Sunday, October 25, 2015

Recipe: Apple Cider Donuts


Fall has that magical ability to make everything seem cozier, soft-spun, and extra tasty. We pull out our heavier blankets, beautiful scarves and dreamy boots, and then there's the food. Who in their right minds can forget the food? 


As much of a pumpkin enthusiast as I am, there are other flavors of the season that get me just as excited. Sage, maple, butternut squash, and apple...oh, the apple. I love that this is a year-round fruit, but there is a particularly satisfying crunch to those bought in autumn. They seem sweeter, crisper, and the dishes you can incorporate them into seem infinitely more satisfying.

Today marks the beginning of the week of Halloween. I thought it would be very appropriate to share a donut recipe with you all that we made last year using one of my favorite fall drinks: apple cider. This is super simple and provides you with a decadent and juicy treat. Yes, I said juicy-just like an actual apple. 
It's not unlike a blueberry donut I used to buy when we lived in Tokyo. The first bite melted in my mouth, the sweetness of the glaze hitting my tongue before this amazing essence seemed to come from the donut itself. I thought it was pretty amazing but had no idea how to recreate it. Perhaps they used actual blueberry juice in the baking process?

Give this recipe a try and then tell me what you think! 

Apple Cider Donuts


Yields about 8 donuts, 16 mini-donuts, and several donut holes


Ingredients

2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 16-ounce rolls refrigerator biscuits, such as Grands Original Biscuits
Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

First make the glaze by bringing the apple cider to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup. This will take about 10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, add the confectioners’ sugar and whisk until it's smooth; set aside. 

In a separate bowl, make the cinnamon sugar by whisking together the granulated sugar and cinnamon then setting it aside.

Now to the fun part: making the doughnuts. Heat 2 inches vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or skillet over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350˚. In the meantime, separate the refrigerator biscuits and cut each into a doughnut using a small doughnut cutter (this is the one I used!) or by stamping out the biscuit centers with a small circle cookie cutter, they’ll just be a little larger that way. (Save the centers for making doughnut holes! Just follow the steps below using the little dough rounds.) Working in batches, slip 3 or 4 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute per side, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer to paper towels or a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to catch any excess oil. One at a time, dip both sides of 1 doughnut in the cider glaze, letting the excess drip off. Press both sides in the cinnamon sugar to coat completely. Serve warm—they’re best that way!—or store at room temperature for up to 1 day.

They actually keep for up to 3 days, but you have my word that they'll barely last through 2. It was a successful first foray into donut making and actually encouraged me to buy a donut pan for this weekend. This time, however, we'll be making a cake donut to celebrate All Hallow's Eve. 

Stay tuned for this next recipe and enjoy a spooktacular week ahead!






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