Thursday, February 2, 2017

Chocolate Covered Cherry Valentine's Day Donuts

And just like that, folks, it's February. January is over - that means 2 momentous things are here. First, the gyms will be back to normal now that the New Year's resolutions crowd has given up on their gym resolutions. Second, it's Valentine's Day, baby!

Oh it's on! Bring on the love, sappy cards, heart decorations, excuses to shower those I love in gifts (it's basically a second Christmas in my book!), and decadent treats! I want to drown in it! I want to feel Valentine's Day deep into my bones to get me through the rest of winter.

I LOVE it. Some people hate it. Some claim it's the greeting card industry's holiday and that it's an obnoxious day full of expensive BS. But what is there to hate? A lot of people don't express their feelings openly 24/7. Some people don't get each other cards or roses or any gifts of any kind spontaneously. Valentine's Day may be the ONE day they get to experience those magical wonders and hear how their significant other really feels. Those poor souls.

Regardless of the negative connotations (I am so looking at you, bitter single people! Kidding. Just kidding!), I think it's a fantastic holiday. Then again, I think every holiday is fantastic. All the people I love get a valentine from me. It's not JUST for couples. It's for friends and family and everyone in-between. Galentine's Day anyone?

Speaking of Galentine's Day - what does one need for a successful Galentine's Day? Something yummy. Because calories don't count on Valentine's Day OR Galentine's Day.  And that is where donuts come in.

I am pretty sure I shared a donut recipe for Valentine's Day last year and I have no shame in doing it again this year! This year, they're even more decadent than last year. Chocolate on chocolate on chocolate with a cherry on top - literally.

I found this pretty simple double chocolate donut recipe from Joy the Baker and knew I wanted to try them. I started to wonder how I could take them to the next level. Because, you know, double chocolate just ISN'T decadent enough. I love chocolate paired with fruit flavors and Lord knows I've done raspberry enough. So I pondered and immediately thought of maraschino cherries.


It all came together pretty easily, actually. Simply chop up some cherries and mix into the batter and then add some maraschino cherry juice to the chocolate glaze and you've got the chocolatiest donuts with the richest cherry chocolate glaze - all with said cherry on top!

The cherries in the donut combined with the juice added to the glaze adds just enough cherry flavor to the donut without overpowering the scrumptious chocolate - because you don't want to overpower chocolate. You just don't.

Okay, that's it! I officially have a new tradition! Donuts for Valentine's Day! Just don't hold it against me if I forget for next year, OK?

Chocolate Covered Cherry Donuts
Adapted from Joy the Baker

For the donuts:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries with stems
  • Sprinkles for decorating (if desired)
For the cherry chocolate glaze:
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice from jar
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Spray a doughnut pan with nonstick spray.
  3. Remove 6-8 cherries from jar and remove their stems. Roughly chop and set aside.
  4. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar.
  5. In a second bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together until well combined.
  7. Carefully fold the chopped cherries into the batter until combined.
  8. Spoon batter by the spoonful into your donut pan so each mold is 2/3 full.
  9. Bake donuts for 11-13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the donuts comes out clean.
  10. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before removing donuts from pan to cool on wire racks.
  11. Cool completely before glazing.
  12. To make the glaze, whisk powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  13. Add 2 tablespoons of milk, the vanilla extract, and cherry juice. Combine.
  14. Slowly, one tablespoon at a time, add more milk until glaze is thick but pourable.
  15. Dip each donut into the chocolate glaze. Shake off any excess glaze.
  16. Return to wire rack and top with a cherry (along with any other decoration you want to use - I used some sprinkles here).