Friday, May 29, 2009

A Late Night Snack

Planning for dinner is something I always do. Mostly every evening I head to the market and pick up a few fresh items and it's off to cooking I go! But, I almost always (unless I am entertaining) forget about dessert. For this reason, I try to keep a pint of Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean ice cream on hand as you can easily make a chocolate sauce with nut topping, caramelize a few bananas or pineapple in brown sugar and a shot of bourbon, or serve it on top of an espresso. Not that pure vanilla ice cream cannot be enjoyed as is, but it really is more fun with something to accompany it, even if it's cornflakes! Point is yesterday I again forgot about dessert and to top it off I had no ice cream in the freezer. Too tired to get dressed and head over to the grocery store, I began a search for a dessert that would be easy to make and of course be delicious enough to satisfy a sweet tooth. Doughnuts seemed like a fantastic idea!

Fortunately I found a simple, fairly graded 3 forks recipe for Warm Miniature Doughnuts on Epicurious. The recipe couldn't be easier and 99% of the items should be things that are kept on hand (actually I will write a list of these items shortly in another blog!)

Shift the dry ingredients over a large bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices--cinnamon, nutmeg and I added about 1/8 tsp of cardamom for a warm freshness and A Pinch of Salt and set aside. In a smaller bowl melt some butter in the microwave. To it will go an egg and 1/2 cup of buttermilk.

Side Note, I learned from a "Instant" Pancake Mix recipe by Alton Brown that you should separate the egg. Add the yolk to the slightly cooled melted butter and add the egg white to the buttermilk then combine all. So that's what I did. Also, if you don't happen to have buttermilk simple take a cup of milk and add an 1 tbs of acid--distilled vinegar, or fresh lemon juice would do, then let sit for at least 5 minutes in which you will see the milk begin to curdle this "soured milk" is a pretty much buttermilk. Okay, back to the recipe.

Heat oil to about 325/350 or until you can add a sprinkle of flour to the pot and see it begin to sizzle. We are deep frying so you will be using quite a lot of oil. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix only to combine (don't want stiff doughnuts!) The recipe suggest using 2 spoons to form balls, I think using a mini ice cream/cookie scooper would be nicer (will do next time). Then fry about 6 of them at a time as they brown up quickly, turn each over and repeat until golden 1 to 1 and a 1/2 minutes then lay on paper towels to remove excess oil. While warm top with powdered sugar or perhaps a combination of cinnamon-sugar. Lastly, enjoy while warm as they are delicious! (esp. alongside a cold glass of milk!) Enjoy!

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