And Then There Were Doughnuts

Lately my days feel like they have been thoroughly blended in a VitaMix. Keeping track of time is impossible and I savor every last second of cozy sleep. I know I’m not alone – we are all busy, especially during the chaotic holiday season! I was delighted when Tim came home this evening with a bag of these:

VD Doughnuts!December Photo Project 2012: Day #17

Portland is home to several fine doughnut shops and two of them (VooDoo and Acme) offer an impressive medley of vegan options. We are very lucky to live within a mile of VooDoo Doughnut’s east side location. In fact, I have to ride my bike dangerously close to it every time I scoot off to work. The aroma of fresh-baked doughnuts monopolizes the air. Not a bad thing!

The photograph above is a bag filled with yummy doughnuts. Two are missing because I ate them. If you ever visit Portland, stop by VooDoo Doughnuts because they have some pretty unique choices.



One Sweet Holiday

Did you know that today is National Doughnut Day? It’s true! Now, I am not one to get overly excited about holidays but when a doughnut is involved, count me in! To celebrate properly, Tim and I woke up extra early and headed over to  Acme Donuts (yes, that’s how they spell doughnut) in SE Portland. We had never been before and I had a special coupon so it was the perfect opportunity to try their vegan specialties.

When we arrived a great majority of the doughnut cases were empty. But, when I inquired about the vegan doughnuts, we were shown an abundance of choices! I had the woman choose a dozen for us since we like to take risks.

Looks yummy, right? I can assure you that these doughnuts are definitely outstanding. In our box: chocolate glazed, ginger (we think?), PB&J, maple bars, frosted jam-filled, vanilla with sprinkles, apple pie, and coffee (mocha maybe?). Here are some reasons why I like Acme Donuts:

(1) A dozen doughnuts means 13 (and only costs $10.75, and I had a $10 coupon!!)!
(2) The staff is SUPER friendly and helpful.
(3) Vegan doughnuts cost the same price as conventional doughnuts (while I love VooDoo Doughnuts in Portland, they charge more for vegan doughnuts and that bothers me. I don’t understand why the word vegan is an excuse to jack up prices.
(4) The doughnut fillings and frosting are homemade! Acme doesn’t use buckets of mass-produced weird stuff. Plus, they don’t use artificial flavorings or trans-fats.

Regarding my last point, when I bit into the PB&J doughnut, I was delighted! The raspberry jam filling was so fresh, fruity, and not overly sweetened. The peanut butter glaze was, well, peanutty! These are doughnuts I can definitely appreciate. They are light and fluffy too. I actually had to wrap some up and put them in the freezer because I feared we would eat all 13. I’m trying to make National Doughnut Day last through the weekend!

Since you can’t enjoy these with me (unless you come and visit!), how about making your own? Here are two recipes to get you started:

Cherry Doughnuts!

Choconut Doughnuts!

Are you celebrating National Doughnut Day? Tell me about your most favorite doughnut ever!

“C” is for Choconut Doughnuts

When I arrived home from a work orientation today, Tim immediately demanded doughnuts. Not one to turn down a baking opportunity, I lovingly obliged his request and made chocolate coconut doughnuts. These were inspired by Mighty O’s Don King doughnut, which is a chocolate doughnut with chocolate frosting and shredded coconut sprinkled on top.

They came out pretty well! I adapted a doughnut recipe from Mama Pea and used the ganache recipe from here.

Choconut Doughnuts

3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cinnamon, optional
pinch of nutmeg, optional
3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
2 Tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance Coconut Spread), melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 recipe chocolate ganache (click the link)
~1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 6-count doughnut pan.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flours, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and spices.
3. In a glass measuring cup, stir together milk, sugar, butter, and vanilla.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir well to combine.
5. Pour batter evenly amongst the doughnut pan and bake for 11-13 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and allow doughnuts to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
7. Once doughnuts are cool to the touch, dip the tops in the ganache and sprinkle generously with shredded coconut. You will have leftover ganache, but who’s complaining?


There’s Something About Cherries

Well, it might be time to admit that I am a bit obsessed with picking fruit in the summertime. Colorful jars of jam are stowed in my cupboards and numerous pounds (and varieties) of berries are tucked in my freezer. I am running out of space quickly and blueberries, marionberries, peaches, and pickles are still waiting for my attention. In the meantime, I will make doughnuts:

What you see above is a batch of organic cherry doughnuts. These were inspired by cherry doughnuts I used to enjoy when I lived in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood many years ago. I actually lived down the street from a teeny doughnut shop called Presti’s and they had amazing cherry doughnuts. I could smell them from my apartment! Those were the days… Well, actually, I can sometimes smell VooDoo Doughnuts from my neighborhood now, so I guess not much has changed!

Anyway, let’s get back to those cherry doughnuts! I adapted a plain cake doughnut recipe from the always entertaining Peas and Thank You blog. I have tampered with several vegan doughnut recipes and I think I finally settled on one that makes me happy. I have made these twice in one week since cherries far outnumber people in my kitchen.

*A few notes about this recipe: I made cherry juice using my juicer. If you don’t have a juicer, store bought cherry juice should work, just make sure it isn’t loaded with icky ingredients. Also, make sure to really chop those cherries for the doughnut batter! The tinier, the better (you could give a handful of cherries a whir in a food processor to save time). If you have a juicer, use the cherry pulp extracted from your juicer instead of chopping cherries.

Cherry Doughnuts 

(recipe adapted from Peas & Thank You)

Ingredients for doughnuts:

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup oat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch cinnamon, optional
pinch nutmeg, optional
1/2 cup pure cherry juice
1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil (any oil would work here, I just prefer coconut oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 Tablespoons very finely chopped fresh cherries (use sweet cherries, like Bings)

Ingredients for cherry glaze:

1/2 cup organic powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
1-2 Tablespoons pure cherry juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 6-count doughnut pan with coconut oil.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a glass measuring cup, stir together cherry juice, non-dairy milk, sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until no lumps remain. Gently fold in the chopped cherries.
5. Spoon batter evenly into doughnut pan.
6. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until doughnuts are golden on top. Remove pan from oven and allow doughnuts to cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes before inverting them onto a cooling rack.
7. While doughnuts are cooling, make the glaze: In a shallow bowl (one that is wide enough to dip doughnuts into) whisk together powdered sugar, cherry juice, and vanilla extract. Add the cherry juice 1 Tablespoon at a time until you reach a consistency you are happy with.
8. Once doughnuts are completely cooled, dip the top half of each doughnut in the glaze and allow them to dry before devouring!

Enjoy! I’ll be back soon with a post on homemade pickles!

Annnnnnnd… It’s July (already?)!

Happy Summer!

Here is what I’ve been up to lately:

Summer weather arrived late in Portland this year (big surprise!) and despite my general dislike of rising temperatures, I am actually quite pleased with the sunshine lately. After all, warm weather fuels the growth of local berry crops! In the last few weeks Tim and I have picked close to 25 pounds of deliciously sweet, deep red, Oregon strawberries. Yesterday I turned some of those berries into jam. The photo above shows two pints of strawberry-orange jam. My list of future jams includes: raspberry, blueberry, peach, marionberry, fig-ginger, cherry, and kiwi. I am also quite excited to make dill pickles!!

Sandwiches are a quick and simple meal in the summertime. A few days ago I made panini sandwiches filled with chickpea spread, golden beets, green apples, olive tapenade, and sprouts. I found the recipe in the latest issue of Vegetarian Times. The combination might seem odd, but trust me, this sandwich was very satisfying!

Eating vegan ice cream is a great way to stay cool when the sun threatens to melt your shorts. Tim and I met up with friends today and enjoyed treats from Back to Eden Bakery. I had half of a Neapolitan cupcake and several generous bites of Tim’s banana split sundae (topped with peanut butter Newman O’s, Dandies, and house-made strawberry sauce).

A few weeks ago Tim and I went on an evening hike to Dog Mountain in Washington state. The hike is mighty steep but the views are very rewarding at the summit. Plus, we were greeted with tons of wildflowers along the trail and a gorgeous sunset. I am looking forward to August when the trails are lined with wild huckleberries (for making more jam, of course)!

I bought a doughnut pan recently and cannot stop making doughnuts! Eventually I will take the leap and try raised doughnuts but not until I have perfected the cake doughnut!

And finally, tomorrow I will be volunteering at Portland’s 2nd Annual Vegan Iron Chef competition. The event will be streamed live so you can tune in and watch the excitement from your lounge chair in the sunshine! Nifty, eh?

I hope everybody is enjoying summer (because my favorite season is coming up next!).