Happy #whathappenswednesday! Not to make it all about me (but really let's make it all about me), I need to tell you a few things about myself to set up this post.
- I love doughnuts. As a side note, I prefer the "doughnut" spelling personally, although I typically use the "donut" spelling because it works better in puns, like "Donut Stop Believin!"
- I despise food waste.
- I love experimenting in the kitchen.
What do you get when you put these things together? You get me trying to figure out what to do with all that leftover donut grease, that's what.
Picture this: you've made a beautiful batch of donuts. The house smells like donuts, and probably will for a few hours, because you have to leave that big pot of oil on the stovetop long enough so that it can cool to the point of not hurting you when you discard it.
But recently I found myself wondering...why discard the oil?
After all, we save bacon grease. People even get really creepy about bacon grease, declaring it a beautiful thing that makes everything taste better.
Leftover bacon grease is considered a magical ingredient. Why the eff can't leftover donut grease be a magic ingredient too?
So, after making a batch of donuts recently, I saved a nice big portion of the oil. I stored it in a wine glass for no particular reason other than it was handy. While it wasn't my intention, I rather relished the idea of a goblet of liquid gold donut grease. I'd like to see a movie featuring that.
Then I thought to myself: What am I gonna do with this leftover donut frying oil? After thinking about it a little bit, I believe I have come up with the ideal solution: use it to make pancakes.
Here was my logic:
- Pancake recipes often enough call for oil in the batter.
- You need to grease the griddle with something to make the pancakes
- The flavor of donuts is harmonious with that of pancakes.
That was enough for me, so I set myself to heating up the skillet and mixing up some batter. I used this recipe, but employed the donut oil instead of the melted butter called for in the recipe. (I'm fairly certain that this is never what Mark Bittman had in mind when he made this recipe, and that actually kind of pleases me).
Then, I put a nice healthy dollop of the donut oil in a skillet, and heated it up to make some pancakes.
They cooked up just fine; no big difference here. They smelled glorious. I feel like I could detect a slight donutty scent, but this may have been me wanting to detect such an aroma, so I won't declare that as an absolute.
Once finished, since I don't actually like syrup all that much, I topped them with some ice cream. The reasoning was this:
- People are putting ice cream in donut cones now, so it's a thing, right?
- Why not?
Well, clearly my reasoning was really great yet again, because the flavor of these pancakes was fantastic. I can't say that they had a donut-esque flavor, but I did feel like they tasted just a little sweeter and richer, and not just from the ice cream topping.
But what they were not? Gross. In no way were these pancakes gross or greasy or stale-tasting owing to the donut oil. It wasn't at all gross to eat pancakes made using donut frying oil. It was actually quite good, and not terribly different from the average pancake experience.
So if you want a use for that still-good leftover oil that has been infused with donut essence, why not make some pancakes?