Baked Banana Bread Doughnuts with Caramel Espresso Glaze

posted on: November 21, 2014

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Finals are in less than a month, folks. It’s that final sprint to the finish line, and I think if I survive to Thanksgiving, then I can make it. It’s a horrible, grueling sprint. It’s gotten to the point where everyday is “Throw a Sweatshirt on It” Day. If I don’t have my water bottle handy, I’ll forget to hydrate. Like who does that? Forgets to drink water? Especially since I always get the worst headaches by the end of the day from dehydration. Although, I have yet to forget to eat. If I ever forget to eat, that’s when you know something is terribly wrong.

In all fairness, I did have a last weekend to recharge. I would’ve kept chugging along, except that I got snowed it. Totally an omen to take a day to myself, right? In the spirit of karma (or something), I baked a batch of these lovely doughnuts, which I’ve been working on perfecting for ages now. (These being the fourth test batch; my neighbors and friends love me more with each batch.) I also whipped up an apple cake from a family recipe. The glitch with my family recipes is that they’re measured in mugs more often than I care for, which I forgot. The cake tasted great, so all that’s left is to make it less crumbly. Stay tuned for more… After the mini baking spree, I did a short cardio circuit, watched an obscene amount of TV, and ate more doughnuts than I’m comfortable admitting. The cardio cancels them out, right? Or at least halves them? In my head, it does.

So here’s to taking a day to yourself. Make some doughnuts. Eat them for breakfast. Be lazier than my cat. You deserve it.

Happy Friday, friends!

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 Baked Banana Bread Doughnuts with Caramel Espresso Glaze 

makes 18 doughnuts

For the doughnuts:

  • 3 medium bananas, mashed
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk (whole milk or half and half is best)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons caramel
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • optional: white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 360F. Spray a doughnut pan with nonstick baking spray.

In a small bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar in 1 tablespoon warm water, and then sprinkle the active dry yeast on top. Set the bowl someplace warm for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the bananas, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk in a medium bowl and whisk thoroughly. In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together. Then, add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix thoroughly, and then add the yeast mixture to the batter.

Bake at 360F for 25-30 minutes. The doughnuts will be a deep golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool to room temperature.

In a bowl (or food processor), add all the ingredients for the glaze and beat until smooth. (If you want to add in white chocolate chips, fold them in now.) Place the glaze in a plate with slightly sloping sides. Take a doughnut and place it top first in the glaze. Swirl the doughnut in a clockwise fashion for a bit before changing directions. The goal is to thoroughly coat the top of the doughnut. Remove the doughnut and return to the cooling rack until the glaze has set. Repeat for the remaining doughnuts.

 

Condensed Milk Caramel

posted on: October 22, 2014

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Hola, mis amigos! I’ve been working on some fun projects in my spare time, and it’s been great. But since I don’t have much spare time, it’s also been really limiting. Thus, I’ve come up with some life hacks along the way.

Am I allowed to use “thus” and “life hacks” in the same sentence? Probably not, but it’s my internet corner and I’ll do what I want.

Here’s what I’ve figured out these past few months:

  • A nice white lace dress works wonders. Just don’t wander too close to city hall, or people may think you’re about to get hitched.
  • One good brownie recipe is all you need, and from there you can make s’mores brownies, rocky road brownies, and cheesecake brownies.
  • Wearing heels after training legs is a terrible idea. Seems like common sense, yet I always find myself in heels post leg day. Why?!
  • Taking an hour to do something you want to do each day will save your sanity.
  • Red lipstick is the cure for so many things. So is chocolate. And a good leg day at the gym (totally my new obsession).
  • Condensed milk is the simplest way to make caramel.

So, on that last point. I have a thing against store-bought caramel, but I also don’t have the time to whip up a batch myself. Also, I haven’t quite gotten the hang of making caramel yet. But I will. One day… Just not any time soon. My solution was to use the condensed milk that has lived in our pantry for the last five years; I named it Steve. It’s quite simple: drop the can in boiling water for about 3 hours. Let it cool, and then open it. If it’s not quite brown enough, put the caramel back in canning jars- I used tiny ones- and close the lids tightly. Return them to boiling water for another hour and check them again. Mine ended up taking about 5 hours to get to the point I wanted.

Tiger, Tiger

posted on: October 21, 2014

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[ tee: Lover + Friends | jeans: Michael Kors (similar options) | sneakers: Converse ]

I took these pictures a few weeks back, when the trees were still going strong and I could wear shorter sleeves without freezing my armpits off. It also happened to be a Blah Day. That’s right, there’s so much ugh, ick, and blah going on it gets the right to be a proper noun. The best remedy I’ve come across for a Blah Day is as follows: badass tee + badass distressed denim + badass red lipstick. If you haven’t figured it out, it just makes you feel like a badass ready to take on the day.

p.s. Queen Bey has this shirt.

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