Saturday, February 15, 2014

Chocolate & Blood Orange Donuts for Valentines Day

I don't know how, but somehow I avoided all the Valentine's Day complainers this year. I saw a lot of people being happy and sharing their love, whether for their dogs, moms, or significant others, and that made me feel great. I also saw a little of the "we don't celebrate Valentines Day because we appreciate each other every day of the year" stuff too. I almost just called it bullshit, but stopped myself. It's not that I am not all about showing your love 365 days a year. But, why not take any excuse to really delve into it and have it be completely acceptable? 

I have always loved Valentines Day. I loved it when I was a kid and got to make a box and bring it to school and collect the cards on my desk at the afternoon party. I loved it when I was in college and spent the day in organic chemistry lab, wearing all red and pink. I loved it when I was single and spent the night drinking margaritas and going to the movies with my mom. Always. Part of that is probably my upbringing because my mom always did things for my and my sister on Valentines Day that made it seem special, normally buying us underwear or our favorite candy (ahem, Reese's are great in any shape, but hearts are one of them). Sometimes I think she even made my dad buy us flowers. 

I think one of the reasons that I love it is that I am a total sap at heart. I try to keep my emotions at bay sometimes, and I am okay with the stereotypically unromantic relationship that I current lead. But sometimes, I just have so much love that I feel like I could burst. And then, on Valentines Day, I let it all out. I send valentines to my friends (the first photo here), I write sappy cards to my partner with drawings of puns that I saw on the internet, and I go all out with the valentines nail art. 

I commissions artists I find online to do things like make custom embroidery pieces of me, Jack, and Gustav (look at how cute we are in stitches!)

I buy my dog a red bandana and take him on a long walk around the neighborhood to spread the love, and look at the cute v-day decorations that people have put up. 

This year, Jack and I also had a somewhat stereotypical celebration, but it was very ideal. He had his mom ship some beer from our favorite brewery in our college town (New Belgium- its impossible to find out here and they came out with a new wheat beer!)so we could go to a BYOB for dinner and bring that to drink. Except that the snowpocalypse prevented that from happening, and the package is likely floating around somewhere with all my belated valentines that were sent on time! We went out to dinner at a small Spanish place, not too fancy, and serving tacos (obviously the most superior food). It was trying to be nice and romantic, and the service was great. Jack hit the nail on the head when he said that it was just like us: perfect, and a little bit trashy :) After that, we stopped by a heART show and got buy-one-get-one ice cream cones at one of the best ice cream places on the planet. I got a flavor called "box of chocolates"... swoon. Then we ended up at a house party with some friends. Everything was just. so. great. This morning, we went out to our favorite coffee shop for brunch too. Despite this shitty weather, this weekend has ruled. I long for the days of holding hands that aren't in mittens and gloves... too much sap? Sorry. 

Oh yeah, how could I forget the point of this post?!? Valentines morning, I made Jack and Matt donuts. This is a first for me, and yes, they're technically not donuts because they're baked... but it's as close as I'm going to make at home. I have heard other bloggers call them "muffnuts" because they're more muffins than donuts really, but I don't like that either. I don't like the word and it also isn't an accurate description of what these are, which I guess you can decide for yourself. The part that sucks is that you have to buy a donut pan (or borrow one from a fellow baker). Otherwise, these won't be shaped like donuts... and that's the point, right? Anyways, they were delicious and adorable and put everyone in the house in the mood for a love-ly day <3 

Chocolate Donuts with Blood Orange Glaze
makes 12 donuts 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
dash of cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 Tbs butter, melted, divided
2 Tbs light corn syrup
3 cups powdered sugar
the juice from one blood orange
2 Tbs heavy cream 
Sprinkles for topping

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously spray your donut pan (I used coconut oil, which is my fave). 
2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
3. In a second bowl, beat together the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. 
4. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. Add 3 tablespoons of melted butter to the mixture. 
5. Spoon the mixture into the donut pan. If you have a pastry bag, I would suggest using it. If not, just make sure that the "hole" part is not covered in dough so that they come out the right shape.
6. Bake for 13-15 minutes.
7. Turn out the donuts to rest on a cooling rack while you bake the second batch (normally the pan only has room for six at once - or at least that's my experience). 
8. Whisk 2 Tbs melted butter with the corn syrup, blood orange juice, and heavy cream. Then whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth.
9. Use a spatula to drizzle the graze over the donuts. I did this over the glaze bowl, since it can make a bit of a mess! If you do this when they are too warm, it doesn't work as well.
10. Sprinkle some adorable sprinkles on top and share them with people you love! 

recipe adapted from Heather Cristo 

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