Homemade Doughnuts!

           I think we found ourselves a new fall tradition – making homemade doughnuts!             While I’m not the biggest doughnut fan in the family I won’t turn one down either. They make an extra special and festive breakfast, snack, or if they last that long, dessert. Especially with a cup of tea, coffee or milk. If you’ve never had one before HOT doughnuts really are that much more delicious!

DSCN3737I started the season by making apple spice doughnuts, perfect for fall. The recipe came with a deep fryer that was gifted to me. It’s a great cake doughnut recipe but it does call for an hour of chilling time. While an hour allows plenty of time to clean up, set up the fryer, paper and sugar for topping, and don’t forget, setting up the coffee maker! We’re a bit impatient. Once we’ve got the dough/batter made the little ones start asking “are the doughnuts are ready yet?!” So I found a quick and easy recipe that’s ready to go right away. The dough is a bit soft so I do let it chill for about 15 minutes and do a quick cleaning/ setting up. Bonus! This recipe is even crisper on the outside and, while it’s still a cake doughnut, it’s not quite so dense and filling. Also, this recipe uses butter whereas a lot of doughnut recipes call for shortening.

DSCN4124Just for the fun of it, the boys pick out various cookie cutter shapes to make the doughnuts. Once we get down to the small scraps I switch to doughnut holes.

DSCN3726So far, we’ve tried stars, trees, snowflakes (my favorite because they have more crispy points) and small leaves.

 If you don’t have a deep fryer you could fry them up on the stove top in a heavy pan, like a cast iron skillet or dutch oven. Just remember to use caution, it’s extremely hot and prone to splattering.

Now for the recipe! I found it on allrecipies.com. For your convenience I’ll reproduce it here. I also found this recipe for yeast raised doughnuts but I haven’t tried those yet. It’s easy enough the kids pretty much mix it up themselves. I referee the turn taking and make sure they use the right measuring spoon, and of course I do the frying!

Plain Cake Doughnuts

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 quart oil for frying

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg (add more cinnamon and nutmeg if you want spiced donuts, otherwise you don’t really taste the spice). Mix in butter until crumbly. Stir in milk and egg until smooth. Knead lightly. Chill slightly to make working with the dough easier. Turn out onto a floured surface. Roll or pat to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a doughnut cutter, or use two round biscuit cutters of different sizes or cookie cutters.
  2.  Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  3. Carefully drop doughnuts into hot oil, a few at a time (like 3). Do not overcrowd pan. Fry, turning once, until golden. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with sugar or spiced sugar.

DSCN4119Enjoy!

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barn hop

wild crafting wednesday

In the Kitchen {Breakfast}

Breakfast has always been my most favorite meal of the day – both to eat and cook. None the less sometimes a little inspiration is needed and I’ve been finding The Art of Breakfast by Dana Moos full ideas and delicious recipes. I can only dream of having a full breakfast the inn she kept and served breakfast at.

DSCN3008Recently our mornings have been full of sweet crepes (with blueberry topping) and goats milk to cut the sweetness:

DSCN2883DSCN2889And various renditions of Sour Cream Coffee Cake. Dana’s recipe is for a large Bundt pan but we have been dividing it, based on the amount of ingredients I have on hand. First the boys and I tried a quarter batch filling it with a morning’s picking of blueberries (the ones that made it past our mouths and into the bucket). Everyone took turns adding the ingredients; then arguing over who got to lick clean the scraper.  It was a hot morning so we baked it in the toaster oven outside so it got a little over browned on top. Still delicious!

DSCN2859 We had another go this time making a half batch. Since I wanted to save some for our weekend camping trip I decided mini muffins would be the most likely to last.

DSCN3006DSCN3014

This time we used her pecan, cinnamon and sugar filling. My favorite! Everyone had a sample then I quickly packed the rest up for they disappeared.

DSCN3020One of these days I’ll be making a full batch (or two) I just love this coffee cake!

Also delicious from the Art of Breakfast is her recipe for Chilled Beets with Goat Cheese and Orange Vinaigrette. The goat cheese isn’t done yet but I’ve been enjoying the beets with the vinaigrette – which she also includes the recipe for – in the meantime.

Since my current favorite breakfast is Sour Cream Coffee Cake I’ll share the recipe with you. This is for a full batch.

Preheat oven 350F.

Combine 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of sugar in a mixer, till creamy.

Add 1 cup of sour cream and 2 eggs. Mix till smooth.

Add in 1 Tlb vanilla extract, 2 cups flour,1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder.

In a well-greased Bundt pan pour in half the batter.

Top batter with the following mixture: 1 Tlb melted butter,1 tsp cinnamon,3 Tlb dark brown sugar, 3 Tlb chopped pecans.

Pour the rest of the batter on top.

Bake 50- 60 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean). Cool completely before removing from the pan. Muffins and partial batches takes less time. Regular sized muffins about 30-35 minutes.

DSCN3018mossy_stone

Homemade Chocolate Covered Coconut Bars

Maybe walking pass the aisle of heart shaped boxes is getting to me.

I had to make some candy. I’ve been intending to make some homemade peanut butter cups but I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand. I did have some chocolate chips and coconut tho,- and you can’t go wrong with chocolate and coconut.These use white sugar (could be replaced with honey perhaps) so they’re no so much a real food but at least they are HF corn syrup and preservative free.

The first step to making chocolate covered bars is to assemble the coconut bar filling and baked them. Press in almonds (use soaked and dehydrated nuts if possible) and let cool. I really like the almonds as the chocolate is so sweet but I left some plain for the not-so-much-of-a-nut-fan folks. I’d also make them smaller- like half the size.

Coat the cooled bars in melted chocolate and cool at least 4 hours to allow the chocolate to re-harden.

Or dig in….

Chocolate Covered Coconut Bars

1 (14 oz) package shredded coconut, sweetened preferred

1 jumbo egg white or 2 small egg whites                        2 cups chocolate chips

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract                                                       Almonds

1/3 c (or use up to 1/2c) sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Combine all but chocolate chips. Form bars and bake till golden around the edges. Press in almonds, if using. Let cool. Coat in melted chocolate (use 2 forks). Let sit till firm to touch-least 4 hours.

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