Saturday, April 19, 2008

Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts

I have always loved doughnuts. How can you beat sugar or icing topped deep-fried dough? I love all kinds of doughnuts – honey glazed, crullers, Long Johns, double chocolate, apple fritters, jelly-filled, doughnut holes – I could go on. Once or twice a year in elementary school we had “Texas Donut Day” where we could buy huge (hence Texas) doughnuts during recess. Thinking back on it, I’m not sure why the school was pedalling super-sized snacks. Was it an honorable fundraising scheme or did one of the teachers have shares in a doughnut company?

In the days before Tim Hortons, we went to the Country Style Donut shop on Saturday afternoons. I dreamed of being the proprietor – eating and selling doughnuts in equal quantities. As practice for my business venture, I tried making doughnuts one day after school. Luckily my mom came home before I started frying!

Since that time I’ve come to look at doughnuts as oil-soaked artery cloggers. I rarely purchase them, and when I do, I feel rather guilty. However, my deep affection for fried dough has never waned. It was recently rekindled by my friend Jason, who told me about an easy way to make doughnuts. The act of home frying was real work, which made me feel entitled to consume some of my products without guilt.

The origin of the doughnut is disputed. Most evidence points to its introduction by Dutch settlers, whose deep-fried dough carried the moniker olykoeks (oily cakes), though some contend that Native American frybread is the true precursor. Regardless, appreciation of fried dough is common to many societies in China, India, Europe and the Middle East.

Makes 8 doughnuts


3-4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
Pillsbury Grands or other pre-made canned biscuits (do not use buttermilk biscuits)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
boiling water
shredded coconut, chopped nuts or sprinkles (optional)

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a home fryer or deep pot (do not use a not-stick pan as the coating may degrade). The oil should be about 3 inches deep.
2. Open the biscuits and lay flat on waxed paper.
3. With a small bottle cap, punch out a hole in each biscuit. Use your fingers to increase the hole if necessary.
4. When oil is at 375F, fry doughnuts until golden brown (about two minutes on each side). If you don’t know how hot the oil is, test it with one of the doughnut holes. The dough should fry to golden brown. If the oil is too hot, it will become dark brown. The canned biscuit dough is different from regular doughnut dough so it will fry to a deeper color. You may have to sacrifice a full doughnut to make sure you have your oil at the right temperature.
5. Drain doughnuts on paper towels. Pat to remove excess oil.
6. In a wide and shallow bowl or plate, melt chocolate and butter in the microwave. Add confectioner’s sugar to make a glaze. Carefully add boiling water until the correct consistency is reached.
7. Using tongs or your fingers, dip the doughnuts in the glaze. Sprinkle with coconut, nuts or sprinkles if desired. Allow glaze to harden and serve warm or at room temperature. Doughnuts taste best on the day they are made. Note that the unfried biscuit dough cannot be saved once the can is open, so bake into biscuits if you can’t consume 8 doughnuts.


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Anonymous said...

They look amazing, and I don't even like doughnuts! I love that they are made with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate -- I think I might actually like these.

-- Preets

Anonymous said...

Pre-canned biscuits? Aly, you’re cheating!