I have a small passion for spiced doughnuts. Sure they're great from local bakeries, but when you're frying them at home, they are one of the most forgiving doughnuts you can make. Why? Because of their color.
A few months back I scored a great deal on some unsweetened chocolate. Remember these sea salt and lime brownies I made with it? I still had some floating around in my pantry that needed to be used, so what better to make than a doughnut? Combined with salty bacon and a satisfyingly spiced doughnut, you'll forget about any ill your day can throw at you.
The spices added to the dough not only give them flavor, but they also color the dough. When it fries up, the donuts turn a dark caramel color. This is an extra bonus if you're new to frying or are worried that things that might get overdone. The unsweetened chocolate used for the icing makes for a nice balance with their sugar crusted exterior.
But Sarah, doughnuts are supposed to be sweet! Don't worry! There's enough sugar in the icing to balance the bitterness of the dark chocolate. It will give it a grown up kick without your teeth screaming. What about the bacon? Are we still talking about savory and sweet items not going together? I thought I nixed that with bacon fudge? No worries. The candied bacon on top is sugary and meaty and in no way is that a bad thing. If it's not your thing, leaving it plain or adding sprinkles are fine by me.
These dougnuts are best after the icing has set, but eaten the same day. As if doughnuts would be around for multiple days — psssh! I love this recipe because there's no rise time, no kneading, and you don't even need a stand mixer to get the job done. Want to see how they're made?
Spiced Doughnuts With Dark Chocolate Glaze & Candied Bacon
Yields: 16-20 doughnuts
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon all-spice
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (not oil)
vegetable oil or shortening for frying
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoon light corn syrup
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 recipe candied, salted bacon
For The Doughnuts: Place 2 cups flour (reserve one cup for later use), sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and all-spice in a large bowl. Whisk until combined. Work the shortening into the flour with your fingers until it forms a course meal and isn't sticky. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine milk and vinegar, and let them sit for 5 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and lemon extract and stir until yolks are incorporated. Next, mix the wet milk mixture into the dry flour mixture. Use a fork to stir until wet ingredients are incorporated. Mix the reserved cup of flour into combined mixture.
Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Turn dough onto a liberally floured work surface. Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Using two cookie cutters (3" and 1" work fine), punch out the doughnuts. As you work, make sure that each doughnut isn't stuck to the work surface below. Reroll the scraps and cut out additional doughnuts with remaining dough.
In a deep, heavy-bottomed pan, heat 2-5 inches of oil or shortening to 350°F -360°F. Smaller pans with deep oil mean you only fry one or two doughnuts at a time, while larger pans with shallow oil mean you can fry more, but they are trickier to turn. It is also essential that you keep your oil within this temperature window while frying. Too low and the insides don't get cooked; too high and the donuts start to burn.
Place one doughnut in the oil as a test and to get the hang of flipping. Cook for 2-4 minutes. Using wooden chopsticks, flip the donuts over: place one chopstick in the hole and use the other to flip the bottom side of the doughnut (it makes sense when you actually do it). Be careful not to splash your oil. Cook an additional 2-4 minutes and carefully remove from oil. Place the cooked donut on a plate lined with a paper towel. Cool completely.
For The Glaze: Once doughnuts are completely cool, it's time to glaze them! The process isn't tricky but they do need to set for 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to firm up.
To start, combine the butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat until the butter has melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn the heat as low as it will go and add the powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth. Dip the doughnuts immediately, pushing them gently into the glaze and then twisting as they are removed to avoid drips. Add bacon or additional toppings within 5 minutes of glazing. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.
(Images: Sarah Rae)