OK, so these aren’t real doughnuts, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how delicious (and addictive) they are, despite being far healthier than their sugary namesakes. Kids will love making and eating them – so why not turn it into a game and see who can be the most creative? Great for using up your apple harvest, the doughnuts make a fun breakfast or healthy snack at any time of day.
300g full-fat cream cheese
100g peanut, almond or cashew nut butter
2 tbsp fruit purée or coulis
1 tsp maple syrup or honey
2 large apples, either red or green or 1 of each
3 tbsp chocolate spread or toffee sauce (optional)
75g mixture of your chosen toppings (see below)
dried fruit, eg golden raisins, cranberries, dried apricots or goji berries
nuts, eg hazelnuts, pecans, almonds or pistachios
seeds, eg pumpkin, sunflower,
toasted sesame or linseeds roasted nut and seed mix toasted coconut flakes
1 Line a tray with non-stick baking paper and set aside.
2 Divide the cream cheese between two small bowls. Mix the nut butter into one and the fruit purée or coulis into the other. Stir 1⁄2 tsp of syrup or honey into each bowl. Cover and set aside. Can be made a day in advance.
3 Use the apple corer to remove the cores. Cut each apple into six even-sized slices (including the ends) and lay them flat on the prepared tray, ends cut side up.
4 Spread the nutty cream cheese over six slices and the fruity one over the other six, leaving the hole clear. Use your toppings to decorate the apple doughnuts as you like. You can also chop your toppings into smaller pieces if you prefer. Either arrange them on top of the apple slices or press the creamy side down onto the toppings to stick.
5 As a further flourish, drizzle chocolate spread or toffee sauce over the apple doughnuts, if you like. To loosen the sauce for drizzling, spoon it into a small bowl and sit the bowl in another bowl of just-boiled water. Give it a good stir once it starts to melt.
These can be made up to a day ahead and kept covered in the fridge. Serve on a tiered stand or layered between small squares of baking paper in a nice box.
For a twist...
• Use chocolate spread instead of nut butter, or jam instead of fruit purée.
• Decorate the tops with cake sprinkles for a treat.
Recipe from The No-Cook Cookbook by Sharon Hearne-Smith (Quercus)