A couple-a-three things to say here.
I am the proud owner of two donut pans given to me by new friend Giselle, owner of local Rare Device (awwwwesome). I wanted them so I could make/bake donuts. Haven't gotten around to doing that yet.
The other day on the walk home from school I asked Stella what else we could use the donut pans for. She started riffing and before you know it, I've got a new blog series called "Five New Uses For Your Donut Pans". Amazing little brain of hers.
I don't have time to implement them all at once, so here's the first one. Donut-shaped cornbreads. Genius. We all love the corn-shaped cornbread they serve with cocktails at a family favorite restaurant here in San Francisco, The Front Porch, and that you can also order their homemade pickles. Well, I already made homemade pickles, so tonight I put this all into action for a great little snack before dinner.
I used this recipe here, a good, flour-less cornbread recipe that is meant to be crispy. The key really is to butter the HECK out of your pans and to preheat them until the butter is bubbling/boiling so they start to crisp the batter before you even stick them in the oven. And to pour your batter thin-like. I'll get to that.
Like I said, butter the pans well, even the hole area. These things are a little sticky
(but also resilient after being pried out). They don't crumble apart. Good deal!
I think you can use any old cornbread recipe. My quick research found that cornbread is more authentic to some without the inclusion of flour (and with white corn meal), so I didn't include flour. And also, this one had buttermilk. I actually don't know why that's a plus, but buttermilk has never done me wrong.
Do you see that bubbling there in the corner? That's what you want. Be careful,
the pan should be smoking hot after you've preheated it for 10 minutes or so.
I sprinkled half of them with cayenne pepper and salt. Get creative, but skip the salt
(on top), it's not necessary for once. The heat made these extra nice to eat.
I went for about a three-quarters of an inch of batter in each pan, plus or minus.
Fifteen minutes later I had mixed some drinks, pulled the pickled radishes out of the fridge, and pried these treats out of the pans. It took a little work, but only one of the dozen ripped apart. Grease those pans twice! Don't they look so yummy? They were! The pickles and a bitter gin and tonic really brought the whole thing together.
Speaking of bitter, check out these tiny and uniquely shaped bottles of Sanbittér.
This stuff is wild. It's like Campari and soda, but non-alcoholic. It's sweet and
mostly bitter, and a perfect complement to this spread.
Hardcore donut enthusiasts, please take these and dump them in your Fry Baby so you can confidently call them a real donut. I know they are not!
So, the other thing I wanted to mention is that our anniversary weekend is here, and that all of our celebrations have been foiled. Stella's big end-of-the-year performance is tonight, and tomorrow we meant to spend our ONE DAY A YEAR without the kids by lining up a string of (mostly) free babysitters. Last year we spent a glorious ten hours thrifting, eating, going to the movies, and getting in and out of the car without having to fasten or unfasten a child's seatbelt. We spoke without interruption (boy, is that getting old). It was wonderful.
Somehow that didn't work out this weekend. People have finals and business trips and weddings to go to, so we are out of luck and hoping for next weekend. It's kind of a bummer.
I did do one clever thing. It's our ninth anniversary. I looked up traditional anniversary wedding gifts, and the ninth year is pottery. Our friend Mike, who was visiting this past winter, is an amazing potter (look here!). He saw David's love of the hand dripped cup of coffee (look here!) and when he returned home created a one-of-a-kind coffee dripper, partially based on David's specifications. Coffee gear + gorgeous pottery made by a friend = awesome ninth anniversary gift. I can't wait to give it to him!
I'll leave you with this. Happy Anniversary, David. Here's to many more. I love you!