Apple Cider Doughnuts with Cinnamon and Sugar

Eating a homemade doughnut should be an event. Making them is a production and these little beauties don't deserved to be gobbled absent-mindedly with gulps of coffee and the morning paper. Carefully construct your doughnut party with the perfect backdrop, supporting actors, lighting and stellar soundtrack.

I recommend a combination of:

- Cozy knit sweaters, leggings and boots, maybe there is an infinity scarf involved.
- Crisp and breezy fall morning.
- Coffee. Black. or Hot Cider.
- Preferably an apple orchard or pumpkin patch or something of the like.
- Someone sweet to hold your hand.
- Dusty yellow, bright red and every shade of orange leaves, falling and on the ground.
- Halloween costume plotting.

What to avoid during your doughnut party:

- Too shallow pans and too smoky tiny kitchens.
- Laptop cord tripping.
- Highly eclectic soundtrack added by ambulances and cars picking up metro riders.
- Squirrels who munch through pumpkins.
- ITunes playlist interrogation.
- PTSD from ManSoap purchasing.
- Drag queen wig shopping and online Philadelphia tow payments.

Sometimes I imagine how my day, or weekend or life will be. Then I realize, as it is happening, that nothing is how I though it would be - and that is okay. I don't live in a fairytale and I haven't figured out how to illegally download all the outfits from my pintrest board and Deb from smitten kitchen is waaaaaaayyyy better at making donuts then me. Even though, mine were pretty darn good if I do say so myself. Embrace the mess and share these with everyone you love.

Apple Cider Doughnuts
Adapted almost exactly from
Smitten Kitchen

Makes 18 doughnuts + 18 doughnut holes

1 cup apple cider
3 1/2 cups Brown Rice Flour (Plus extra for sprinkling)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
Vegetable oil or shortening for frying

Cinnamon sugar (1 cup granulated sugar + 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon)

Make the doughnuts: In a saucepan over medium or medium-low heat, gently reduce the apple cider to about 1/4 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside. Using an electric mixer on medium speed (with the paddle attachment, if using a standing mixer) beat the butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat until the eggs are completely incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the reduced apple cider and the buttermilk, mixing just until combined. Add the flour mixture and continue to mix just until the dough comes together. Line two baking sheets with parchment or wax paper and sprinkle them generously with flour. Turn the dough onto one of the sheets and sprinkle the top with flour. Flatten the dough with your hands until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use more flour if the dough is still wet. Transfer the dough to the freezer until it is slightly hardened, about 20 minutes. Pull the dough out of the freezer.

Use a round cutter for the outer shape and a smaller round cutter for the hole. Place the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto the second sheet pan. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes. Add enough oil or shortening to a deep-sided pan to measure a depth of about 3 inches. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 350°F*. Have ready a plate lined with several thicknesses of paper towels. Blend together cinnamon and sugar for the topping. 

Fry and top the doughnuts: Carefully add a few doughnuts to the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan, and fry until golden brown, about 60 seconds. Turn the doughnuts over and fry until the other side is golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Drain on paper towels for a minute after the doughnuts are fried. Dip the top of the warm doughnuts into the glaze or cinnamon sugar mixture (if using) and serve immediately.

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