Friday, August 24, 2012

Skinny Cider "Donuts"

So I love fall... it's far and away my favorite season and although a part of me thinks August is too early for pumpkin ales and autumn flavors, the thought of the encroaching season puts a smile on my face.  One of my favorite things to do each fall is going apple picking followed by fresh made cider donuts.  The only issue, is that James and I are in training for a half marathon in January and a 600 calorie donut really doesn't fall into the training plan.  Henceforth, I set out to create a "skinny" version that wouldn't break the caloric bank.  Although not quite a true donut, these mini muffins are comparable to a munchkin and pack the same great flavors of the deep fried version and at 80 calories a pop, offer a much healthier option.

Skinny Apple Cider "Donuts" (makes 48 pieces)

2 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 tsp plus 2 tbsp cinnamon (divided) 
1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground clove
1 egg
2/3 cup firmly packed Splenda brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup apple butter
1/3 cup apple cider
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp canola oil
4 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
cooking spray

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray, ensuring to coat each cup
- In a large mixing bowl, sift dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices)
- In a second bowl, blend together the egg, honey, apple butter, cider, brown sugar, yogurt and oil
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, blending on high speed for 1 minute
- Be sure not to over mix the batter as it will stiffen quickly (a few lumps are okay)
- Scoop approx. 2 tbsp of batter into each muffin cup, filling about half way
- Bake for 6-8 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into a muffin and comes out clean
- Allow "donuts" to cool for 10-15 minutes
- While they're still warm, remove from the tins gently with a fork
- In a small bowl combine granulated sugar with 2 tbsp cinnamon 
- Dip each "donut" into melted butter and lightly coat with the cinnamon/sugar mixture
- Serve warm with spiked hot apple cider for a great fall treat 

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