I have had donuts on my mind. Or maybe it is just wanting to step back in time to about 30 years ago. The setting: the side kitchen at Howard’s Restaurant in Colebrook, New Hampshire. I was happily perched on a stool at the side counter sipping my orange juice that reportedly had ‘sunshine pills’ in them. I was 6, and I fiercely believed in these sunshine pills. To my right was a large, black tub filled with hot donut oil, aka lard back in those days. The woman flipping the perfectly rounded and browned donuts as they danced around the black pan? My grandmother. She was dressed in her work uniform which always included a colorful red kerchief tied around her hair. As I patiently waited for the sunshine pills to kick in, it was all I could do to stay safely on my stool. My eyes kept wandering from the big black kettle to the sheet pan beside it lined with brown paper and back again. My grandmother, realizing how much patience a 6 year old has, handed me a few piping hot donut holes for me to enjoy with that glass of oj. Such love. My young self thought this was magic. Though these donuts are no longer in my life I created a slightly healthier and spiced up version of a donut. It is baked and not fried in lard. The taste? Satisfying on the days when you want to take a trip down memory lane.
Baking donuts are sooo much easier than frying. It is a compromise…just like life. There is no yeasty dough to perfectly raise and punch down, no hot oil to contend with and they are slightly healthier. The spices involved are quickly becoming my favorite spice combination:
Dry ingredients meet wet ingredients. It all gets piped into a donut pan. You see…so easy!
This recipe is so simple and easy to make a batch on a weekend morning. I dusted them with confectioners sugar..but a glaze would be equally delicious!
Many thanks to my grandmother and for the many hours we spent together making donuts!
- 1 Cup flour
- 4-6 Tablespoons sugar (I used lemon zested sugar)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon each: freshly grated nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom
- pinch of cloves
- few cracks of freshly grated pepper
- 6 Tablespoons buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon of melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 325*. Spray a donut baking pan with nonstick spray.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, spices and salt together. In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, vanilla and melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently combine.
- Place the mixture in a piping bag. I used a large ziplock bag with the corner snipped off. Pipe the donuts out into your prepared donut pan, filling about 2/3 of the way full. I, accidentally, overfilled my pan and only made 4 donuts. Do not follow my model...unless you like large donuts.