Rainbow Cookie Donuts

Happy National Donut Day! In honor of the day I decided to make Rainbow Cookie Donuts.

If you do a Google search for Rainbow Cookie Donuts you normally see a rainbow cookie – the tri-color cookie separated by raspberry jam and then covered in chocolate – shaped like a donut. A bit much if you ask me. I really wanted to make one similar to the one a coworker brought me from a local donut shop by her – Honey Pig Donuts. Instead of the donut being layered the colors were marbled together.

I knew that my go-to Rainbow Cookie recipe wouldn’t be right for these cookies… It’s not light enough and I would end up with a donut that would be quite dense. I was going to try and tweak the recipe to get the right texture, but, then I came across a Rainbow Cookie Cake recipe that would be perfect, once I halved the recipe.

Once I made the batter I divided it in three and tinted each of them. I normally only tint the green and pink layer when I make the cookies, but, since I was making them in donut form I decided to tint the natural color layer with a bit of yellow so each part of the rainbow donut could stand out. Next, I transferred the batter to piping bags and snipped a small portion of the tip off and then piped the batter into donut pans that I sprayed with baking spray. I filled the cavities about 3/4 full and then baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for about 15 minutes.

After the donuts had cooled I melted a few tablespoons of seedless raspberry jam in a small saucepan over medium-low heat to melt it. Once melted I used a brush to brush the tops of the donuts with the melted jam.

While the jam settled I made the chocolate glaze. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat I combined chopped semisweet chocolate with heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt and stirred the mixture until it melted. Once melted and smooth I removed it from the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes. I gave it a few more stirs and then dipped the tops of the donuts into the melted chocolate. After dipping them I placed them on a cooling rack that I set on a wax paper lined cookie sheet so the chocolate could set.

And there you have it… Rainbow Cookie Donuts. While I enjoy the cookie version, I really love the lightness of these donut versions. The almond flavor really shines through as opposed to the cookies where the raspberry jam flavor stands out more for me. Truth be told, the donuts are delicious on their own without the melted raspberry and chocolate glaze. I kept the sans raspberry and chocolate glaze version in an airtight container at room temperature for three days and they still tasted delicious and I kept the raspberry chocolate glaze versions in the fridge for a day or two longer and they still tasted good – I let them come to room temperature before enjoying.

Rainbow Cookie Donuts

Ingredients:

Donuts:

1 1/2 (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cups sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

7 oz. almond paste, grated

1/2 tablespoon almond extract

1/2 cup while milk

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

red, green & yellow food coloring

Raspberry Glaze:

4-5 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam

Chocolate Glaze:

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Directions:

Spray two donut pans with baking spray and preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.

Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and continue beating for a few more minutes until combined. Add in the grated almond paste, almond extract and milk and beat well until combined, making sure the almond paste is completely incorporated.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour and baking powder and gradually add it to the butter batter while mixing on low. Continue mixing until the two mixtures are well combined.

Divide the batter among three bowl and tint it with the food coloring. Transfer the batter to three piping bags and snip the ends off. You could also use Ziploc bags and snip one of the corners off. Pipe the batter into the cavities of the donut pan haphazardly to create a marbled effect. Fill the cavities about 3/4 full. Tap the pans down before placing the oven to even the batter down. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Let the donuts cool in the pans for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Rinse and spray the pans again before piping in the next batch of batter.

Once the donuts have cooled, melt the raspberry in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, do not let it boil. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the donuts with the raspberry jam.

As the jam settles make the glaze by heating the chocolate, cream, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Give the mixture a few good stirs. Place a cooling rack on a wax-lined cookie sheet and then dip the tops of the donuts into the melted chocolate and place on the cooling rack so the chocolate can cool and set.

Recipe for Donuts adapted from Always Order Dessert

Almond Horns

If you didn’t know, almond is one of my favorite flavors when it comes to dessert. Give me an Almond Croissant for breakfast and I am a happy camper – although that’s not really a dessert item, but, it could be. LOL! Since I am a fan of almond I regularly get the Odense Newsletter that features recipes using their almond paste. In their latest newsletter they had a recipe for Almond Horns that were super simple, I had most of the ingredients on hand and I figured it was time to bake something sweet.

To make the dough I broke the almond paste into small pieces and added it to the bowl of my food processor along with confectioners’ sugar. I mixed the two until it was the texture of fine crumbs. I then added in an egg white (reserving the yolk) and almond flour. I continued mixing the dough until it became a smooth paste.

Next I turned the dough onto my counter that I dusted with confectioners’ sugar and rolled the dough into a 12-inch log and then divided it into 12 equal pieces and rolled each piece into a ball.

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After that I rolled the balls into 3-inch logs that were slightly tapered toward the ends.

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I added water to the reserved yolk and beat the two and spread thinly sliced almonds, which I crushed slightly, on a plate.

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I then dampened the logs in the egg yolk and rolled them in the almonds bending them into crescents and placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheet that I then placed in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

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While the Almond Horns were in the refrigerator I preheated the oven to 350F. After the 20 minutes, I baked them for 14 minutes and then let them cool completely on a wire rack.

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Once they were cooled I melted bittersweet chocolate and dipped the ends of the horns in.

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These are so good and so easy and quick to make. The outside is crispy while the inside is moist and chewy.

 

Almond Horns

Ingredients:

1 box Odense almond paste, broken into small pieces

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting

1 large egg, separated and at room temperature

1 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour*

1 cup thinly sliced almonds, slightly crushed

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate

*Can substitute Almond Flour. Using Almond Flour will make these cookies Gluten Free

Directions:

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper

Using a food processor or mixer combine the almond paste and 3/4 cup of sugar. Mix until the texture is that of fine crumbs. Add the egg white and flour and continue mixing until the dough becomes a smooth paste, it will be slightly sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a confectioners’ sugar dusted work surface and roll into a 12-inch log. Divide the log into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Roll the balls into a 3-inch log that is slightly tapered at then ends.

Spread the almonds on a plate and beat the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of water. Dampen the logs in the yolk mixture and then rolls in the almonds shaping the logs into a crescent. Place the crescents onto the prepared cookie sheet 2-inches apart and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Bake 14 to 16 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool the cookie sheet on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then slide the parchment paper off of the cookie sheet and onto the wire rack so the cookies can cool completely.

Once cooled melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Dip the ends into the melted chocolate and return to the parchment paper so the chocolate can set. Layer the cookies between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Recipe from Odense

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

There are some recipes you see that you know that you must instantly try… As was the case when I got a recipe in my inbox last week from Land O’ Lakes for a Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint cookie. I pretty much love any pastry / baked item that involves almonds and then when you throw raspberry into the mix you are definitely in for something pretty delicious. Best of all, not only are these cookies amazing, but, they are simple to make and add a festive to look to your holiday cookie platters.

I began by making the dough (obviously… LOL!)… I combined butter, sugar and almond extract in the bowl of my stand mixer and beat it at medium speed until it was well combined, scraping the bowl as necessary. On low speed I added in flour and continued beat the mixture until it was well combined. Once the dough had come together I covered and refrigerated it for an hour or until the dough was firm.

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Once it was firm, I rolled dough into 1-inch sized balls – I used approximately 1/2 tablespoon of dough for each ball.

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Then using the back of a 1/4 teaspoon (you could simply use your thumb as well, hence the name of the cookie) I made a small indentation into the center of each cookie and then filled them with raspberry jam.

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After refrigerating the cookies for about 10 minutes I baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for about 12-14 minutes, until the edges just began to brown. You don’t have to refrigerate the cookies prior to baking, but, I did so so that the dough could firm up again a bit so the cookies wouldn’t spread as much while baking. My cookies did spread some so I probably could have left them in the refrigerator a bit longer. After removing them from the oven I let them sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two and then transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Once the cookies cooled I drizzled a glaze of water, confectioners’ sugar and almond extract over them.

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One word for these cookies… YUM!

 

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

  • Servings: 36-42 cookies
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup raspberry jam

 

For the Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 to 3 teaspoons water

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

 

Directions:

Combine the butter, sugar and almond extract in a bowl and beat at medium speed until creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Switch to low speed and add in the flour, beating well until all the ingredients have been combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F and cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls; approximately 1/2 tablespoon of dough. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Make a small indentation in the center of each of the cookies and fill with a 1/4 teaspoon of the raspberry jam.

You could place the cookies back in the refrigerator for a few minutes for the dough to firm up again, or place them directly in the oven for about 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned. Let stand on the cookie sheets for 1 minute and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a bowl and whisk together until smooth and then drizzle over the cooled cookies.

Recipe from Land O’ Lakes

Almond Pound Cake

I pretty much love anything made with almonds…Danishes, croissants, cookies, cakes, milk, etc. And of course almond themselves are wonderful to snack on. Their health benefits are pretty vast. To name a few… they are a great source of Vitamin E, they are packed with protein, they are gluten free and snacking on them can help curb other cravings. So, when I had half a pack of Odense Almond Paste left over from a previous recipe I knew I had to put it to good use and what better use than an Almond Pound Cake… something simple but yet so satisfying.

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To begin I beat 2 sticks of butter until they were creamy, then gradually added in 2 cups of sugar and continued beating the mixture until it was light and fluffy. I then added in an 8 oz. package of cream cheese, vanilla extract and the almond paste, which I crumbled.

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Following that I added in 6 eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

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And finally I added in 2 cups of flour that I whisked together with baking powder and salt. I beat the batter until it was well blended and then stirred the mixture a few times with a rubber spatula to ensure all of the ingredients were well combined.

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I then poured it into a prepared tube pan. To prepare the pan I sprayed it with a baking spray that contains flour.

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After baking the cake in a 325 F preheated oven for 55 minutes it came out perfect and smelled amazing.

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I let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then removed it and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

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I couldn’t wait to slice it into it and I wasn’t disappointed. This was the perfect comfort dessert for the cold weather this winter has brought. It had the dense familiarity of a pound cake while still being moist and a hint of almond flavoring thanks to the almond paste.

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Almond Pound Cake – Adapted from here

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 8oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature

4 oz. almond paste, crumbled

1 tsp, vanilla extract*

6 eggs, at room temperature

2 cups flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp, salt

*For an extra dose of almond flavor use almond extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease and flour (or spray with a baking spray that includes flour) a fluted tube or tube pan.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, almond paste and vanilla extract and beat for another minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well blended.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour or until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan and then remove and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Ricotta Cheesecake With Almonds

Cheesecakes are the one thing that I never seem to get right. Granted, I have never attempted to make a basic cheesecake I usually go with flavorful ones like pumpkin cheesecake, tiramisu cheesecake, and so forth. When I come to think of it though the pumpkin cheesecake I made wasn’t that bad it was just really dense. I decided to give it another go when I came across a cheesecake recipe in the March 2013 issue of Food Network Magazine – appropriately coined The Cheese Issue – called Ricotta Cheesecake with Almonds. I usually love anything made with almonds so I knew this would be a hit for me.

To begin, I toasted sliced almonds – 1/4 cup for the crust and another 1/3 cup for the topping – in a 350 degrees preheated oven for 5 minutes. I used to skip over toasting nuts whenever I saw it in a recipe but have to come to realize that toasting them definitely enhances their flavor.

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Once the almonds were cool I made the crust for the cheesecake. I combined the almonds, almond biscotti and granulated sugar in my food processor and pulsed the mixture until it was finely ground.

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I then added melted butter and pulsed for a few more seconds so the mixture could come together. Once it did I pressed it into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan and baked it in the oven for a little over 10 minutes so it could set.

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While the crust was in the oven I did some prep work for the filing. I separated three eggs and used a Microplane to zest an orange. After I removed the crust from the oven I let it cool on a wire rack and lowered the oven temperature to 300 degrees in preparation for baking the cheesecake.

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To make the filling I started by beating the eggs yolks and sugar on high speed for about two minutes until the mixture was a pale yellow.

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I then added in ricotta cheese and beat this for another two minutes until it was smooth.

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And finally I added in almond & vanilla extract, amaretto liqueur and the orange zest.

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I put that part of the filling aside and beat the egg whites with sugar until soft peaks formed.

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To combine the two mixtures I began by folding in 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the ricotta mixture. I then folded in the rest until the two were just combined.

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After all the pulsing, mixing and baking I finally had my crust and filling ready.

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I poured the filling into the crust and baked it for 1 hour 10 minutes. I opted to reduce the baking time by 10 minutes from the directions since the cheesecake looked done according to them – slightly puffed and lightly golden on top.

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I let the cheesecake cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack and then removed the springform ring after running a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it. Once the cheesecake was completely cooled I added the topping. I sprinkled cinnamon and confectioners’ sugar over the cheesecake, then spread out the 1/3 cup of almonds on top of it and then sprinkled more cinnamon and confectioners’ sugar over the almonds.

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This was a cheesecake success! I will say though that while the recipe name made it seem like almonds would be the dominant flavor that was only the case with the crust, the cheesecake itself really took on the flavor of the orange zest even though there was amaretto and almond extract in it. Either was it was delicious!

Ricotta Cheesecake with Almonds

Courtesy Food Network Magazine

Prep Time: 40 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients

For the crust:

1/4 cup sliced almonds

5 ounces almond biscotti*

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling and topping:

3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 pound fresh ricotta (about 2 cups)

1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Grated zest of 1 orange

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup sliced almonds, for topping

Directions

Make the crust: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds for both the crust and topping (1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup) on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Crumble the biscotti into a food processor; add 1/4 cup toasted almonds and the granulated sugar and pulse until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Bake until set, about 12 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on high speed until pale, about 2 minutes. Add the ricotta and beat until smooth, about 2 more minutes. Beat in the amaretto, vanilla and almond extracts, and orange zest.

Put the egg whites and the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a separate bowl and beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form (do not overbeat). Using a rubber spatula, fold about one-third of the beaten egg whites into the ricotta mixture, then gently fold in the rest until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared crust. Bake until slightly puffed and lightly golden on top, about 1 hour, 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool, 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen, then remove the springform ring and let cool completely.

Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon in a fine-mesh sieve and dust over the cheesecake. Scatter the remaining 1/3 cup toasted almonds on top and dust again. Serve at room temperature.

*5 ounces of biscotti is equivalent to about 8 pieces. I actually used Stella D’oro Almond Biscotti which conveniently came in a 5.5 ounce package.