Last Thursday I had the most intense craving for doughnuts. Cake doughnuts, in particular. Moist, dense little circles of pleasure covered in sugar or dipped into a glaze. I thought about them all day. Now, I could certainly run over to Duncan Donuts and pick up one on the way home to satisfy the craving, but with my luck they would be out of my favorites or they would be stale. So, why not make them at home? After all, any well stocked (or even partially stocked) pantry has all the ingredients you need to make these fresh...
BASIC CAKE DOUGHNUTS (and doughnut holes!)
3 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 beaten eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
cooking oil for deep fat frying
Glaze: 2 cups powdered sugar, 3-5 tbsp water. In a bowl, mix together sugar and water until you have achieved the desired consistancy.
Combine 2 cups of flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium mixing bowl. In a large mixing bowl (I used my KitchenAid Mixer) combine eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat about 3 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken slightly. In a smaller bowl, combine milk and butter. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture to egg mixture, beating well after eat addition. Stir in remaining 1 cup of flour. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
Heat cooking oil in a large, deep skillet until temperature reaches 375 degrees.
Meanwhile, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 1-inch thick slab. Cut dough with floured doughnut cutter (size of your choice), dipping cutter into flour between cuts. Reroll as necessary.
Fry doughnuts, 2 or 3 at a time, for about 1-2 minutes on each side, turning once with a slotted spoon. Drain fried doughnuts on a rack or on paper towels. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and doughnut holes. If desired, shake warm doughnuts in a plastic zip lock baggie with cinnamon and sugar. Or, dip tops in a simple glaze.
Tip: Do a "test fry" with one doughnut, so that you can gage the correct frying time and thickness of your dough. My first batch came out perfect on the outside, but raw on the inside - and that is not good eats! I simply flattened out my donuts more and that did the trick. Oh, and make a double batch...they are that good. (And, not greasy believe it or not!)