Apple cider donuts and donut holes


You know those incredibly perfect donuts you get when you go apple picking on a farm? Well, these are just as good. Enjoy them throughout the fall months! You could use any apple cider, but nothing could possibly beat Trader Joe’s Spiced Cider, which is only available for a few months each year. This recipe was inspired by this one and this one. Here’s the modified recipe:

1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup greek yogurt (nonfat)
1/4 cup skim milk
1 cup apple cider
3.5 cups AP flour, plus at least 1 cup reserved
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Cinnamon sugar for coating (~2/3 cup sugar+1/4 cup cinnamon)
Canola oil for frying

Start by pouring yourself a nice glass of apple cider. It’s so delicious, and this is the best way to kick off this recipe.

Reduce 1 cup of apple cider to 1/4 cup. It should be somewhat syrupy.
Combine the milk and greek yogurt to make a thick, creamy mixture.
Measure out your flour. Weighing it is more accurate, since flour packs differently (and therefore measures at a different volume. Stir in the rest of your dry ingredients.
Cream your shortening and sugar. Beat in the eggs. Mix in the yogurt/milk mixture and then the syrupy apple cider.
Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add additional flour until dough resembles a wet biscuit dough. You probably won’t need a full additional cup, but I had to add quite a bit.
Pour the dough onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper, coated with flour. Cover the top with flour as well. Press another piece of parchment paper on top, and move the whole thing to the freezer for approximately 15 minutes.
In the meantime, set everything up. You’ll need a floured surface for the donuts before frying, the deep fryer, paper towels for draining, and a plate full of cinnamon sugar for coating.
Roll out the dough and cut out the circles. I found that it was easiest to split the dough into two batches and keep one in the freezer. Once you have the circles, put them in the freezer again before cutting out the middles, or else you’ll end up with a lot of mush!
I used a small glass to cut the outer circle and a salt shaker lid for the inner circle. You can roll the inner circle dough out again or use it to make donut holes. I did some of each.
Put the donuts in the deep fryer basket. Mine is small and could only hold two donuts at a time.
Fry on the first side for 40 seconds at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Flip, and fry on the second side for about 30 seconds.
Drain for a few seconds.
Transfer the donuts to paper towels to pull off excess oil. Flip the donuts once to remove oil from the other side.
Coat the donuts in cinnamon sugar while they’re still warm.
Here’s the entire set up in action!
For the donut holes, you might need to adjust your cooking time.
But otherwise, treat them the same!
Enjoy!

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