); Instant Pudding and Pie Filling – Chocolate. Four 1/2-cup servings. 5 Minutes to homemade.

Ingredients:

Sugar, Modified Food Starch, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Disodium Phosphate (for Thickening), Contains Less Than 2% of Natural and Artificial Flavor, Salt, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate (for Thickening), Mono- and Diglycerides (Prevent Foaming), Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Artificial Color, BHA (Preservative)

Jell-O Instant 5-Minute Pudding Directions:

  1. Beat pudding mix into 2 cups cold milk in bowl with wire whisk 2 minutes.
  2. Pour at once into individual serving dishes. Pudding will be soft-set and ready to eat within 5 minutes. Makes 4 (1/2 cup) servings.

No picture included because we did not make the box mix and likely never will.

Quick and Easy Homemade Waffles by Mark Bittman

This waffle recipe is easy.  You will never want frozen waffles again!

I have never had it fail and I have made it at least 50 times.   I always make one extra set of the dry ingredients which I set aside in a large zip lock bag.  I label the outside of that ziplock well and then inside in a small separate plastic bag I put a note card with the wet ingredients to add.  This way me or my husband can whip up a batch quick.

Effort to make 1 batch – 10 minutes plus time to cook the waffles.  To cook a full batch allocate 30 minutes.    I love my waffle iron which came from William Sonoma.  It does not have any bells and whistles but it does the job well.  The only choice is the doneness setting.  Usually I cook on setting 2 (out of 10).

Before starting the mixing, turn on your waffle iron, and put the butter in the microwave and set aside to cool.

Ingredients:

2 cups of all-purpose flour (dry)

1/2 teaspoon salt (dry)

2 tablespoons of sugar (dry)

3 teaspoons of baking powder (dry) (underlined to make sure you measure this precisely and that you use powder not soda).

1 1/2 cups of milk

2 eggs

4 tablespoons or 1/2 stick of butter melted and cooled – I use the microwave cutting the butter into a few pieces before setting it to 40 seconds.

1 teaspoon of good vanilla extract (worth adding but is labelled optional in Bittman’s recipe)

Preparation:

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl mix the eggs into the milk (I usually separately scramble the eggs before mixing with the milk).

Add to the smaller bowl the cooled butter and vanilla if using.

Add the wet smaller bowl to the dry ingredients and stir until mixed well but not obsessively well.

If the mixture is dry add a little more milk but if you measured correctly additional milk should not be necessary.

Spread batter into center of your waffle iron (using a large spoon, poured from a measuring bowl, or using a ladle).

Bake until waffle is done 3-5 minutes – my waffle iron beeps and turns green when done.  There is no guesswork.

Carefully peel waffle off iron and pour in more batter until done.

I like to lay the done waffles on a cooling rack to keep crisp and get air below the waffle.  If I am serving a few minutes later I reheat on a cooling rack laid on top of a cookie sheet.

Once cooled I freeze all leftovers in a freezer bag.  They last well in the freezer for at least 2 months.  I have not tried longer.

I defrost the night before if I remember and  then just place in the toaster in the morning.  Even without defrosting one toast or a preheated toaster at 325 for 5-10 minutes warms the waffle right up.

This recipe is super easy and doubles perfectly.  I almost always make a double batch if I have time and freeze as many as possible.

DO NOT MAKE THE BATTER THE DAY BEFORE THINKING YOU WILL SAVE TIME IN THE MORNING.  Results will be sub-par.  If you need to save time, set aside the combined dry ingredients the night before on your counter and pre-measure the milk and vanilla and leave those two ingredients in the fridge.   Then cut your butter and place in the bowl you will put into the microwave but return the butter back to the fridge as well.   This will save you 5 minutes out the 10-15 minutes it takes to make the whole batter start to finish.

If you have a kid helper, ask them to measure all the dry ingredients and place in the bowl.   Ask them to help stir the wet ingredients as well.

Mini Meat (or Turkey) Loaves – Kid Helpers Welcomed

This is a simple dish for a novice to make.  You need one regular size muffin pan.  This dish can be in the oven within 20 minutes and clean up takes about 10 minutes max if you throw everything (muffin pan included) in the dishwasher.  This recipe was adopted from C is for Cooking Recipes From the Street by Susan McQuillan.   This is a kids’ cookbook I skeptically bought but turns out I would highly recommend it.  (It can be found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sesame-Street-Cooking-40th-Anniversary/dp/0470523077/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391978718&sr=1-1&keywords=c+is+for+cooking.  I receive nothing for this mention).

Equipment: Muffin Pan (12 cups), Small Bowl, Large Bowl, measuring items)

Kids can help with all the measuring and my 4 year old loves making the balls for the tins.  I mix the ingredients in the bowl though initially to make sure the consistency is good.

PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 350

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 pound turkey ground turkey (I like a combo of thigh and breast; however any type of ground meat is fine- chicken, beef, pork etc)

1 cup uncooked old fashioned oatmeal (I like Bob’s Red Mill Organic Extra Thick Rolled Oats which can be found at Wholefoods)

1 small onion (or half large onion) – diced very small

1 or 2 carrots depending on size (shred with a grater)

1/3 cup ketchup and 1/4 Heinz Chili Sauce (sold near ketchup at most grocery stores)

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (I buy this pre-grated to save time)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt (I use half this but recipe calls for full one)

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Topping – (original recipe calls for ketchup; I make my topper below)

1/3rd cup Heinz Chili sauce,  mixed with 1 very generous tablespoon of Light Brown Sugar

Steps:

Lightly spray cooking spray in 9 muffin tins (sometimes you get 8, sometimes 9)

Crack egg in tiny bowl, remove any shells.

In large bowl combine chosen meat, oatmeal, onion, carrot, egg, ketchup, chili sauce (if using), parm cheese, salt and pepper

Mix with your CLEAN hands or use plastic baggies over hands.

Once well mixed, scoop up a ball and place in muffin tin, patting the top down to be smooth.

Brush with topping if using (again I think the Chili Sauce with a little sugar is the way to go)

Bake 20-25 minutes until center not pink (I usually cook it the full 25, but they usually seem done after 22-23 minutes).

Remove from oven and keep in muffin tin for ATLEAST 10-15 minutes so the muffins continue to set.  If they are not set, this recipe will not come out as desired.

After you patiently wait, carefully with a knife lift up muffins (they should be completely stuck together – see pictures) and place on a rack to cool if not serving right away.   I freeze these all the time, and defrost the night before I want to use them.  For a kid under 7, one muffin as a main dish is more than enough.  My husband will eat two at a time.  One would not be enough for him.  For me, one is fine.   Hence I often double this recipe and we eat a few and then we have lots to freeze later.

View after putting on the topping but before being baked.

Image

View before the topping.

Image

Done and now resting on a rack after staying in the muffin pan for 15 minutes.

Image

Kids’ Cooking Project for School – Spaghetti and Meatballs

I like this project for a class lunch for ages 3-8.  I recommend making one set of meatballs ahead of time to speed up the process.  Have the teacher bake the meatballs the kids made during lunch time and save for afternoon snack later that week.  I like to use turkey meat and think dark or white breast meat is fine.   I have tried both many times.  For ease of class project, I recommend measuring the spices ahead of time and just bring baggies or little cups that the kids can toss in.   Otherwise I find the kids are fighting over helping each other with the measuring spoons and pouring and you get a mess.  Start the jumbo pot of water ahead of time and lightly salt it.  Use extra water if you think some of the water will boil down.  You want a lot of water for the pasta.

Class Spaghetti and Meatballs – February 2014

 

Check List of Items Needed

1 Cookie Sheet for baking meatballs

Aluminum foil to line baking sheet

Cooking oil spray to spray foil on top of cookie sheet

Very large bowl for meatball mixing , small bowl for egg

Plastic bags for mixing meat initially by hand

Large strainer for pasta

Heavy duty large mixing spoon

Very large pot to cook pasta

Small pot or fry pan for heating sauce and already cooked meatballs

Spoon for tossing sauce as it is heated

Bring spaghetti serving fork to school if you have one (I only attaching this link because it is a good picture.  You do not need to spend $32 for a pasta serving fork.  However look for a utensil that is firm on the bottom vs a cheap plastic one.  You will have better success and it will hold up better in the dishwasher.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/9915919/?catalogId=8&sku=9915919&bnrid=3120901&cm_ven=Google_PLA&cm_cat=Cooks’_Tools&cm_pla=Cooking_Utensils&cm_ite=All-Clad_Stainless-Steel_Professional_Pasta_Fork_%7C_Williams-Sonoma&srccode=cii_17588969&cpncode=34-136177943-2

Food Needed

Bag of spices already measured (see below**)

Few tablespoons of milk

1 Egg

Pinch of salt for the boiled water for pasta

Already made meatballs (to speed up project) –

(can save other meatballs for later after cooking)

Ground turkey meat (1 to 1.5 pounds) for hands on kids mixing – you should easily be able to make 20 meatballs

Box of spaghetti – Break sticks in half before cooking

1 jar of sauce

½ Cup Panko bread crumbs or some other brand –  Wegman brand good too

Parmesan Cheese for Topping

Optional fresh broccoli stalks cut small

Reminders for teacher 

Get water boiling early before start project with kids

Spaghetti needs 11-13 minutes on per box direction – start the timer once the water reboils and watch pot that it does not overflow

If using, toss in broccoli with about 5-6 minutes to go;  strain pasta/broc.

Meatball Making – likely to take 15 minutes with kids and then needs to cook

Pre-heat oven to 400 for meatballs before starting project with kids.

Lined Rim Baking Sheet with alum foil and spray a little oil

NOTE: each kid can add in ingredients below – suggest parent mix meatball batter, then hand a little meat to each kid to form meatball

–       In large bowl- stir  bread crumbs (1/2 cup) and milk (3 tbsp) and let stand 5 mins

–       ** Add oregano (1/2 T) , dried onion (1/2 t), salt (1/2 t) , pepper (1/4 t)

–       Crack egg in small bowl and lightly beat

–       Add egg to large bowl of breadcrumbs

–       Add in the meat and make meatballs

–       Bake about 11-13 minutes

Warm Sauce on medium low  along with already cooked meatballs; serve with spaghetti and sprinkle with cheese.  Plan for ten minutes for sauce and already cooked meatballs to get warm