In recent years, in lieu of buying my friends and work colleagues presents for their birthdays or anniversaries, I like to ask them if I can bake them something. Yes, I know, I sound like a cheap-ass (because I am haha!) But really this serves a dual purpose:
1) As people get older, I find it’s harder to buy material gifts, but almost everyone will say yes to home-baked goods.
2) Asking someone what they want me to bake for them is like a mini baking challenge. Sometimes the request will be for something I’ve made in the past, but occasionally I’ll ask a picky eater and that’s when I have to start digging for recipes.
This was one of those times. My teammate at work, Prissy, claims she doesn’t like chocolate. Well, that takes away just about 85% of my favourite recipes. So I threw out a few options for her (scones, fruit bars, blondies) but there was always something she didn’t like – no fruit bits, no granola, no white chocolate. She started hinting that I should just get her a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
I was stumped. Then she (oh-so-casually) throws out, “Well, what about peanut butter?”. Ding! I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t suggested that, considering peanut butter is practically my favourite thing on the planet. If there’s one thing Prissy and I have in common, it’s a love of peanut butter.
After mulling it over, suddenly it dawned on me: peanut butter doughnuts! Prissy has a love affair with Krispy Kreme, so why not combine two of her favourite things?!
A bit of background here: a couple of years ago I was a woman possessed – I had seen mini-doughnut pans in a baking magazine and I wanted some for myself. I was imagining baking hundreds of tiny doughnuts like my own personal Tiny Toms shop. Cut to two weeks later when I had visited every baking store and Marshalls in Toronto and still hadn’t managed to find some. In a stroke of luck however, I was wandering around a Michael’s Arts and Crafts store that weekend and lo and behold, two glorious, perfect mini-doughnut pans were left on the shelf.
I snapped them up, but they turned out to be the fiddliest things I had ever tried to bake with (including vanilla caramels). After making several batches of UFO-shaped “doughnuts”, I put the pans away in a huff. This is what I’d spent two weeks searching for?!
Well today was the day for those pans to make a comeback. I found this peanut butter doughnut recipe – one bowl, a handful of ingredients I already had, mildly healthy, and a request to fill from a friend. I was going to make these pans work if it killed me.
Luckily, these doughnuts were the easiest things in the world to make. Literally 20-25 minutes from start to finish (including baking and cleanup), these are the perfect things to whip up on a random weeknight.
The original recipe was from Breakfast Drama Queen and the only change I made was to omit the almond meal since I didn’t have any. Give them a try – they’re just like the hot, fluffy Tiny Toms you can get at The Ex but with a fraction of the calories!
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup milk
- ¾ cup all purpose flour (if you prefer to use almond meal, reduce to 1/2 cup flour)
- ¼ cup almond meal (omit if you prefer to use all flour)
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 12-hole mini doughnut pan with cooking oil spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg with a fork. Whisk in the peanut butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Pour in the milk, and whisk until completely combined.
- Add the flour, almond meal (if using), baking powder and salt. Mix until just combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared mini doughnut pan, filling each hole approximately ¾ of the way up.
- Bake for 9 – 12 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean (or with a few crumbs). Let the doughnuts sit in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
These taste amazing all by themselves, but if you want to sugar coat them, you can melt about 2 tbsp of butter and brush the doughnuts with it. Get a small bowl and mix 1/3-1/2 cup granulated sugar with 2 tsp cinnamon. Drop the buttered doughnuts into the bowl and gently stir to coat.
I highly recommend sugar coating these right after the doughnuts come out of the oven and eating them warm. They’re DIVINE.