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Double Chocolate Peppermint Donuts Make Christmas Morning Sweet

Quick, it’s Christmas morning, the kids are going bonkers, Santa and Rudolph departed hours ago (wink, wink), and you have a house full of hungry guests to feed – what do you do? Simple: Bake up a batch or two of these delectable and healthy double chocolate peppermint donuts to tide everyone over ’til lunch. Santa would certainly approve.

A few weeks back our editor assigned me the task of dreaming up a “Christmas morning recipe” and my mind immediately went to something sweet. Two things you should know about me are that 1) I absolutely adore donuts, and 2) there’s nothing I crave more during the holidays than all-things chocolate and peppermint. These cravings came together to form one amazing recipe that is perfectly suited for your holiday breakfast table. 

The batter is comprised of healthful ingredients like whole wheat flour, low-fat buttermilk, and heart-healthy dark cocoa powder. We also used honey in place of sugar and were able to forgo a glaze thanks to a sprinkling of mini dark chocolate chips and crushed candy canes.

They turned out so moist and chocolatey that you’d never believed they’re aren’t fried! And the peppermint dusting on top made them absolutely irresistible. Of course, if any of your guests don’t care for mint simply leave off the candy cane or opt for another “glaze” option such as melted peanut butter, powdered sugar or just plain. They really are just as delicious without any extra add-ons.

I was so excited to try one that I took an “obligatory” bite for photos and quickly demolished the rest after the photo shoot wrapped up. One donut down and I quickly realized how dangerous it was to have these sitting around my apartment, so I ran them down to my landlord and maintenance staff to share. A girl has to practice self control somehow, even if it’s shuffling off her baked goods on unsuspecting neighbors.

Baked Double Chocolate Peppermint Donuts
yields ~8 donuts 

Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or sub all unbleached all purpose)*
1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (or sub reg. cocoa powder)
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, well shaken
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 peppermint candy canes, crushed
1/3 cup mini bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Method | Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients, whisking until well combined. Then, slowly fold the wet ingredients into the dry, adding more buttermilk if the batter is a little thick. Lightly coat a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray and then sprinkle in a small amount of the mini chocolate chips. Carefully spoon in batter and bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. After a few minutes rest remove the donuts from the pan – they should pop right out. Invert and top with a sprinkle of finely crushed candy canes, which should stick right to the mini chocolate chips. Serve immediately. These would make a lovely addition to coffee, hot cocoa or hot tea on a chilly winter morning.

Note: *Whole wheat pastry flour has all of the nutritional benefits of regular whole wheat flour but is processed to be lighter in texture, making it exceptional for use in healthy baked goods. You could use regular whole wheat flour in this recipe but it will yield a slightly more dense, hearty donut. Find whole wheat pastry flour at most health food stores.

Like this recipe? Pin it! By making simple ingredient swaps like whole wheat flour for all purpose, honey for sugar, and omitting a traditional glaze, these donuts clock in at under 200 calories! Each donut contains just 176 calories, 5 grams fat (2 g saturated), 67 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrates, 15 g sugar, 2.7 g fiber and 4.3 g protein. Merry Christmas morning indeed!

Also Read:

Recipe: Healthier Frozen Hot Chocolate Recipe 

Get Jolly in the Gym with our Holiday Workout Playlist 

15 Holiday Apps to Help You Get Through the Season Stress Free

Recipe and photos by Dana Shultz

December 17th, 2012

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