MOLTEN SPICED BROWN SUGAR DONUTS
IT COLLAPSES AND MELTES TOGETHER INTO A VISCOUS DEEP BROWN GOO WHEN IT SURRENDERS TO THE WILLFUL STEAM INSIDE AN EXPANDING, FRYING BUN
As previously confessed on my Instagram (read for context), these days, I’ve been physically and mentally occupied with being a responsible dog mom. This recipe was developed to be brought to Sesame and SRB’s playgroup – as one is required to do when one’s children are the least well-behaved amongst their peers – to maintain an illusion of their waning popularity and postpone the likely inevitable timing when they get officially kicked out. When the stake is this high, mom goes to town.
So I’m proposing these fluffy yet chewy donuts stuffed with dark brown sugar that is formerly massaged with honey, vanilla extract, sea salt and spices until all parties clumped into a lustful wet sand, which then fatefully collapses and melts together into a viscous deep brown goo when it surrenders to the willful steam inside an expanding, frying bun. It’s needless to describe to you how the molasses-y sweetness that’s brought into focus by a hint of cardamon, cinnamon and sea salt, oozes slowly out of a warm pillow, and how narrow of a window they will remain in their best possible state shortly after they came warm out of the fryer. And so as my respect for these donuts demands, I seized and honored the moment and as a result, none of them had made it to fulfill their original intended purpose. I’m not explaining anything but just saying.
Well, empty handed but still gotta go. I’ll see you around.
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- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour, or cake flour if you like less chewy donuts
- 1 1/2 tbsp (18 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp (105 grams) whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp (5 grams) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (105 grams) dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp (20 grams) honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- heaping 1/2 tsp flakey sea salt
- scant 1/8 tsp ground cardamon
- scant 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- In a stand-mixer with dough-hook, mix flour, granulated sugar, instant dry yeast, salt, whole milk and egg. Knead on low speed for 2 minutes until a dough forms, then add the unsalted butter and continue kneading on low speed for 10 minutes. The dough will be smooth and sticking a bit to the sides and bottom of the bowl. Scape the bowl and cover with plastic-wrap and let rise at room-temperature for 1 to 1:30 hour until doubled.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mash together dark brown sugar, honey, vanilla extract, sea salt, ground cardamon and cinnamon until the mixture is even and resembles wet sand.
- When the dough is ready, transfer it onto a floured surface and divide into 7 equal portions. Shape each portion into a small ball, then flatten it with your hands into a thick disk. Place about 1 heaping tbsp of dark brown sugar filling in the center, then close it up and tightly pinch to seal. Gently roll it into a thick disk again with a rolling pin, and repeat with the rest. Place all the filled dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet, seam-side down, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise again at room-temperature for 1 to 1:30 hour until doubled again. When you gently dent the dough with your finger, the dent stays in place and does not bounce back, the dough is ready.
- Add enough canola oil into the frying pot until it reaches at least 2" (5 cm) deep. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 325 F/165 C, or until it bubbles up immediately around an inserted wooden chopstick. Maintain the frying oil at this temperature throughout the cooking process by adjusting the flame. Now gently lower the donuts into the frying oil without crowding the pot. Once the first side is golden browned, about 1 plus minute, flip them and fry the second side until golden browned as well. If the donut is browning too fast, lower the heat.
- Drain the donuts on a cooling rack until just warm to the touch. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy while they are warm.