Chocolate Peppermint Donuts

How festive am I today?

Very. Very festive, would be the answer to my question. 

I may or may not even be wearing a tacky Christmas sweater t-shirt all day. Maybe it’s because I live in the South, but I was very surprised to find Walmart didn’t have any Christmas sweaters. Only t-shirts…in case your were curious.
I have never been to a Tacky Christmas Sweater party and honestly was never one to be too amused by the whole thing anyway. 
But you know what? Things change. People change. And when your office is throwing a potluck holiday breakfast and asks people to show their spirit by wearing a holiday sweater (or t-shirt), you do it for goodness sakes. 

Ha! Now I’m just being weird. I think I might be a little slap-happy right now. Or maybe you call it ate-too-much-peppermint-frosting-happy. 

These are hands down the best baked donuts I have made so far. The cake is moist, but not too moist. The frosting is the star of the show though. The thickness of the frosting helps it not to absorb right into the donut overnight, as I have experienced with other donuts in my day. Then, they are topped with crushed White Chocolate Peppermint M&Ms.

Yup. I need to go for a walk now.

Chocolate Peppermint Donuts
(Donut recipe adapted from Sutterbean)

Makes 6 donuts

For the donuts-
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting-
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

For topping-
1/3 cup Peppermint M&Ms, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray donut pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, combine milk and lemon juice. Stir and let sit about 2 minutes. Add brown sugar, egg and butter and vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine. Add wet mixture to dry mixture. Stir until there are no more lumps.
4. Pour into a large ziplock bag. Cut off one corner at the bottom of the bag and squeeze batter into donut pan.
5. Bake 9-11 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the donuts comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

To prepare the frosting and assemble the donuts-
1. Add powdered sugar and butter to the bowl of a stand alone mixer. Beat about 1 minute until combined. Add cream, vanilla and peppermint extracts. Continue to beat until smooth.
2. Use a butter knife to spread frosting onto donuts. Immediately, sprinkle M&M crumbs over the top of the donuts.

Tastes of the Holidays

The holidays may be over, but I still have plenty of peppermint kisses laying around. If you haven’t tried Hershey’s Peppermint Kisses, you should. I bought a bag for myself and was even more excited when Greg’s mom Santa put some in my stocking on Christmas.

They are plenty good on their own, but here is another way to eat them: Peppermint bark.

This is new (simpler) spin on an old classic holiday treat. I made a batch before leaving for vacation and used most of it to accompany gift cards that Greg got some of his coworkers. Gift cards sometimes get a bad reputation for being “the easy way out” with gift-giving. But I think pairing it with homemade candy makes up for it 🙂
I am still yet to get back into the kitchen and cook or bake something for myself since vacation. I don’t count slicing apples and throwing together sandwiches cooking. So in the meantime I’ll show you what my mom made while I was home.
While my mom prepared breakfast, Greg and I drank out of our new mugs that Mom got us for Christmas. Coffee for Greg, tea for me. Aren’t they SO cute!? The funny thing is I have seen them twice on other blogs that I read. Must be a popular gift this year. But I still feel special.
For breakfast we had the most gourmet french toast I’ve ever had. My mom went all out. She’s a pro at french toast. She made two different kinds: (1) Your standard french toast topped with powdered sugar and (2) vanilla granola battered toast. We also had mixed berries and whipped cream to top them with. 
As much as I love french toast, I am a little surprised I don’t make it for myself more. I think my love for pancakes is too strong. 
After an amazing dinner that Thom made on New Year’s Eve (no pictures…we were starving, ok?), my mom made a Boston cream pie/cake/thing-a-ma-bob. 
She’s a beauty. I can’t take credit for much, except I did plop the whipped cream on top and garnished with graham cracker crumbs. Impressive, huh?
Oh yeah, I also helped to eat half of the thing too. I won’t deny credit for that.
I don’t think I have ever had a real Boston Cream Pie before, and this was just a variation, but it sure was good. Thanks Mom 🙂
We also had a great pizza dinner one night from Jet’s. My dad was so excited for me to experience Jet’s for the first time and it was just as good as he said. I tried the Hawaiian with a side salad and just one single boneless buffalo chicken wing. 
Maybe tonight will be the night I cook something again….the only question is, what should it be?