Many thanks to Lea over at PaleoSpirit.com for sharing an awesome recipe that inspired this treat; her special Apple Cider Paleo Donuts, that she made in a counter-top electric mini donut maker! Delectable, sweet, cakey donuts were certainly something I'd thought I'd never eat again, once going Paleo. Glad Lea was here to prove me wrong ;) As fate would have it, while at my local grocery store, I looked down and saw this adorable little cake pop/donut hole maker, and it was even a few dollars cheaper than Amazon! I couldn't wait to get home and try Lea's recipe. It was so quick and easy mix together, and seven minutes later, we were enjoying Paleo-compliant, gluten-free, yummy little donut holes. Definitely a new family favorite.
This is a great little machine. Right out of the box, it's very non-stick, and I didn't have to apply any extra grease, before cooking. Just do be careful, as the machine does get very hot on the outside. Wear your oven mitts! I also set the machine on top of a trivet, to protect my counter top. There are red and green indicator lights, to let you know when the machine is properly heated, and I love the locking latch. More on the importance of this latch later. This particular model produces seven ping-pong-ball-sized cake pops/donut holes, and works best with denser batters, like you'd use for muffins or cupcakes. A cookie dough scoop makes it easy to measure out a good heaping dollop of batter into each compartment. Then just snap on the lid, and let the baking begin!
Today, I decided to experiment with a savory recipe. While at the grocery store, I also got a great deal on canned wild-caught crab meat. That sparked an idea for Paleo sweet potato crab cakes, but without the splattering mess of trying to pan-fry them. This recipe works great in this counter top donut hole maker, but you can easily adapt this for use in the oven, and bake into little muffins. Fifteen minutes at 400 degrees F should do it, or as soon as they're golden brown. On to the recipe!
Paleo Mini Sweet Potato Crab Cakes
Makes 21 mini crab cakes
2 six-ounce cans of crab meat, drained
2 room-temperature eggs
3 tbsp melted grease (bacon grease, coconut oil, butter, or ghee)
1/2 cup roasted sweet potato, mashed
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp Real Salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried herbs (Herbs de Provence, oregano, etc)
1/4 tsp paprika
2-3 grinds fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp baking soda
Preheat your donut hole maker.
Combine crab meat, eggs, grease, sweet potato, green onions, and coconut milk, and blend thoroughly.
Combine remaining dry ingredients, breaking up any lumps in the coconut flour.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix well.
Using a cookie dough scoop or small ice cream scoop, fill a heaping mound of batter into the compartments of the donut hole maker.
Close the lid, careful to latch tightly, and set your timer for four minutes.
As the machine is very hot, using oven mitts, carefully pick up the donut hole maker and flip it over onto its front side, onto a heat-safe surface. This is the secret to having nice, uniform, evenly round and browned results.
After four minutes, unplug the donut hole maker, and flip it back over onto its back. Let it continue to cook for three more minutes. There is enough residual heat to continue the cooking process, without over-browning the outside edges.
After three minutes, carefully open the machine, and transfer the donut holes to a cooling rack.
Serve warm with a nice organic side salad.
It was so much fun putting these together, and I love that there was so little to clean up. No splattering mess from trying to fry anything on the stove top, and once the donut maker had cooled a bit, it was easy to wipe clean with a damp paper towel.
Next time, I think we'll add a little zing, and try making a little dipping sauce to go with these. Maybe something with avocado, or dill and lemon. They're still really good just by themselves, too ;)