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These doughnuts can help you ‘lighten up’

Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:45 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:47 p.m. CDT

How do you pass up a doughnut? Most of us don’t despite the fact they are loaded with useless calories.

Is there such a thing as a low-calorie doughnut? Yes: The answer is Mini Donuts, a recipe from “Cooking Light, Lighten Up, America!” by Allison Fishman Task.

Task has traveled across America searching for America’s favorite regional foods and then found ways to lighten up those recipes.

These doughnuts – donuts, as she spells them – are lightened up a bit by using reduced-fat milk and low-fat buttermilk and are baked instead of deep-fried.

I’ll be honest – I don’t own a mini-doughnut baking pan, so rather than buy one, I used my standard doughnut pan.

I made these twice. The first time I used the nutmeg called for in the recipe, and the second time I used cinnamon instead.

Both were a hit. My standard doughnut pan yields 12.

I love this recipe and, by the way, I’m going to buy a minidoughnut pan.

MINI DONUTS

Serves 8 (serving size, 3 mini donuts).

Cooking spray

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg

6 ¾ ounces all-purpose flour (about 11/2 cups)

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda1⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

¾ cup 1 percent low-fat buttermilk

For the glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons 2-percent reduced-fat milk

¼ teaspoon maple syrup

Colored sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 24 mini-donut cups with cooking spray.

Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add egg, beating well. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through nutmeg), stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Spoon dough into a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Snip a small hole in 1 corner of the bag. Squeeze dough into prepared donut cups, filling 2/3 full. (Do not cover centers of donut cups.) Bake 8 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in donuts comes out clean. Cool donuts in pans on a wire rack 1 minute. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

While donuts bake, prepare glaze. Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk and maple syrup in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Dip top of 1 donut in glaze; place donut glazed-side up on a cooling rack. Immediately spread colored sprinkles over glaze, if desired. Repeat procedure with remaining donuts. Let stand until glaze is set.

– “Cooking Light, Lighten Up, America!” by Allison Fishman Task (Time, 2013, $29.95) 

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