I woke up this morning, made the kids breakfast, and sat down to read my trusty Google Reader. I clicked away happily until I saw Peabody’s post on the doughnuts she made. They looked fabulous, as all her things do. I knew the deadline for her and Helen’s event, Time to Make the Doughnuts, was nearing. It has been eating at me since I saw it. I wanted to particpate, but finding time these days is the issue. Between TWD and CH, I bake way more than I should most weeks. Having just made the cheesecake last night for TWD, and looking at the dirty dishes in the sink. I did not feel like making another mess. No, I did not. But…I have never made doughnuts. Its cold outside today. Its a good day to give it a go. We could all enjoy some piping hot doughnuts, if I can pull them off.
Not wanting to wait around for yeast doughnuts, I opted for cake. I turned to my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. It never lets me down. Chocolate cake doughnuts, perfect! I whipped them up quite easily and went to put them in the fridge for their chill. Oh no, no space. The cheesecake was taking up a lot of room. Okay, its cold outside, to the garage the bowl went. I left it there for 2 hours, as per directions, before fetching it. Next, roll them out. Easy peasy as Jamie says. But, then I ran into another snag. I have no biscuit cutters or round cookie cutters. Umm, I can use a glass? No, I don’t have anything small enough to make a hole. I was left using the star cookie cutters I bought on sale last fall. I was hopeful that would work out. They looked uber cute. I just didnt know if they would hold that shape.
Moving on, they were all cut out, and looking cute as can be. The oil took about 20 minutes to heat up and then I was ready to go. I very cautiously lowered a doughnut into the oil. It sank. Hrmm, ok. Within a few seconds, it began to float. WHEW! I put 2 more in and let them go for 1 minute, flipped them, another minute on that side, and they were done. Well, that was easy!
I dressed half the doughnuts in some cinnamon-sugar. I dunked the rest in some sugar glaze. To please the kids, I topped some with jimmies and red sugar. I loved how they looked, pretty darn good!
Verdict- Eh. While it was a lot easier to make homemade doughnuts than I thought, I think my good ole Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook let me down on this one. The cake was okay at best. It was dense and really dry. Some of that may be my fault. Maybe I overcooked them? Jaos said they were too dense. The kids ate the jimmies off the top, and left the doughnut, intact, on their plate. I am the only one who thought they were decent. Probably because I am the one who took the time to make them. If you have a really good cake doughnut recipe, please let me know.
I will try to make doughnuts again. Jaos has requested I make yeast doughnuts next time. I enjoyed making them, and its a new skill, so I call this a victory.
Chocolate Cake Doughnuts
Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 beaten eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Shortening or cooking oil for deep-fat frying
Combine 2 cups of the flour with baking powder in a bowl, set aside. In a medium bowl combine milk and melted butter. In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer about 3 minutes or until thick. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture to egg mixture, beating after each addition just until combined. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup flour and the cocoa powder. Cover dough; chill for 2 hours.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough until 1/2 inch thick. Cut dough with a floured 2 1/2 inch doughnut cutter, dipping cutter into flour between cuts. Reroll as necessary.
Fry doughnuts, 2 or 3 at a time, in deep, hot fat (375 degrees F) about 1 minute on each side or until golden, turning once with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and doughnut holes. If desired, dip tops of warm doughnuts into a chocolate glaze or shake warm doughnuts in a bag with sugar. Cool doughnuts on wire racks.