SRC: Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts

These mini apple doughnuts are dipped in an easy sweet caramel sauce for the ultimate easy fall treat!

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Cookaholic Wife, a blog written by Nichole. Nichole has SO many delicious recipes on her site. I had such a hard time deciding what to make! In the end, I chose these cute lil mini caramel apple doughnuts because they seemed so seasonally appropriate. I do love pumpkin but wanted to show apple some love. :) Recipe runner ups included this Apple-Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Pork that Nichole just posted last week, Hawaiian Burgers, Caramel Grapes, and Coconut Lime Cookie Bars. If it was summer, those cookie bars would’ve definitely won! Aside from being into pretty much every one of Nichole’s recipes, I think the two of us could be BFFs. We’re the same age, both have two cats, and ideally would either be baking or reading on the beach. Yup, sounds about right. :) While I have a 30 before 30 challenge, Nichole had a 28 before 28 challenge. How fun! [And speaking of fun, read this post about Nichole's mom and her burning water habit. Hilarious!]

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

Anyways, I was psyched to see this recipe because I a) love caramel apples but hate biting into one, b) have a mini doughnut pan that I never use, and c) they just sounded AMAZING! And that they were. These mini doughnuts were a little bite of fall, perfect for dessert or breakfast. One word of caution though–the caramel sauce is super hot, so don’t take a bite until it’s cooled down a bit. The roof of your mouth will thank you! :) [I learned that from Nichole's first hand experience.]

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

Since I only have one doughnut pan, and wasn’t about to mess with letting the pan cool down in between batches, I used half the batter in my mini muffin pan for some adorable doughnut holes. So if you don’t have a doughnut pan, try that out! You may just need some additional caramel sauce for dipping since they’re a tiny bit bigger. Hope you enjoy! Thanks, Nichole for the great recipe! :)

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

one year ago: Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup
three years ago: Pumpkin Spread
four years ago: Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts

  • Servings: 24 doughnuts
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Print

from Cookaholic Wife
Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup apple, minced
  • 1 cup chewy caramel candies – I used Kraft caramels, the ones they advertise for making caramel apples
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions:

Grease mini doughnut pan(s) or mini muffin pan(s) with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a measuring cup, whisk together egg, sugars, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Fold in apples.

Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling about halfway.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove to a wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place caramels and milk in a microwave safe small bowl. Microwave for 30 second increments on 50% power, stirring after each burst. Repeat until a caramel sauce comes together.

Dip doughnuts into caramel sauce then return to wire rack to set. Serve warm! Enjoy within a couple days, but they are definitely best the first day.

Be sure to check out other recipes from the Secret Recipe Club today!

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SRC: Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes

These chocolate cupcakes are filled with sweet cream and topped with an easy chocolate frosting. They’re like your favorite storebought snack cakes, but homemade! 

Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes | thepajamachef.com

Ready for another installment of the Secret Recipe Club? I hope so, cause that’s what you’re getting! :) This month I made you some yummy cupcakes, courtesy of Micha at Cookin’ Mimi. Micha has a blog full of easy and delicious family-friendly recipes. Totally my style of cooking! Micha has been cooking with her family her whole life, and even got a pasta maker for a birthday gift around ages 13 or 14. How cool! I wish I lived nearby to borrow it, haha. After perusing her blog, I narrowed my recipe selection down to two things: these cupcakes and salmon burgers. I bought ingredients and planned to make them both, but life happened and these cupcakes are the only thing I’ve had a chance to make yet. Hope you don’t mind! Those burgers look great and I will make them soon. :)

I decided to make these cupcakes first because I was in a chocolately sort of mood, and I needed a dessert for a few events. I love being able to multitask recipes, huh? [And contrary to popular stereotypes about women, we aren't all always chocoaholics. I sure am not!] Micha’s original recipe made a chocolate cream filled cake, not cupcakes. But her post was all about these being a take on Little Debbie snack cakes so I thought that turning her cake into cupcakes would be totally appropriate! And don’t they look fun?

Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes | thepajamachef.com

Since these filled cupcakes require making the cake itself, filling, AND frosting, it seems like a lot of steps. However, it’s really not as bad as it sounds. Spread this out over a leisurely morning and you’ve got a great dessert by lunch. The cake is moist, fluffy, and not overwhelmingly sweet–the perfect balance to the sweet cream filling and rich chocolatey frosting. I think this cake recipe will be one to make again and again, especially because it doesn’t use eggs. A great recipe for allergies! When making the filling I had to add some powdered sugar to make it hold together for spooning into the cupcake. I suspect that it wouldn’t have been necessary had it been cooler outside, or if I was just spreading the filling in between two layers of a cake. Oh, and in case you’re wondering… the spoons are in the dish with the cupcakes above to prevent them from bumping into each other on the drive to work. Pretty clever, if I do say so myself. Why buy a cupcake holder if you can DIY it, right? Enjoy! Thanks, Micha for a great recipe!

one year ago: Churro Cheesecake Bars 
two years ago: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
three years ago: Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken
four years ago: Potato Soup

Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes

  • Servings: 36 cupcakes
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Print

from Cooking Mimi

Ingredients:

for cupcakes

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups water

for filling

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, optional

for frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • up to 3 cups powdered sugar
  • up to 1/3 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 36 muffin cups with paper liners or grease tins with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Add oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water and whisk until just combined. Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way full, then bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin cup comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

While cupcakes cool, make the filling. In a small saucepan, whisk together flour and milk. Cook over medium-low heat until thick, constantly stirring. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer to cool. When completely cool, add butter, vanilla, and sugar. Beat on high for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. If desired, add up to 1 cup powdered sugar to thicken.

When cupcakes are cool, use a sharp knife to cut circle from the top of the cupcake, angling down to cut out a cone shaped piece. Spoon [or pipe in using a pastry bag] about 1 tablespoon of filling in the hole, then replace the bit of removed cake. Repeat until all cupcakes are filled.

To make the frosting, place butter and cocoa powder in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on medium until combined, then alternate adding milk and powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Stir in vanilla, then frost cupcakes.

On warm days, you may want to store in the refrigerator until ready to serve so the filling doesn’t melt.

Be sure to check out the other recipes from the SRC here:

SRC: Coffee Blondies

If you like coffee, then you will love these rich and sophisticated glazed coffee blondies. They’re delicious!

Coffee Blondies | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

I was really excited to see that I was given Kate’s blog, Kitchen Trial and Error, for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. Kate lives in New York with her family–including two adorable little boys–and she’s always cooking up something new in her kitchen. I’ve long admired Kate’s blog for her lovely photographs and creative, challenging recipes, and was thrilled to get to make something from it! She’s been blogging since 2010 so there were lots of recipes to choose from, and I was quickly overwhelmed [does that ever happen to other SRCers? There's just so many options!]. So I turned to my Pinterest boards, and found four of her dishes that I wanted to make–Quinoa Cakes, Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwiches Cookies, Fish in Crazy Water, and what I ultimately chose… Coffee Blondies.

Coffee Blondies | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

Kate first made them to fulfill a craving for a flavorful, non-chocolatey dessert. And seriously? These blondies are the perfect way to do so! They’re rich and chewy, and taste like something out of a fancy bakery. Since this recipe uses coffee grounds [and not just brewed coffee], the coffee flavor is very prominent but really isn’t too overwhelming–similar to coffee ice cream.

Coffee Blondies | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

The topping of these blondies is my favorite part, I think! I hardly ever make glazes for things, and truthfully almost just sprinkled powdered sugar on top of the blondies. But then at the last second, I changed my mind. Before I put the blondies in the oven I threw a handful of sliced almonds on top, per the recipe, and then after the blondies were cool, glazed them with a simple powdered sugar glaze. After the glaze hardened, I took one bite and was just overwhelmed by how delicious these blondies are! The almonds and glaze give them a nice crunchy, sugary bite that pairs perfectly with coffee… almost like almond flavored coffee. These blondies are perfect with a refreshing glass of milk, and I bet they’d be awesome with a nice cup of coffee for a double caffeinated treat! Thanks, Kate, for a great recipe!

Coffee Blondies | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

one year ago: Pineapple Cream Pie
two years ago: Grandma’s Blueberry Muffins 

three years ago: Linda’s Caramel Ritz Bits Crackers

Coffee Blondies | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

Coffee Blondies

  • Servings: 16
  • Time: 45 minutes + time to cool
  • Print

Coffee Blondies | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclubfrom Kitchen Trial and Error

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2-4 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1/4-1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan with parchment paper. Spray any exposed sides with cooking spray if you don’t overlap.

In a large bowl, whisk melted butter, brown sugar, coffee, and salt. Add egg and vanilla; whisk to combine. Slowly stir in the flour and baking powder, then spoon evenly into prepared pan. Top with almonds–as few or as many as desired, then bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan before icing.

To make icing, whisk together 1/4 cup powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon water. Add more powdered sugar to make it thicker or more water to make it thinner. I liked it with a generous 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Ice blondies, then put in the fridge for a bit to harden. Cut into bars when icing is dry.

Be sure to check out what else was whipped up for SRC this month below:

SRC: Black Bean and Rice Soup

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I was given the wonderful Sarah’s blog, Things I Make (for Dinner). Note that the URL of her blog reads “oreos and cool whip.” How fun! Be sure to read her about page for an explanation of that! :) Sarah’s blog is full of tasty recipes, which isn’t a surprise since she has such a great name! She lives in Ontario with her husband and loves challenging herself to try new recipes, especially from magazines. As always I found many many recipes to try, but had to choose one–this awesome Black Bean and Rice Soup! If I had had more time, I would have made this Strawberry Cream Cake Roll. If I had needed to make an appetizer, these Buffalo Chicken Wontons look incredible. And when peaches are in season, this Peach Cobbler will definitely be on my table!  But back to this soup.

Black Bean and Rice Soup | thepajamachef.com

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that we often eat black beans and rice for dinner. It’s easy, fast, inexpensive, and we almost always have the ingredients on hand. Plus, if you add some salsa and taco seasoning, it’s basically Mexican food, right? And I love love LOVE Mexican. So naturally I had to make this soup, even though it’s been in the 80s here in Nashville. Naturally.

Black Bean and Rice Soup | thepajamachef.com

This soup is just as good as it sounds. I changed up Sarah’s recipe a little to exclude chicken [because I didn't have any cooked] and to include some extra rice [wild and white]. All in all, this is a hearty, flavorful soup that gets better with each bowl you enjoy for leftovers. In her post about it, Sarah mentions that her husband wanted to put cheese on it but she thought it was flavorful enough without. For the record, I totally agree with you, Sarah! You definitely don’t need cheese with this soup. We enjoyed it with some english muffin bread and were more than satisfied. Thanks for the great recipe, Sarah!

one year ago: Blueberry Burgers
two years ago: Parmesan Garlic Rolls
three years ago: Lemony Kale Pasta

Black Bean and Rice Soup [from Things I Make (for Dinner)]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil [I used the Mediterranean Chili Pepper Oil from Star Fine Foods]
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups black beans, drained and rinsed [about 2 - 15 ounce cans]
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked rice [I used 1 cup white rice + 1 1/2 cups wild rice]
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • cilantro, for topping
  • green onions, for topping

Directions:

In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion and saute until soft. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Then add chicken broth, black beans, salsa, rice, cumin, and lime juice. Stir together, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and then simmer until heated through, at least 20 minutes or longer if possible. Serve with cilantro and green onions.

Time: 30 minutes.
Yield: 8-10 servings.

Check out other SRC recipes in group A by clicking below!

SRC: Chocolate Baked Oatmeal

Hi friends! It’s another SRC day. Every month I am always SHOCKED at how quickly it’s SRC time again. It means time is passing quickly… both for blog stuff and real life stuff. My first full semester working as a librarian has already come to an end, and we’ve been living in Nashville over 7 months now! Crazy stuff. But you know what isn’t crazy? How wonderful my Secret Recipe Club assignment for May was. [Betcha didn't see that transition coming, now did ya? :)]

Chocolate Baked Oatmeal | thepajamachef.com

This month I was assigned to Food Ramblings, written by the lovely Elizabeth. She has tons of recipes on her blog, ranging from the indulgent to the uber healthy. My kinda girl! That’s exactly  how I cook, so I had SUCH a hard time deciding what to make. As I was browsing through her archives basically everything sounded good to me. Maybe I was just hungry. :) First, I really wanted to make this polenta with roasted tomatoes and spinach, I decided to wait until the summer for that–I’m sure it’ll be unbelievably delicious with fresh farmer’s market tomatoes. Then, I thought about making cheese and broccoli quinoa casserole, and finally landed on Chocolate Baked Oatmeal. It was only when I was writing this post that I realized it fell on Cinco de Mayo and I should have made something Mexican. Oh well, it was delicious. Though the baked oatmeal tasted rich and fudgy, it’s actually a pretty healthy breakfast. Well, as far as having chocolate for breakfast can be considered healthy. :)

Chocolate Baked Oatmeal | thepajamachef.com

Elizabeth’s original recipe called for making this baked oatmeal in muffin cups, which is SUCH a good idea. So why didn’t I do that? Ben. I asked his opinion and he thought it would be easier to just make a big pan of it. So that’s what I did. I also was nearly out of regular size muffin liners, and I never have luck greasing my muffin tin. She also used strawberries and peanut butter chips in her baked oatmeal, neither of which I had. So I used bananas and cinnamon chips and OH MY GOODNESS was that an awesome combination. I usually am not a banana oatmeal kinda girl but you can’t even taste it in this, especially if you mash up the banana really well. The cinnamon chips just add SO much flavor and little bursts of sweet cinnamon goodness. Later in the summer you can bet I’ll try that chocolate, strawberry, and peanut butter combination though… it sounds incredible, like a jacked up peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Chocolate Baked Oatmeal | thepajamachef.com

Before this, I was a newbie to chocolate baked oatmeal–usually I just make this plain version from my summer camp counselor days, and add my own toppings, but from now on I will be tempted to make this delightful chocolate version. Hope you enjoy as much as we did, and be sure to check out Elizabeth’s blog for more yummy recipes!

one year ago: Club Soda Waffles
two years ago: Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
three years ago: Salsas for Cinco de Mayo

Chocolate Baked Oatmeal [adapted from Food Ramblings]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk [I used skim]
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon chips, divided

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray, or line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg, bananas, and maple syrup. Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then stir in half of the cinnamon chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan and top with remaining cinnamon chips.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. [If baking in a muffin tin, bake for 20-25 minutes]. Serve warm, adding milk or yogurt if desired.

Time: 45 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.

 

Please check out all the other fabulous recipes from my SRC pals here:

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.