There are two things that I look forward to each September. One was this past weekend. THE TASTE OF GREECE FESTIVAL. We have gone every year since moving here, and it just gets better each year. It is at a Greek Orthodox church whose patio looks out onto Lake Calhoun, which makes for stunning sunsets! Every year the place is absolutely packed. They have a live band with dancing, and more food than you could possibly imagine.
This year I got a Souvlaki Sandwich - grilled, seasoned pork served in a pita wrap with onions, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce. (I took the leftovers the next day for lunch and my fingers smelled of onions - sorry patients!) But the real treat of the evening is the DESSERT. I either get the loukoumades, which are fried honey donuts dipped in cinnamon sugar, or baklava. I plan to make baklava at some point for this blog because I love it so dang much! As I leave the festival each year, my stomach is stuffed and my head is spinning with ideas for recipe inspiration!
And for the second thing that I look forward to each September: apple picking! For this we normally head outside of the cities, where backroads are prevalent and the land is open and filled with crops. At the apple orchard, they are always sampling apple butter - which, yes please - and they sell fall inspired treats. This is where we were first introduced to the apple cider donut! We normally grab some donuts and hot apple cider as we meander through the orchard, scouting out the best apples. Once are baskets are full of goodies, we take a tracker ride back to the front, which adds a whole other layer of fun to the day!
These donuts are made with reduced apple cider (I used Trader Joe’s Spiced Apple Cider) to give them their distinct taste. Unlike most donuts, they are not fried, but rather they are baked (read: healthier than regular donuts). Once baked these donuts are coated with melted butter and cinnamon sugar. They are very easy to make, and are PERFECT for these upcoming crisp days.
Baked Apple Cider Donuts
Bake time:Serves: 20
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a donut pan with nonstick spray, set aside.
- Simmer the apple cider in a small saucepan over medium heat for 15-17 minutes until the liquid is reduced by half (to equal 1/2 cup). Allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.
- In a separate bowl melt 4 Tablespoons butter in the microwave. Add the reduced apple cider, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, yogurt, milk, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Don't overmix. The batter will be thick.
- Fill a piping bag, or a large ziplock bag with a small corner cut off, with the batter. Pipe the batter into the sprayed donut pan, filling 3/4ths of the way full.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the edges are browned. Transfer to a cooling rack.
- In a small bowl, melt 7 Tablespoons butter. In a separate bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Dip the donuts in the melted butter, then the cinnamon sugar. Coat evenly.
- Donuts are best the same day. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.