As my most favorite flavor, mint chocolate doughnuts seemed appropriate for St. Patrick's Day. I've never been a huge celebrator of March 17th aside from making corned beef, cabbage and Irish soda bread a few times, but if it's all about the green, I'll go with mint.
Before I even started making these doughnuts, I had a hunch that they'd be reminiscent of Thin Mints, the chocolate mint Girl Scout cookie. Those dark chocolate cookies are my all time favorite of the bunch, especially frozen, but I'm sad to report that I only had two this year. We had a box at work one day and the next day, they were gone. It's been a mixed blessing. I've saved my teeth from being coated in chocolate but now, there are these doughnuts instead.
These doughnuts come with a warning, however. If you aren't a fan of things mint chocolate flavored or won't eat mint chocolate ice cream if it's green color (Hi, Mom), then these are not the doughnuts for you. Psst...try the peach ones instead. They're really, really good.
The smell of the peppermint extract is enough to be either refreshing or revolting depending on how you feel about this flavor combination. As soon as that bottle opens, the aroma permeates the air and then everything smells minty fresh.
But, if you're of the mint chocolate fan club and are wondering why I'm still babbling on, these doughnuts are even better than a $4 box of Thin Mints. The key to the mintiness is in both the batter and the icing—just enough to get the right kick.
These doughnuts come together pretty quickly. It's a simplified cake batter—mix the wet and dry ingredients separately and then combine them together. Fill your doughnut pan two-thirds full to be sure that they don't overflow.
The icing decoration is two-fold. The first is thinner and lighter in color. The second is thicker and darker in color.
Of course, you can just stick with the first icing if you're feeling lazy or aren't confident in your decorating skills but it's quite fun to go 'round and 'round the doughnuts with the circular pattern.
They don't have to be perfect either. In the end, it's the Thin Mint flavor that shines through.
Compared to fried doughnuts, these are on a island of their own. They're like a fudgy, mint chocolate cakes with holes in the middle.
Doubly good with a glass of milk and a side of Great British Bake-Off.
Happy St. Patty's!
Thin Mint Doughnuts
Yields: 7-8 doughnuts
Be sure to use peppermint extract not spearmint extract. Spearmint extract has a more extreme toothpaste taste just isn't good.
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup buttermilk
1 large egg
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
½ cup chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
1-2 drops green food coloring
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Generously spray doughnut pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar.
In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, melted butter, vanilla and peppermint extracts until thoroughly combined.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold together until all of the ingredients are well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Using a small spoon, fill the doughnut pan about two-thirds full. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until a skewer inserted into one of the doughnuts comes out clean. Allow the doughnuts to rest for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan and onto a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Let cool completely before icing.
To make the icing, start with the powdered sugar, peppermint extract and 1 tablespoon of milk. Gradually add a little bit of milk as needed—it doesn't take much to make it too thin. You're looking for the consistency of glue—thick but still pourable. Add a drop of green food coloring and mix thoroughly.
Dip each doughnut into the glaze and set to dry on the wire rack. Continue with the rest of the doughnuts. Once dry, create the decorative icing. You can use whatever you have leftover from the first icing but add another drop of green food coloring and enough powdered sugar and milk until you reach the consistency of toothpaste. Place in a small plastic bag. Snip a tiny hole in the end and create a circular pattern on each doughnut.
Best served within two days of baking. Or, store in the freezer for several weeks. Thaw completely before eating.