One of our Christmas traditions has been to rush out a batch of sugar cookies for Santa and a basket of nibbles for the reindeer all last minute. Then we rush the kids up stairs and wait for a scream of delight when they spy a wrapped present on their bed. Faster than you can say eggnog the boxes are ripped open to reveal the first gift of Christmas- Pajamas.
I thought of my sister-n-law who continued a family tradition of serving scrumptious cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate every Christmas Eve. Ever since I saw the doughnut pan in the Pottery Barn holiday catalog last year I have been dreaming of doughnuts and hot chocolate on Christmas Eve. And if we once again forget to make Santa’s cookies until last minute, I am sure he would not mind a oh so yummy chocolate glazed doughnut with sprinkles.
Makes 1 dozen doughnuts
1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons warm water (105â€“115Â°F)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for sprinkling and rolling out dough
1 cup whole milk at room temperature
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
About 10 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
Stir together yeast and warm water in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If yeast doesnâ€™t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
Mix together flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast mixture in mixer at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes more. Scrape dough down side of bowl (all around) into center, then sprinkle lightly with flour (to keep a crust from forming). Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (Alternatively, let dough rise in bowl in refrigerator 8 to 12 hours.)
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round (1/2 inch thick). Cut out as many rounds as possible with 3-inch cutter, then cut a hole in center of each round with 1-inch cutter and transfer doughnuts to a lightly floured large baking sheet. Cover doughnuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes (45 minutes if dough was cold when cutting out doughnuts). Do not re-roll scraps.
Heat 2 1/2 inches oil in a deep 4-quart heavy pot until it registers 350Â°F on thermometer. Fry doughnuts, 2 at a time, turning occasionally with a wire or mesh skimmer or a slotted spoon, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 350Â°F between batches.) I also fried the doughnut holes for about 1 minute and them tossed them in powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar straight out of the hot grease.
Source: Gourmet, December 2006
Chocolate Glaze: This is enough glaze for a double batch of doughnuts!
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups confectionersâ€™ sugar, sifted
Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the doughnuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving. Recipe from Alton Brown.