Monday, January 07, 2013

Holiday Parties Galore: Mojito Doughnuts

Now that it's January and I'm looking back at the holiday season, I'm still convinced that work holiday parties are horrible.  It's not that I don't have friends at work, it's that either I've got work that needs to get done and I don't have time to waste or I usually hang out with my friends at work while we're at work and I don't need to do that with hundreds of other people as well.  I'm a total Scrooge and there will not be a Tiny Tim coming by to change that anytime soon.

By the time I got to the last holiday party in the Week Of Seven Holiday Parties, I was clearly in need of something alcoholic.  So why not make something sweet and boozy?  I've forgotten exactly what combination of words I put into google to find this recipe, but I'm sure that it included "yummy", "alcoholic", "sweet", and "doughnut".  Mojito doughnuts!  What a perfect and brilliant idea.

Of course, there were several setbacks, including my lack of a doughnut pan and the fact that one of my old roommates had a serious drug and alcohol problem and had secretly stolen all of my cooking booze (except the arak - even alcoholics won't drink the arak).  So I bought rum and with its help constructed a doughnut pan out of tin foil and a muffin tin.

Between the rum and the rest of the week, I was at the point where I didn't care if the recipe worked or not.  That's why it turned out to be one of the best recipes I'd made in 2012: recipes only work perfectly when you don't care anymore.  Martha Stewart should do a show about this phenomenon.

What's a slightly drunk girl with no doughnut pan going to do when she tries to bake doughnuts?  Construct one!  I just expected that it wasn't going to work and I would have oddly shaped, solid doughnuts, but it actually worked like a charm.  Who knew?  Definitely not me.

To cook doughnuts, you can either fry or bake them.   Most people fry them (even wikipedia lists frying as the way to make doughnuts) but baked doughnuts are becoming more popular.  They have a lighter texture than fried doughnuts because there's less fat.  Fried doughnuts are made from a yeast-based dough that rises once, then the doughnuts are cut out, and then it rises again before being fried.  Baked doughnuts aren't as complicated because they can rise in the oven while they're being baked.  You can use dough recipes that don't have any yeast at all.  You just need a pan that will hold the doughnuts in the right shape.
A real doughnut pan: King Arthur's doughnut pan is the best one out there.
My attempt at faking a doughnut pan: wrap tin foil up to make a column, then split the bottom into three sections to make a stable base.

I put a tin foil column in each well of a muffin tin to fake the shape of the doughnuts.  The weight of the raw dough held the base of the column in place and the dough rose around the columns as the doughnuts baked.  It was easy to get the columns out afterwards since the base was at the bottom of each doughnut when they were taken out of the pan.  The columns were skinny enough that the the doughnut holes were small but that didn't affect the baking time.

Tips: This recipe is supposed to make 12 regular sized doughnuts (or 2 doughnut pans).  I ended up with about 16 smaller doughnuts.

The dough will rise quite a bit, so you don't want to fill the muffin tins to the top, only about one-third to halfway.

I added a small amount of vanilla extract to the milk before I cooked it with the egg and the rum.

Make sure to beat the egg thoroughly with the milk to mix the whites and yolk together when you cook it.

This dough is thick and not runny, so you will need to smooth it into place in the doughnut pan.  Don't worry about making the top of the doughnuts smooth.  They will become more uniform as they bake and rise.

The recipe calls for dried mint but it tastes much better with chopped up fresh mint.  You can get small bundles of mint in the fresh herbs part of the produce section at any grocery store - it's a standard ingredient.

I made the glaze while the doughnuts were baking to save time, but then I had to wait for the doughnuts to cool down so the glaze wouldn't melt on them.  You will need about 20 minutes for the doughnuts to cool off and about 2-3 hours for the glaze to dry.  I took them with wet glaze to the party and nobody complained, but they were very sticky to eat. 

Put the doughnuts on your (clean) broiling pan and either dip them in the glaze or use a spoon to pour the glaze over the doughnuts.  You will definitely need some kind of rack with a lower tray or plate to catch the excess glaze as it drips.

The glaze will eventually dry to be white after a couple of hours and looks very nice with the small bits of mint in it.  

Mojito Doughnuts


For the doughnuts:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon rum
1 whole egg
3 tablespoons butter, softened

For the glaze:
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon dried mint

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a small saucepan bring together the milk, rum, egg, and butter.  Cook over medium-heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until the butter melts, about one to two minutes.  Remove from heat and add the milk mixture into the flour mixture; mix until combined.

Grease a doughnut pan with cooking spray (or construct your own doughnut pan and grease it).  Using a large tablespoon, spoon the doughnut mixture into the pan.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove and immediately invert the pan onto a cooling rack.

While the doughnuts are cooling, begin to work on the glaze.  Place the milk, lime juice, and powdered sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium-heat, stirring constantly just until combined and no lumps appear.  Remove from heat and set the saucepan over a bowl filled with hot water.  Stir in the dried mint.

Dip the doughnuts into the glaze, one at a time, and set on a rack, glaze side up. Put a baking sheet underneath the rack because some of that glaze will drip off.

The dry ingredients.

The dough is quite firm and I had to smooth it out with a spoon in the tray.

Somebody decided that this was the perfect time to throw a temper tantrum and fling his food around the kitchen.

I zested the limes straight into the pot as the butter was melting for the glaze.

The glaze is completely liquid so you will need to pour it over the doughnuts.

Glazed doughnuts.  The holes are pretty small, and some are off center.

1 comment:

  1. Yum, Yum, Yum - boozy doughnuts you can't go wrong. And I totally agree about when you don't care they turn out better.