Apple Cider Doughnuts
While I thought long and hard about featuring a Thanksgiving-themed post on the blog this week, I’ve decided to pay homage to an annual Washington state tradition – the Apple Cup – instead. The Cup – a fiercely competitive college football battle between the University of Washington Huskies and the Cougars of Washington State University – is a much-anticipated November event for many Washingtonians (or uprooted Washingtonians, as the case may be!). As an alumni of the University of Washington, I’m looking forward to the Huskies 68th victory over the Cougs on Friday!
I’ve chosen to feature this recipe for Apple Cider Doughnuts after drooling over the very idea every day for the past month. I don’t often eat store-made doughnuts these days – as I don’t particularly care for fried foods – but I ADORED them as a child and was eager to try this unique recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Although the original recipe’s author fries her doughnuts, I decided to bake mine in mini doughnut tins (see note below). As a result, these doughnuts are far more cake-like than traditional doughnuts, although very tasty in their own right! They are soft, slightly sweet and perfect with a cup of tea, coffee or even dark beer!
NOTE: I purchased a mini doughnut pan for US$10 from Amazon last year, and absolutely love it! If you love doughnuts, you’ll find baked versions to be healthier, easier to make and very versatile. Mini (12-cavity) pans are available for US$9-12 while full-sized (6-cavity) pans are available for US$8-10.
APPLE CIDER DOUGHNUTS
Makes: 32 mini, 12-15 full-sized
1 cup apple cider
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 fresh eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
Non-stick cooking spray
For topping (glaze): 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, 2 tbsp apple cider
For topping (cinnamon-sugar): 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1. In a saucepan over medium or medium-low heat, gently reduce the apple cider to approximately 1/4 cup (20 to 30 minutes). Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed (with the paddle attachment, if using a standing mixer) beat the butter and granulated sugar until mixture is smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat until the eggs are completely incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
4. Reduce mixer speed to low and and gradually add the reduced apple cider and buttermilk. Mix just until combined. Add the flour mixture and blend just until the dough comes together.
5. Spray doughnut pan with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each doughnut cup half full and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes (for mini doughnuts) and 20 minutes (for full-sized doughnuts). After baking, immediately remove doughnuts to a wire rack to cool.
6. Meanwhile, make desired topping using the ingredients listed above. If using glaze, dip slightly cooled, inverted doughnuts in topping for 5 seconds and leave to dry on a wire rack over newspaper or a kitchen towel (glaze will drip). If using cinnamon mixture, brush donuts with melted butter and immediately sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.