I woke up a couple of mornings ago and Summer had apparently packed up its sticky, sweaty belongings and allowed the Fall to settle in. Overnight I said "goodbye" to one season, which I had little affection for, and "HELLO" to my very, very favorite time of year.
There are so many reasons why I love Fall that I will not attempt to describe them here. You probably just want to hear about the doughnuts, anyway. And you might get bored, especially if you don’t like Fall. P.S. How could you not like the Fall?
Doughnuts are an Autumn-kind of food for me. Especially Apple Cider Doughnuts, which happen to be my favorite kind of doughnut.
Once upon a time I went to an apple orchard - no big deal, I’d done that before. Someone handed me a cup of cider - I had that before too. But then they handed me a doughnut. This doughnut was crispy on the outside and it was heavily coated in cinnamon and sugar. I took a bite, then quickly devoured the rest, and then I stole my friend’s and ate hers too. She didn’t mind... maybe a little bit.
I suppose I should have guessed in advance how amazing the doughnut was going to be. Apple cider = delicious, doughnuts = delicious, apple cider + doughnuts = my mouth has never felt such happiness.
For these doughnuts I made my own apple cider, partly because I already had apple juice, and partly because I’m a little controlling when it comes to my cider spices. The cider gets reduced down before adding it to the dough. This provides the strong flavor we want without making an overly wet dough.
These doughnuts say “welcome back Autumn, we’ve been missing you”. Put on a sweatshirt and let’s make some doughnuts.
Apple Cider Doughnuts
makes 18 doughnuts and doughnut holes
recipe adapted from Lauren Dawson at Hearth Restaurant
for the cider:
-1 cup apple juice
-1/2 teaspoon allspice
-1 cinnamon stick
for the dough:
-3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 cup buttermilk
for the glaze:
-4 tablespoons apple juice
-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
-1 cup powdered sugar
In a small saucepan combine apple juice, allspice, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Heat over medium high heat and reduce to 1/4 cup.
Sift to combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt.
In the work bowl of your stand mixer cream butter and sugar until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated. Add milk and reduced cider. Slowly incorporate flour mixture.
Dust a baking sheet with flour and roll out the dough to 1/2 thick. Lay the dough out on the sheet pan and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Using a 3.5 inch and 1 inch circle cutter, cut rounds of dough. Lay the “doughnuts” and the hole back on the baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, spices and apple juice. Use a fork to combine until the glaze is smooth. Reserve for later use. (If you prefer a dry coating, try rolling the hot doughnuts in cinnamon sugar. It's yummy.)
In a heavy bottomed pot heat 1.5 quarts of vegetable oil to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place cooling racks on top. Fry doughnuts 2-3 at a time, being sure not to crowd the pan. Fry for about 1 minute on each side. Lay the doughnuts out on the cooling racks to cool slightly before glazing and serving. Enjoy!