Being our third year in a row to make this Easter Biscotti recipe, I think we can label it safely as one of our Easter traditions! Jeff has been anxiously awaiting, dropping hints left and right, trying to figure out if we were going to make them again this year. So, with a couple bags of jelly beans in hand (you know the drill... one for the recipe, one for us to munch on while waiting!), I set out early this morning to get these going.
I'm glad I got up a little early to start as it seemed to take me forever - I was trying to be very careful to not anger those new stitches in my finger! Last year we gave most of them away, but I don't think Jeff is going to allow that this time!
I also wanted to try out something a little different this time, so once we got the biscotti taken care of, I got going on these Baked Easter Doughnuts. To make these, you'll need one of these snazzy mini-doughnut pans that look like this.
To add a sweet scent to the doughnuts, I used aromatic vanilla sugar in the batter - if you don't have a jar of this handy, just use regular granulated. The golden dough, flecked with the dark vanilla seeds, is thick, yet just thin enough to easily run off a spoon, making the process of filling the wells of the pan go by quick. Once they had baked and cooled, we decided to dress them up with an Easter theme. First, we prepared a bright lemon glaze out of confectioners' sugar and fresh lemon juice. We then dipped the top half of the doughnuts in, followed by a dunk into some colored shredded coconut. We added some pastel Reese's candy eggs and voilà, we had little bird nests!
Just for the sake of variation, we also did a Mickey one (guess who requested that...) and a few with just random little candy balls.
Now, since these are baked, they don't have that delicate melt-in-your mouth texture that fried doughnuts have, but neither of us minded that. They are definitely more cake-like with a soft interior. The vanilla flavor was present, yet mild enough that I thought afterwards a bit of lavender thrown into the batter might be a fun way to add another layer. I think these would also hold up well to a richer topping - say a dip in some good quality melted chocolate with a few sprinkles?