If you ask me, there’s a good bit of subject matter that Dale Carnegie neglected to cover in his book “How to Win Friends & Influence People”. I think a chapter on doughnuts would have been appropriate. Years ago when I worked in an office environment I would sometimes bring doughnuts to my co-workers, and those who had squabbled just one day earlier conceded to speak a few polite words over a box of glazed and jelly-filled. Segregated groups came together. White coats and secretaries stood around exchanging pleasantries “Isn’t it nice out today? These are my favorite!”
Such is the magic of doughnuts. Believe it!
I’ve had the idea for these doughnuts ever since my visit to New York last year. My agent Lindsay took me to The Breslin for breakfast, and they served up a crazy good peanut butter bourbon sandwich. It looked a little like a doughnut to me, and it tasted even better than it looked! I made a mental note – try this at home.
My pastry is definitely different than what I sampled at the Breslin, but it has the flavor I wanted to capture with a peanut butter-bourbon filling.
This symphony of sweet begins with a puffy yeast-risen doughnut, then it’s filled with bourbon-spiked peanut butter pastry cream. It’s dipped in shiny semi-sweet chocolate glaze and topped with peanut butter chocolate chip streusel. All of this peanutty goodness practically begs for a sprinkling of sea salt on top, so I went for it! And you should too if you’re feeling the salty-sweet love.
Admittedly, there are several steps to making these, but I’ve made sure to give you a doughnut recipe that is well worth the effort. I mean, if you’re going to go through the double raising, frying, filling, dipping and streusel-ing then a mere dozen seems like an inadequate reward. This recipe makes about 30, so there’s plenty to share and enjoy! They might even be a perfect Dad’s Day treat for the special guy in your life.
Peanut Butter Bourbon-Filled Doughnuts
Yield: 25-30 doughnuts
Source: SprinkleBakes original recipe
Prep: 5 hours
Total time: 5 hours 40 minutes
Since there are quite a few steps in this recipe, I suggest spreading out the work over two days. Make the streusel and pastry cream the first day, and save the dough-raising and assembly for the second day.
I used Wild Turkey American Honey bourbon because of its sweet, mellow flavor, but you can substitute your favorite brand. The bourbon can also be completely omitted from the pastry cream, if desired.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup natural crunchy peanut butter (low or no-sugar/salt)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place the flour, peanut butter,
sugar, brown sugar and salt in a small bowl. Pour in the melted butter and mash the
ingredients together with a fork. Pour the
mixture onto a metal baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes or until golden and
- Let the streusel cool on the pan completely. Crumble streusel with your fingers and mix in
the 2/3 cup chocolate chips. Reserve for later use.
Peanut butter pastry cream
2 cups milk or cream, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 whole eggs
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup smooth or chunky natural peanut butter (low or
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 cup (to taste) Kentucky Bourbon
- In a medium bowl, whisk cornstarch in 1/2 cup of milk,
set aside. Combine the remaining milk and sugar in a medium saucepan; heat
until the mixture just starts to bubble.
Remove from heat.
- Beat the whole eggs and yolks into the cornstarch/milk mixture. Pour 1/3 of the boiling mixture
into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs do not cook. Return the remaining milk mixture to a
boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a
stream, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut
butter. Whisk until the peanut butter is
melted and well combined. Add the salt. Stir in bourbon to taste. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; place
in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2 tablespoon + 2 teaspoon active dry yeast, divided
2 cups whole fat half & half, heated to 110˚F, divided
4 to 5 cups bread flour, divided
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Vegetable oil for frying
- In a medium bowl dissolve 2 tablespoons of yeast into 1 1/2 cups
of the half & half. Add 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour and stir until a
smooth paste forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm spot
for about 30 minutes.
- While you wait for the paste mixture to rest, combine the
remaining half & half and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with
the paddle attachment. Stir to
combine. When the paste mixture has
rested (and has risen a bit) add it to the mixer bowl along with the vanilla
and egg yolks. Mix until smooth. Turn off the mixer and add 2 cups of the
remaining flour and top with the sugar and salt. Mix on low for about 30
seconds or until the dough starts to come together. Add the melted butter and
mix until it becomes incorporated, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Switch to a dough hook and add more flour
gradually, about 1/4 cup at a time with the mixer turned off. Knead the dough at medium speed between
additions until the dough pulls completely away from the sides of the bowl and
is smooth and not too sticky. You may
not have to use all the remaining flour. The dough will be very soft but not
very sticky. Put the kneaded dough into
a large bowl that has been greased with shortening. Turn the dough over to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it
sit in a warm place for 30 minutes. After it has rested, gently punch down the
dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with a lightly floured tea towel. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out
dough to 1/2 inch thick. With a 3” pastry ring or cookie cutter, cut out rounds.
- Place the doughnuts on the lined baking sheet 1 inch apart
and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in
a warm spot to proof until they almost double in size, about 30 to 40 minutes
- While you wait for the donuts to rise, heat a heavy-bottomed
pot with at least 2 inches of oil until a thermometer registers 360˚F. Keep an eye on that thermometer! It’s very easy for oil to overheat, so you
may have to adjust the dial on your range to keep the heat at a steady
- Carefully place the cut donuts in the oil. Fry donuts for 1-2 minutes on each side, or
until a light golden color is achieved.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a baking sheet lined with paper
towels. Let cool.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
1 tablespoon dark corn syrup *optional
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Pinch of salt
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium
saucepan and warm over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to
low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Add the pinch of salt.
- Turn off heat, add the
powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Allow the pan to stay on the warm stove eye while you dip the doughnuts.
*The corn syrup adds shine to the glaze. It can be omitted if desired
Sea salt, if desired.
- Transfer the pastry cream to a piping bag fitted with a large plain pastry tip. Place the tip inside the doughnut and squeeze about 2 tablespoons of cream into each pastry. You should feel the doughnut expand slightly in your hand.
- Dip the tops of each doughnut into the glaze and allow the excess to run off. Let each donut stand for 30 seconds to 1 minute before topping with the streusel. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
- Keep assembled doughnuts in an air-tight container. On assembly day, doughnuts can stay at room temperature for several hours, but do not exceed 12 hours. These are best eaten fresh, but you can refrigerate leftovers and gently re-heat doughnuts in the microwave before serving.