Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts {Doughnut Diaries}

Y'all. I almost forgot how to blog. It's seriously been a hot minute. Remember when I said I would have more of a routine schedule? Well, that was a false statement. 

Very false.

Some rotations I have had a normal, predictable schedule. Others, not so much. Some were about as predictable as a newborn's sleep schedule. Bonkers.

Anyway. I'm back. For now. I hope to drop in here and there with a few posts -- I really have so much to share (Minneapolis, MN, Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania, VA, Hatteras, NC x 2, somuchfood, Charlottesville, VA -- yikes). 


For all you Virginians, it's fall. 

That means an obligatory trip to the orchard. For most, that means Carter Mountain Orchard. Me? That's not my style. Don't get me wrong. It's close to the highway, great for families, and has some pretty wonderful views. 

But the crowds. Omylanta the crowds. I can't deal. Dickie Brothers Orchard is more my jam. 

Last weekend, one of my roommates came up from the beach and I had a pretty perfect 'Fall in Virginia/Virginia is for Lovers' weekend planned. Not all of it happened, but it was good. Really good. On the list? Dickie Brothers Orchard. They had other plans, though. They had been picked hard the weekend before, so they weren't going to be open for PYO the day that we had planned to go. Bummer. (Locals -- this weekend they are open for PYO Pink Lady apples!)

I wrapped my mind around going to Carter Mountain and we made the best of it. One thing that Carter Mountain is known for? Their apple cider doughnuts. Not to shatter any hopes and dreams out there, but for those that have never had one . . . . they don't taste like apple cider. They're made with apple cider and taste like fall (cinnamon, warm, etc.). 

A couple weeks before we went to the orchard, I invested in two doughnut pans (each one makes six and it's just more convenient since most recipes make 8-12 doughnuts). It's probably the best kitchen gadget you can invest in (besides a garlic press). I got mine at Michael's and used a 40% off coupon. It was like being rewarded for baking doughnuts! I dig it.

About that same time, the internet/blogosphere/Pinterest/etc. was flooded. Inundated. Overwhelmed. Swamped with doughnut recipes. It seemed like everyone I followed (blogs and IG) had bought a doughnut pan and were about to partake in doughnut benders

Know what I call that? Perfection. The stars aligning. A sign from above. Just kidding. But really though. I think this doughnut craze is mostly due to the recent release of Ashley McLaughlin's book, Baked Doughnuts For Everyone. For all you gluten free-ers out there, this book is your ticket to doughnut heaven.

A couple days after I bought my pans, we had planned a family get-together at my cousin's house to see my aunt and uncle off to Florida (they live there but made the trek to Virginia for their granddaughter/my cousin's wedding -- more to come). 

I decided that now was the time to break in that pan. First batch? Apple cider doughnuts.

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts with Maple-Cinnamon Glaze

Doughnuts - borrowed from Eat Live Run

What You'll Need (for 12 doughnuts)

  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C apple cider
  • 1/4 C buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

How To Make Them

  • Preheat oven to 325F. Spray two doughnut pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, sal, and cinnamon.
  • Grab a smaller bowl and blend the eggs, buttermilk, apple cider, and melted butter. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Batter will be thick and sticky.
  • Using a table spoon, spread the batter into the doughnut cavities about 3/4th full. Full disclosure -- I filled the cavities all the way. Also, I just spooned the batter into the cavities and went back afterwards with my finder, spreading things smooth.
  • Place doughnuts in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes until fluffy and slightly golden. 
  • Invert doughnuts onto a cooling rack over parchment paper and allow to cool. If your doughnut hole isn't pronounced, I used something similar to this to punch out the centers.
  • While cooling, make your glaze.
    • Traditional apple cider doughnuts are tossed in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. I decided on a glaze for fun. If you'd like the traditional topping, make a cinnamon-sugar mixture (1/2 C sugar + 1 tbsp. cinnamon). 
  • Once glaze is made, dip the top of doughnuts into the glaze and allow to rest for ~15 minutes. 
    • For traditional apple cider doughnuts, grab a small bowl, melt a couple tablespoons of butter. Dip doughnuts into the butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • Eat up! 

Maple-Cinnamon Glaze - borrowed from Top With Cinnamon who borrowed from Ashley McLaughlin's Baked Doughnuts For Everyone

What You'll Need (for 12 doughnuts)
  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

How To Make Them
  • Combine the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Add more milk if a thinner consistency is desired.