HAPPY NATIONAL DONUT DAY!
National Donut Day comes but twice a year on June 5 and November 5. I have to admit that today's posting is a happy coincidence!
With the holidays fast approaching, family and friends may be descending upon your home for long weekend or perhaps you yourself will be packing up to spend long weekends with others. With all of the other meals to prep for holiday hosting, it is nice to have breakfast taken care of ahead of time and ready to go. These delicious donuts are perfect for the fall and winter season and are delicious with a cup of coffee or hot apple cider. These donuts can be made in advance and stored for approximately one week. Whip these up ahead of time to have sitting out in the morning for any overnight holiday guests or treat your hosts to a wonderful treat to alleviate a need for them to worry about breakfast! And of course, these are also just a perfect treat to have around your own home.
Ever think making homemade donuts seems complicated? I promise you, it is not! All you need are two pivotal tools to help ensure a successful batch of donuts. You will need a donut cutter or two different size biscuit cutters and a candy (deep-frying thermometer). Both gadgets are low cost and can be used in various ways to create treats all year round (links to tools used in this post are included below).
While store bought donuts are always satisfying, there is something even better about a homemade donut - this recipe in particular. The concentrated cider which is made by reducing apple cider to a thick syrup results in an overwhelmingly delicious apple cider kick further enhanced by your favorite fall and holiday spices including cinnamon and nutmeg. Add on a sweet glaze made from powdered sugar and a little more of the apple cider concentrate - perfection!
Try something new! It is absolutely worth it.
Prepping and cutting the donuts and donut holes is the easy and fun part! Deep-frying the donuts is simple but does require careful oversight as the donuts cook quickly in the searing hot oil. I have included a series of photos below that shows the progression of the donuts throughout the 3 minute deep-frying process for visual assistance.
I initially tried making these donuts without a candy (deep-frying) thermometer. While possible, I highly suggest using a candy thermometer as it is much easier to measure and maintain an appropriate deep-frying oil temperature of 350°F. My initial batch was cooked in oil that was too hot, and thus, the outside cooked too quickly with the inside not cooked through. The second batch with the thermometer resulted in a perfect donut with a nice crisp outside and soft doughy inside.
The donuts first fall to the bottom of the pan when placed in the oil.
Within moments, the donuts begin to float to the top, and the underside begins to brown.
After approximately a minute and a half, the donuts are ready to flip.
After 3 minutes and once all sides have turned golden brown, the donuts are ready to be lifted from the oil.
The donuts continue to develop that beautiful golden brown color as they begin to dry and cool.
Once glazed, these donuts are ready to be displayed and enjoyed!
SPICED CIDER DONUTS
Yield: 1 dozen donuts + 1 dozen donut holes
- 1 cup apple cider
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Canola oil for deep-frying
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- In a small saucepan, bring the cider to a boil over high heat. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
- In a bowl, sift together 3 1/4 cups flour, the granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the butter. Using a handheld mixer on low speed, beat until the mixture forms fine crumbs.
- In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, 1/4 cup of the reduced cider and the vanilla until combined. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.
- Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 1 minute, adding up to 1/4 cup more flour if needed. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and pat it out to a layer 1/2 inch thick. Freeze until slightly firm, 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a deep-fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or pour oil to a depth of at least 3 inches into a heavy, deep saucepan and heat over high heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. Set a large wire rack on another rimmed baking sheet and place near the stove.
- Return the dough to the work surface. Using a donut cutter 3 inches in diameter, and dipping the cutter into flour before each cut, cut out as many donuts as possible, pressing straight down and lifting straight up. Transfer the donuts and the holes to the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Gather up the scraps and repeat rolling and cutting. Remember to save the centers for donut holes.
- Using a metal spatula, carefully lower a few of the donuts into the hot oil, being sure not to crowd the pan. Deep-fry the donuts, turning them once at the halfway point, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a wire skimmer or slotted spatula, transfer to the rack to drain. Repeat until all of the donuts have been friend, then add the donut holes to the oil and deep-fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Let cool.
- To make the glaze, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup reduced cider and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar until smooth. Holding each donut or donut hole by its edges, briefly dip it, smooth side down, into the glaze, letting the excess drip back into your bowl. Place on the wire rack, glazed side up, and let stand until the glaze is set, about 10 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma's Comfort Food by Rick Rodgers.