C’mon, admit it: You wish you were one of Ina Garten’s friends. They mix cosmopolitans and bring her treats, appearing on her Emmy award-winning cooking show and in the pages of her cookbooks. And they sure eat well.
No matter. She’s practically offering the keys to her kingdom in her eighth book, “Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust” (Clarkson Potter, 2012; $35; about 100 recipes).
In testing recipes from this book, I managed to choose Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts (who wouldn’t?) and produced 18 lovely specimens from a batter that was supposed to yield 12. Maybe that’s the downside of mentioning nothing more than a “baking pan.”
Instead of dipping them in butter, I found that brushing them kept the doughnuts from getting too saturated. I suspect she would be the first to endorse whatever adaptation was going to ensure that I’d make the doughnuts again and again.
Garten begins the book with a list of 10 foolproof cooking tips. From someone else, they might come across as commandments, and most of them are things you’ve been told before. But Barefoot Contessa fans know she wants to simplify, always simplify.
Following them won’t get you invited to her house in East Hampton, but they will make things nicer for the folks at your dinner parties.Serve warm with hot chocolate for a fine comfort dessert on a chilly night.
You’ll need doughnut pans, preferably nonstick.
Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts
For the doughnuts:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the doughnuts: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a baker’s spray with flour, such as Baker’s Joy, to coat 1 or 2 doughnut pans.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a mixing bowl.
Whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Fill the wells of the doughnut pans a bit more than three-quarters full with the batter. Bake for 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the wall of a doughnut comes out clean and the doughnuts are puffed and lightly browned. Let them cool (in the pans) for 5 minutes, then gently invert the doughnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet.
While the doughnuts are cooling, make the topping: Melt the butter in a small saute pan over medium-low heat.
Whisk together the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Brush the warm doughnuts with the melted butter, then dip them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture on one or both sides. Serve warm. Makes 12 doughnuts.
Per serving: 320 calories, 4 grams protein, 51 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 50 milligrams cholesterol, 180 milligrams sodium, 0 grams dietary fiber, 35 grams sugar