I recently was contacted by CSN stores offering to let me do a product review. I’ve received the offer many times in the past and always love this opportunity. Basically I get to choose an item (within a certain price amount) from one of their numerous online stores and I get to keep it and review it.

CSN stores is made up of hundreds of online stores which sell everything from kitchen supplies to office furniture. I haven’t quite decided what I’ll be reviewing this time. I always love adding gadgets to my kitchen but I could add some new things to the other areas of my home as well. Stay tuned for my review!

Apologies to those who are sick of all the hearts and the red and pink. I didn’t do much Valentine’s Day baking this year, so I had to churn out a few this weekend. I bought a big container of tiny heart sprinkles which I needed to use.

I made chocolate heart donuts, but I also wanted to make mini donuts.  So I baked some mini sugar donuts which I decorated with some pink frosting and some tiny heart sprinkles. These donuts really scream Valentine’s Day.

I used this donut pan which I now own two of because baking was taking too long waiting on just one pan.

I’ve been playing around with this sugar donut recipe that became really popular on the blogs a few months ago. This weekend I tried using cake flour instead of regular flour. I didn’t really like the results. The donut previously were already a little too light and breakable. The cake flour made the donuts look dry and brittle. They still tasted good, but they didn’t look very pretty. The donuts have a lot of little holes which also make them hard to frost.  I’m going to keep playing around with this recipe to achieve a better texture. These donuts don’t taste like fried yeast donuts but they do taste like the sugar cake donuts.

Mini baked sugar donuts (adapted from Stylish Cuisine)

Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups cake flour (next time I’ll use all purpose flour)
2 tsp baking power
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk (I used fat free)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a donut pan with cooking spray
or vegetable oil.

2. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and
nutmeg. Pour into egg mixture and stir to combine. Pour in vegetable
oil, milk and vanilla extract.

4. Fill mini donut pan with batter, about 2/3 full.

5. Bake for 11-12 minutes for mini donuts, until a tester inserted into the center comes out
clean.

6. Use a small spatula and loosen around the circle of the donut to help ease the removal from the pan.

7. Frost when cooled.

This week I’ve been bombarded with heart images with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. I hope you guys aren’t sick of heart shaped desserts yet because I haven’t started on mine so I’m doing a little catch up.

I bought these tiny adorable heart sprinkles and I knew I wanted to make some baked donuts. I thought it’d be really cute if I could make heart shaped ones but given the nature of baked donut batter, I didn’t think I could create them without a mold. So I did a search and found this Heart Donut Panfrom Wilton.

The pan was perfect for my needs. It says they make regular sized donuts, but they are actually smaller than a regular donut but bigger than a mini. Since they are smaller than a regular donut, they are still super cute. The recipe provided on the back was easy peasy. No machine needed. Just a bowl and spoon.

The donuts came out in a perfect heart shape. I know sometimes you can bake in heart molds but after the batter puffs up, the dessert loses the heart shape.  These donuts maintained their heart shape on the outside and even had a heart shaped hole on the inside. You can’t really see the inside heart as well because my chocolate frosting wasn’t as perfectly heart shaped.

These donuts were nice and moist and have a light chocolate flavor. They don’t taste like fried yeast donuts, but they taste good and they are cute.

Baked Chocolate Heart Donuts (Taken from the back of the Wilton Heart Doughnut Pan package)

(Yields approx 12 donuts. The recipe says 24, but I only got 12..)

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk (I replaced this with sour cream)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla; mix gently until just combined. (Dough will be thick) Fill each doughnut cup approximately 1/2 full. (I put the dough into a piping bag and piped it because the dough is very thick)

Bake 4-5 minutes or until the tops of the doughnuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan for 3 minutes before removing. Repeat with remaining batter. Finish doughnuts with desired toppings. (I topped my donuts with chocolate ganache and sprinkles)