Zucchini Bread with Walnuts
If you aren't growing your own zucchini, you can get them for about 75 cents right now, because they're so plentiful! Time to bake!
Usually I try to start these posts off with a life/me update. However, today I don’t have anything to say that is more important than these donuts. These might be my favorite donuts that I’ve ever made, ever. And we’ve made quite a few donuts in our day.
Normally baked donuts taste kind of like muffins. The two foods are very, very similar in terms of their recipe ratios and their structure. But this donut recipe tastes like cake – soft, rich and fudgy cake. The recipe made a lot of donuts, and they have been sitting on my counter top for three days. They are still perfectly soft. I know, because I ate another one approximately five minutes ago. It’s got to be the ricotta.
I bought some ricotta on a whim last week to make some ravioli (recipe to come), but I usually only pick it up when I have a specific use for it. My ravioli used about 1/4 cup of the pint-sized container, so I was left with quite a bit and no specific use in mind. This donut recipe is what I came up with on Saturday morning.
Here’s what you need:
1 cup of ricotta cheese, regular fat content (this makes a difference! Fat is important for structure in baking)
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp FRESHLY GROUND nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups AP flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
2/3 cup cocoa (regular is fine)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup ish water
Rainbow sprinkles (are they really optional?)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In one bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, milk, vanilla and vegetable oil. In a larger bowl, sift together the nutmeg, cinnamon, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cocoa.
Pour the liquids into the solids and combine with as few strokes of your spatula as possible (try to keep it under 10). Spoon into a donut pan, filling the cavities to be even with the edge of the pan.
Bake for 5 minutes at 375, then turn the temperature down to 350. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, approximately. The donuts are done when they spring back when pressed lightly with a finger, and a tester comes out clean.
To glaze, wait until the donuts are totally and completely cool. Mix powdered sugar and water with a fork until smooth. If you prefer a different consistency, add more of either ingredient. Dip the donuts into the glaze and place on a rack to dry (it is wise to place the rack on top of a paper towel or silpat for easy cleanup). Sprinkle with the rainbow sprinkles when the glaze looks about half dry.
Adapted from Joy of Baking.