Donuts are a weekend treat for most of us but if you’ve always had commercial chocolate donuts and haven’t enjoyed the homemade kind you are missing out on one of the best things known to man.
When I think of guilty pleasures on of the top things on the list is always donuts dipped in hot coffee. The weird thing is that there are lots of flavors that I like much better but there is an addictive quality to donuts and coffee that has as much to do with memory associations as it does with flavor.
I grew up in the 1960s – a time when life was so much easier in so many ways. One of my favorite things about Saturdays was that it was my day to run errands with my dad. We’d eat cereal for breakfast (me Cap’n Crunch – him cornflakes with bananas always) and then head out to the hardware store, the plant store, and even sometimes his office in downtown Philadelphia that was so high up he teased me that he could see our house from his window.
Once in awhile we’d forgo the cereal and stop in to a diner. It was all chrome, and twirly stools with red tops, and tired looking waitresses that cracked gum and flirted with my dad. Best of all, there were stacks of fresh donuts sheltered under glass domes on the counter. We’d get some and I had the privilege of dipping into his coffee. Back then kids didn’t drink coffee – it was in the realm of adults-only. Getting to ingest a few coffee molecules with my chocolate donut was nothing short of an adrenalin rush from the pure edginess of it.
This is my favorite recipe for chocolate donuts. The buttermilk adds a lot of flavor but also keeps the donuts tender. The chocolate hardens perfectly.
Tips for Perfect Donuts
- Keep the dough as sticky as possible. Adding too much flour will make them tough.
- Cut the dough straight down without twisting the cutter. twisting seals the sides and the donuts won’t rise well.
- Use clean oil. Change the oil in your fryer frequently.
- I like peanut oil the best.
- Never overload the fryer. You can do four or five at a time.
- Flip the donuts as they hit the top.
- Donuts are best eaten right away.
- Freeze, unglazed, for longest storage (about 6 months)
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I use an electric fryer. It makes it much easier to control the temperature for perfect donuts every time. The one I use is (affiliate link) the Presto 05466 Stainless Steel Dual Basket Pro Fry Immersion Element Deep Fryer. It has 2 baskets so you can fry 2 different things at the same time and it keeps the heat even .
Make some memories with your kids this weekend – chocolate donuts and coffee. It’s not just about the food. 🙂
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- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup melted butter, cooled
- 5 1/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Peanut oil for frying, or your favorite
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder, or your favorite brand
- 1/3 cup hot, or water, strong coffee
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- Combine the eggs, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, and butter in a bowl.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Mix the dry ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms.
- Cover and chill for at least three hours or up to 4 days.
- Turn chilled dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Preheat oil to 365F.
- Gently roll the dough to 1/2 inch thickness.
- Cut with a floured donut cutter.
- Fry about four at a time in the hot oil until they are golden brown.
- Dip in the chocolate glaze while they are still hot.
- Mix the Confectioners’ and cocoa powder.
- Add the coffee and vanilla and stir until smooth.
- Add more coffee as needed to get the right consistency.
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