Browned Butter Apple Doughnut Holes.


I feel like, as an adult, I have quite a few more “come-to-Jesus” moments than my five year ago self would have liked. Five years ago, being a 26 year old grown up who is married & moved to the other side of the country means having things figured out. In the mess of self that I was, after just having my life, heart, & brain rocked by my Christ, I would daydream; in that 21 year old brain, sitting in that 21 year old body, I would dream & think & forecast my future.Nice.
Has a life routine.
Able to die to self daily.
Doesn’t care what people think.

In addition to this enormous amount of character I was going to build, I had a rough outline of what was going to happen when in my life. Because, you know, I was in control (sarcasm).

These expectations rolled around in my brain, and I looked forward to the day when my 26 year old self would be able to look back at my 21 self and sigh, saying, “See? I’m everything you thought I was going to be and more. You’re a sad mess, & I’m a proper grown-up & citizen of the world now.”

Haha. I, as a 26 year old woman, look at myself, not five years ago, but in the present-day mirror, and wonder why there isn’t a more impressive specimen standing before me.

I still have trouble trusting Christ in all things, everyday, with every area of my life. I will preach it, and friends I live it all I know how to, but sometimes it’s a struggle. Sometimes I pass them over to Him with gritted teeth rather than a sweet heart. Sometimes I tell God I’ll pass them over later, when I’m more ready.

I still have trouble being disciplined in certain areas. And it depends on my season of life. I go through spurts of dedication in certain studies, spurts in exercise, & spurts in _______ (insert many, many other things here).

Non-argumentative & self-controlled? Oh sheesh. Part of me (the oh-so naive part of me) thought that when I got married, this part would naturally come. I would never want to argue, we would always compromise, & I would be able to reign in my emotions, desires, words, & thoughts. Ya . . . turns out, still not perfect. It’s not that I don’t try or that I think I am a victim of my emotions. No-I don’t believe that for a minute. But it’s still not easy to cool my head & remain in a discussion where I am sometimes wrong. It’s not easy to constantly be taking every thought captive & hold it up to the Light of the Gospel, and if it’s rubbish, toss it straight outta my mind. It’s necessary, but not easy.

I could go on about that lack of cleanliness 100% of the time, the lack of a regular scheduled life routine (probably has to do with the lack of motivation to properly develop and stick with one?), and the lack of ease that I die to myself daily (several times a day actually), but I won’t. Because I don’t really think you need to hear about my “failings” as an adult.

Because I sit here writing to you vulnerable, and I feel so, incredibly whole. As a woman, as a daughter of the King, as a wife, as a sister in Christ. I am whole, despite what my 21 year old self forecasted “whole” to mean. Again, I don’t remember this every moment of every day, because I’m insecure sometimes (another one of those pesky little things that I haven’t conquered), but I know because I have the Truth of Christ ringing in my ears. I close my eyes & see his words, reminding me of His love. I sit in stillness & I hear His steady, calming voice, telling me that He is in control. I see His love & grace when I look in the eyes of my husband, who loves me so well with a Christ love. I experience His fellowship when I am in the presence of my church community, who do not identify me by my shortcomings.


Dear ones, let us not let our expectations of ourselves be our ruin. We are, more oft than not, too hard on ourselves. We have been given grace, freely.


Let us be raw & real with each other. Let us be safe with one another, simply being. We already give ourselves quite a bruising with our own harsh words.


Let us offer a doughnut & raise a cup of coffee to each other, for we are on this journey together.


My doughnut holes kinda look like muffins . . . shhhhhh . . .


These doughnut holes are beautiful. They are full-flavored, delicate, studded with bits of softened sweet apple, and have the depth that is the signature of browned butter. I thinned out the glaze from the original recipe because I simple prefer glaze rather than full icing on doughnuts. Personal preference that can be altered if you like! But you probably don’t want to alter these.We are being real, after all.


In the spirit of realness, a photo of my shooting station & messy background.

Browned Butter Apple Doughnut Holes
makes about 24 doughnut holes1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (but we’ll only use 2 tablespoons of browned butter for the recipe)
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup peeled and grated fresh apple

For the Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons whole milk (you can use less for thicker frosting, more for a thinner glaze)

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a mini muffin pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, and brown sugar.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt all of the butter (including the butter needed for the glaze).  Butter will begin to crackle and pop as it melts.  That’s the water melting out of the butter.  Once the water has evaporated the butter will quiet down and begin to brown.  Keep an eye on it, it browns quickly.  The butter will begin to smell nutty.  Remove from heat and immediately transfer browned butter (brown bits and all) to a small bowl.

In a small bowl whisk together egg, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.  Measure out 2 tablespoons of browned butter and whisk into the wet ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients.  Add the grated apple. Stir together until no flour bits remain and all of the ingredients are well combined.  Don’t not to overmix the batter.  That will create rubbery doughnuts.

Use a small spoon to dollop batter into the prepared pan.  Smooth out and fill each doughnut in the pan three-quarters full with batter.

Place in the oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them and try not to over-bake them.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze.

To make the glaze, in a medium bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and salt.  Add 2 tablespoons of browned butter, vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons milk.  Whisk to combine.  Add more milk to make the glaze more spreadable.

Once the doughnuts are completely cool, use a butter knife to spread each doughnut with glaze.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes. for the glaze to harden (this can be done on the countertop or in the fridge if you’re in a rush).  These doughnuts are best serve the day they’re made.

Source: adapted from Joy the Baker
Listening to: Admiral Fallow


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