Chocolate Doughnuts with a salted caramel glaze

I feel like it was just yesterday that I was sitting around my house in nothing but a bra and underwear cursing the hot weather, my swollen feet, my gigantic stomach, and dreaming about ALL OF THE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES that I wish I could have. The weather in Seattle is now cool and the leaves are falling off the trees. I am absolutely loving all of it, and the best thing ever - I have a baby! I am in such a happy place. The fact that I still need to lose 10 lbs to get back into my pre-pregnancy pants, and the ones that do fit I need to take off half-way through the day, hasn't even phased me. I'm not even cursing the huge pile of leaves all over our lawn that I will somehow and someday have to try and find the time to rake up before it starts to rain and our backyard becomes a giant slimy compost pile.

Having a tiny baby in the house is simultaneously the most wonderful thing ever, and the most stressful thing ever. He is so cute and cuddly and squishy, and I love just lying around the house staring into his eyes, but I often find myself dreaming about the things that I used to get done in a day - email, shower, socializing with adults. It now takes me like 5 days to put together a blog post, 4 days to do the laundry, and 2 weeks to clean the kitchen. I swear, this last month has just flown by.

Sebastian is a pretty chill baby unless he has gas, which is ALL THE TIME.  He cries and grunts and flexes his back and it is so sad, and I want to do everything to help him, but the doctor says - that's the way it goes.

My in-laws arrived last Saturday, which has been an absolute blessing, and I am probably going to cry when they leave. Just last week the pediatrician told me that a good ratio for newborns is 4 adults to 1 baby and I completely agree. Since they arrived I've had time to sleep and clean and cook! It's nice having people around to just hold the baby while I do things because when I am not holding him in my arms I am freaking out that he is going to spontaneously combust or something and I won't be there to save him. Night time is the worst. In the beginning, Brent and I both laid awake at night freaking out that the baby was not breathing or that he was going to die from SIDS. Thankfully, that has passed, only because we now pass out every night from sheer exhaustion. 

I've started pumping my breast milk hoping that I can get a little freedom, and some consecutive hours of sleep at night, but it turns out that if I don't feed him every 3 hours my boobs fill up with so much milk they feel like they are going to explode. Breastfeeding has now become my full-time job.

Despite the lack of sleep and the boob issues, everything around here is pretty fantastic. As my mom would say, I may be acting somewhat overly dramatic about things, because most days Sebastian sleeps all day, we are able to bring him out and about to restaurants and bars, and I usually get 8 - 9 hours sleep a night (although it is interrupted). 

Since my in-laws arrived, I have taken the opportunity to create as many recipes as I can before they leave. It's a win-win situation for all of us - I have people to eat all of my creations and they get to hold the baby and eat delicious food.

The first recipe I made when they arrived is a chocolatey sweet decadent one because since I started breastfeeding my appetite has become fierce and my cravings for chocolate are intense. I used a doughnut pan to make these doughnuts instead of deep frying them because although I currently have some time to cook, I don't want to clean up splattered grease all over the kitchen. Baking doughnuts is easy and clean.

The base for this doughnut recipe, I've made a few times and it's one of my favorite baked doughnuts out there. The salted caramel glaze is rich and buttery and a perfect accompaniment. The crunchy Skor bits were a bit of an afterthought and definitely not needed, but absolutely worth it. It's a real shame that I only made six because they were all gone before I could blink an eye.

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SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE DOUGHNUTS WITH SKOR BITS

doughnut recipe adapted from

Tracy Benjamin via Shutterbean

makes 6 doughnuts

prep time: 15 minutes

cooking time: 20 minutes

doughnut ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

icing ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1/8 tsp salt

2 skor bars, chopped

Preheat the oven to 325ยบF.

Grease a

6-cavity doughnut pan

.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt with a wire whisk.

In a medium bowl, melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla with a wire whisk.

With a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Scoop the batter into a piping bag. Pipe the batter into the doughnut pan, 2/3 full. Place the doughnut pan into the oven and bake for 13 minutes, or until the doughnuts spring back when touched.

Let the doughnuts cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the doughnuts are cooling, heat 1/4 cup butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat until the butter has turned light brown. Whisk in the brown sugar and heavy cream, and bring to a boil.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, powdered sugar, and salt. Transfer the icing to a bowl and use fairly quickly. If you end up leaving the icing too long, just give it a good stir to thin the consistency.

Once the doughnuts are cool, dip them half-way into the carmal sauce and then sprinkle with Skor bits.

The doughnuts can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days.