Not too long ago, I awoke bright and early on a Sunday morning, pulled back my hair, threw in my contacts, and headed to the kitchen to make a batch of doughnuts. The adorable farm stand buttermilk doughnuts pictured in Baked Explorations had been calling out to me for months, and I could withstand their charms no longer.
Sometimes for me, it's more about wanting to make things than wanting to eat them -- as strange as that sounds. Don't get me wrong... I wanted to eat these doughnuts after I made them, but I wanted to make them just to make them and glaze them and decorate them and marvel at their adorableness. I think I coo at mini foods the way some people coo at babies. Hey, we all have our priorities.
Mini Farm Stand Buttermilk Doughnuts (adapted from Baked Explorations)
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3 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, slightly browned, and cooled
Vegetable oil for frying
4 ounces Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
Line one baking sheet with parchment and another with paper towels. (The recipe says to use two layers of paper towels, but we use Viva brand, and one layer of those is sufficient.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and sour cream until combined. Then whisk in the melted, cooled butter.
Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour the liquid ingredients into the well. With a rubber spatula fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until a sticky dough forms.
Lightly dust counter top with flour, and turn the dough out onto it. Sprinkle more flour on top, and pat the dough out until it is about 1/2 inch thick.
Using a 2-inch cutter and an apple corer (my trick for being able to make tiny center holes in the mini doughnuts), cut out the doughnuts and doughnut centers.
Arrange the doughnuts and doughnuts holes on the parchment-lined sheet pan.
Re-roll any scraps, and cut out more doughnuts. Transfer those to the sheet pan as well, and then chill the doughnuts in the fridge while you heat the oil.
Fill a deep skillet with oil to form a layer about 1 inch deep. Heat the oil over medium high until it reaches 365 degrees.
While the oil is heating, make the toppings.
Chocolate dip: Place the chocolate chips in a wide, shallow bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream until bubbles begin to form around the edges. Pour the cream over the chocolate, and let it sit for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth, and then whisk in the butter. Keep warm.
Vanilla glaze: In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk, and vanilla paste.
Cinnamon sugar: In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar. (I used a Pyrex bowl with a lid, put the sugar and cinnamon inside, covered the bowl, and shook up the mixture until well combined.)
Fry the doughnuts: Once the oil has come up to temperature, fry the doughnuts in batches. Carefully lift them off the baking sheet and place them in the hot oil. Let them brown on one side, 2 to 3 minutes, and then turn with tongs, and let them brown on the other side, about 1 minute.
Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to the paper towel-lined sheet pan.
Continue frying the rest of the doughnuts, and then fry the doughnut holes. Keep in mind that the doughnut holes will take much less time.
Once the doughnuts have finished frying (or if you're comfortable with it, while you have batches in the oil), dip them in the chocolate, vanilla glaze, or cinnamon sugar.
Decorate vanilla glazed doughnuts with sprinkles.
The doughnuts are best served right away but will last about a day.
Notes: All of the topping recipes make way too much. I still have a bowl of leftover cinnamon sugar in the pantry. (Of course it's not likely to go to waste.) I wasn't a huge fan of the vanilla glaze, and I think if you decide to leave out one topping, that would be the way to go. The chocolate glaze was amazing and my favorite of the toppings. Jeff preferred the cinnamon sugar topping.
These doughnuts come out cakey with a nice crunch on the outside (kind of like what I think of as an old-fashioned doughnut). And everyone who tried them could taste the nutmeg in them. I really think it elevated the flavor.
What's your favorite kind of doughnut?