Tasty Tuesday | Homemade Donuts--The attempt

My son has been asking  for Donuts for weeks now.  And since we're trying not to spend money on silly stuff and I needed a project for "Tasty Tuesday", I searched for a recipe.  I finally found one that I thought I could manage on The Food Network's website.  Well, turns out I definitely need practice in frying things.  I don't usually fry very many things and I probably won't fry very much in the future.  And is it possible to have a Donut "hangover"?  Man, I woke up extremely thirsty and with a headache!

The recipe we used was "Homemade Donuts with Mexican Chocolate Sauce" by Janet Johnston.  We only did the Donut part, not the chocolate sauce.  I figured the donuts alone were enough sweet stuff for my kids.  The basic recipe seemed easy enough.  So, the kids and I started our project!

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp (Mexican) Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 orange, zested
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 eggs
  • Brown paper bag
  • Cinnamon and sugar for dusting with
To start the recipe, put the water, vanilla, butter, sugar, salt and the orange zest in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. 

Remove the mixture from the heat and add the flour.  Stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is incorporated and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 8 minutes.(That's how long the kids would have taken anyway between the two of them arguing over whose turn it was to stir) 
This was Logan's turn to stir. 

Fill a large Dutch oven, over medium heat, halfway with vegetable oil and heat to 360 degrees F.  This is probably the point my problems started happening.  I probably didn't have enough oil.  I couldn't seem to keep the temperature constant.  It got too high, I turned it down.  Then it got too low.  I think I need a Frydaddy.  Although, like I said earlier, I just don't fry that often. 

Put the flour mixture into a large bowl.  Using a hand mixer, slowly add the eggs 1 at a time.  I didn't have a hand mixer, so I did it by hand.  At first, I was kind of scared.  But after the first egg, they all started to incorporate nicely.  Make sure each egg is incorporated before you do the next.

Well, if you can get the oil the right temperature, scoop the batter into the oil with a 1 oz. ice cream scoop.  I didn't have one, so I used my melon baller.

They look good so far, right?

I couldn't seem to get the inside cooked without burning the outside.  I don't know if it was actually cooked and it was just greasy from all the oil, or if it was indeed not done.  The recipe says that it should take 8 minutes per batch.
Yikes!  Burned.  But don't worry, we ate them all anyway.

At this point, put them into the paper bag and sprinkle with a cinnamon/sugar mix.  I use a lower ratio of sugar to cinnamon than the recipe suggested.  The recipe calls for 1/2 cup sugar to 1 tsp. cinnamon.

Shake shake, shake shake, a-shake it (Now, I can't get this song out of my head!)

After all was said and done, we ended up eating every last one of them.  Even the burned ones.  I think I have a Donut hangover today.  Next time I'm going to skip the oil and frying and just buy one of those donut pans!

Have any of you had experience with donuts?  Or frying in general?  Tips?  Anyone?

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