Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Giveaway and Some Doughnuts

I'm not giving doughnuts away. Sorry. I'm giving away something much better that will still be useful after navigating the postal system labyrinth.


A year subscription to either Bon Appetit or Food Network Magazine. Your choice.


Because I've had both of these magazines coming to my house for a while now, and I love them. Because it's almost Thanksgiving. Because I'm really happy that you all read our blog. Because I like giving away my favorite things.

Just because.


Just leave me a comment on this post and tell me your favorite thing to cook or bake during the holidays. Do you have traditions that you make every year? I'd love to hear about it! You have until 10PM PST on Monday, November 16th. Make sure I have a way of contacting you (through your profile or blog, etc. or leave me your email address.)


Sigh. Yes, but not mean ones. Like only enter once. And you need to live in United States. (OK that might be a little mean. Sorry, it's tricky sending a subscription out of the country. Please don't go away.) After I randomly pick a winner, I'll post it here and notify that person by email. If that person doesn't respond within three days, I'll pick another. Um. . . I think that's all.

Psst . . . If you go over to Perrys' Plate, I'm giving away a magazine subscription there as well! You can enter both if you like.

For those of you who came for the food (which I'm totally cool with), here's a recipe I snagged from my October Food Network mag. Apple Cider Doughnuts have been making the rounds through food blogs lately, but this was the only recipe I saw that had apples in it. Somehow that made me feel slightly less guilty. Just kidding. I don't feel guilty eating doughnuts at all (because I don't eat them very often).

But the few times I get a pot of oil going, I think, "hmm. . . I wonder what else I could fry?" It's a good thing I don't have a deep fryer built into my countertop like Paula Deen.

No rolling out dough. No rising. Just smash it into a pan and let it chill. Awesome.

Oh yeah, the doughnuts. I typically like yeast doughnuts better than cake ones, and I didn't realize these were cake doughnuts until I added all the ingredients and realized no yeast was involved. Or rising. I think that's what I loved most about these was how easy they were.

No, that's not a specialized doughnut-hole maker. It's a piece from my daughter's shape sorter toy. If she ever loses it, I may have to try using the triangle.

No, wait. The GLAZE was my favorite part. It was made mostly from a super-concentrated cider reduction. And I didn't have enough for all the little doughnut holes and bits. Next time I'm doubling it.

Speaking of cider, I used Trader Joe's Spiced Cider for these. Any cider will do, but make sure it's cider and not apple juice that says "cider" on the label. Real cider is usually unfiltered and sort of cloudy looking. I really wish I would have saved some cider to dip these doughnuts into. Why did that not occur to me until now -- four days after I made them?

Don't forget to fry the tidbits!

The doughnuts were pretty good, too, like a spice-cake type flavor. I didn't get the apple cider taste I was hoping for, but that's where the glaze comes in. They were best the day they were made, and were pretty moist as long as I didn't overcook them. I'm not a veteran fryer, so I'm still learning how to tell when things are cooked, but not overdone.

I would suggest, however, to make these if you plan on having company. You know, to have people to help you eat them. So you and your husband don't eat too many and end up feeling sick to your stomach that night because you haven't eaten doughnuts in ages.

I'm just sayin'.

Apple Cider Doughnuts
adapted from Food Network Magazine October 2009

2 red apples, such as Cortland or McIntosh
3 1/2 cups apple cider
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 c sugar + 1/2 tsp cinnamon for dusting
Vegetable oil, for frying

Core and coarsely chop the apples (do not peel). Combine with 1 1/2 cups cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the apples are tender and the cider is almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth. Measure the sauce; you should have 1 cup. (Boil to reduce further, if necessary.) Let cool slightly. Voila, applesauce!

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Beat 2/3 cup sugar and the shortening in another bowl with a mixer on medium speed until sandy. Beat in the egg and yolk, then gradually mix in the applesauce, scraping the bowl. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and vanilla, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix to make a sticky dough; do not overmix.

Line an 11x7-inch or similar sized pan with plastic wrap and coat the plastic with nonstick spray. Press the dough into the pan evenly. It doesn't have to be smoothed out completely on top. Cover the whole pan with another sheet of plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: Simmer the remaining 2 cups cider in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar until smooth and glossy, then set aside. Mix the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a shallow bowl; set aside for the topping.

Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Cut the chilled dough into 12 rounds, using a floured 2 1/2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter, then cut out the middles with a 1-inch cutter (or use a doughnut cutter). Slip 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.

Dip one side of each doughnut in the cider glaze, letting the excess drip off; dip just the glazed side in the cinnamon-sugar or roll all over in cinnamon-sugar, if desired. Serve warm.

Makes 12 doughnuts plus a bowl of tidbits.

Print Recipe Text Only


  1. What a fun give-a-way. Those donuts look fantastic, (albeit fat-ridden). I made donuts a few weeks ago for the first time. Yummy!
    Fav. holiday food- Cookies, any cookies, all cookies, lots of cookies.
    ooh, Is see you girls are at 200 followers too. Congrats!!


  2. ok so I already entered on your personal blog ... but I'm totally entering again because I need to double my winning chances!

    I come from a BIG Italian family, so most of our holiday cooking traditions revolve around that. We get out my late grandmas super old Pizzelle iron and make a ton of Pizzelles and we do Italian donuts made with ricotta cheese

  3. Yay! A Giveaway!! My favorite thing to personally fix for Thanksgiving dinner is deviled eggs..kinda generic right? Mother in law's kinda taste I always offer to make them so at least I know I'll like them! :)

  4. As long as I can get my baby (who will be 15 by Christmas) to help me decorate them, I will love making gingerbread people. I don't like to eat them so much, I love the social aspect of decorating them with my kids.

    If I don't win one of those magazines, I might have to get Santa to hook me up.

  5. How fun! Those look delish!

    My favorite thing to make is the turkey, because I really don't make it any other time of year :)

  6. what a delicious giveaway!

    I love baking cookies at the holidays -- always with my mom -- we chat, we munch, we make a mess and we have fun!

  7. Me, too! Me, too! One of the silliest and easiest traditions we have is celery filled with that Kraft cheese in a bottle with bacon in it. It's something the kids can work on while the adults are frantically trying to make a success of Thanksgiving dinner!

  8. Awesome giveaway! Your donut recipe looks positively sinful! :)

  9. Ooohhh... I've seen those donuts elsewhere, and they look way too good to make. Dangerous!

    My holiday tradition is making Orange Rolls and Apple Pie. (both recipes are on my blog!)

  10. I am not so fab at making donuts, but I am really good at eating donuts, especially these *thanks*
    As far as traditions go, I can't think of anything that we do or really that I do every year at the holidays for food. I want to start making stuff so my kids can have those memories (I think I might have to pick something out of "Baking with Julia" since I did start a Valentine's day Tradition with a recipe from there)

  11. Those doughnuts look AMAZING.

    My fondest memories go back to making Christmas cookies with my mom. She'd roll out 20 different kinds and we'd pile plates high for the neighbors, then hand-deliver them, giving us an excuse to sit down and chat and eat more cookies.

  12. Just left a comment on your 'plate' so hopefully this increases my odds. :-) We love to eat pie for breakfast (my fave is coconut cream) on Thanksgiving Day. That way you really get to enjoy the taste of the pie on an empty stomach. We make it even more fun be gathering all the family and having a pie contest (making or eating...whatever suits your fancy).

  13. Your donut photographs make me very hungry and I do have a sweet tooth! Thanks for sharing your recipe. My husband makes a wonderful pumpkin dessert during the holidays for family get-togethers. In a 9 x 13 pan, a pumpkin mixture is poured, then white cake mix, butter and pecans are sprinkled on top. It is baked and flipped, then covered with a creamy, mock-
    whipped cream icing. Many thanks for a fun giveaway prize drawing. Cindi

  14. Chances are increased over here!!

    I already shared what my favorite cookies to make are, so I'll tell you my favorite SAVORY food. HAM. Plain and simple. I try not to eat it except for holidays, just to keep it that much more special. Well, and the fact that I don't want a huge 6 lb ham in my fridge for 2 humans and a dog.

    Thanks, Nat!


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