Honestly, Who DOESN’T like a Donut or Doughnut?
I don’t eat donuts that much…for obvious reasons, they are FRIED. IN FAT! But I will never be able to resist their cuteness, roundness and overall shiny, glossy, peanuty, coconuty, pink-sprinkled-ness.
Recently, we got a Dunkin’ Donuts® in the small town I live in and on the day it opened, it was if the Queen of England arrived. EVERYONE came out of the woodwork to see it’s glory, and to purchase dozens upon dozens of donuts.
When I was a young girl, and well into my adulthood, I frequented a cider Mill and apple orchard just miles outside of my hometown.
Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill produced ( and still produces today) some of the most delicious apple cider available. They do demonstrations and samplings of pressing cider with their very old and very beautiful cider press. In the room adjacent to the cider press, there is a small room, just big enough for a stool, and a semi-automated donut machine. There are usually two workers-one to make the donuts and one to cash people out. The machine dumps rounds of donut batter into hot oil, then flips them and removes them at the precise time. Next they are rolled in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar while still hot. The finishing touch : they put them in a small paper lunch bags…so old-fashioned and nostalgic, JUST how I like it! A big glass of cold apple cider is the perfect accompaniment.
Donuts have been around for a LONG time…they are WAY older than Vintage..even older than Victorian. It’s said that they may have been invented B.C.
However the first recording of a “Donut” or ” Doughnut” came around the early 1900′s. There are many many discrepancies about their original origin. But what I find MOST interesting is that they were first served in Drive-In theaters and movie theaters as a snack…kind of like Nacho’s today. They became so popular, that home cook’s began making them for their families, church picnics and election dinners.
They didn’t have an automated machine, but they had a “pump” whereby you filled a funnel-of-sorts 3/4 of the way with batter, (probably a yeast- raised donut batter) and then pushed down on a spring-loaded shaft to extract the donut..with a hole in the center. The reason for the whole is that the batter was so heavy originally that the outside would cook long before the inside could catch up. By placing a hole in the center, the fat was allowed to float freely through the center thus puffing it instantly.
Deciding to make these in miniature was on my list for a long time, but I wanted them to be in a bakery-style box like regular-sized Donuts. I hunted high and low for a long, thin, shallow see-thru box but couldn’t find one, so I made one
for you HERE! Use a heavier scrap-booking paper to make these boxes. If you use the heaviest cardstock for these boxes, they tend to crack on all of he edges making them unattractive. Experiment a little to see what you like best. Also: make sure to pick a very small print, dot or stripe as to keep the look to scale. Larger dots and prints take away from the look of the donuts. Since the Donuts take so long to make and decorate, I suggest making the Donuts the stars!
And as alway’s, this is a genuine Vintage Recipe from this book (below). I found it at the Methodist Church Rummage Sale just down the street from me. They have the sale twice a year. Last year I purchased a whole bag of AMAZING Vintage Christmas and special occasion Wrapping and then proceeded to walk away and leave it behind ( I had to make three trips to load my car and forgot to make the fourth trip back-argh!) I am still kicking myself.
Anywhoo, Here is the Recipe for the Donuts:
When I made these donuts I halved the recipe. After I made the dough, I separated into two balls. To the second half I kneaded in 2 ounces of melted, cooled semi-sweet chocolate ( I used morsels) .to create a chocolate Donut.
When I rolled out the dough, (because they are infinitely smaller), I only rolled the dough 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick ( Experiment to see what you like best).
To cut out the donuts, I used the larger end of a round decorating tip( #12 ) . After cutting, push the dough out using a chop stick, or blow it out like a bugle ( any germs will get blasted off after being submerged in the molten FAT anyway!( don’t do this if you are selling them over-the-counter though).
For the hole I used the small end of a round smaller decorating tip( #2A) to Make the holes larger not smaller, because these puff up a lot and if you make the holes too small, you won’t even see the hole after they fry. I also fried my donuts at 350°, but I used canola oil not melted shortening, which will work much better since it has a higher melting point than oil. Peanut oil will work well too. Use a candy thermometer to ensure you come to 350° If you don’t have a thermometer, I don’t recommend making these. An even better choice would be to purchase a Fry-Daddy® or Fry-Daddy jr®. These keep an even and consistent temp. You will save tons of time by using one.
Drop the batter into the oil three at a time, and then flip when they come to the surface ( just a few seconds) count to about six after you flip them and they should be golden and done ( see below). Drain them immediately on paper towel-lined paper grocery bags.
Make this Donut glaze recipe and then divide it between four smaller bowls. Make one glaze ( thinner and clearer for a glazed Donut look) One white ( with more confectioner’s sugar added) , one chocolate ( by stirring in 2 ounces of semisweet chocolate morsels,while still warm) For the Strawberry Donuts, I used a drop of strawberry extract and one drop of pink food coloring to the white glaze). Keep them warm and loose. Do not leave them unattended for any length of time as they will form a skin on top and the glaze will become somewhat crystallized.
Frost each Donut with your choice of glazes, dipping each one a a time and lightly shaking off the excess glaze before turning upright. ( for the glazed donut, submerge the whole donut in the warm glaze and shake off the excess).
Apply the sprinkles or toppings of your choice right after dipping ( before the glaze sets). I recommend splitting the donuts up into groups of however many toppings you choose. Choose one topping and glaze and finish all of that choice before going on to the next. Place them on parchment -lined baking sheets to set.
Let them set one half hour before packaging them in your Mini Donut Boxes.
(Make the glazes and icings beforehand and keep them in a shallow water bath to keep them fluid and shiny.)
Decide what toppings and decorations you want to use ahead of time and keep them all in separate little bowls and at the ready. Here I have them in a beautiful vintage lazy Susan I purchased from Etsy, in assorted small custard and eggs cups I have collected over time.
Making these miniature Donuts was really fun, but to be quite frank. it’s a major labor of love for sure. I learned a few valuable lessons while making these.
1. Get a Fry-Daddy©, or Fry-Daddy Jr.©. This fryer keeps the fat at an optimal, even temperature. I found it extremely difficult to keep the fat at a constant 350 degrees. And let me tell you, the small difference in the temperature of the fat can make a HUGE difference in the overall outcome of your donuts. If the oil is under 350, they seem to just sit there and soak up mass amounts of grease like a sponge. Too hot and they practically dissintegrate before your eyes leaving burned dough bits throughout your oil. Your Donuts will look like this:
2. If you try making donuts and this happens to you, DO NOT dump the oil down your drain while hot!!! Several things can happen for example: you can make the oil spatter up and burn your face if it hits water, and/or it can burn right through your pipes that lead to your septic tank ( if you have plastic PVC pipes). Simply set the oil aside to cool for 10 minutes, and then line a colander or mesh strainer with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and drain the oil to remove the dark burnt dough bits .Place the cleaned oil into a medium-sized clean pot to begin again.
3. Frying in hot oil is dangerous. I would not recommend doing this as an activity with your children.
4. Make sure there is no water in the pan before you add the oil. Make sure it’s dry and stays away from water while coming to temperature.
5. Use the heaviest-bottomed saucepan you can find. Copper in the bottom helps to conduct the heat better. I do not recommend light aluminum pans as they conduct heat too quickly and it’s harder to regulate the oil temperature; plus they tip easily ( KEEP THE HANDLE OF THE POT FACING AWAY FROM YOU AT ALL TIMES!)
6. Have some large paper bags topped with several thicknesses of paper towels over them before you begin. keep these close to your stove. These help to soak up any residual oil from the donuts after they are taken out of the hot oil.
7. Use a pair of heavy tongs to flip and remove the donuts. Only fry three at a time ( at most). They cook quickly and can overcook just as quickly. You may also use a large ladle-style draining spoon, to remove the donuts after they are cooked; the kind you use to remove veggies from boiling water-DON’T USE A PLASTIC SPOON
(or PLASTIC ANYTHING!.)
8. After putting the Donuts in to fry, ONLY wait for them to come to the surface, count to five and flip them immediately; don’t be tempted to leave them on their first side for too long. They will only take about 6 more seconds before they are cooked through. They should look like these:
- Mimi’s Attic…for me?…”Happy Hour”
- Featured in ” Where Women Cook” Autumn, 2012
- marzipan strawberries-miniature
- The Vintage Motherload!
- Miniature Croissants for Easter-Marions Vintage Bakeshop
- Miniature Cinnamon Rolls and Caramel Rolls-Marion’s Vintage Bakeshop
- Miniature Buche De Noel-Marion’s Vintage Bakeshop
- Miniature Gingerbread House-Marion’s Vintage Bakeshop
- Miniature Pumpkin Pies-Marion’s Vintage Bakeshop
- Cupcake Cereal and Nostalgia
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