Apart from a few rogue years in college, I have lived my entire life in New England. And so, suffice it to say, I am intimately familiar with the prolific bastion of Dunkin’ Donuts marketing campaigns that have come and gone throughout the years.
Of clearest recall (and of most nostalgic swell) are the “time to make the donuts” commercials. These ads feature Fred the baker rising before dawn to, well… make the donuts. Because it’s time. It’s always time.
He was a character so dedicated to the inimitable freshness of the Dunkin’ Donuts namesake that he held fast to his early rise-and-shine lifestyle. The donuts were his passion, and he worked very, very hard to get them just right.
I have always appreciated this sentiment, and it’s a sentiment I sometimes find very difficult not to live by. Hard work yields benefits — and sometimes also yields donuts. Really really good donuts.
I recently got pretty into making donuts myself. You, um, might have noticed. And while Fred the baker and his DO THIS THANG mentality resonates strongly with me, it’s not the way that I approach my own donut making. As I collect my ingredients, butter my pan, and preheat my oven, I may whisper softly to myself: “Time to make the donuts.” But, to me, that call-to-arms means something different entirely.
I often bake donuts when I’m feeling low about something, or I feel like I need to do something creative or new to push myself out of a funk. Sure, I make donuts because they’re delicious, but I also make donuts because the process (and, let’s be real, the yield) is curative. They’re happy. And special. And adorable. When I haven’t a leg to stand on, donuts are that leg.
Paleo Banana Bread Donuts with Maple-Cinnamon Walnut Butter — Paleo and Gluten-Free.
Makes 6 donuts.
- 1 banana
- 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup milk or nut milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1-3/4 cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoons freshly-ground nutmeg
- ~3/4 cup Maple-Cinnamon Walnut Butter
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray or grease your donut pan.
Add the banana, molasses, applesauce, milk, eggs, and vanilla into your food processor. Pulse several times until well combined and smooth.
Add the almond and coconut flours, salt, baking powder, and spices, and pulse again, until the batter is well formed. Scoop the batter into a medium-sized zippered plastic bag. Cut one of the tips off the bag and use it to pipe your batter into your donut pan. You can fill the batter up to the top.
Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until the donuts are browned on the top and cooked through. Allow to cool before removing from the pan. Top each cooled donut with a couple tablespoons of the walnut butter, and sprinkle with toasted walnut pieces.
*A note on molasses: There are varying viewpoints about whether or not molasses is technically Paleo. I don’t follow a strict Paleo diet, but, assuming you might, here is some more information. Molasses is made when sugar cane syrup is boiled down — and when that syrup is boiled down again, blackstrap molasses is made. My position is that blackstrap molasses is totally acceptable as a Paleo sweetener, as it doesn’t suffer the same disadvantages of refinement that white table sugar does. Additionally, I think you could go as far as to consider blackstrap molasses one of your best choices for Paleo sweetening, since it contains many vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6), Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Chromium, Phosphorus, Manganese, Sodium, Potassium, and Selenium. This again differentiates it from table sugar, which does not contribute anything nutritionally (other than calories). If you’re still not drinking my Kool-Aid, feel free to substitute honey or maple syrup. You can read more about molasses here and here.