Friday, December 28, 2012

Earl Grey Tea Glazed Mini Donuts

Among my vast array of baking pans (translation: clutter), is a mini donut pan that I've never used until now.  I won't lie:  I like my donuts fried.  Baked donuts are just mini bundt cakes to me.  Now that doesn't mean that I won't shovel them into my mouth, because I will at a pace that will shock you.  So, I decided to throw my hat into the baked donut ring with the help of my favorite tea...Earl Grey! 
Makes 2 dozen mini donuts
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup almond (or soy milk)
2 tablespoons strongly brewed Earl Grey Tea
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons strongly brewed Earl Grey Tea
1/2 teaspoon (or more) finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves (this is just for presentation; I used Twinings tea bags, which comes finely ground)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a mini donut pan.
  2. Brew your tea. Between the donuts and the glaze, you'll need a total of 4 tablespoons of brewed tea.  Double up on the tea bags or use less water for a strong Earl Grey flavor.  
  3. Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the sugar, milk, 2 tablespoons of brewed tea, oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir, but don't over-mix.
  6. Fill each donut well about 1/2 full and bake for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes and than transfer to a on a wire rack to cool further.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of brewed tea, and ground tea leaves. Add more tea if the glaze seems too thick.
  9. Dip the top of each donut in the glaze and lift up with a twisting motion.  Spoon more glaze over any 'naked' spots.
  10. Allow the glaze to set before devouring. 
In full disclosure, this is just a muffin recipe that I adapted a bit and finagled into donuts.  That said, I decided to use half the batter for 12 mini donuts and the rest to make muffins, topped with sliced almonds and the Earl Grey tea glaze.

To prevent a mini-donut overdose on my part, I packaged some up to give to co-workers as a little New Year's gift.  These cute little bags and the muffin paper above are courtesy of a Japanese dollar store in the Bay Area (Daiso).

I thought they turned out great in donut and muffin form. At first, I thought the glaze would be terribly sweet and dominant over the Earl Grey flavor. But the tea flavor did come through.  And look, no frying involved!  Yum.  I guess I'll be using this little donut pan more often.  :)

Happy New Year...enjoy!