Sunday, October 16, 2011

Apple Cider Doughnuts and Why I'm a Food Snob

So every once in a while I start to feel sort of guilty, and maybe even a little embarrassed that I named my blog "The Food Snob." After all, I don't want people getting the idea that I'm this super snobby person, criticizing and judging everything I eat (I promise you don't have to be afraid to invite us over for dinner!)
The last time that my parents came out to visit I realized exactly where my food snobbery comes from. We went out for breakfast, and when my Dad said he was going to order pancakes, my mom's response was, "oh, don't get the pancakes. You know they won't be as good as mine."

Ooops!!I guess this sort of thing is hereditary! (More in common than just the jaw line:)


(I know that this post is verging on the ridiculously long, but in my defense, can I just point out that my siblings have been known to make my mom cook Thanksgiving dinner for them after Thanksgiving in order to make up for what they felt was lacking in other people's cooking- and THAT, I have NEVER done!)

Inevitably though, whenever I start to second guess the title (and downplay my penchant for good food), something will happen and my husband will give me a look that I can only respond to by saying, "I know, I know. I'm a food snob." Case in point, a few weeks ago for my birthday we went to Oak Glen to pick apples and experience as much "fall" as Southern California has to offer.


We bought these fresh, hot mini doughnuts with a "Red Delicious Apple" flavoring. The fact that it was "flavoring" and not actual Red Delicious Apple anything in the actual doughnut should have been my first hint. Let's just say after eating them the conclusions that we were left with were- first of all, Yes, my blog really is aptly named and second, I need to go home and make my own doughnuts.

All of that brings us to these Apple Cider Doughnuts. I've been wanting to try this recipe for a while now, and after my last post on the baked pumpkin doughnuts I've been kind of on a doughnut kick. I just have to say that while the pumpkin doughnuts were good, certain things were just meant to be fried in lots and lots of oil.
And doughnuts are one of those things.

For some reason eating an apple while frying up doughnuts made me feel a little better about the vast amounts of oil involved.



Apple Cider Doughnuts

A couple of notes on the recipe. First of all, I was a little disappointed that you couldn't taste more of the apple cider in these, but I think that I could have reduced the cider for longer which would have strengthened the flavor. Second, I know that in certain parts of the country (ie. Southern California) it can be hard to find real, honest to goodness apple cider (and no, I'm sorry, but apple juice with mulling spices in it does not count!!), but the key to this recipe is actual apple cider- so try to find it!
Also, one key to having these turn out is to keep the oil consistently at 350 degree (I found this a little tricky to do on the stove top. Finally, since we don't deep fry much food around here, I wasn't exactly equipped with all of the equipment. I made do with what I had, but I found that I was much more adept at making doughnut holes than full size doughnuts which kept falling apart.

Ingredients

1 cup apple cider
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoons of butter at room temperature
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
vegetable oil or shortening for frying

Topping: Mix 1 cup of sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

1. In a sauce pan, reduce the apple cider to 1/4 cup by heating over medium heart for 20 to 3o minutes. Then set aside to cool.

2. While cider is reducing, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, salt cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl.
3. Using the paddle attachment on an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until completely mixed in, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.
4. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the buttermilk and the reduced cider. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and then sprinkle liberally with flour. Turn dough onto parchment paper of the first pan, sprinkle with flour and press into pan, spreading out the dough so that it is a half inch thick all around. Apply more flour to the top as is necessary while flattening dough. Place dough in freezer for about 20 minutes or until slightly hardened.

6. Take the dough out of the freezer and using a doughnut cutter, or 3 inch and one inch circle cutters (As you can see from the pictures I improvised on this part!) and cut out doughnut shapes, placing the cut doughnuts onto the second baking sheet. After cutting out the doughnuts refrigerate them for about 20 to 30 minutes.



7. Heat enough oil or shortening in a deep pan to measure about 3 inches in depth. Heat to 350 degrees and maintain this temperature throughout frying. Have sugar topping ready before you start cooking and have a plate lined with paper towels ready.
8. Once oil is heated add a few doughnuts to pan, making sure not to over crowd. Cook until golden brown (about 60 seconds) and then flip and cook for another 30-60 seconds on the other side. Remove from oil and place on paper ggtowels. While still warm, dip doughnut in cinnamon sugar and serve immediately!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Baked Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

One thing that I love doing is cooking with my husband. Maybe it's just because life is busy, or maybe because I'm not very good at asking for help (or relinquishing control of the kitchen for that matter), but it seems it doesn't happen very often.
While browsing pinterest last night I stumbled across this recipe for "Petite Pumpkin Spice Donuts" from the blog "Blue- Eyed Bakers." Oh, sweet mouth watering goodness- I had to make them! And so what was going to be an uneventful night after putting the kids to bed (my re-reading of the Harry Potter books would just have to wait), turned into a husband-wife baking extravaganza.
Okay, maybe calling it an extravaganza is a bit much, but we did have fun and the results (although not as pretty as the picture on pinterest) were oh, so good!
This recipe calls for the use of a petite doughnut pan, which of course I did not have on hand, so instead i used a muffin pan. The result was a tasty, though not necessarily pretty or traditional looking doughnut. We still managed to eat them...lots of them. This may have just started a doughnut obsession- next on my list is apple cider doughnuts (and my mouth is watering as I think about it!).