Apple Cider Donuts.

So, when you go ahead and make these donuts and then fall in a subsequent food-induced Sunday brunchtime nap, just keep in mind.

I swear, I eat real food.  I just don’t have proof at the moment.

(Donuts count as a starch, right?)

Apple Cider Donuts

Adapted from the Food Network

3 baking apples, mixed, such as Gala or Granny Smith

1 cup apple cider

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

4 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

3 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups white sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ cup buttermilk

32 oz. peanut or vegetable oil for frying

1.  Chop and peel the apples.  Add to a heavy-bottomed saucepan along with the apple cider.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Lower flame to a simmer and then reduce until most of the liquid is gone and the apples are very tender and translucent, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and seat aside to cool.

2.   Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.  In the bowl of a standup mixer cream together softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Add the eggs and vanilla, beating until combined and very pale yellow in color.  While creaming the butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla, blend the buttermilk and cooked apples in a food processor or blender until completely smooth.  Slowly add the apple mixture to the butter and egg mixture, with the mixer on low.

3.  Add the flour mixture in three parts, stirring until just combined after each addition.  If mixture looks very sticky, add a tablespoon or two more of flour.  Turn dough out onto a floured surface and form into a ball.  Line a 9 by 13 inch baking sheet with wax paper, then flour.  Press the dough into the prepared pan until smooth and even, about ½ inch in thickness.  Freeze for 20 minutes or refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set.

To assemble:

2 cups white sugar

4 tablespoons cinnamon

1.  In a large metal bowl stir together sugar and cinnamon.  Line a cooling rack with brown paper bags and paper towels.  Pour all the oil into a deep, heavy-bottomed frying pan and turn heat on.  Heat oil until 350 degrees.  Remove dough from the refrigerator or freezer and cut out 2 ½ to 3 inch donuts with ½ inch donut holes cut out.  Fry donuts two or three at a time in the hot oil, about 1 ½ minutes on each side.  If donuts are browning too quickly turn oil down.  When removing donuts from hot oil, drain and then toss in the cinnamon sugar.  Place on prepared cooling rack to cool.  Donuts are best when eaten fresh.

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