24 June 2010


from this recipe

My friend is leaving town and we've been talking about making donuts for almost a year now, and we finally did it! I used a recipe called "Crispy and Creamy" which I suppose is to avoid legal troubles from Krispy Kreme but these donuts are quite Krispy Kreme-like! I think... I haven't had a Krispy Kreme donut in years (which is really sad) but from what I can remember, the texture is spot on.

The dough isn't super sweet, so you'll want to use a pretty sweet glaze to make up for that. Some of the reviewers tried using more sugar, but apparently that messes up the reaction with the yeast. I followed the recipe almost exactly and the texture was great, so I'd say keep it as is.

I made the dough in my Kitchenaid, the first time I've used the dough hook. This made it SO EASY! I am going to have to start making more bread (or cut Heather's recipe in half so it'll fit in my Kitchenaid bowl!) because I really was surprised how great the hook is! You can do this by hand, of course, you just have to do a lot of stirring.

The dough was really interesting. After the first rise, it was huge (you are putting a ton of yeast in it!) and then when I poked it, it totally fell. This was OK because I was going to roll it out anyway, but I was really surprised and worried.

Some of the reviewers said they'd had trouble with the donuts falling when they put them in the oil. Because of that, I was super careful with the donuts when handling them. They came out totally fine and fluffy, so just be careful and I think you'll be fine too!

2 (.25 ounce) envelopes, or 5 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (I used 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 cup milk, because that's what I had)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup butter, at room temperature, cut into a few pieces
5 cups flour

1 quart mild vegetable oil (such as canola) for frying

whatever you want for glazing or frosting or sugaring

1. Put the water and the yeast in the bowl for your mixer (if using) or your second largest mixing bowl. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. It should smell doughy and should be bubbled on the top of the water. If it isn't, your yeast is probably bad, so try again with new yeast.
2. Add the milk, sugar, salt, eggs, butter and 2 cups of the flour to the bowl. Mix on the lowest setting for 5 minutes or stir until totally combined.
3. Add the rest of the flour, in 1/2 cup increments. Mix until the dough forms a ball and doesn't stick to the side of the bowl.
4. Grease your largest mixing bowl and put the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise 1-2 hours or until double in size. The original recipe says it's risen when you poke a hole and the indent stays, but it did that before even rising, so I don't know what that means. It's gonna get huge, you'll know! Like I said before, when I poked it, it totally fell anyway.
5. Flour a large surface and gently roll the dough to a 1/2 inch thickness. By "gently" I mean, don't force it. You don't want to push out all of the air, though you'll push a lot of it out. It'll take a lot of gentle rolling to get it to the right thickness.
6. Line baking sheets with wax paper and grease with butter or cooking spray (I used baking spray that also has flour in it). Cut the dough with a floured donut cutter (or two different sized circle cutters or a large glass and a shot glass or whatever you want to cut with). You'll have to re-dip in flour after every cut. You want to cut the donuts as close together as you can, as you can't re-roll the dough. I made 34 2-inch donuts (and a few more "holes" that I cut from the bigger scraps). How many you make will depend on how big you made them
7. Gently place the donuts on the greased wax paper and cover with a cloth. Allow to rise until double again, at least an hour.
8. Pour oil into deep fryer or large sauce pan and heat to 350. Gently place the donuts in the oil. You want to use as light a touch as possible to pick up the donuts. If you greased well, this shouldn't be hard. Fry on each side 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on a drying rack to drain off oil. Frost or decorate as you'd like!

Suggestions for frosting
Alex made a chocolate bourbon glaze (I don't know the recipe) which was delicious but not quite as sweet as these donuts needed. We also rolled some in powdered sugar (my favorite) or cinnamon sugar. Tina made a maple glaze with maple syrup, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk (I think) and then sprinkled with toasted pecans. The recipe suggests making a glaze with powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and water. You can do whatever you want! Add sprinkles or nuts or coconut or chocolate chips or food coloring or jelly or WHATEVER!

Other tips
We tested the oil by using some of the scraps from the original cutting. We had a small bowl of scraps. My friend tried making patties with them, but the texture of them wasn't as good because they'd had all the air smooshed out of them. You can fry the scraps as they are, but I wouldn't recommend re-rolling or re-shaping them.

20 June 2010


I have no idea where this recipe came from. My mom made these when I was growing up and I made them for Christmas and birthdays for people all the time. They are amazing. So indulgent. Chocolate. Caramel. Butter. These are actually really easy to make but are very impressive and people will ooh and aah the whole time they are eating. I promise.

1 cup flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup melted butter
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
¾ cup butterscotch or caramel topping
3 Tbsp flour

1. Preheat your oven to 350. You need a 9x13 inch pan, but don't grease it.
2. Mix the flour, oats, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.
3. Stir in melted butter and mix completely.
4. Cut dough in half and pat half into the 9x13 pan. This will be a very thin layer that just barely covers the pan.
5. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Remove pan from oven.
7. Microwave the caramel for about 20 seconds or just until it starts to bubble. Mix in the 3 Tbsp of flour.
8. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and nuts (if using) onto the pan. Pour caramel on top. Crumble the rest of the dough over the caramel.
9. Bake for 20 minutes.
10. When you remove from the oven, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen any caramel that has baked onto the pan.
11. Allow to cool and cut into bars.

09 June 2010

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

My friend asked for a pineapple upside down cake... I feel like this is one of those things that you were supposed to learn how to make when you were little but I never did. I've actually made some other fruit upside down cakes but not a pineapple. I looked around and basically what I could deduce is a pineapple upside down cake is melted butter and sugar, pineapple rings and then white cake. I don't actually have a standard white cake recipe. I looked around and all the recipes I could find called for milk or buttermilk, neither of which I had. I used the Ultra Orange Cake from the Joy of Cooking (1997 Edition... different than the 75th anniversary edition) and a mash-up of the pineapple part... Oh, apparently PUDC (too long to retype every time) have maraschino cherries... but I hate maraschino cherries, so I used raspberries instead.

Let me just say that I was a little worried about the cake part... it's vegan and from the Joy which are two things I don't usually associate together. But oh man. So you flip the cake over, right? But I had a little extra batter and made some cupcakes with it and the top part made this little sugar crust to break through to get to the cake. Mmm! And the pineapple part was quite nice too, but I think this cake might have been too good for pineapples. It doesn't even need a glaze, I don't think. Maybe a dusting of powdered sugar to make it pretty.

4 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
7 pineapple rings (from a can, or fresh if you're fancy)
raspberries (or whatever) to put between the pineapples
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
zest of 1 orange
1 cup orange or pinapple juice (I juiced the zested orange and then just used the juice from the pineapple can... if you do this MAKE SURE you are using pineapples in JUICE not SYRUP!)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat your oven to 350.
2. Pour the melted butter into an 8 or 9 inch round pan. Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter.
3. Place one pineapple ring in the middle and the remaining 6 around the edges. Put a raspberry in the middle of each ring and in any gaps between pineapples.
4. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, soda, and zest.
5. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, measure out the juice, oil, vinegar and vanilla.
6. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix together quickly.
7. Pour the batter into the pan. If you use an 8 inch pan, you'll probably have too much batter. But there are no eggs in it, so you don't have to worry about salmonella if you just want to eat it... but you could bake it into cupcakes too.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes (my oven is so wonky so you might want to start checking at 30 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
9. Allow the cake to cool for about 5 minutes before flipping it upside down onto a cake plate.