I woke up this morning with a fierce, un-ignorable (I know..that’s not really a word.) craving for donuts. I wrote for a while, and then finally gave in and started looking for a good donut recipe. My main requirements: it had to be fast (I wanted them NOW — which meant no yeast donuts, even though they can be delicious) and it had to be easy. When I found a recipe over on Brown Eyed Baker, I knew it would be perfect — I’ve tried a few of her recipes before and they’ve been wonderful.
I had to make a few substitutions. I didn’t have any buttermilk (which you’d think would make me bypass a recipe called “buttermilk donuts,” but you’d be wrong…) but I did use the trick I learned from America’s Test Kitchen’s cookbook: add just under 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to a measuring cup, fill the rest with milk until you get to the desired amount, and stir it together. Let it sit for at least five minutes at room temperature, and you’ve got a decent substitution for buttermilk. I also didn’t have nutmeg, and I knew I wanted a vanilla-ey flavor, so I added a splash of vanilla to the wet ingredients.
I also didn’t have two sizes of biscuit cutters to make the donuts. I don’t even have a single size of biscuit cutter. Again, I NEEDED these donuts, so I improvised. I usually use a juice glass to cut out my homemade biscuits, so I looked around for a cup with the three inch diameter that B.E.B. recommends in her post. Bingo! My little milkglass coffee mug was perfect.
The middle of the donut was a bit trickier. I tried a few little jar lids, but they were all too big — I needed something about an inch and a half in diameter. Then I remembered the wooden napkin rings we’ve never used because we’re not fancy enough to use napkin rings on a regular basis. Perfect!
So you cut out your donuts and donut holes until there’s no dough left. B.E.B. recommends placing the cut donuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet, but of course I was out of parchment paper. So I put some vegetable oil on a nonstick baking sheet and set them on it. It worked just fine.
I put the tray in the fridge to cool while my oil heated to 365. Then, it was time to fry. Each donut only takes about 2 minutes on each side. You just let them go until they’re golden brown and delicious. I timed the first batch, but after that I just kind of went by how they looked.
Then you put them on a baking sheet lined with a couple layers of paper towels so the excess oil can drain. If you’re doing cinnamon sugar donuts (which was what I made for hubs and myself) then go ahead and sprinkle them with your cinnamon sugar mixture while they’re still warm.
I should say here that it really bothered me to have to do one pan of donuts and holes together. Something in me wanted to do purely donut batches and purely hole batches. But it didn’t work out that way, and now you know a little about how my mind works. Scary, eh?
Around this time, the scent of cinnamon drew the kids, and they stood outside the kitchen doorway watching me for a few minutes. Emily asked, “Uh. Whatcha doin’?”
Emily, (cue big eyes here): “You can MAKE donuts?!”
And now my kids think I am a miracle worker because I made donuts and “Timbits” (what the rest of the non-Tim Horton’s obsessed world calls “donut holes.”)
I added a vanilla glaze and sprinkles to the kids’ donuts. You just have to wait for the donut to mostly cool, just so the donuts are easier to handle.
These were so good. Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, sweet without being cloyingly so. Perfection.
I asked Alex if he liked his.
I think he wanted to be left alone, to enjoy his donut in peace.
If you get a donut craving, you should really try this recipe. They reminded me a lot of cider mill donuts, especially once you sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on them. Go to Brown Eyed Baker’s site for her buttermilk donut recipe.
And now, I’m going to have another donut.