Peanut Butter Cheesecake Doughnuts with Salted Chocolate Bourbon Caramel.
So these are kind of the best.
I realize that they are a little indulgent, but hey, isn’t that what Friday’s (Saturday and Sunday too!) are for? I think so. We’ll get back to the health food on Monday, but for now let’s just live it up a little.
In reality though, it’s been another crazy week and I really just wanted it to end on a super sweet note. I would say I achieved that AND it even ended on a sweeter note because I got my cabinets all picked out, possibly my flooring and maybe, possibly, even my counter tops. And you guys, this is such good news. I am up against deadlines (mostly with getting the cabinets and windows ordered), so finally making some big decisions on the barn is feeling good, not to mention so exciting!
I am a ball of nerves right now, but it is the good kind. Which I am loving!
Although, at the same time I am hoping I am making the right decisions. The people I am working with have me feeling pretty confident though, so I am mostly just excited.
I spent all morning on Wednesday really laying things out and then picking out my cabinets. You guys, I never knew there was so many choices in cabinetry. Whoa.
To say I was overwhelmed would be a huge understatement. BUT there were some cookies on the table – cookies always help to make me see things a little more clearly. So after two plus hours of discussing cabinets, I think I am pretty happy with my choice. My style is pretty simple, nothing extravagant, but I will be curious to hear all of your thoughts once you get to see them. Should be fun!
Anyway, with all this barn stuff + other work things, I have not really had as much time to do my whole back and forth on what recipe to make thing. Should I make this, should I make that, should I go spicy, sweet or a combo? Yeah, there has been none of that. It’s actually kind if nice because the crunch for time forces me to just make a decision right away. It’s not really my preferred method of doing things, because I really like to make sure that each and every recipe I show you guys is gonna be so good, but I have to say that I have not had one “quick to decide” recipe that has not turned great. I mean, I know it will happen (probably today now), but so far so good.
These Peanut Butter Cheesecake Doughnuts were a “quick decision” recipe. Originally I wanted to create buckeyes for my home state of Ohio, but instead I decided I felt more like doughnuts. And fried doughnuts, not baked. Do not get me wrong, I love baked doughnuts, but I think of them more as mini cakes. Super cute and super delicious, but not really real doughnuts in my mind. So I fried these babies, because that’s just what needed to be done.
I think it is clear that I have gotten over my little tiff with frying. Not sure that is a good thing or a bad thing, or maybe just a combo of both? Right now I am leaning towards more of a delicious thing. Yes, delicious for sure.
The peanut butter cheesecake filling for the middle of these guys is almost like peanut butter mousse. It’s just delish. Super easy to make and kind of something I wanted to just take a spoon to… oh wait I did that.
And then of course, since I am really feeling all the cozy foods these days (I am sorry, it’s all this cold rain, low clouds and um…SNOW we are getting), I thought the doughnuts needed a caramel topping. Chocolate caramel. Obviously.
Even though the recipe seems a little long, it’s actually pretty easy.
The only bummer part is that these really are best fresh. Kind of a pain I know, but I still think they are worth it in the end. Perfect for a Friday night or a lazy weekend afternoon. If you do end up with leftover doughnuts (I did), just store the doughnuts in an airtight container and then, when ready to eat again, fill them with the peanut butter cheesecake mixture (keep this in the fridge) and drizzle with warmed caramel. Still pretty darn good.
So what do you say? Since it’s Friday?? You definitely want to make these, right??
Trust me you do.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Doughnuts with Salted Chocolate Bourbon Caramel.
- 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm milk I used 2%
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened and cut into cubes, 1/2 stick
- Canola oil for frying
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2-3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon bourbon optional
- 4 ounces dark chocolate chopped
- In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the yeast with 3/4 cup of the warm milk and stir to dissolve the yeast. Add 3/4 cup of the flour and stir to create a smooth paste. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the flour mixture rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Once 30 minutes have passed, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of yeast with the remaining 1/4 cup milk. Add the rested flour mixture along with the vanilla and egg yolks and mix on low until the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is smooth, about 30 seconds. Turn off the mixer and add 1 cup of flour, along with the sugar and salt. Mix on medium until the dough starts to come together, about 30 seconds. Add the butter and mix on medium until it's incorporated, about another 30 seconds.
- Remove the paddle attachment from the mixer, and switch to the dough hook. Start adding the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time and knead the dough on medium until it completely pulls away from the side of the bowl and is smooth and not too sticky, about 1 minute. The dough will be very soft and moist but not so sticky that you can't roll it out. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest in a warm place for 1 hour. After one hour, gently press down on the dough to remove any gas bubbles. At this point you can either roll the dough out or chill the dough, covered, for up to 24 hours.
- When ready to roll out the dough, line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using doughnut or cookie cutters, cut out 1 1/2-inch-diameter rounds. Arrange the doughnuts on the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch between doughnuts. Cover the doughnuts loosely with plastic wrap and let them proof in a warm place, about 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the caramel, in a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the sugar over medium high heat. As the sugar begins to melt, stir it frequently to help it melt evenly. Continue to cook and stir until the caramel begins to turn a light amber color. Remove from heat and let sit 2 minutes. Then carefully stir in the butter. Now slowly stir in the heavy cream and salt (it will bubble up quite a bit). Whisk to incorporate. Some of the sugar will harden around the spoon or whisk, this is fine. Return the pot to medium heat and simmer 3-4 minutes or until the sugar has melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon and chocolate.
- To make the cheesecake filling, add the cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and peanut butter to the bowl of a stand mixer (or a medium mixing bowl). Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Spoon the cheesecake filling into a pastry bag fitted with a tip or just a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off.
- In a heavy-bottomed large pot or deep fryer, heat at least 2 inches of oil until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Working in batches, use a slotted metal spoon or spatula to carefully place the doughnuts in the hot oil. Fry, flipping once, until light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. When done, transfer a the wire rack. Make sure to return the oil to 350 degrees F. between batches. Let the doughnuts cool slightly (about 2-5 minutes) before filling.
- Pierce base of each doughnut with piping tube and pipe a little cheesecake filling into each. Serve warm with the warmed salted chocolate caramel. Grab cold milk. Enjoy!
I mean, come on. Look at the center. And the caramel. Yeah, you want to make these.
PS. The winner of the Easy Gourmet cookbook is Melody! Congrats, I have sent you an email.