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Sunday, January 10, 2016

First Snow

This morning we enjoyed seeing God's beauty through the first snow of winter and the first snow of 2016. These are pictures from around our area The snow to me is beautiful. While I do not like to get out in it I do love looking at it through pictures and out the window.
Sunday mornings especially snowy Sunday mornings are perfect for glazed doughnuts. Whether you purchase them from a deli or bakery

Baking in the oven on a winter snow day also helps keep the kitchen warm. You may want to make up a batch of glazed doughnuts for breakfast for your family.

Farm Stand Buttermilk Doughnuts Three Ways
For the Doughnuts
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly browned and cooled
Vegetable oil for frying

For the Chocolate Dip
4 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60-70%), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Sprinkles to decorate (optional)

For the Vanilla Glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Sprinkles to decorate (optional)

For the Cinnamon Sugar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon

Make the doughnuts
Line one baking sheet with parchment paper and another baking sheet with two layers of paper towels.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour,sugar,baking soda,baking powder, salt,nutmeg, and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and sour cream until combined.  Add the melted,cooled butter and whisk again.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the liquid ingredients into the well.  With a rubber spatula, slowly fold the flour into the liquid center until the mixture forms a sticky dough.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour.  Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and pat it out until it is about 1/2 inch thick.
Use two round cutters ( 3 1/4" and 1 1/2" for large doughnuts; 2 1/2" and 1 " for smaller doughnuts).  Dip the large cutter in flour and press out the rounds.  Dip the smaller cutter in the flour and cut out the center of each dough round.  Arrange both doughnuts and doughnut holes on the parchment-lined baking sheet, pat the dough scraps back together, and use them to make as many more doughnuts and doughnut holes as possible.  Chill the dough while you heat the oil.

Pour enough oil into a deep skillet to make a layer approximately 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches deep.  Slowly heat the oil over medium -high heat until it is 365 to 370 degrees F.

While you are waiting for the oil to reach temperature, make the assorted toppings.

Make the Chocolate Dip
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium wide-mouthed bowl.  In a small saucepan, heat the cream until it is just about to boil.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and wait 1 minute.  Whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the butter.  Keep the mixture warm.

Make the Vanilla Glaze
In a medium wide-mouthed bowl, whisk together the sugar, the milk, and the vanilla paste.

Make the Cinnamon Sugar
In a medium wide-mouthed bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon.

To Fry the Doughnuts
Once the oil reaches temperature, gently lift the large doughnuts off the baking sheet and place them in the hot oil.  Do not crowd the skillet-make no more than 3 doughnuts at a time.  Once they have browned on one side (this takes 2-3 minutes), turn them over with tongs or a slotted spoon and continue to cook for another minute or just until browned (they can overcook or burn rather quickly).  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to the paper towel lined baking sheet and continue to fry the rest of the dough until finished.  The doughnut holes will cook faster and can be made in two or three batches after the doughnuts are done.

Assemble the Doughnuts
Once you have finished frying, work quickly to dip the doughnuts in the chocolate or vanilla glaze, or the cinnamon sugar.  If you like, decorate the chocolate or vanilla doughnuts with sprinkles.  Serve immediately.

Baked Notes
When you fry doughnuts make sure you maintain the correct oil temperature throughout the process.  Generally speaking, doughnuts taste best served immediately after they've emerged from the fryer ( and taken a quick dip in sugar or chocolate or vanilla.  However if they don't disappear quickly when served take day old doughnuts and chop them into big coarse crumbs, toast them lightly, and add them to vanilla ice cream as a mix in (if you are making it from scratch) or a topping (if you are serving store bought). Doughnuts also work wonders (very rich wonders) when used as the base of a bread pudding.

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