When I received the email from Kristen saying that our time frame for the Improv Challenge this month was a short one, my first thought was “uh oh!” I typically make my recipe the first week of the month but I completely forgot about it. Then we spend this past weekend at the beach and didn’t get home until Sunday evening.
But I really really wanted to participate in this challenge, so I decided I would make my recipe Sunday night after we got home from the beach. I had muffins to make for breakfast, so what was another recipe?
Delicious. That’s what it was. But first let me back up. I’ve gained some new readers recently so I figured it only time to make sure you’re aware of what the Improv Challenge is. So, Kristen, our lovely leader created this challenge where each month we have two ingredients, which typically follow a theme. We can make any recipe that we want including these two ingredients and then we all share it on the same day at the same time via a link up. Cool, huh?
The two ingredients for this month were chocolate and vanilla. I know, most people immediately think of ice cream or cookies, but I wanted to make something different. Something I hadn’t made in a while. Something where I could let both ingredients shine.
And then I remembered that way back in March on a visit to DC, I purchased a full-sized doughnut pan from Sur La Table and I’d never used it! I immediately went on the hunt for a doughnut recipe. I found a few yeast-based ones that were really tempting, but I just didn’t have the time for that kind of doughnut for this challenge. Then I found these doughnuts which fit my time requirements perfectly.
- 6 tbsp. sour cream
- ¼ cup milk
- ⅛ cup vegetable oil
- ⅛ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- ½ tsp. baking soda
1. Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a doughnut pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, milk, vegetable oil, applesauce, egg and vanilla.
3. In a larger bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and baking soda. Use a wooden spoon to stir the wet ingredients in to the dry until just combined.
4. Fill each section of the doughnut pan a little less than full.
5. Bake for 8 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched. Let cool in the pan a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to continue cooling.
Vanilla Doughnut Glaze
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 2-3 tbsp. evaporated milk
- sprinkles, if desired
1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Then whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add in the evaporated milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches your desired consistency.
2. Dip doughnuts directly into the glaze, quickly turn counterclockwise and lift up to let any excess glaze drip off. Add sprinkles if desired. Place on a plate to let the glaze fully set.
I probably should have went with a vanilla doughnut with a chocolate glaze in order for you to better see how I used both ingredients of the challenge, but these were delicious all the same.
Vanilla bean paste is something I finally picked up at Wegman’s. It’s on the expensive side, but its more concentrated than vanilla extract (and you can still see the flecks from the bean) and when you compare the price of a vanilla bean to the paste, it’s more than worth the cost.