There's not much better than a regular old doughnut, but I think these chocolate doughnut holes filled with caramel might just take the title for best dessert (breakfast??) ever!
Happy last day of 2012! I'm really not quite sure how this year flew so quickly, but I can truly say I made the most of it and had my best year yet.
Of course, I married my best friend, which automatically makes it the best year ever. But I also got to spend lots of quality time with my favorite people, including family and friends, and had the opportunity to spend plenty of time in the kitchen.
I worked harder than I ever have in my life, both at my day job and on this blog and with freelance work, too, and have nothing but positive results to show.
I took time out to read a good book even when I should have been doing 12,000 other things. I grew a lot in the kitchen and feel like I'm a much better cook than I was one year ago. I was just plain happy. Which is the most important thing in life.
I have a really, really good feeling about 2013. If I thought 2012 was amazing, I really think 2013 is going to be even better and I can't wait to see all the joy and love it brings.
I always make resolutions if only because I think we should always be making goals for ourselves and the new year is the perfect time to make some new ones. I don't beat myself up if I don't keep them (um, I don't think I completed any of my resolutions for 2012… except for fitting into my wedding dress. Score!) because some goals take longer than a year to accomplish and things and priorities change and life can get crazy.
And that's OK. But really, I will be making pain au chocolate this year. Getting more sleep is also on my list as I haven't quite mastered how to turn out the light before midnight (I think this has been a resolution of mine for the past 6 years. Can 2013 be the year I make it happen?).
I want to cook, bake, cocktail, and entertain even more in 2013 than I ever have before.
But for now, I'm ending the year with doughnuts. Because they're the perfect way to end and the perfect way to start new. Unless one of your resolutions is to eat healthier and lose weight and then… Sorry. But they're doughnut holes at least, which can help you practice moderation. Chocolate doughnut holes filled with caramel, to be exact.
Chocolate Caramel Doughnut Holes Recipe
Though these doughnuts are fried, they're super simple to make. And obviously pretty fun to eat! They start with a simple chocolate batter.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs and whisk until smooth.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.
Then you'll need to roll the dough out. Just an FYI that I am not great at rolling out dough (it's never easy for me!) and I was totally fine with this dough, so you should be, too. Don't let a little dough rolling intimidate you!
You may need a little offset spatula to lift the rounds as the dough is quite sticky (at least mine was!). I used my adorable Kuhn Rikon polka dot spatula that my parents got me for Christmas! In love with it.
Lightly flour a surface and roll dough out into ⅓ thickness. Sprinkle some flour over the dough, too.
Using a 2 ½ inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut rounds into dough. Re-roll dough scraps to get as many rounds as possible (should have about 30).
For some crazy reason, I couldn't find caramels at any grocery store I went to and at my last stop I found one lone bag of Caramel Bits. I decided they'd probably end up working better anyway because they're smaller and would melt easier.
I put three in the center of my dough, but if you're using these caramel bits, I recommend using four.
Now, you'll need to turn all those little dough rounds into caramel-filled balls. Pinch dough closed around the caramel and roll into a smooth ball. Continue with all of the dough rounds.
And then you're ready to fry away! Again, don't be intimidated by frying. It's super easy.
Heat canola oil in a large pot to 350 degrees. Once oil comes to temperature, place 5 dough balls in it. Let fry for 4 minutes total, turning halfway through. Remove doughnuts from oil with slotted spoon and place on paper towel-lined baking sheet.
When you remove the doughnut holes from the oil and let cool for a few, you will then proceed to dunk them in the remaining granulated sugar. Not too shabby, huh?
Cut one of these chocolate doughnut holes open and see all that luscious caramel.
These are like Munchkins taken to a whole new level.
Of course, these caramel doughnuts were absolutely amazing eaten hot and fresh, but they also weren't too shabby for breakfast the next morning cold. I think you could warm them up a little bit even in the microwave, too.
Tomorrow starts a new year and there's no better way to begin your day than with a plate full of chocolate caramel doughnut holes. And I feel like there was no better way for me to end my year than with a few doughnuts.
As part of a balanced breakfast, I recommend you enjoy these with a cup of coffee. Er, I mean I guess some protein wouldn't be a bad idea. Or at least something that doesn't involve sugar.
But it's technically still the holiday season and sugar doesn't count. Are doughnuts technically breakfast or dessert anyway? I never could figure that one out.
And with these doughnuts, I bid adieu to 2012. Let's hope 2013 brings lots more doughnuts and chocolate and caramel and sugar.
And maybe a vegetable or two here and there, as well. If you insist.
Happy New Year, friends! I hope your 2013 starts off in a magical way and that you have your best year yet. I can't wait for another year of good food, new recipes, and blog loving!
What meal will you start your 2013 off with?
If you're looking for more delicious donut recipes, check out my Glazed Coffee Chocolate Frosted Donuts and my Milky Way Donuts. And I can't wait to try these Double Chocolate Donuts with Blood Orange Glaze from Page and Plate!
Chocolate Caramel Doughnut Holes
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar, plus ⅓ cup for coating
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 4 Tbsp (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 30 caramels or ½ cup caramel bits
- 5 cups canola oil, for frying
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs and whisk until smooth.
- Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.
- Lightly flour a surface and roll dough out into ⅓ thickness. Sprinkle some flour over the dough, too.
- Using a 2 ½ inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut rounds into dough. Re-roll dough scraps to get as many rounds as possible (should have about 30)
- Put a caramel or 4 caramel bits in the center of a dough round. Pinch dough closed around the caramel and roll into a smooth ball. Continue with all of the dough rounds.
- Cover a baking sheet with paper towels and fill a wide, shallow bowl with remaining ⅓ C sugar.
- Heat canola oil in a large pot to 350 degrees. Once oil comes to temperature, place 5 dough balls in it. Let fry for 4 minutes total, turning halfway through. Remove doughnuts from oil with slotted spoon and place on paper towel-lined baking sheet.
- Let doughnuts sit for 5 minutes before rolling in bowl of sugar. These doughnut holes can be eaten warm or at room temperature.