Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Holes

Since the Little One's Gigi introduced her to doughnut holes when the Husband & I were in Mexico, it's been a love affair between the two.  We can't mention going to a grocery store or bakery - not to mention walk near or in one, without the constant "Mama, holes? Mama, holes?" 

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I had been buying her these blueberry doughnut holes from the bakery section of one of our grocery stores (for you Richmonders - they were a Ukrops bakery item at Martin's).  Low and behold, one day I was looking at the carton's ingredients (yes, I should've done this before I bought them - and usually do) and do you know what I saw? Red dye. What the heck. Seriously? Red dye in blueberry doughnut holes? Why on earth is that necessary?

Needless to say, I dumped them immediately and began searching for recipes online.  When I came across this one (which I adapted slightly) on the King Arthur's Flour website, I was sold! This is the flour that we use, mainly because it is non-bromated.  If you aren't familiar with with bromated flour issue, I'd recommend doing a little research.

These really turned out well. They were some of the best doughnut holes that I have had - they had the perfect dense to fluffiness ratio.  The nutmeg really shines through and plays super well with the cinnamon and sugar coating.  The doughnut itself is not overly sweet, which is a good thing considering its coating. The Little One loved them (minus the cinnamon-sugar coating).

A quick note:
- You can purchase a pre-made cinnamon sugar mixture or you can make your own.  If you make your own, I'd say about 1/3 cinnamon to 2/3 sugar. Eyeball - that's what I did and it turned out perfectly. Just be sure to use a fine grain sugar and not coarse.

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Holes

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
melted butter, for coating
cinnamon sugar blend

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a mini muffin pan.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until smooth.

Add the eggs, beating to combine.

Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and vanilla.

Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.

Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups only halfway full.

Bake the doughnut holes for 9 to 10 minutes, or until they're a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center holes comes out clean.

Loosen the edges of the holes if necessary, and gently return them onto a rack to cool briefly. Grease the pan again, and bake as many more batches as necessary to use up the batter.

Roll doughnut holes in melted butter or brush them lightly with a pastry brush.

Immediately transfer the coated holes a few at a time, to a paper bag or bowl filled with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Shake gently to coat the holes evenly with the cinnamon-sugar.

Serve doughnuts warm or at room temperature. Store for several days at room temperature, lightly covered; freeze for longer storage.

Yield: about 40 doughnut holes.