Chocolate Snow Donuts

Last weekend, I got to babysit the world’s cutest niece and nephew (trust me, this is verified fact). So, what do you do when you’ve got two days with two toddlers? Well, if you’re me, you immediately think, “What can we cook together?”

Well, the logical answer for me was donuts. Mostly because they love donuts (or what they call do-do’s*)–like every other kid out there. But also because there was a challenge involved: how healthy could I make the American classic? After all, we’re talking about a two- and three-year-old…and they’re not my kids. So I didn’t want to stuff them full of crap. But donuts have to have a certain amount of crap–after all, they’re donuts–so it was a balancing act.

The good news is that this recipe is chock-full of healthier alternatives: whole wheat flour instead of white flour, applesauce instead of some of the sugar and instead of eggs, heart-healthy oil (I used olive, but canola is another good alternative) in place of butter. And despite all those healthy modifications, these were definitely kid-approved**.

These are moist and the flavor is deep. The applesauce is noticeable, but just barely; it adds a kind of light top-note to the rich chocolate flavor. And despite being covered in powdered sugar, they aren’t cloyingly sweet, mostly because the donuts themselves don’t have too much sugar in them. (I used unsweetened applesauce.) And this is a great recipe to make with the kids: they love stirring the wet ingredients into the dry ones, and when it comes to covering the “do-do’s” in powdered sugar, they went crazy! We simply put them into a plastic baggie with the sugar, sealed it up, and shook the bag. They thought it was a riot!

So the tally for the weekend: yummy? Check. Healthy***? Check. Fun? Check to the nth degree!

*pronounced like the first syllable of “donut,” not like the verb “to do.” Just in case you were wondering.

**I should also mention that I didn’t name these myself: my nephew looked at the first finished donut and said, “It’s got snow on it!”

***well, ok, maybe not healthy exactly. But healthier than the alternative.

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