January is typically the month when we forsake the rich, unhealthy, fabulous foods of the holidays and make an effort to eat healthier. However, as you well know, I am not typical. This is why, on a ridiculously cold morning, I busted out The Cupcake Cafe cookbook and made doughnuts. I know, it seems odd to find a recipe for doughnuts, muffins and scones in a cookbook from a cafe renowned for its cupcakes, but trust me, these are delicious and simple to make.
Long Island Crullers
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs plus 1 extra yolk
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 ounces butter melted (1/4 cup)
1 cup milk
Sift together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Beat together the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar. Add the vanilla, melted butter, and milk.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up and make handling easier.
When the dough is not too soft or sticky, it is ready to roll out on a floured board. Roll the dough to 3/4 to 1 inch thick and cut rings using a doughnut cutter or two biscuit cutters – first a larger one (about 3 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter), then, inside that, a smaller one (about 1 1/4 inches).
Meanwhile you can be gradually heating up your shortening (roughly 3/4 pound solid vegetable shortening per quart fryer capacity) to about 365°F – not beyond! Fry four or five doughnuts at a time for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove with a long-handled slotted spoon or spatula and place on absorbent paper (such as paper towels) to drain. Continue until all the dough is fried.
If desired, dust with powdered sugar or cinnamon & sugar (but it isn’t really needed as they are perfect plain). Devour quickly.