Aprons & Apple Cider donuts.

Before I go ANY further with this post, I have to show you all a gift I received from my friend Yoyo (You remember her? She runs topstitch.org and has an Artfire store? Hayley Williams from Paramore got some of her handmade stuff at a meet & greet? She’s totally awesome and has her own category over here? Yeah I think I mentioned all that once or twice before…) Anyway… Yoyo sends me stuff all the time and spoils me rotten, but this is one of the coolest things she ever made me!! It’s a reversible Halloween apron!

One side: Happy Halloween with a cute little skull. The other: Sexy witches!(Excuse the terrible pictures, I’m not very good at the self-portrait shots. I’m going to attempt to get someone to take a better full-on shot of it).

..

Halloween is my favorite holiday, ever, in case you didn’t know. If you like this, then check out her store and look at what she has for sale, or go to her blog and contact her about making you an apron. She does amazing work and her stuff is so damn cute. I’m so excited! I have a really super apron collection now, including seasonal ones. It excites me that I can wear different aprons different times of the year and be seasonally appropriate. Thank you Yoyo! It’s beautiful. Now all I need is a Christmas apron. And if anyone’s looking to get me one, this or this is something like what I have in mind. *wink*

So that concludes the apron part. Now let’s get to the apple cider donuts part, eh?

Every fall, me & Jay go to this pumpkin farm where they sell the best cider donuts ever.  One year we bought literally tons of them, and on the way home went to a friends house, and in the middle of hanging out  we left for a bit to go eat some in Jay’s car, then went back inside… just to avoid sharing them. Yeah. They’re that good. Last year we went on a Monday and they were closed, and this year we went on a Thursday and it turns out they only make the donuts on Saturdays and Sundays. So we were really bummed. Two years in a row with out cider donuts!? Unacceptable. I decided to take matters into my own hands. Fortunately, in the October 2009 issue of the Food Network magazine there happened to be a recipe for cider donuts, so I made me some of my own. I used Macintosh apples myself. It’s best to use red apples that don’t keep their shape while cooking (i.e., no baking apples). And seriously, just look at how gorgeous the apples I have are (and the pomegranates aren’t bad either)!

CIDER DONUTS

Ingredients:

  • 2 red apples, such as Cortland or Macintosh
  • 2 ½ cups apple cider
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 large egg, plus one yolk
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Directions:

  1. Core and coarsely chop the apples (do not peel). Combine with 1 ½ cups apple cider in  medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the apples are tender and the cider is almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth. Measure the sauce; you should have 1 cup. (Boil to reduce further, if necessary.) Let cool slightly.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat 2/3 granulated sugar and the shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer until sandy. Beat in the egg and yolk, then gradually mix in the applesauce, scraping the bowl. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and vanilla, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix to make a sticky dough; do not overmix.
  4. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper and pat into a 7 x 11″ rectangle, about ½ inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Simmer the remaining 1 cup cider in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to ¼ cup. Whisk in the ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar until smooth and glossy, then set aside. Mix the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a shallow bowl; set aside for the topping.
  6. Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350° degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Cut the chilled dough with a doughnut cutter. Slip 2 or 3 doughnuts into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side, adjusting heat as needed. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.
  7. Dip one side of each doughnut into the cider glaze, letting the excess drip off; dip one side into the cinnamon-sugar topping, then flip to cover other side. Serve warm.

My donuts came out a bit uneven, but c’est la vie. Or c’est la donuts. But I think it’s less about perfection and more about taste. And in terms of taste- these are very yummy. Some of mine were a bit overdone; they cook VERY quickly, so beware. If you aren’t paying attention, you’ll end up with very dark donuts.

Also it’s a very sticky dough, so if you don’t let it chill enough, you’ll have a very hard time cutting it out. Don’t skimp on the fridge time. Leave it overnight if you can.

The general consensus is that these are way better than the ones from that pumpkin farm. Jay bogarted them and refused to allow anyone near his donuts, not even his family. So that’s saying something considering this guy never eats any of the sweets I make (except cookies, he loves cookies). Seriously. He has all the cupcakes and treats he could ever want at his disposal… and he eats NONE of it. So these were obviously pretty damn spectacular.

By the way, in case you didn’t notice from that picture above, my hair is red again. If I may quote: “Turn and face the strange, ch-ch-changes.” You should know by now I can’t keep a haircolor (or style for that matter) for very long without going stir-crazy. I also want to take a second to wish a very happy birthday to Chrisie! She’s the awesome artist who contributed that beautiful Cupcake Rehab painting for my giveaway. Her birthday is today, so happy birthday Chrisie!

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35 comments

  1. Mandie

    *runs to local apple orchard and grabs all the fresh apple cider donuts*

    I suck at frying anything, so luckily I only live 5 minutes from our orchard. Hehe.

  2. cupcake rehab

    Aww but they were really easy! I don’t lie! Not as easy as, say, beignet’s or zeppoles, but very easy.

    I am envious that you live so close to an apple orchard however…

  3. Wanted_A_Pony

    ZOMG these sound so gorgeously delicious! Have you had any success with baking doughnuts rather than deep-frying them? [Apologies if that’s in your blog somewhere else. I have some nerve impingement in my forearms & wrists that makes a lot of searching uncomfortable for me. It also makes working with heavy pans & being able to rely on my dexterity while using hot oil problematic. 🙁 ]

    I used to live close to a historic cider mill in Michigan where the original water-powered mill/press is displayed. They use heirloom as well as modern varieties of apples & also make doughnuts. I miss that mill’s unpasteurized cider & cider doughnuts almost as much as I pine for really fresh, old-fashioned apples that were bred for flavor instead of appearance & thick skins! I live in Florida now for work reasons but, if I had my druthers, I’d be back in apple country before you could blink…. 😉

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