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Entries in doughnuts (26)

Sunday
Jan052014

Beignet, Done That: Cafe du Monde, New Orleans

I'd love to keep you in suspense about what I ordered at Café du Monde in New Orleans, but if you've ever been there (and perhaps even if you haven't), you will already know the answer: beignets.

Beignets

Not only are they the only foodstuff on the menu, but they're also the dish, accompanied by cafe au lait, for which the establishment is famous.

Qu'est-ce c'est, le beignet?

These heavenly bits of fried dough are related to doughnuts, but they’re far Frenchier. In their purest form, they are simply fried rectangles or triangles of sweet dough that puff and become pillowy when fried. They are served with copious amounts of confectioners’ sugar. More adventurous bakers will offer different flavors and even filled varieties in New Orleans, but it's pretty straight-up at Café du Monde.

More about Cafe du Monde.

Beignets, cafe du monde

Perhaps the most famous beignet maker in town is this Café du Monde, which has been beignet-ing it since--believe it--1862. It is open 24 hours a day in the historic French Quarter and specializes in beignets and coffee laced with chicory. Are they the best in town? Locals have varying opinions, but it’s a singular and necessary experience in New Orleans. To be sitting "courtside" in the covered outdoor seating area and watching buskers, local vendors, and passers-by, and just generally seeing the world go by, is as evocative a New Orleans image as eating a croissant in Paris, or having tea in the UK.

Listen. Not that you asked me, but the 'Monde has several locations that you shouldn't bother with if your time is limited. The true experience is at the original location, on Decatur street, in the French Market.

How it works

Cafe du monde

Café du Monde runs a tight machine. You arrive, and you sit. Your napkin holder is also your menu. Of course you want beignets, but what to drink? Cafe au lait (do it)? Or just plain chicory coffee? They do other, fancier drinks, too, but don't bother. 

The beignets will arrive, three on a plate, with an almost comical amount of confectioners' sugar forming mountaintop peaks on top. The sugar partially dissolves into the fried pastries as you eat, but it is pretty much guaranteed that you will leave the establishment looking like you have a serious cocaine problem. You know, from what I have seen on TV. 

You may think to yourself that you won't finish the beignets, but you will. Because even if you've heard that there are better beignets in town, it is hard to beat this experience and they are quite good. If there are two of you, you might just order more. Just let it happen--you're in New Orleans, after all. It's a good place to let it all hang out, and everyone deserves a treat. 

Beignet, done that

Cafe du Monde, 800 Decatur Street, New Orleans. Online here.

Sunday
Nov242013

DIY Croissant Doughnuts Made from Crescent Rolls

Listen, once I heard that you could make DIY croissant doughnuts (I'm not mentioning them by name, but we all know what I'm talking about here), I simply had to try it at home. 

And I am beyond delighted to report that it is easy, and the results are so highly delicious that you just might gain a hundred pounds before Christmas if you make them as frequently as you'll want to after giving it a try.

The only tough part is monitoring the temperature of the oil for frying. I am lucky because in a stroke of fate, a company that makes something called Chef Alarm had contacted me just a week before I decided to get frying at home and asked if I wanted to try out their product. Um, yes. So while they sent me the device for free, they didn't pay me to say good stuff about it. But happily, I liked it. This helpful gadget includes timers, a temperature probe, and temperature monitoring so it will notify you if things are going outside of the comfort zone. But the absolute best part is that it comes in pink. YES! I think it's a nifty tool and would probs make a good present for the baker in your life this holiday season. 

The reason why you have to monitor the temperature for frying? A few reasons, but from my point of view, a huge reason is that you can't tell how hot the oil is at any given time. It looks the same whether it's 280 or 390 degrees. If it's too hot, your doughnuts can fry too fast on the outside and be doughy on the inside. If the oil is too cool, it will take too long to fry them and they'll be leaden. Nobody wants either!

But anyways, I know you're frying--er, dying--to read more about the doughnuts, so let's get down to business. 

How to make Croissant Doughnuts using Crescent Rolls

You need: 

  • One roll of crescent rolls
  • oil, for frying
  • about a cup and a half of buttercream, pudding, ice cream, custard, or whatever filling you want.
  • confectioners' sugar glaze (1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons or so of cream) if desired 

Step 1: The first thing you do is open up the can of crescent rolls. Enjoy that "pop" as they release themselves in their carbohydratey glory into the world. 

Step 2: Now, roll them into one big rectangle. Then, fold it on top of itself so you have a big square. Press gently to remove the "seams". The better you work the seams, the prettier your doughnuts will look later.

Step 3: Now, grab a doughnut cutter (just go buy one if you don't have them - they're like $2!). Cut out as many doughnut shapes as you can. Re-roll the scraps and cut more, but be aware that the re-rolled ones, to be frank, will be the ugly ones. 

Step 4: Fill a frying pan with some vegetable oil. You want at least a few inches of oil in the pan. Heat it until it reaches about 350 degrees. You will want a thermometer of some sort for this, trust me. 

Step 5: Place the doughnut cutouts a few at a time into the hot oil. Fry on each side until golden and puffy. It won't take long. Remove gently, using a slotted spoon, and transfer to paper towels to blot excess oil. 

Step 6: Cut the doughnuts in half like you would a bagel, and fill with buttercream, pudding, custard, or whatever your heart desires. Glaze if you wanna, or just stuff your face immediately. 

Do you enjoy frying at home?

Thursday
Nov072013

The Bake-Off is Coming: Espresso Hazelnut Beignets

Espresso Hazelnut Beignets

CakeSpy Note: OMG! The 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited early by sharing some of the finalists' recipes. Do I need to tell you that the winner will receive one million dollars? My posting is on hyperdrive since the event is less than a week a day--check back often, because I will be posting three recipes a day until the big event! You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below the post to see which ones have been posted so far. Enjoy! 

 Do you know what "beignet" means?

It translates, roughly, as "get your butt in the kitchen and make these, RIGHT NOW." Trust me. I'm sure that  Karyn Hentz of Arlington, Virginia would agree with my translation.

Espresso Hazelnut Beignets

Prep Time: 25 Min Total Time: 25 Min Makes: 8 servings

  • 4 cups Crisco Pure Canola Oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1can Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 ct)
  • 1/2cup Jif Mocha Cappuccino Flavored Hazelnut Spread

Procedure

  1. In 3-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil to 370°F. In shallow bowl or plate, mix sugar and espresso powder. Set aside.
  2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Press each biscuit into 4-inch round. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mocha cappuccino hazelnut spread on each biscuit. Fold dough over filling; press edges to seal.
  3. Gently place 3 biscuits in hot oil. Cook 1 1/2 minutes or until deep golden brown. Using tongs, gently turn over. Cook 1 1/2 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain. Roll in sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining biscuits, cooking 2 or 3 at a time. Serve warm.
Tuesday
Oct082013

CakeSpy Undercover: DoCo, Farmingdale NJ

Doco, Farmingdale

The other day I was in a clothing store in Red Bank, New Jersey. While I was browsing some accessories, I heard two girls in dressing rooms next to one another talking.

"Have you been to the new doughnut shop in Farmingdale?" one asked the other.

I moved closer to the dressing rooms, so I could hear.

"It's really good, they make them to order," she continued.

It's not creepy that I stood outside of someone's dressing room to hear this, right?

Well, rather than identify myself as a creepy stalk-listener, I headed right to the internet on my smart phone to find out more. Turns out, in an unlikely corner of New Jersey, there is in fact a new donut shop: DoCo is its name (it is a cool way of shortening "Donuts" and "Coffee"--sort of like SoHo, but with doughnuts). It should not surprise you that I was there less than 24 hours later.

DOCO

It took me a few minutes to figure out how DoCo worked, since when you walk in there are no doughnuts on display. It's just boxes and a menu that you see. 

Doco, Farmingdale

So how you do it is you can either choose one of their menu concoctions, or you can choose a glaze and any toppings you like, and they'll make the doughnut to order. And as for doughnuts, you can either do a "regular" -- a dense, cake doughnut--or a "kronut" as they call them...their riff on the famous NYC "cronut" croissant-doughnut hybrid. On the day I went, they also had beignets.

Doco, farmingdaleDoco, farmingdale Doco, farmingdale

Going for variety, I got a regular doughnut with apple pie toppings, a "kronut" with cannoli cream topping, and a doughnut with maple topping and bacon. 

What a happy moment.

Doco, Farmingdale

The apple pie doughnut was a regular cake doughnut round, topped with a spicy apple pie filling type topping and a big ol'crown of whipped cream. Freshly fried, the doughnut was a nice base for the moist toppings, and held its shape. The filling didn't have that "from a can" taste, which was nice. A very pleasant fall doughnut. 

Doco, Farmingdale

I'll tell the truth, I didn't get a chance to try the maple bacon! But judging how quickly SpyDad scarfed it down, I am going to say it was operation: success. Same doughnut base as the apple pie doughnut.

Doco, Farmingdale

I think the real star of the show, though, was the kronut. It practically oozed with the fry oil that was retained in the flaky folds of dough, which gave me an inkling that I should be feeling guilty eating such a decadent treat...but I didn't.

The addition of the cannoli cream is simply genius. It has that slight tangy bite that, as I never realized til a few days ago, gives a doughnut dimension. Seriously. Try it if you ever have the chance.

Doco, Farmingdale

Overall, the doughnuts managed to be hearty, healthy servings, with some evident creativity, but zero fussiness. The total bill for three doughnuts was less than $5, which I think is fantastic. 

It may take a few minutes to learn how things work at DoCo when you visit, but it's worth taking the time to figure it out.

DoCo Donut and Coffee Company, 5015 Route 33 and 34, Farmingdale, NJ. On Facebook.

Monday
Sep162013

CakeSpy Undercover: The Buttermilk Drop Cafe, New Orleans

Buttermilk Drop Cafe, New Orleans

I first heard about the Buttermilk Drop in a New York Times article, gloriously entitled "A City Drenched in Sugar". I had known that New Orleans was a city famed for its sweets, but I don't think I really knew until I read this article. Not only King cake waited for me in the Big Easy, but doberge cake and snowballs and doughnuts, too.

Actually, a particular type of doughnut called the Buttermilk Drop.

As I learned from this site, the buttermilk drop is a doughnut unique to New Orleans which gained fame at the now defunct but still beloved McKenzie's Pastry Shoppe. It is, on the surface, not an incredibly unique treat. It looks like a doughnut hole, but it's bigger. But not quite as big as a full-sized doughnut. But one taste will tell you that this is a very special doughnutty morsel. Rich in buttermilk, yes, which gives them a perfect delicate crumb yet substantial texture, which is gorgeously and generously coated in a thick glaze. 

I can understand why New Orleans would simply not stand for this doughnut disappearing.

Today, from what I gather, you can get buttermilk drops at two places: Tastee's, which apparently purchased the rights to a number of McKenzie's recipes, and The Buttermilk Drop Cafe

I recently tried them at The Buttermilk Drop Cafe, an establishment with an interesting story. Owner Dwight Henry first gained fame as a maker of sweet treats, then gained local celebrity status when he put incredible effort into helping re-open businesses in his Seventh Ward neighborhood following Hurricane Katrina.

Buttermilk Drop Cafe, New Orleans

And then, he was "discovered" when the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild was filming in his neighborhood, and ended up being featured in the movie. So basically now, in addition to being famous for making doughnuts, he's being featured in New York Times Magazine style shoots

Well, I will tell you, I was intrigued.

Buttermilk Drop Cafe, New Orleans

So when you walk into The Buttermilk Drop Cafe, I was greeted by an odd sight. A large room with ample seating space...but no seating. A menu that seemed to invite sitting and staying a spell...but nowhere to sit and stay. Cool artwork on the wall and even ceiling. 

Buttermilk Drop Cafe, New Orleans

A large case greeted us, but only a portion of it was filled. All of what filled it looked good though: DOUGHNUTS. Glazed and cake, vanilla and chocolate, in rounds and braids... Buttermilk Drop Cafe, New Orleans

and, of course, the famed buttermilk drops.

Buttermilk Drop Cafe, New Orleans

From behind a small glass window, a friendly girl took our order. It was alarmingly affordable. The doughnuts and buttermilk drops were all well under a dollar each, which was refreshing. 

Buttermilk Drop Cafe, New Orleans

We got a few buttermilk, a few chocolate, and of course several buttermilk drops.Buttermilk Drop Cafe, New Orleans

The doughnuts were very, very good. Light in texture, with a solid buttermilk flavor, and most importantly, drenched in a highly delicious glaze.Buttermilk Drop Cafe, New Orleans

But the real star was the buttermilk drops. Was it the power of suggestion, that I was ready to love these best because I had heard so much about them? Perhaps. But d-a-m-n were they fine doughnuts.

The texture of the buttermilk drop is perfect. Like I said before, it's a delicate crumb, but a substantial doughnut in nature. I love the size, too. It's more serious than a mere doughnut hole, but not quite a full size doughnut. It is the perfect snacking size. And the glaze was so liberally applied that it kind of fused into the drop's crust...oh, heaven.

Buttermilk Drop Cafe, New Orleans

So what am I saying here? Get yourself to the Buttermilk Drop Cafe. I was impressed by how "real" the place has remained even following its fame. Weird about the seating, but you can deal. This is an experience that must be lived by doughnut lovers.

The Buttermilk Drop Cafe, 1781 N. Dorgenois Street, New Orleans. Online here.

 

Friday
Jun072013

How to Make Doughnuts Using Biscuits from a Tube

Biscuit doughnuts

Want to make homemade doughnuts for National Doughnut Day (that's today, btw) but feel like it sounds, well, too hard?

Well, listen up, sweeties, because I've got a tip that can take you from zero to doughnuts in less than 15 minutes. Seriously. This scene could be your life in less time than it takes to watch an episode of the Simpsons:

Biscuit doughnuts

The secret to this sweet success? Pop-n-bake tube of biscuits! Totally not kidding!

Pop the magic

They're a fantastic shortcut to surprisingly tasty doughnuts that you can make at home. And they're so, so easy! All you need is some oil, a skillet, and whatever sweet garnish you like on your doughnuts. 

Biscuit doughnuts

Donut believe me? Well, that's your right. But I can prove it by telling you how to make this delicious dish, right here and now. I donut know who invented this recipe, but I am so glad they did. And I'm happy to share it with you. You'll be rewarded with cakey, lightly sweet doughnuts that really do pass quite well for "real" doughnuts!

Biscuit doughnuts

How to Make Doughnuts Using Biscuits From a Tube (Printable version here!)

Makes 8 doughnuts, and 8 doughnut holes

Equipment: 

  • A heavy, large skillet
  • Tongs or a slotted spoon
  • Paper towels
  • Several shallow bowls or plates for putting toppings

Ingredients

  • 1 tube (usually 8 to 10) pop-n-bake biscuits. The brand doesn't matter.
  • Vegetable Oil, for frying (you want about 1/2 inch or so in the pan)
  • If desired, melted butter (to help toppings adhere)
  • Toppings: confectioners' sugar, crushed cookies, honey, nuts, chocolate sauce, sprinkles--whatever you want!

Pop open that tube of biscuits. Separate them.

Biscuit doughnuts

Using an apple corer (or, like me, the top from a bottle of water), cut the holes out of the centers. Gently remove them and set to the side (doughnut holes!). 

Biscuit doughnutsBiscuit doughnuts Biscuit doughnuts

Pour the oil in your skillet until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Heat the oil on medium heat until it has reached 375 degrees. Don't have a thermometer? You can also break a small piece of dough off and toss it into the pan. If it starts bubbling assertively right away, you're probably ready to rock and roll.

Biscuit doughnuts

Gently transfer a couple of the doughnuts at a time into the pan (don't crowd them!). When they start to rise in the oil and turn brown.

Biscuit doughnuts Biscuit doughnuts

This won't take long--about a minute, if that. Now, turn them over using tongs or a slotted spoon. Once you've flipped them, the second side will take a slightly shorter amount of time.

Once fully fried, transfer to the paper towels to blot excess oil. Continue with the remaining doughnuts and holes until everything is fried. Turn the heat off. 

Biscuit doughnuts

Now, you're ready to decorate! What I did was set up a little toppings bar / decorating area. I had shallow plates with confectioners' sugar, chocolate sauce (ice cream sauce), rainbow sprinkles, crushed cookies, pecans, honey, et cetera.

Biscuit doughnuts Biscuit doughnuts

If you want to dust them with confectioners' sugar, simply place them in the dish, and turn until coated. Tap to dust off excess. If you're not going to eat them right away, roll them again once more before serving because the sugar can become gummy if it sits for a few minutes on the doughnut. Some people find that brushing the tops with melted butter can make the sugar stick better.

Biscuit doughnutsBiscuit doughnuts Biscuit doughnuts

If you want to make a frosted doughnut, dip one side of the doughnut into the chocolate sauce; lift, and let the excess drip off. Once dripped off, dip it in the sprinkles gently, and transfer to a plate to set. 

Biscuit doughnutsBiscuit doughnuts Biscuit doughnutsBiscuit doughnuts Biscuit doughnuts

You could also garnish with honey and pecans...

Biscuit doughnuts

or crushed cookies...

Biscuit doughnuts

or a little bit of everything.

Biscuit doughnuts

But either way, you're bound to have a ball. Enjoy! 

Saturday
Jun012013

Glazed and Infused, Chicago

Glazed and Infused

The best way to become dazed and confused? By sugar and carb-o-loading on all things Glazed & Infused. This is a new-ish boutique doughnut chain in Chicago, and it has a sweet story for me, personally. 

Way back, when I started CakeSpy.com, I started to connect myself to the bakery pulse of the USA. And one of my favorite bakery discoveries was Dozen Bake Shop, an adorable bakery chainlet in Pittsburgh. I even did an interview with then-owner, James Gray.

Well, this adorable fellow made quite an impression on me, and we kept in contact through the years, though we'd never met in person. Then, fast forward several years. James has sold his bakery in Pittsburgh and moved to Chicago, where he is the manager and a partner in a doughnut shop chainlet called Glazed and Infused. I happen to be visiting Chicago for my book tour. Finally, we get to meet!! We are adorable!!

Naturally, we had a chat over some doughnuts. So, since I believe that everything tastes better with a backstory, I'll tell you a bit about the shop's history first.

It's owned by a restaurant company called Francesca's, which owns several restaurants in Chicago and beyond. But this was the company's first foray into morning sweets. This made James a great fit for the company, as he has experience with pastry and sweets retail, which is, as he puts it mildly, "very different" than restaurants.

They've quickly grown to five locations, and on the date of our meeting, James was headed out to scout location #6. Spreading beyond Chicago is a definite possibility, with an idea of bringing high quality doughnuts to the masses in a friendly and accessible way. 

In Chicago, the doughnuts have a healthy and loving following. In chatting with a customer who works nearby, he said that Glazed and Infused is his little "treat for myself" for walking to work, you know, to balance out all that exercise. On Yelp, one customer says, "If you want to feel like you're licking the floor in heaven, go to Glazed and Infused!", giving it a very high star rating. I must admit, I don't know exactly what that means, but I like the sound of it.

Looking at the variety of doughnuts available, your head might start to spin. They're prettily arranged, and the flavors are mostly standard fare but with a little twist--think, a bismarck doughnut stuffed with locally made blueberry jam, or instead of bavarian cream doughnut, a Creme Brulee Doughnut.

I, of course, got hooked up with a whole box of them. YEAH!  

Glazed and Infused

What you've got in this picture is (from top left, going clockwise) an old-fashioned glazed, coffee glazed, creme brulee, "Bar Snack", Bismark featuring blueberries, and chocolate toffee (featuring Terry's Toffee, made in Chicago!). 

Glazed and Infused

Curious about that "bar snack" doughnut? Well, it includes basically all of the little junk foodie snacks you might find in little bowls at a bar--pretzels, peanuts, chips, and then some M&M's (why not?). It makes for a salty-sweet guilty pleasure of a treat. 

To start my doughnut eating quest immediately, though, I went for the Banana Cream Cheese, which is composed of banana cake with cream cheese frosting, salted caramel drizzle & candied walnuts. It sounded a lot like Hummingbird Cake, so I was totally in!

Glazed and Infused

Yum, dudes! The nicely banana-scented cake was soft and gooey owing to that caramelly glaze, definitely easier to eat with a fork. The cream cheese frosting was decadent and smooth and lightly tangy, and those crunchy walnuts added the perfect texture contrast. 

This doughnut made me a very happy spy. See?

Glazed and Infused

Overall, I was very impressed with the doughnuts. What is a fairly large operation already has managed to maintain great quality in their doughnuts, and I love that they've tweaked the classics just enough to make them special, but not so much that they are too weird or inaccessible to please a crowd.

So, there you have it. If you're in Chicago, I highly suggest you give Glazed & Infused a try!

Glazed & Infused, multiple locations; find them, and more info, at goglazed.com.

Monday
Oct152012

Unicorn Doughnuts

Unicorn doughnuts

This morning, I awoke knowing exactly what I needed, above and beyond any other thing on earth.

Unicorn Doughnuts.

Good rainbow-colored gravy, how could I make this miracle happen, I wondered?

Well, I guess it could start with making doughnuts. I made up a batch of dough. You can find the recipe below. Technically, it is for "regular" doughnuts. That means you could make round doughnuts. Unicorn doughnuts

Or you could even free-form and drop dollops of dough into the oil to make a homemade funnel cake! Funnel cake

But right now, we are talking about unicorn doughnuts.

Now, I have learned through trial and error that this dough is much easier to work with if you let it chill for a good long while. So I let it chill for about 3 hours total. 

And when it came time to roll out the dough, I brought out my secret weapon: the unicorn cookie cutter. It made fast friends with doughnut cutter.

Unicorn Doughnuts

Now, after my first try cutting out a unicorn, I can see why unicorn doughnuts are not in regular rotation. It's very hard to get a clean cut and then transfer it to the frying oil. They come out mangled. Booooo. 

But I didn't get discouraged. For inspiration I looked at this drawing done by a 6-year old friend, which reminded me that my website is capable of magic!

Magical

And so I got back to work. And here's what ultimately worked best. 

I got a small piece of parchment paper, and sprinkled flour on it.

Unicorn Doughnuts

I rolled out a tiny piece of dough to about 1/4 inch thick on top of it. Rolling out tiny dough is cuter with a tiny rolling pin, btw.

Unicorn Doughnuts

I then floured the cookie cutter and imprinted the dough. I delicately removed the dough on the sides of it before lifting the cutter.

Unicorn DoughnutsUnicorn doughnuts

I then put this sheet with the unicorn in the freezer. Not for long, just for maybe 15 minutes. While the oil heated.

Unicorn Doughnut cutout

When the oil was ready, I removed the unicorns from the freezer, and delicately extracted them from the parchment using an offset frosting spatula. I dropped them into the oil.

Unicorn Doughnuts

And...it worked!

Fry, unicorn doughnut!

Some of them get a little mangly but it's ok. Because once you decorate them, what looks like a weirdly long leg...becomes a prancy leg! 

Unicorn Doughnuts Unicorn doughnuts

Decorating them like I did is not strictly necessary, but I thought it was fun. I used some writing icing, and applied the white part using a small brush (I won't be using that one to paint again!). 

Homemade Doughnuts

Unicorn doughnuts

Yum.

Unicorn doughnuts

Here's the recipe.

Unicorn Doughnuts

Makes about 20 

Ingredients

  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 to 8 cups vegetable/canola oil, for deep frying
  • various frosting, writing icing, or just confectioners' sugar, for finishing off
  • Unicorn Cookie Cutter (like this one)

Procedure

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In another large bowl, whisk the sour cream, buttermilk, and sugar, until smooth and combined.
  3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until just combined. If needed, scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. In 2-3 increments, add the flour mixture to this wet mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until just combined. The dough will be quite sticky. Refrigerate it for about 2 hours, or until completely chilled.
  5. Turn the dough on to a very generously floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Return the dough to the fridge for another hour. This will make certain that the dough does what you want later.
  6. Assemble several sheets of parchment paper (one or two unicorns per sheet for easy handling). Roll out to a 1/2 inch thickness on top of the floured parchment paper. Using a floured cutter, imprint the dough and remove excess dough around it (this helps keep the perfect unicorn shape). Remove the cutter and clean up dough as needed. Put the dough, right on the parchment paper, in the freezer. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  7. In a heavy medium pot or a deep-fat fryer, put enough oil to achieve a depth of about 4 inches; heat it to 375 degrees F. Gently transfer the unicorns from the parchment paper to the oil, removing from the paper using a spatula. Fry the unicorns, 2-3 at a time, until golden brown on each side (less than 3 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to blot excess oil. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.
  8. You're going to have to wait til the doughnuts are cool to decorate them like I did, but if you're greedy, just dust them with confectioners' sugar and eat them while warm. Either way, these magical doughnuts are best consumed the same day they're made.
Tuesday
Aug142012

Baked Good of the Day: Berliner Pfannkuchen

 

Meet a new sweet: a German jelly doughnut called Berliner Pfannkuchen. Find the recipe here.

Monday
Mar052012

Sweet and Salty: Mini Maple Spam Doughnuts Recipe for Serious Eats

Recently, someone called me on behalf of SPAM and asked if I'd like to have a peek at the prize-winning recipe from a contest they hosted last year in celebration of the meaty morsel's 75-year anniversary.

Naturally the answer was yes. But my interest was even more piqued when I learned that the winning recipe was for Mini Maple Spam Doughnuts, a sweet concoction created by Jason Munson; Seattle-area aircraft mechanic by day, SPAM enthusiast by night. And so I went to the grocery store, loaded up on SPAM, and hit the kitchen.

Like so many guilty-pleasure treats, Mini Maple Spam Doughnuts taste way better than they really should. The lightly crunchy, sweet doughnut exterior contrasts with the crisp, crackly fried pork. Finished with a creamy, maple-infused frosting and crunchy SPAM bits on top, it makes for a veritable sea of contrasting textures and sweet and salty flavors—and for an overall wholly enjoyable holey treat.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

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