Apple Cider Doughnuts

Every fall I recall great memories of leaves, crisp morning air, hiking, warm (and cold) spiced apple cider, baking and laughter.  It’s during this time I start with baking various things.

This year I was reminded of trips to the apple orchard in Harvard Illinois.  Spiced Apple Doughnuts, usually warm, sometimes brought home for later.  I decided to make some. 

Today’s bought of insomnia provided me the opportunity to make this between 3-4 in the morning.  Here’s what I do, a little twist, without apple butter, without apple sauce, or having to reduce 1 cup of regular apple cider to 1/2 cup for use in a recipe.  Spiced Apple Cider, yet another use for Trader Joe’s shopping trips.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 cups flour sifted
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice (always best to stock up in fall)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup spice apple cider (apple juice may be substituted but you will be disappointed)
1/4 cup 2% milk (or buttermilk)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon melted butter

For the topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons butter, melted

Now to pull it all together:

I start with preheating the oven to 325 degrees and getting out my doughnut pan.

In trying to make the preparations easier you will see that the dry and wet ingredients are separate from each other. Let’s get all the dry ingredients all in the same, large, bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, apple pie spice and salt).

In another, smaller, bowl combine all the wet ingredients (spiced apple cider, milk, eggs, vanilla and 1 Tbsp. of melted butter) and whip all the wet ingredients together. Once the wet ingredients are combined pour into the dry and beat together until lumps disappear.

Now, once you have greased your doughnut pan, let’s fill the cups up to 3/4 full. Be careful though, if more than that you will not get the planned dozen doughnuts.

Now place in your preheated oven (by this time it will be ready) for 10-12 minutes. Please note, that since you are using a doughnut pan you will have a lighter side on the topside verse the pan faced side. We’ll take care of that with the topping.

While your first batch is in, or before you over achiever you, mix up the topping and combine all the dry ingredients (sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon).

Once the donuts are ready to be taken out of the oven, you can test with a toothpick if you’d like, you will set them off for a few minutes to cool in the pan.

Move your doughnuts to a cooling rack and brush with the 4 additional tablespoons of butter. I tend to do one at a time. Then roll around in your topping. Place back on the rack … if you want cooled doughnuts that is.

Personally I like mine warm … with a warm cup of spiced apple cider.

Wind blowing, leaves and thoughts rolling and floating by, as the first bite is washed down with a warm sip.