GOTTA GET ME SOME DONUTS!

What’s not to love about donuts? They are fried sugary bits of dough dipped into more sugar. Seriously! They rock!

Earlier this week, I was in dire need of a sugar fix. I also wanted to take a break from posting about what a genius I am with BBQ sauce. Trust me, I am a genius. Plus I have also been in the mood for fall things like cider and eggnog. I love eggnog. It saddens me that I can only get it this time of year. Of course, if it were always available, I would be either seriously fat or I would have grown tired of it by now. Not sure where to put my money on that bet.

Anyway, I decided to make a couple batches of donuts so that I could have a little of all the things I was craving: sugar, cider, eggnog. Life is good!

I remembered making a cider donut last year that was a bust, so I decided that I should go on the hunt for a basic donut recipe that I could doctor up to my liking. Initially, I was going to use cider, but then discovered that I had let it sit around too long and it was pushing the envelope on edibility. I had some hard cider in the fridge and figured that would do just as well. And it did! I also wanted to use the eggnog I had bought in something dessert-ish, so again, I went the donut route. It then occurred to me that I should use the book I got at the donut class that I got an F in. Seems like it was the least I could do to bring down the cost of the class. If I made 100 donuts, then the class was only like a dollar! Brilliant!

Baked Eggnog Cake Doughnuts (adapted from Donuts by Lara Ferroni)

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/3 cup baker’s sugar
1 T. unsalted butter
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup eggnog
1 large egg
1 T. brandy (optional)

Lightly grease/butter a doughnut pan and preheat the oven to 350F.

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

With the paddle attachment for the mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the egg, sour cream, eggnog and brandy, mix on low to combine, scraping the sides as needed. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix, or your doughnuts may be a bit rubbery.

Fill each cup 3/4 full. I used a spoon to do this, but a piping bag would have been easier. Do not to overfill, or as the doughnuts rise, you’ll lose the hole.

Bake for 6 to 10 minutes (depending on the size of your doughnut pan), until the doughnuts spring back when touched. Let cool slightly on a wire rack before glazing.

To glaze, mix one cup of sifted powdered sugar with 1 T. brandy and 1 tsp. of fresh nutmeg. Twist the top of each donut in the glaze until evenly covered.

Hard Apple Cider Doughnuts (adapted from Donuts by Lara Ferroni)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. unsalted butter
1/2 cup baker’s sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup hard apple cider
1/4 cup buttermilk
Oil for frying

Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg yolks and beat until the mixture is fluffy and pale yellow. Mix in the vanilla, cider, and buttermilk, scraping down the sides. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until the mixture comes together in a soft, slightly sticky dough. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut the doughnuts out with a donut cutter. You can re-roll any scrap dough and keep cutting out donuts until you have only enough to roll into a pretzel (fry this too!). Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot until a deep-fat thermometer registers 360°F or deep fryer. With a metal spatula, carefully place the doughnuts in the oil. Fry in small batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pot. Cook until a rich golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel or cooling rack over a cookie sheet. Let cool to the touch before dusting with cinnamon and sugar. You can also bake these doughnuts in a doughnut pan in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, but they won’t achieve the same rich golden color.

Eat up!

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