Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Smells just like... something.

Let's talk about good vs. bad smells.

Good:                                             Bad:

Freshly Mown Grass                       The Compost Bucket

Rusty back from a bath                   Rusty after chasing a skunk

Roses                                             Diaper Pail

Baking Bread                                  Burnt Popcorn

Simmering Apple Cider Burning              Smoking Scorching Apple Cider

See? Same Apple Cider - giant huge difference. It's possible I completely stunk up our house, I mean that smell is still in the walls and in my nose. I thought I would be so smart - get up a touch early to simmer the apple cider to make donuts - let it cool while we run an errand, then be ready to bake/fry! Well… I got it simmering, then completely ignored it until I realized there was smoke billowing from the stove and black sticky goo in the pot. Oh, that poor pot! When I woke Andy, he thought it smelled good - oh Andy… your nose needs a fixer-upper.

All of this in the name of Apple Cider Donuts. The kind you get at an apple orchard - so the recipe claimed.

These were tricky - despite the cider mishap. The dough is really sticky… like… wow sticky. Like - how could this possibly turn out good sticky.

There are several times you freeze the dough and that really was the trick. It certainly made the dough easier to work with, but that sticky dough made for donuts with lots of character and places for glaze and cinnamon sugar to find its way in.

These were yummy donuts. The taste testers approve!

Apple Orchard Cider Doughnuts
1 1/2 Cups fresh apple cider
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
1 Cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 Cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 Cups unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg (fresh grated is best)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
Vegetable oil for frying or oil of choice


Bring the apple cider to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes until it is reduced down to 1/3 Cup. Set aside to cool.

Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well, after each egg. Stir in the buttermilk, vanilla and the reduced 1/3 Cup of cider, using low speed, until combined.

Combine the flour, baking powder, soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt, in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Add to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour.

Place the dough on one cookie sheet and flatten it out with your hands until it is about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.

Transfer this cookie sheet, with the dough, to a freezer for about 15 minutes. The dough will firm up so that cutting the doughnuts will be easier. This is a soft dough.

Cut the doughnuts, using a 2 1/2 inch doughnut cutter. You should get about 18 doughnuts and 18 holes. Place the doughnuts on the second baking sheet and return to the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up again.

Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a deep pan to 350°.

Carefully add doughnuts to the hot oil, do not crowd them. Fry for about 1 minute per side or until golden brown. Remove from oil and let cool for a minute. Dip into glaze or cinnamon sugar. See below. Repeat until all doughnuts and doughnut holes are cooked.

Glaze – 1 Cup sifted powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp apple cider
Cinnamon Sugar – 1 1/2 Cups granulated sugar, mixed with 3 Tbsp cinnamon.

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