Did you know that it’s extremely cold in the middle of America? I always thought temperatures in upstate New York could rival the frigid winters of my hometown, but after being here for 2 weeks, I now remember that nothing compares to an Omaha winter. Currently, my iPhone tells me the temperature is a whopping 1 degree.
But hey, at least it’s mostly sunny and the temperature is going to jump 17 more digits to 18 today. WOW.
Anyway, since Omaha isn’t really a “walking city” like other places I’ve lived, I can deal with these cold temperatures. I just bundle up, blast the heat and sprint to my car. Oh, and I drink lots of my Sometimes Healthy hot chocolate, which is generally two parts hot cocoa, 1 part whipped cream and a ton of marshmallows.
My love for hot chocolate inspired today’s recipe, Hot Chocolate Donuts with Marshmallow Creme Topping. I also created a Winter Wonderland Countdown Workout that promises to warm up even those residing in the coldest of temperatures!
Let’s talk about the sweet stuff first! Donuts were huge on the Sometimes Healthy Living Blog circa 2011. That was about the time the donut pan became big, and I just couldn’t get enough of baking donuts: chocolate chip donuts, cinnamon pumpkin donuts, blueberry donuts, red velvet donuts and more! The good news is, whereas it appears cupcakes are on a downward trend, donuts continue to capture the hearts of everyone. In fact, a little cupcake shop near me in upstate NY recently closed and turned into a donut shop. Whether it’s with your morning coffee or as a fancy schmancy dessert at an overpriced restaurant, I have yet to meet a person that doesn’t covet the donut.
Now, let’s be honest with ourselves here: the baked variety will never quite eclipse the deliciousness of a deep-fried, glaze-coated donut. However, it sure is a nice Sometimes Healthy alternative.
I was at the gym earlier this week just dreaming up ideas and recipes, and that’s when the idea of a Hot Chocolate donut hit me. That’s what I do. I go to the gym to workout and dream about donuts. I also enjoy watching “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and other food porn while I run. In all seriousness, I usually get my greatest ideas at the gym. I think it’s the endorphins!
These homemade donuts taste just like hot chocolate, but the marshmallow creme topping is really the icing on the donut. I wanted to whip up a marshmallow creme frosting, but my mother’s mixer has gone MIA. So, instead, you lucky readers, I have given you two options for topping off your hot chocolate donuts. No mixer required!
- 1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
- 1/2 C hot chocolate powder
- 1/4 C sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 C melted butter, cooled
- 3/4 C lowfat buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1/4 C plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup Jet Puffed Mallow Bits
- 2 C confectioners' sugar
- 3 TBSP fat free half n' half
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 7 oz tub Marshmallow Creme
- 1 cup Andes Peppermint Baking Chips
- Preheat oven to 350 and spray a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, hot cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking powder.
- In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, yogurt, melted butter and vanilla extract.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir gently to combine - be sure not to over-mix. Gently fold in Mallow Bits.
- Use a small spoon to place batter in donut pan - do not fill more than 2/3 full.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until a fork inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow donuts to cool about 5 minutes before gently removing from the pan and placing on either a wire rack or wax paper.
- While the donuts cool, prepare your simple glaze. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking until thoroughly combined.
- Dip each donut into glaze and place on wax paper to set.
- Once the glaze has hardened, spread 1 tbsp of of marshmallow creme on each donut and top with Andes Peppermint Baking Chips. OR
- After topping with marshmallow creme, line donuts on a greased baking sheet and place under the broiler to toast the top. Be sure to watch closely.
Please don’t be jealous of my advanced plating techniques. You too can smudge marshmallow creme everywhere! I loved the taste of the toasted marshmallow creme mixed with super-chocolate donuts. My one issue is that, in some of the pictures, I feel like my donut looks like a broiled cheesey bagel. Ooops. If you use your fingers to create mini-peaks in the marshmallow creme, I believe this problem can be avoided.
You may wonder why I went with a glaze AND marshmallow creme topping. In my experience, glazing your donuts really helps to seal in the moisture. Sometimes baked donuts can turn out a bit dry (though I find buttermilk helps with that), and glaze ensures that your donuts will be moist and delicious for days to come.
Of course, the non-torched donuts are also delicious and pretty cute! For you peppermint lovers out there, the Andes Peppermint Baking Chips add the perfect amount of peppermint-pizzaz to these tasty donuts. Here is my prescription for your relaxing Friday night: 1 Hot Chocolate Donut + 1 Cup Hot Cocoa (with tons of whipped cream) + a classic Christmas movie.
‘Tis the season…to hibernate! Why not do it with something sweet?
Finally, for those that are curious how the “wizard” works behind the curtain, here’s what it looked like in the kitchen. Big thanks to mom for pitching in on the cleaning!
Now, let’s talk workouts. I’m never one to hide behind my bulky sweaters and big jeans during the winter. Since it’s so cold outside, I actually enjoy working up a sweat in a warm, toasty gym. Circuit workouts, in general, are a great way to beat winter gym boredom blues. However, countdown workouts are always fun, because instead of looking at a clock, you’re counting the exercises, and I find it makes the workout fly by.
If you can’t tell, I was a bit excited about PicMonkey’s “Winterland” themes.
After completing this workout yesterday, I was feelin’ it in the quads this morning! Those 50 jump squats are definitely the most challenging part of this workout, especially during the last round. For the kettlebell swings, remember to keep the weight relatively light, because you’ll be doing 90 total. Same with the bicep curls – light weights for high repetitions. And, finally, if you don’t have a kettlebell, simply use a dumbbell.
Happy Sometimes Healthy Friday! Hope you enjoy the workout and the recipe! Feel free to pin away