It's Fall! Whoohoo!! Fall is without a doubt my favorite season. I love the change of colors, long walks in the woods with my family and our doofus Black Labrador, picking apples... I love watching college football, sleeping with the window open on a cool night and waking up with a cold nose, and I love Fall baking and cooking. So, I thought it would be fitting to start the season off with this recipe. Enjoyed as a morning treat, prelude to a long walk, afternoon pick me up or a late night indulgence, these doughnuts are sure to satisfy.
I am embarrassed to say how long I have been holding on to this recipe. I made it once and it was o.k., so I held on to it hoping to make the changes to suit my tastes (that was five years ago). Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I was out shopping and purchased a new cookbook all about doughnuts. Of course, the first page I opened to was-- Apple Cider Doughnuts. Although quite different from the recipe that I had that was collecting cobwebs, it did have a few new ingredients that I thought might help the old ones. And you know what? They did. Especially the small addition of graham flour. It makes for a wonderfully nutty crunchy crust. With a few extra additions of my own (a double concentration of cider and some extra spices), these came out great! Here are a few step by step photos to help you with the doughnut making process.
Once the dough is mixed, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Generously dust one of the baking sheets with flour and add the dough. Dust the top of the dough with flour.
Using the rolling pin from your child's baking set (love those little kitchen tools:), or just pat by hand, roll the dough to a 1/2-inch thick. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to firm up.
Once chilled and frim, use round cutters to cut out doughnuts and doughnut holes. Place the cut dough onto the other prepared baking sheet. Scraps can be rerolled and cut again (chilling if necessary). Place the doughnuts in the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes.
When ready to fry, get your station set up. Don't forget the mug of hot apple cider to get you in the mood:)
When the oil reaches 350º F. Gently drop the doughnuts into the oil a couple at a time. Too many will cause the oil temperature to drop too quickly. Remember, these are cake doughnuts and they are delicate. No pushing or prodding, otherwise you will have doughnut misfits. Tasty, but not pretty. Fry on both sides until golden brown.
Drain the doughnuts on a wire rack set over a paper towel lined baking sheet. Allow to cool a few minutes before dredging in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Enjoy them warm, at room temperature, or for any leftovers, warm briefly in the microwave for a melt in your mouth treat that will really get you in the seasonal mood. Embrace Fall and the change of the seasons.
Speaking of change, The Galley Gourmet is now on Facebook! There is little link on the side bar of the page, so feel free to check it out. Bear with me, for I am new to the social media world:)
Apple Cider Doughnuts
makes 12 (3-inch) doughnuts and 24 (1 1/2-inch) doughnut holes
*If you don't have graham flour, you can substitute whole wheat or all-purpose
For the Doughnuts
2 cups good apple cider
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup graham flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
Vegetable oil or shortening for frying
For the Cinnamon-Sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of ground mace
pinch of ground allspice
pinch of ground cloves
In a saucepan over medium to medium high heat, reduce the apple cider to about 1/4 cup, about 30 minutes; set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt; set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, add the reduced apple cider and buttermilk; mix just until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together. Scape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and generously dust one of the sheets with flour. Turn the dough onto the floured baking sheet and generously top the dough with more flour. Roll or flatten the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness using more flour if needed. Transfer the dough to the freezer until firm, about 20-30 minutes. Remove the dough from the freezer and cut out doughnut rounds and holes using a 3-inch round cutter and a 1 1/2-inch round cutter. Place the cut doughnuts onto the other prepared baking sheet. (Scraps can be re-rolled and cut, refrigerating if necessary, before cutting). Refrigerate the doughnuts for another 30 minutes.
For the Cinnamon Sugar
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and spices; set aside.
Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set a wire rack on top. In a dutch oven or cast iron pot, add enough oil or shortening to measure a depth of 3-inches. Heat the oil until a candy thermometer reaches 350º F. Carefully drop a couple of doughnuts at a time into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown on the first side, about 1 minute. Carefully turn the doughnuts over and fry on the other side until golden and cooked through, about 30-60 seconds. Transfer to the prepared wire rack and allow to drain and cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, dredge in the cinnamon mixture, sprinkling on all sides. Return on the rack to cool a bit more. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for two days or frozen for up to one month. At room temperature doughnuts can be re-warmed in the microwave briefly. Frozen doughnuts can be thawed in the refrigerator before warming in the microwave. Enjoy!