Posted by: little sprout creations
March 6, 2011
Growing up, my family always made pączki (Polish jelly donuts) to celebrate Fat Tuesday. Wikipedia says that the reason for making pączki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because they were forbidden to be consumed due to Catholic fasting practices during Lent.
This year (after an awesome recipe hook-up by my stepmom), we decided to make some rainbow donuts to celebrate Fat Tuesday (and my daughter’s love for all things yummy and colorful and sprinkled.)
The original recipe is from tablespoon.com, and can be found here. These were a huge huge huge hit in our house – both to make and eat. We changed up the recipe a bit, and as always, we’ll take you through our “toddler testing” and give you some step-by-step tips and tricks.
Ingredients for Donuts
1 package rapid rise yeast
1 cup milk (we used 2%) room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 egg yolks
2 Tb sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour plus some for working the dough
vegetable oil – we used about 1/2 of a 48oz bottle
Ingredients for Glaze
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1 Tb light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
food coloring (gel is best)
1. Combine warm milk and yeast in a mixing bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add butter, egg yolks, sugar, salt, and cinnamon to liquid. Finally, add flour in, one cup at a time. Stir with a sturdy spoon until dough forms a tight ball. Knead lightly on floured surface for a few minutes until dough is soft but not sticky. You can also use a stand mixer for this step, but my toddler loves to mix and play with dough.
3. When dough is mixed well, lightly oil a large bowl and add dough. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes to an hour in a warm place. (I usually warm my oven to 100F and then shut it off.) It should double in size.
4. If you’re using an electric deep fryer like we did, you can get your oil in and start heating. You don’t need a ton of oil (ours came up about 3 inches in our deep fryer,) but be sure to check out your deep fryer’s instructions on how much to use.
5. When dough has risen, turn out onto lightly floured surface and roll out dough until it’s 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out your shapes. I had originally planned on making boring circles, but my daughter had a great idea to use a star cutter. They were perfect – I don’t know what I’d do without her. I also made some boring circles, and used a small medicine cup to cut a hole in the middle like normal boring donuts. We were able to make about 4 boring circles (and donut holes!) and 8 amazing stars.
6. If you’re NOT using an electric deep fryer, the original instructions say to “pour neutral oil in a heavy pan (cast iron or dutch oven) until the oil comes about 1.5-2 inches up the pan. That’s all you need to fry these since the donuts float. Heat the oil until it reaches 350 degrees. Use a candy/deep-fry thermometer to ensure safe temperatures.”
7. Once your oil is hot (using either method) add donuts and cook for about 30 seconds on each side until lightly browned. Note: the original recipe says 60-90 seconds per side, but that would have been way too much for ours. Try out one donut as practice to figure out how long you should be cooking yours. We cooked 3 stars at a time, and 2 boring circles at a time. I manned the very dangerously hot deep fryer while my adorable assistant kept cutting out shapes.
8. Remove donuts from oil and cool on a cooling rack (or plate) covered with paper towels.
9. Make your glaze! Melt butter in a bowl and whisk in corn syrup and milk until it’s well dissolved. Add vanilla extract. Stir in powdered sugar until glaze is thick but still pourable. After we started applying our glaze, it seemed a bit runny, so we added in more powdered sugar. The great news here is that you can’t really mess this up – just get to a consistency that works for you, and play around with it as needed. Add a few drops of food coloring and stir until you get the rainbow shades you’re looking for.
10. Paint! I set my daughter up with some paint brushes that we use for frosting cookies, and small bowls of glaze, and let her paint away. And as my daughter says, “Sprinkles are for happy.” So sprinkle away!
Our review? Amazing. As my husband said, “These are really, really good. Not just like aww-you-made-donuts-at-home good. But really really good.” I’m embarrassed as a mother to tell you how many our toddler ate, and even more embarrassed to tell you how many I ate. I guess that’s what my morning run was for. These were so fun and easy to make (15 minutes to make the dough + 30 minutes to rise (while washing dough dishes) + 30 minutes to cut and fry + 30 minutes to decorate + 15 minutes to clean up = 2 hours total.)