An Affection for Doughnuts

A good doughnut melts in your mouth. It’s enveloped in a milky white veil of glaze, lending a contrast of satisfyingly crisp shell to the soft tender inside. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and warm with an undertone of cinnamon or nutmeg. A good doughnut makes you smile. It makes you appreciate some of the beautiful little things this world has to offer, like the setting sun, or the golden grass catching the light, or the weathered wood of the windfall apple crates in the nearby orchard.

I have an affection for doughnuts. I’m always trying to find excuses to try a new recipe, but when they don’t taste like a golden cloud of sunlight I know I haven’t reached the end of my mission. So, of course, today when I wanted to make a special autumn treat I knew right away what to choose.

These apple cider glazed doughnuts are some of the best homemade ones I’ve ever had. Although they may not have come quite to the golden cloud of sunlight perfection that I’m striving for, they’re pretty darn close. I tried garnishing these beauties with apple cider glaze, vanilla glaze, and cinnamon sugar. I’ve got to say that the apple cider glaze was pretty fabulous, but having all three of them provided a lovely contrast.

The following recipe is adapted from the blog, Cherry Tea Cakes. Enjoy!

Apple Cider Glazed Doughnuts

  • 1/4 ounce package yeast
  • 1/8 cup hot water, roughly 110 °F
  • 3/4 cups milk, scalded and cooled
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/6 cup shortening
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • canola oil

Apple Cider Glaze

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1/2 cup apple cider

Vanilla Glaze

  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Cinnamon Sugar

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Dissolve yeast in warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl frequently to incorporate. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Stir in the remaining flour until smooth.
Cover and let rise until dough has doubled, 50-60 minutes.
While the dough is rising, boil down roughly one cup of apple cider juice to form syrup. Set aside until you are ready to make the glaze.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour. Gently roll dough 1/2-inch thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with floured doughnut cutter, or round cookie cutters.
Cover and let rise until double, 30-40 minutes. At 25 minutes, begin to heat vegetable oil in high-sided stock pot to 350°.
While the doughnuts are rising, make your chosen glaze (or two). For the apple cider one, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the stove and stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in tablespoons of apple cider syrup one at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency. Set aside until ready to glaze. Warm the glaze gently if necessary.
For the vanilla glaze, combine milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over low heat until warm. Sift confectioners’ sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly, until well combined.
When the vegetable oil is ready, slide doughnuts into hot oil with wide wooden slotted spatula. Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Remove carefully from oil and drain well.
Dip the doughnuts into glaze or roll in sugar, and don’t forget to let them cool before you taste them!

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