Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Heart Doughnuts!

This is a very belated post, oops! My sister and I wanted to try our hand at making doughnuts again. Last year, they came out okay. Nothing special. We wanted to try again, since when else can we have a boiling hot pot of oil on our stove top other than when we are at home? So we decided to add Apple Cider Doughnuts to our Christmas morning breakfast menu.

Frying things without a deep fryer is scary. I hate heating that much oil to such a high temperature, and, it takes forever to heat said oil. Maybe I will only make cake doughnuts in the future.

The doughnuts turned out to be a perfect holiday blend of cinnamon, sugar, and hearts, of course.

This recipe did not call for yeast, and since we all know how fickle yeast can be (that is code for: I always somehow end up ruining my recipes that call for yeast), I suspect maybe this is why our doughnuts turned out better this time.

{Rolling Out the Dough}

{Of COURSE I have heart shaped doughnut cutters}

{Paula Deen Would Be Proud - CRISCO!}

We had two shapes of doughnuts - big hearts, and small heart "holes". For the holes, I took a brown bag, dumped in some sugar and cinnamon, and tossed the doughnuts inside. I had seen doughnuts served this way at Lola in Seattle, so I thought it would be a cute way to serve our doughnuts. Oh, and finger-licking good!

For some reason, this photo of a doughnut with coffee reminds me of that scene in the movie Lady and the Tramp. Remember when Lady's master, Jim Dear, was feeding her while reading that newspaper? Oh, it also helped that my own precious dog was sitting there with his cute little ears and big eyes (just like Lady's!) hoping he could sample some of the human snacks. 

Apple Cider Doughnuts, recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes about 18 doughnuts and 18 doughnut holes (or hearts), depending on the size of your cutter


For the Doughnuts

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for dusting
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 stick of butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Shortening or vegetable oil
For the Topping
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
Make the Doughnuts

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce the apple cider to about 1/4 cup, which should take about 20 to 30 minutes. Set the pan aside to cool. 

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg and set aside. 

In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat until the eggs are fully incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the reduced apple cider and the buttermilk to the bowl, mixing until just combined. Add the flour mixture and continue to mix until everything is just combined. 

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (I lined ours with our silpats) and sprinkle with flour. Turn the dough onto one of the sheets and sprinkle the top with flour. Flatten the dough with your hands until it is about 1/2" thick. Transfer the dough to your freezer until it is slightly hardened, about 20 minutes. Remove the dough from the freezer and use your cutter to cut out doughnut shapes. 

Place the cut doughnut shapes on your second baking sheet, and refrigerate for about 20 to 30 minutes. You can re-roll your scraps, or, eat them along the way (as I did). 

Scary Step: 

Add enough oil or shortening to a deep pan to measure a depth of about 3 inches. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees. This will take a long time and it will feel hot and look scary and dangerous. 

Caution: Do NOT let the thermometer touch the bottom of your pan - it will likely shatter and create a mess of glass in your deep fryer. 

Fry and Top the Doughnuts

Set up a plate with several layers of paper towels. In a bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping. 

Carefully add a few doughnuts at a time to the oil, and do not crowd the pan (this will lower the temperature of the oil / your doughnuts will take longer to fry / etc.). Fry the doughnuts until golden brown, should take about 60 seconds. Turn the doughnuts over and fry for another 30-60 seconds. Remove from fryer and drain on paper towels for about a minute. 

Roll the doughnuts around your cinnamon sugar mixture. For the holes, double up a paper bag, add in the cinnamon sugar mixture, add the holes, fold the bag over, and then shake around to coat. Serve immediately. And, if they aren't all gone within 10 minutes, save them in a sealed container and eat within a few days. 

My dad also took some to his colleagues at work and they raved about how delicious these came out (either that, or, they were just being really polite). Apparently, one colleague enthused that our doughnuts tasted just like what her mom used to make when she was a little girl! 

Like I said before, making doughnuts is really time consuming, and, the oil part is scary, and I am not sure what to do with all that oil when we were done with it. If I really loved doughnuts and didn't care all that much for my health, I'd totally get a deep fryer to do it more safely (or at least create a false sense of security). So, next time, I will try out cake doughnuts that are baked instead of fried! 

1 comment :

Hom Nom! said...

Are you going to finish that?