(or "How Labor Day 2010 Earned It's Name")
I'll admit it, I'm a magazine junkie. I just love them! I love finding and trying out new recipes, giving seasonal crafts a go of it, and discovering new and interesting places in this amazing country of ours. You name it, I love what magazines have to offer. So when the current issue of All You magazine had a recipe for Apple Cider Donuts, don't you just know I had to try it out! I showed Kevin the photo in the magazine and he agreed that the donuts looked delicious and it sounded like a fun project! We decided that, since today is the Labor Day holiday, and we woke up to a nice thick marine layer which cooled the temperatures down considerably, it would be the perfect morning to try our hand at making these fall confections.
...or so we thought. Let me just say this about that: should you ever find yourself considering making homemade donuts, don't. Run, don't walk, to your nearest Winchell's. They do it for a living - YOU don't. How exactly did I come to this conclusion? I'm glad you asked.
We both re-read the recipe last night so that we knew (or at least thought we knew) what we were in for this morning. I mentioned that it might take us a while to get through the process, but Kevin pointed out that the magazine indicated 35 minutes, so we should be fine. Huh. Okay, sounds good to me. Yeah. Riiiiiight.
We began our "35 minute" task about 10 minutes after 7:00 this morning. Gosh, no worries. We should be ready to eat about 8:00 - right? Not exactly. Things went along pretty well at first. Put sugar and cinnamon in a brown paper bag to shake the donuts in when they've cooled. CHECK. Cook cider until it's thickened a bit. CHECK. ( Hmmm...now that we have to let the cider cool to room temperature, we're really beginning to cut into this 35 minute process.) Mix the dry ingredients. CHECK. Prepare the wet ingredients. DOUBLE CHECK. Refrigerate dough for 10 minutes (wow, that 35 minute process is already well past 35 minutes!) ... it will be 'a little sticky'. A little sticky? Kevin said it was so sticky it looked like we forgot to add the flour. No worries. We have to turn the dough onto a well floured surface, so that should take care of it.Well, it should have. Let's add a bit more flour. There, that looks better. Cut out donut shapes and put them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sounds easy, right? Well not so much. A little misshapen, but not too bad. Place donuts in small batches into hot oil that has been heated to 375 degrees. Really? WOW, that's HOT! Okay, here we go ... YIKES! Are they supposed to turn black almost instantly? No? Well, maybe the oil is too hot. Um yeah, definitely too hot. That POP just hit Kevin under the chin! OUCH!! After running cold water over the area, you can still see that, very shortly, there will be a good sized blister where the oil landed. Let's turn that down just a smidge, what say? There, that's better.How many more donuts and donut holes do we have to go? LORD, are we ever going to finish? Sheeeesh, at this rate we'll be lucky if we're eating BRUNCH this morning!
Finally! We're finished!! A mere 2 hours, one bad burn, and a horrifically messy kitchen later, we have 8 donuts that at least look decent (the first batch got tossed before we took a picture) and a decent quantity of donut holes. Wow. What a huge amount of effort for very little in return. Our final conclusion is that it was fun to try ... ONCE ... but if you really want donuts, go to Winchell's!
You can thank us later.