Valentine’s Day is next week! We don’t get too hyped up about this holiday in our house, but we do make a point to give a little extra lovin’, do something special for each other, extra hugs and kisses, and usually a nice dinner and bottle of wine.
Valentine’s Day is all about love. Usually we think of romantic love, or pouring extra love on our children or friends. This year, I’m focusing on lovin on ME! Self love and self care has become a trending topic lately, and for good reason. As we become busier and busier, our priorities shift, we’re just trying to make it through the day, and we often forget to love ourselves, especially parents and Mamas. I know I, for one have put myself and my needs on the bottom of my love-o-meter for a long time.
At the start of 2018, I have decided to do more of what ME happy. More of what makes me giddy, more of what makes me completely nerd out, and more of what makes me feel vibrant and groovy. We all have our own passions and interests. It’s no surprise that mine is cooking, baking, creating, and feeding people. Being a “mostly” stay at home Mom, I do a lot of cooking. But over the past few years, the “fun” in cooking had been lost. I rarely experimented with food, tried anything new or fancy, or stepped it up in the kitchen. I was cooking for the sake of feeding my family, not for fun, not for “play”.
We are nearing the end of our kitchen renovation (I can’t wait to show you!). I have so much more counter space now, and I’m seriously loving my new appliances. Playing in my kitchen has become a joy again! I am really having fun doing something that gets my heart smiling.
A new donut café, The Donut Bar, has opened in Fredericton recently, and their donuts are absolutely gorgeous. From the reviews I’ve read, they taste amazing too – but I wouldn’t know because they sell out within a couple of hours every morning. I haven’t been able to get downtown to get one yet as the thought of standing in line at 7:30 am with a toddler is less than appealing. But everyday, I wake up thinking, “oh I want one of those amazing donuts!” Then I figured – “Hey, if I can’t get downtown to buy these amazing donuts, then why not try to make them MYSELF?!”
So I did.
I made a batch, and another, and another. Sharing them with friends, family and neighbors, because there really is such a thing as too many donuts. The donuts themselves turned out really fantastic, really soft and pillowy, not too sweet, and perfect with a cup of coffee.
But what I love more than actually eating the donuts, is the fun I’m having doing it. That old adage “It’s the journey, not the destination” rings true here. I’m making a mess, filling my love cup, and sharing with friends and family. 2018 is off to a great start!
The recipe for the donuts is below. I used The Pioneer Woman’s donut recipe which you can find here. For the glaze, I added some butter for an extra yum factor. I also fried them in coconut oil instead of lard or shortening.
I played around with shapes, sprinkles and fillings too. I made a batch in the shape of hearts and filled them with vanilla pastry cream, just for fun! I think it’s safe to say though, we’ve had my fill of donuts for a while.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
The Pioneer Woman’s Donuts
- 1-1/8 cup Whole Milk
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 2-1/4 teaspoons (one package) Instant or Active Dry Yeast
- 2 Large Eggs, Lightly Meaten
- 1-1/4 stick Unsalted Butter, Melted
- 4 cups All-purpose Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- Cooking Fat (coconut oil, shortening, lard, etc.)
- 3 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1/4 cup Milk
- 1/2 stick of Butter, Melted
Make The Dough:
- Heat milk in a microwave safe bowl until warm to the touch but not scalding. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Then add the yeast and let it do its thing for about 5 minutes. It should get nice and frothy, and smell like beer. J
- Add the melted butter to the eggs, and stir to combine, then add to the bowl of your stand mixer along with the milk mixture. Give it a good stir to combine everything, then add the dough hook attachment.
- Combine the flour and salt, then with the mixer going on a low-medium speed, gradually add this to the egg and milk mixture in small increments (about a ¼ cup at a time), until fully combined. Leave it alone, don’t fuss with the bowl, but keep it going another 5 minutes while the dough comes together.
- Turn off your mixer, and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 8 hours, or overnight.
Cut The Donuts:
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until about ¼ inch thick, cut out your rounds using a donut cutter (or combination of biscuit/cookie cutters to cut the ring and hole). Re-roll the scraps until you’ve used up the dough. (I let my son play with the left over scraps and create his own donut. He thought this was awesome!
- Place the donuts and the donut holes (and your son’s donut creation) on a lightly floured baking sheet, cover in a clean kitchen towel, and let them rise in a warm place. My stove has a warming drawer, so I put them in there on the lowest warming setting with the drawer slightly open.
- Let them rest until they have doubled in height. They should look puffy and airy. This can take 30 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on how warm your space is.
Cook The Donuts:
- Heat your cooking fat (I used coconut oil) in a heavy skillet, until it reaches 375 degrees F. You should use a candy thermometer to monitor this (I didn’t, I just watched for a sizzle). You want about an inch of oil in your pan.
- One at a time to start, gently lay a donut in the hot oil, and let it cook for about a minute, then flip it over with a fork and cook another minute. Have another cookie sheet lined with paper towel to transfer the cooked donuts to and allow them to drain.
- Repeat with the remaining donuts and donut holes, adding more to the pan as you get more comfortable working with them. The donut holes will take less time to cook, be careful not to burn them.
Glaze & Decorate:
- Combine all glaze ingredients until smooth. You can add less milk if you prefer a thicker frosting.
- One at a time, dip the donuts in the glaze, flip them to make sure they are fully coated, then lay on a cooling rack set over a cookie sheet to drain the excess glaze.
- You can add sprinkles while they’re still wet if you like, or leave them as is. Either way is delish!
- These are best served warm, so gather round and enjoy! I don’t recommend putting them in the fridge as they’ll get hard, and they taste way too good fresh to let them go hard and blah.
If you try this recipe, please let me know how they turn out!