Caution: Doughnuts Ahead

Who wants a mouthful of fall? Anyone?

It seems like fall always does this to me, and to my kid, too: sets me back on my heels, makes me a little melancholy. This fall is the first where we have been completely settled in two and a half years. The past two and a half years have been spent first in total shock, then next in planning and moving and renovating a house. Maybe that is why I have spent the last two weeks re-evaluating everything I am doing and coming to the really terrifying realization that the true grief for my departed husband has not yet quite begun. 

Fall should come with caution tape.

So I have doubled down on yoga, practicing every day, usually at a class but at home if I can’t make one, asked for recommendations for therapists, attempted to re-design this website to make it a little more interesting (ha. that has been a process that is still ongoing), and gotten my affairs in order, the better to not clutter my head with things that really don’t matter as I try to figure out what. the. fuck.

Oh, yeah, and I made doughnuts.

Baking, cooking, and preserving is the one thing that always gives me a small bit of joy. It has been that way for as long as I can remember. I love the process of baking itself. The creativity of flavors and substitutions for gluten-free or vegan baking, the mixing wet and dry ingredients and watching them smooth and wrap themselves around my beaters. 

The house smells delicious, and at the end I have something I can share, something that I know will be better than anything I can buy.

It is fall, and it’s time for apple cider. Last week was caramel apple cocktails, and this week is apple cider doughnuts.

These are cake doughnuts that are highly spiced with cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.  They are, as always, gluten-free, but regular all-purpose flour works here, too. 

Enjoy.

Oh, and if anybody is a Blogger pro, get in touch, would you? I have some free stuff to give away to subscribers but can’t figure that particular magic out. #KThanks

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Ingredients

Doughnuts:
2 cups apple cider
2 eggs
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vinegar
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
1/4 cup oat flour OR almond meal
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (optional if your blend already has it. I use it anyway) 
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 T ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves

Topping:
1 stick melted butter
1/2 cup sugar 
1 T cinnamon
optional: add nutmeg, ground ginger, and cloves to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 and grease two doughnut pans (either full size or mini).

Before you begin, you need to reduce the apple cider from 2 cups to just 1/2 cup. Place in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a lazy boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced, then cool to room temperature. The mixture will resemble simple syrup and is, indeed, DELICIOUS in a bourbon cocktail. This can be made the night before, but bring it to room temperature before adding.

You also need to combine the milk and the vinegar to make a buttermilk, of sorts. I chose this method over purchasing buttermilk because most people don’t have buttermilk handy. If you do, feel free to substitute 1/2 cup of buttermilk. If not, add the vinegar to the milk and let sit for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the following dry ingredients: flours, baking soda and powder, salt, and spices.

In a medium bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and beat, then add vanilla, milk mixture, and reduced apple cider. Beat until combined, then add the flour and continuing mixing until it is smooth (just a minute or two).

If you have a pastry bag, use that to pipe the batter into the waiting doughnut tins. If not, scoop the batter into a Ziploc baggie, snip off a corner, and use that to pipe the batter into the tins. Fill about halfway up.

Bake for eight to ten minutes. Doughnuts are ready when they spring back from a light touch.

Turn out onto a wire rack. As soon as they are just cool enough to handle, dip each doughnut into melted butter and then roll in spicy sugar mixture. 

These may keep, but I have no experience with them lasting past noon on the day they are made, so let me know if they do.

Recipe notes:

  • Doughnuts are just as delicious without the sugar topping, and you can also just use it for the top if you want to keep sugar in check.


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