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I’ve been to Canada twice now, so I’m pretty much an expert.
So I compiled this list just to prove it.
TOP 10 THINGS I KNOW ABOOT CANADA:
- Maple Syrup
- World’s Largest Teepee
- Pretty money (the 10$ bill is purple!!!)
- Speed Limit signs that force you to do calculations in your head.
- Tim Horton’s
- Beaver Tails
- And James won’t shut up about Canadian Tire.
So, when I knew I wanted to come up with a recipe to honor some very special Canucks, I referred to the above list. It hit me instantly. What do Tim Horton’s and Beaver Tails specialize in? And what can we make with maple syrup that’s in the shape of a Canadian Tire? And what do Mounties eat when they hitch their horses outside the local hockey rink? A doughnut of course!
And no ordinary donut, eh?! After all, our special friends at an Ontario RV dealership called The Hitch House are smack dab in the middle of a weight loss competition, Biggest Loser-style, hosted by hubby James and me. They’re on teams, doing daily fitness challenges, losing weight and getting healthier every day. They need a doughnut recipe that supports their new healthy lifestyles, AND honors their Canadian roots.
That’s how my healthed-up baked doughnut recipe was born. This one’s for you, Hitch House gang!
Give me a yeasty doughnut over a cake donut any day. I love the puffy, airy, chewy texture of a raised yeast doughnut, so that’s exactly what I set out to duplicate with this recipe. When you take a bite of the finished product, you’ll be shocked at how the texture is exactly the same as a fried donut. Of course the big difference is my doughnuts have a fraction of the sugar & fat of a traditional doughnut, so I’m not claiming they’ll taste the same. It’s the maple frosting on my doughnuts that makes the magic happen. My 6 taste-testers, ages 2 to James, all did the reflexive, “mmmmm” on their first bite, and every bite thereafter. That’s how good these are. Super-easy and perfect to make the night before; you’ll be having the most polite breakfast in history the next morning! (You know, because Canadians are infamously polite…)
Baked Maple Frosted Donuts Recipe
Makes 12 big doughnuts!
Nutrition info: Each unfrosted doughnut has 122 calories, 4g protein, and 1.7g fat. Even though the frosting is healthed-up, it’s still high in calories, and can add another 100 calories and 10g fat when put on heavily. So go lighter for less calories!
For the doughnut:
- 2/3 cup milk (warmed to around 100°F/38°C)
- 2 tsp instant yeast (or 1 packet)
- 1TBS sugar
- 1TBS butter (melted)
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1 egg
- 2 ½ cups flour
- ½ tsp salt
For the maple frosting:
- 1 cup raw macadamia nuts
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 TBS coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp salt
Place the warm milk in a medium bowl. Tip: Make sure the milk isn’t too hot (it will kill the yeast) or too cold (it won’t activate the yeast). Ensuring milk is appropriate temperature, whisk in the yeast and sugar. Add the butter and applesauce, and whisk. Next, mix in the eggs.
Using a wooden spoon (and eventually, your hands), add the flour and salt. Knead for aboot 2-3 minutes. If necessary, adjust the dough texture by either adding more flour or more milk, so that the dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl, yet still be slightly sticky. DO NOT OVERFLOUR! The dough should be very soft and smooth.
Rub a tiny amount of butter on your hands, and then rub your hands around the outside of the dough. Transfer to a clean bowl and cover. Let the dough rise for around one hour, or until it has at least doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and roll it out to around ½ inch thickness (that’s 1.27cms for you Canucks). Using the rim of a glass, cut out dough circles, and transfer them to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Once on the baking sheet, stamp out the inner circles using something smaller (I used the cap to my large bottle of vanilla). Cover the baking sheets with lightly greased plastic wrap.
You have two options here: 1) Stick in the fridge overnight, and bake them in the morning. 2) Allow the doughnuts to rise for 45 minutes and then bake.
Remove the plastic wrap and bake in preheated oven at 350°F/177°C for around 8 minutes. They should stay mostly pale on top, don’t allow to get golden, and they should be just barely baked through. Overcooking ruins the texture, so be very careful with this step! Let cool before frosting.
For the maple frosting:
Blend the macadamia nuts in a food processor or high powered blender until smooth.
Add the rest of the ingredients (maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, salt) and pulse until you get a smooth frosting consistency.
Spoon the frosting on the doughnuts. Serve immediately and freeze any extras (they reheat easily in the microwave).