O.K. friends, these soft and spicy gingerbread doughnuts are honestly one of the best things I have ever created. Did you catch that?!!! I created this doughnut recipe!!! I am very excited about this fact. Can you tell? The number of exclamation points are exponentially related to how excited I am.
Since blogging, I have finally moved past reading recipes and am now in the creative phase of my baking obsession. Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of times I follow recipes, but lately I find I am inventing them more than following them, and I am pretty dang pleased with my results.
I know, I have a grandiose impression of my mad skills in the kitchen and I am oh so humble about it. Sorry. It’s a pretty big personality flaw; I realize this. I’m not really planning to work on that part of myself though because I have much bigger fish to fry. There’s a whole mess of other stuff that ranks higher on my list of self-improvements so I wouldn’t hold your breath for this blog to improve its social etiquette anytime soon.
Back to the doughnuts—I really wanted a gingerbread doughnut this morning with a big cup of hot coffee doused with a teensy bit of eggnog (and rum?). After rummaging around the internet, I decided there wasn’t one recipe that hit the flavor profile I was going for. So I decided to meld a few ideas together from here and there and go for it.
They turned out exactly like I was imagining they should be. This recipe combines some ideas from a pumpkin doughnut on an Edible Mosaic while adding some bits from an apple-spice doughnut I found on Food Network.
These next few shots are my favorite ones of all time on this blog. My dog, Sadie, was watching me take some photos of this apple on a swinging bench we have in the backyard. As I was snapping away and checking my viewer, I started to realize that a tongue was randomly making a guest appearance now and then.
Sadie had worked her way under the bench and was trying to lick the apple through the slats. The swinging bench would move and she would try again. Kind of like bobbing for apples upside down. To no avail she worked tirelessly to get that apple off the bench where she could eat it in its entirety.
I hope this goes without saying, but this apple DID NOT make it into my recipe. Notice dog slobber is not on the list of ingredients anywhere. I have standards.
O.K., now that we have finished with the comic relief, back to the yummy doughnuts. They are lightly spicy, without hitting you over the head with ginger, just a touch sweet—not syrupy sweet. Their texture is cake-y and soft with just that perfect crunch on the outside.
The garnish you see there is candied ginger. Although it didn’t look pretty, it tasted nice on the doughnuts.
I made two different icings trying to try to decide which was the better pairing; maple icing or eggnog icing. Rum did not make it into any icing but I have a hunch that brushing the tops of the doughnuts with rum and adding a little bit to the eggnog icing would be just fine. Both icings were a lovely match to the ginger and spice flavors.
I hope you enjoy making these doughnuts…perhaps for a festive Holiday Brunch. They are tedious and best served the same day they are fried. If you make the dough the night ahead and fry them in the morning, it will make the morning a lot easier.
Gingerbread “Cake” Doughnuts
Recipe by Geni of Sweet and Crumby
Make about 20 medium-sized doughnuts and doughnut holes.
1/4 c. shortening, 0% hydrogenated oils
1/2 c. DARK brown sugar (this has more molasses than light) packed
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 T. dark unsulphured molasses
1 c. of peeled apples (any sweet variety), grated and chopped
1/4 c. Canola oil
1 t. vanilla extract
5 c. flour (FIVE…this is not a type-0)
2 tsp ground ginger
2 t. ground cinnamon
3/4 t. ground cloves
3 t. baking powder
2 t. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 – 1 c. more flour added for rolling out
Gallon sized container of Canola oil or Vegetable Oil for frying
Candied ginger, mini chocolate chips and or sprinkles for garnish
Maple Glaze (you may want to cut this in half if you plan to make both icings)
Taken directly from Under the High Chair
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 Tablespoon water
(optional: few drops maple flavoring)
2 c. of sifted powdered sugar
6 T. Eggnog (add more if you need to thin it out)
For the Doughnuts: Peel, grate and chop 2 apples, preferably the grating and chopping will be done in your food processor. I don’t think I have it in me to do all that by hand but if you do, have at it.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together shortening and sugars until fluffy. Add molasses through vanilla and combine on medium speed. In a separate LARGE mixing bowl whisk together the flour through the salt. Slowly, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Combine then add 1/3 of the buttermilk.
Repeat until all of the flour and buttermilk has been adequately incorporated. Beat on medium for about a minute until all of the ingredients are well combined. Notice my batter resembles a thick muffin type of batter, rather than bread dough. I let it rest like this but when it was time to roll out, I added flour 1/4 a cup at a time up to 1 cup until it looked and felt like soft, pliable bread dough. This dough is not as firm as bread dough but not loose like a cake batter.
Let stand for at least two hours. If you are making this the night before, place the dough in plastic wrap and then inside a Ziploc bag. If the mixture is too wet to wrap adequately, you can add another 1/2 c. of flour at this time (up to one whole cup) and work it in with your HANDS until a dough forms. Note the consistency of the final dough consistency in the picture below.
Place oil in a large stock pot, about 1/2 full (about five-six inches of oil). Clip a candy thermometer to the side. This is important. Your oil needs to get to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat. Layer paper towels on a cookie sheet near where you will be frying your dough.
Dust flour onto a pastry board. If you did not add flour previously, this is the time to do it. Add flour, 1/4 c. at a time (up to 1 c. total), and work flour into dough with your hands until a pliable, soft dough forms. Divide the dough into two portions and roll out your first portion.
Use a round cookie cutter to cut the dough into doughnut circles. I used a cap of my pourable 1/2 gallon of milk carton to cut out the doughnut hole. It worked great! Flour your cap in between each cut. Roll out the left-overs of the first portion of dough and repeat until you have cut out the first half of the dough.
When the oil has reached 250 degrees, use a slotted spoon to carefully place the doughnut circle into the oil. You can fry three doughnuts at a time. Any more and you will crowd the pot and you won’t have uniform frying. Fry the doughnuts for two minutes a side. Have a cookie sheet ready with paper towels layered on them. Carefully drop the doughnuts onto the paper towels and pat with the towels to remove excess oil.
Finish the first half of frying your doughnuts and then make the glaze.
For the glaze: With either glaze, use the bowl of a stand mixer, place all ingredients and beat with paddle attachment until smooth. The glaze should be fluid but hold up to a doughnut being dunked upside down in it. After dunking half of the doughnut in the glaze, let it stand a minute and then dunk again. This makes for a nice thick coating.
Repeat all steps above to fry-up the second half of your doughnut dough.
December 12, 2010 at 10:14 pm
Yey..I am first to comment! I love, love your sweet treats..This looks amazing Geni! Wonderful photos especially one’s with the dog!:)) I just saw that you change the background almost thought that something is wrong with my eyes- was thinking boy am I tired… Until I figure out there are snow flakes falling:)))
December 13, 2010 at 2:12 pm
December 13, 2010 at 6:50 am
OK, that made me laugh out loud. I spit up a bit of my morning coffee. HA! I love Sadie’s tongue…. so, so perfect and funny. And good gravy, those doughnuts. I feel like I’m building up the courage to give them a try!
December 13, 2010 at 11:29 am
Glad we made you laugh. Sadie can do that for people. Let me know how the doughnuts go!
December 13, 2010 at 7:01 am
Those photos with Sadie are too funny!
We’ll miss you. Happy holidays!
I was baking all day yesterday and realized once it was dark that I didn’t take any photos. Oh well.
December 13, 2010 at 11:29 am
Don’t you hate that?! I want the pressure taken off me while I enjoy my holiday baking.
December 13, 2010 at 10:59 am
Cutest. Thing. Ever! I am officially in love with your dog. 🙂
December 13, 2010 at 11:28 am
Me too. She’s a riot.
December 13, 2010 at 10:59 am
OH – and btw, I totally would have rinsed that apple and used it anyway. Does that make me gross?
December 13, 2010 at 11:05 am
No, just on a tight budget…and totally politically correct. 🙂
December 13, 2010 at 4:08 pm
Those photos are too funny! Congratulations on the doughnut recipe!
December 13, 2010 at 4:50 pm
did u give us the ones with the maple icing or the eggnog.
December 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm
Linds – I think you may have gotten two of each. There was no alcohol in the eggnog ones though.
December 13, 2010 at 9:24 pm
i think i got maple but id rather had had eggnog darn… ^_^
December 13, 2010 at 11:46 pm
I was just admiring the beautiful image of your apple, then scrolled down and saw your dog licking it, that’s too funny. Lol.
The gingerbread donuts look delicious.
December 14, 2010 at 2:31 am
Yum! The doughnuts looks delicious – great take on gingerbread.
December 14, 2010 at 5:59 am
What a fun post. I love the excitement in your writing at having developed this amazing recipe. I’m not likely to make donuts but I love your enthusiasm and eggnog icing does sound amazing. The photos with the tongue are too much fun.
December 14, 2010 at 9:24 am
Nye, Joyti and Tammy —Thank you for your nice comments.
December 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm
Geni, you are SO funny! The donut sure look so tasty…love them with the glazes, specially the eggnog 🙂
December 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm
I understand your excitement about coming up with the recipe yourself. Something just clicks and you go from novice to proficient and it feels great.
The donuts look great. I’m searching for a donut recipe for Christmas morning. This might be it!
December 14, 2010 at 8:54 pm
It’s kind of cool. 🙂
December 14, 2010 at 11:19 pm
Hahaha! Dog tongue! 🙂 Great photos. The doughnuts look incredible too! Enjoy your blogging break. Happy baking and happy holidays!
December 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm
Can’t wait to try your sourdough starter!
December 16, 2010 at 2:42 am
Wow those donuts are irrestistable to the eyes.
December 17, 2010 at 6:28 am
These look fantastic! I love gingerbread!!!!!
December 17, 2010 at 11:24 am
What a fabulous donut for the holidays!!!!! YUM
December 18, 2010 at 10:18 am
Congrats on writing your recipe. The photos make we want to reach in and grab one they look so yummy. I haven’t made doughnuts in years and I going to try these out on Christmas eve I can’t wait. The photo of your dog is just too cute. Have a very Merry Christmas 🙂
December 21, 2010 at 9:29 am
These look soooooo good! I am in constant awe of your fabulous recipes and pictures! We should do a new years treat swap! Ill send you some of my goodies and you send me some of your goodies 🙂
Hope your holidays are goign well.
December 21, 2010 at 9:31 am
That’s a deal! 🙂
January 4, 2011 at 10:30 pm
My goodness, where have these been all my life?
you are Geni(ous) 😆
June 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm
These sound great, too! Thanks for pointing it out to me.
June 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm
Glad you like them! 🙂
November 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm
What an amazing invention! I think I may need to make more room for bookmarks!
December 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm
Are those basil leaves and red m&m’s you created your garnish from?!!?
September 21, 2012 at 5:21 am
Hi Geni. I have just discovered your blog via Clever Muffin and had a quick browse through the recipe list. This one caught my eye because I made doughnuts this morning! Baked, with cinnamon, but I fancy this combination too so may give it a go, but try baking instead of frying. Aside from the recipe itself, though, I picked a great one – dog tongue, just fabulous! I will be back!
September 25, 2012 at 10:18 am
I am so glad you introduced yourself and stopped by. I hope this recipe works out for you. Please let me know. Nothing funnier than dog tongue! 😉