APPLE CIDER YOGURT DOUGHNUTS
Is there a season for doughnuts? If they are Apple Cider Doughnuts then I say once I pull out my sweaters, I begin to crave these yummy treats. I am all about an old fashioned doughnut. It has all my favorite fall flavors and the texture is cake-like and tender. There is nothing like a warm Apple Cider Doughnut coated in a cinnamon sugar crust. Every bite melts in your mouth. Having a doughnut with a hot cup of coffee on a crisp morning is what Fall is all about.
When I told my friend I was making Apple Cider Doughnuts with yogurt she asked me if they would be healthy. “Umm, they could be” was my half attempt at an answer. The thing is, is that I don’t make doughnuts often and I don’t fry a lot of food. And for those reasons I don’t feel guilty at all for frying them up. To make sure they come out light and fluffy, keep an eye on the temperature of your oil so the doughnuts don’t get greasy or taste too heavy. I like using my cast iron skillet because it maintains a steady heat. They actually taste lighter after they’re fried but I did bake a few off and they were equally delicious.
Now let’s talk about the yogurt. It may seem like an unlikely ingredient in a doughnut but I love the tangy flavor and it adds a richness to the crumb. I used Cabot Creamery 2% Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt because the taste is luscious and creamy. The hint of vanilla bean is perfect with the warm spices in the dough. Even though we’re making doughnuts, the recipe still needs to be balanced and the bright flavor of the yogurt is a wonderful addition. It’s creamy enough without making the dough too dense.
Did you know that Cabot Creamery makes a delicious line of yogurts from their award winning dairy? The dairy products are only made with the finest ingredients. The 2% Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt is my go to for a protein-rich yogurt parfait and now it’s what I reach for to use in baking recipes. I’ve been using it in place of buttermilk or sour cream, and you will notice a subtle tanginess and beautiful cakey texture.
I also added a few more tweaks to make this doughnut extra special. In addition to the yogurt, there’s orange zest and a touch of cardamom. To intensify the apple flavor, reduce the apple cider to a syrup, fold in apple butter and crush up some freeze dried apples to add to the cinnamon sugar coating. The best part of this recipe is that the dough can be made the day before and then you will have fresh doughnuts in the morning. Doesn’t that sound like a sweet and cozy start to the day? So let's start baking!
APPLE CIDER YOGURT DONUTS
2 cups apple cider
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons Cabot Creamery unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temp
1/4 cup apple butter
zest of 1/2 orange
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 cup freeze dried apples, crushed
Stir all the ingredients together until mixed thoroughly.
Canola oil for frying
Pour the apple cider into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to a simmer and let the cider reduce to about a 1/4 cup, this will take about 15 minutes. Set the pan aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, and salt together.
Whisk the eggs, yogurt, and apple butter into the cooled apple cider until smooth.
Cream the butter, sugars and orange zest together with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy.
Alternate folding in the flour mixture with the apple cider mixture into the creamed butter mixture. Beginning and ending with the flour. Mix and stir until there are no dry spots and a smooth, thick dough is formed.
Place the dough between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment paper. Roll to about a 3/4 inch thickness and place on a baking sheet. Chill the dough overnight in the fridge.
When you are ready to fry the doughnuts, heat the canola oil in a large pot or a deep cast-iron skillet. Bring the oil up to a temp somewhere between 350-365 F. Keep an eye on the temp so it doesn't get too hot or too cold. This will ensure a light and fluffy texture.
Cut out doughnuts and doughnut holes using a cutter and begin frying 4 doughnuts at a time. Turn them after 2-3 minutes, then cook for another 2 minutes on the other side until they are a dark brown and cooked through.
Drain on a paper towel lined sheet pan and roll each doughnut generously in the cinnamon sugar. Enjoy while they are still warm!
Make the dough the night before, so you can have them for breakfast the next morning.
Fry the doughnut holes last, since they only take a few minutes.
You can reroll and cut out the the scraps.
Store leftover doughnuts in an airtight container for 2 days