Thursday, November 08, 2007

Apple Cider Mini-Doughnuts

My new favorite blog to read (in my oodles of spare time) is Aussie-based Milk & Cookies. I knew I liked the blog when she posted a recipe for Apple Cider Doughnuts - right on time as the chilly air moved in to Bloomington (although it's certainly not autumn in her neck of the woods). I have been looking for a good excuse to buy a doughnut pan for a looong time . . . and this was it! So, I promptly went after a mini-doughnut pan I found at Good's for Cooks downtown.

I made the Milk & Cookies recipe just as she wrote it, with a couple of slight changes. I agree that the batter is incredibly light and airy . . . most definitely yeast-like without the use of any yeast. The result was scrumptious, although next time I might make a couple of changes. Following is the recipe, and see my notes after that.

Apple Cider Mini-Doughnuts
adapted from Milk & Cookies
For the Doughnuts:
oil and sugar (or flour) for baking pans
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. grated nutmeg
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. applesauce
1/3 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. apple cider
1/3 c. plain yogurt
3 T. oil

For the Icing:
1 c. confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 t. vanilla extract
1-2 T. milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously oil each doughnut cavity and sprinkle with sugar or flour; shake out excess. In medium bowl, whisk together flour through nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg through oil. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just-mixed.

Carefully place batter in a ziploc bag and seal closed, removing excess air. Using scissors, snip a 1/2" opening in a bottom corner of the bag. Pipe a ring of batter into each doughnut cavity, filling each about halfway.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until the tops spring back when touched. Loosen edges of each doughnut and turn pan onto cooling rack; position doughnuts on rack and leave to cool completely.

To make icing, combine ingredients and stir until liquid but not drippy. Add more milk or sugar depending on consistency. Dip each cooled doughnut into bowl of icing and turn until top is well-coated. Return to cooling rack for icing to set.
My notes:
  • in general, the doughnuts were tough to get out of the pan, which is why I have suggested the less-sweet but slightly more practical option of dusting the pans with flour instead of sugar
  • Milk & Cookies suggested using hazelnut oil - I liked the idea of trying out a new oil but went with toasted walnut instead - but I don't really think it makes a difference.
  • with one batch, I added finely diced apple to the pan before piping in the batter - this tasted great but proved to be a bad idea, because the moisture level got too high, and the apples stuck to the pan, requiring that some of the doughnuts be surgically removed
  • my icing looks a lot different than Milk & Cookies does because a.) i made it too thin (but I kind of like it that way because it is like a glaze) b.) my doughnuts were still a bit warm and c.) soymilk makes the glaze a less-attractive beige color, so it is good that I went with more of a glaze and less of a frosting
  • these would be tasty with a maple-ginger icing made by substituting the vanilla with 1/4 t. ground ginger and adding 1 1/2 T. of maple syrup to the mix
  • like Milk & Cookies, I HATE to fry things in my house, and avoid doing so at all costs, which is why I love the baked doughnut idea in the first place. however, these were not as crispy on the outside as I would have liked, so next time I will be trying to bake these in a 425 degree oven for less time and see where that gets me . . .


rumblekid. said...

these look delicious... i've heard of some bakeries in the city that also have apple cider doughnuts - i think that's a quicker way for me to get my hands on some rather than hoping i'll be bitten by the baking bug. :) seems like a perfect thing for fall!

Deborah said...

I have been really wanting to make these, but haven't had the time. Yours look delicious!