Cinnamon Caramel Donuts

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‘Tis the season..Fall that is! The season of cinnamon, apples, soups and stews is upon us and I have to say it’s one of my favorite times of the year. I willingly embrace the change from sandals to boots, iced tea to warm cider and humidity to a warm blanket.

One change that always signifies the beginning of Fall to me is the opening of the cider mill just outside my hometown. The excitement of waiting in line for a freshly made donut while watching the cider being made has not waned since childhood. Unfortunately, since moving six hours away, I don’t always make it home while they’re open. You can imagine my jealousy this weekend when my best friend back home instagramed a video of those freshly made cinnamon donuts being churned out.

In an attempt to curb my craving (and my jealousy) I set out to make my own donuts. Last year I brought you my Mini Apple Donuts but I think these cinnamon donuts with a caramel topping are even better. Don’t have a donut pan? I impulse bought one like this a few weeks ago and I’m already dreaming up plenty of other ideas for it!

Since I’ve been gone for so long I think I owe it to my amazing fellow bloggers to bring two treats to our Fiesta Friday get together today! Hope they like these!

Cinnamon Caramel Donuts
Makes about 12 donuts
Donuts:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
1/4 cup honey

Caramel Topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease your donut pan. Combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry until combined, the mix should resemble a cake batter.

2. Pour about 1/3 of the batter into a piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag, a zip loc bag with the tip cut off works just as well. Carefully pipe the mixture to fill about 3/4 of the donut pan. Bake at 350 for about 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in one comes out clean.

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3. Allow the donuts to cool a but then carefully remove them from the pan.

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4. To make the caramel add the sugar, cream and butter to a pan on low heat. Whisk the mixture for a a few minutes until the sugar melts and it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.

5. Allow the caramel to col for a few minutes, then dip the cooled donuts in the caramel or drizzle it over the top, enjoy!

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Chocolate Whiskey Brownies with Caramel Drizzle

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Happy (early) St. Patrick’s day everyone!  And also Happy Fiesta Friday, The Novice Gardener’s blog party!  So much to celebrate today! Whether you’re going out, throwing a party or just staying in these brownies are the perfect way to celebrate.  The brownie is nice and chocolatey, while the addition of the whiskey gives you just a little kick. I decided the flavor of the whiskey in the batter wasn’t quite enough after they baked, so I brushed some more on top of the cooked brownies. You can adjust how much you add if you want more or less whiskey taste.

I also had trouble deciding how to frost these. I usually like a thick layer of butter cream on brownies but I didn’t want to outshine the whiskey so I opted for a caramel drizzle instead. I suggest saving some of the caramel and pour a little extra over each brownie before you eat it – but that’s just my idea!

Chocolate Whiskey Brownies Recipe adapted from Hershey’s Ultimate Chocolate Brownies
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup whiskey
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Caramel Drizzle
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine the cocoa powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the boiling water and mix well.

2. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl and mix. Next add the eggs mixing after each one. Then add the flour, whiskey and salt and combine until the mixture is smooth.  Finally, add in the chocolate chips.

3. Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  If you want a stronger whiskey flavor, poke the baked brownies all over with a fork and brush some more whiskey on top.

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4. Next make the caramel. Combine the heavy cream and butter in a pan on low heat. Then add the brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Let it cool. When the brownies have cooled and the caramel has thickened lightly pour the caramel over the brownies, enjoy!

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