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RATHER BE COOKING

Cinnamon sugar doughnuts a yummy treat

Posted on March 23, 2022

ColumnsRecipesFoodLife
Cinnamon sugar makes these doughnuts so delicious.

Lisa Boykin Batts | Times

Cinnamon sugar makes these doughnuts so delicious.

lisa@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7810

Lisa Boykin Batts

Lisa Boykin Batts

I did something totally out of my routine on Monday morning. I made doughnuts before work.

Yes, just after 6 a.m., I was in the kitchen browning butter, spraying doughnut pans and mixing the batter for baked cinnamon sugar doughnuts.

Now, it might seem like a big deal to make doughnuts so early in the morning, but the recipe for brown butter cinnamon sugar doughnuts is very simple and doesn’t take long at all to make. I promise. It probably took me longer to find my two doughnut pans than it did to mix up the batter.

This wonderful recipe, from Ashley Manila’s website bakerbynature.com, starts with browned butter. I’ve seen many browned butter recipes the last few years, but I have seldom, if ever, actually browned butter. It’s easy enough to do, you just have to watch the butter carefully as it heats in a saucepan and not let it burn  — like I did the first time on Monday morning.

There are only a few ingredients in these doughnuts. It’s very similar to making a muffin batter and only takes a few minutes to mix up. The recipe says it’s a 10-minute prep time, and I think that’s accurate — unless you burn the butter the first time like I did and have to try again.

I used my large cookie scoop to fill the doughnut molds. I slowly guided the batter into the molds. Although the recipe calls for six doughnuts, I had enough batter for eight.

While the doughnuts cooked, I hopped in the shower. My husband was dressed by this time and kept an eye on the oven. I was out of the shower when the oven timer went off. (I take quick showers.) I gave the doughnuts another minute or two before removing them from the oven. I also flipped the doughnuts within each well, thinking the tops might get a littler browner that way, and maybe they did in that little bit of extra baking time.

I then melted the butter, using less than the recipe calls for, and mixed up the cinnamon sugar. But then I deviated from the recipe. Instead of dipping the doughnuts in melted butter, I brushed on the melted butter. Then I dipped each doughnut in the cinnamon sugar.

I was so very pleased with how the doughnuts looked and even more pleased with the taste. My husband and son enjoyed theirs as well. I love cinnamon sugar doughnuts and thought these were delicious. Not too buttery, not too sweet. Just right. And they are so pretty.

I’m still amazed that I can get these results from my little doughnut pan.

Lisa Boykin Batts has been writing a weekly food column since 2001. Her column includes recipes she and her family enjoy.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

CINNAMON SUGAR COATING

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted*

1 cup granulated sugar

1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously spray a 6-mold donut pan with non-stick spray; set aside. (I ended up needing my second pan and made 8 doughnuts.)

Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium-heat. Cook butter, stirring frequently, until it’s turned golden brown and smells slightly nutty. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg; set aside. In a separate medium-sized bowl combine the browned butter and sugar; beat well. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the milk.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, being sure not to over mix.

Spoon or pipe the donut batter into the prepared pan and bake for 10 to 11 minutes, or until the doughnuts spring back when lightly pressed. Allow the donuts to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before gently unmolding them and transferring them to a cooling rack.

In the meantime, make the cinnamon sugar coating. Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. You can also melt it in the microwave, if desired.

Once melted, transfer the butter into a wide, shallow bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

When the donuts are cool enough to handle, dip them in the melted butter, being sure to coat both sides and the edges, then roll the donut in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Donuts are best eaten the day they’re made.

— Ashley Manila | bakerbynature.com

*Notes:  I needed a second doughnut pan because I had enough batter for 8 doughnuts. For the cinnamon sugar coating, I melted around 3 tablespoons of butter and used less than 1 cup of sugar. Instead of dipping the doughnuts in butter, I brushed butter onto the doughnuts before rolling in the cinnamon sugar.

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