Thursday, November 15, 2012

Recipe: Homemade Apple Cider Doughnuts

A few years ago my brother and his wife took an October trip to Vermont, visited apple orchards, took pictures of leaves, and came back telling tales of these wonderful treats called apple cider doughnuts.  Growing up in California we aren't surrounded by apple orchards but the ones I had been to never had cider doughnuts...I've been lamenting this since. 

This fall I decided the time had come to make some myself and after seeing this delicious recipe from The SoHo I got my butt in the kitchen.  I've made a few adaptations  and my expectations were high but these little treats didn't disappoint. 

I have to say I was intimidated by the notion of frying,I had never fried anything before in my life, turns out..I was intimidated for nothing.  The doughnuts are simple and I didn't burn myself once, not that I'm accident prone or anything. 

Go ahead, try them out, and let me know what you think.  How perfect would these treats be on Thanksgiving morning all snuggled up watching the parade?  Recipe after the jump.

Ready?  Good, cuz it's doughnut time!

Recipe adapted from The SoHo

For the doughnuts:
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (low-fat or nonfat)I used low-fat
  • Vegetable oil for frying

  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cinnamon-sugar mixture:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon (to taste)
For the doughnuts:
In a saucepan over medium reduce the apple cider to about 1/4 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Combine the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg while cider is reducing. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed (with the paddle attachment, if using a standing mixer) beat the butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat until the eggs are completely incorporated. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl making sure everything gets incorporated.

Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the reduced apple cider and the buttermilk, mixing just until combined. Add the flour mixture and continue to mix just until the dough comes together.

Line baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and sprinkle them generously with flour.  If you don't have parchment you can butter and flour the sheets.  Turn the dough onto 1 of the sheets or a floured work surface and sprinkle the top with flour. Flatten the dough with your hands or rolling pin until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use more flour if the dough is still wet. Transfer the dough to the freezer until it is slightly hardened, about 20 minutes.

Pull the dough out of the freezer. If you have a doughnut/biscut cutter use that to cute out the shapes. I don't so I floured a stemless wine glass and bottle cap and used those.  Feel free to have fun with the shapes!

Place the cut doughnuts and/or doughnut holes onto floured sheet pan. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes. (You may re-roll the scraps of dough, refrigerate them briefly and cut additional doughnuts from the dough.)

Add enough oil to a deep-sided 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. Have a plate lined with several paper towels ready.
For the glaze:
While the cut doughnut shapes are in the refrigerator, make the glaze by whisking together the confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, and the cider until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
For cinnamon-sugar mixture:
Combine cinnamon and sugar in small bowl. Set aside.
To fry and assemble: Carefully add a few doughnuts to the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan, and fry first side until golden brown, about 60 seconds. Turn the doughnuts over and fry until the other side is golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Drain on paper towels after the doughnuts are fried.

Dip the warm doughnuts into the glaze or cinnamon-sugar and serve immediately. Do the same with the doughnut holes, gently submerging in the oil as they fry, and roll them around in the glaze or cinnamon-sugar. I double dipped some of mine in the glaze once the first layer had dried, heaven! Makes approximately 18 doughnuts.

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