Hello! Today is Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent begins. There are Mardi Gras parties galore, and doughnuts are a tradition in certain areas - the fastnacht from the Pennsylvania Dutch (really German, of course) and the paczki from the Polish (though I've noticed that paczki seem to show up in grocery stores earlier and earlier every year).
I like the idea of making doughnuts but don't like the idea of the frying mess, and can do without the calories as well. I spied a Wilton baked doughnut pan at Meijer a few weeks ago and almost got it, but was stopped by the $9.99 price. Would I use the pan enough to justify the price? And I really ought to wait until it goes on sale, which it still hasn't.
Later on, I happened to remember that I had a little-used Nordic mini-bundt pan at home, bought on clearance years ago (I had an idea of making mini liqueur-infused cakes then, which I actually did once or twice). Could I use this pan to make a little-different-shaped baked doughnut? A search through my recipe files came up with a baked doughnut recipe that did, indeed, use a mini-bundt pan.
Shortly after that, I came across a recipe on the King Arthur website that sounded much better, so that is what I baked last night for breakfast this morning. Here's the result:
Baked doughnut on thrift store plate; cloth napkin made from vintage fabric purchased at yard sale.
I had baked them last night to save time, so this morning I dipped the doughnut tops in melted butter, then in cinnamon sugar. The verdict - they were really good; did indeed taste like a cake doughnut. And since I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of the regular cake flour specified in the recipe, I could rationalize that these were relatively healthy as well.
They must have met with approval from my daughter, since she asked if there would be any leftover to eat tomorrow (the recipe made only six doughnuts). I told her I wasn't sure, but since they were so quick and easy to make, I can make them again.
I'm glad I remembered that mini-bundt pan! Moral of the story: try to improvise with what one has instead of buying a brand-new specialty item. Having said that, if I ever come across a baked doughnut pan in a thrift store for a good price, I may be tempted to buy it!