The thing about donuts is that they are only really good right out of the frying pan--any time after that they are just ok--not bad--but just not as good. I mean, a few hours and maybe beyond they are still good but day old donuts don't have the pizazz that fresh ones embody. I've learned that the hard way because...well...I went a little donut crazy this past weekend. I made something like 30+ donuts of three different ilks (fyi--I'm not illustrating my pretension by using that word. I do a lot of crosswords (NYT Monday ones only--I can't get very far on any other days...) and that word has been popping up a lot lately so when I was writing that sentence it came very naturally. I swear!).
Anyway, back to the donuts. I think that donuts are some of the coolest things to make. Also, I had this grand idea of making three different donut recipes and then bringing them into work on Monday and being lauded for my mad baking skills. And when I made each of the donuts and iced them and tested (gorged) them I was like--oh yeah, oh wow now that's a beautiful thing. I felt like master of the donut universe! But the next day I went back to test one more and I was like....WHAT. THE. FRACK. I mean--like I mentioned before--they are ok the next day but the shock and awe from the previously tested (scarfed) ones was all but a dream and a memory. It was sad.
Even sadder because I had to bring them into work and I felt that at that point they were stale. Alas, I brought them in and luckily people did eat them. All of them. So I guess they liked them enough--although I do have images of them bringing a donut back to their desks, biting into one and tossing it into the trash because there faces were overcome with distaste for the dry bricks I just served them. But that probably didn't happen. I'm sure it didn't. No way. Uh uh. Oh well. I just wish they could have experienced my donuts fresh out of the frying oil. Nevertheless, now I know. And next time they will. I mean everyone should get a chance to experience those because fresh donuts are tantalizing and can like...like melt in your mouth and stuff.
How I went about it:
Chocolate Brioche Donuts:
I used this recipe from Hummingbird High (Seeing these is actually what spawned my donut making idea for this past weekend--that and I had a lot of leftover apple cider and pumpkin puree)
For the chocolate icing I used this recipe. It's really really good...
Apple Cider Donuts:
I used Smitten Kitchen's apple cider donuts recipe.
And for the salted caramel icing I used this. I realize that there is also an apple cider donut recipe on this food blog as well which I used once before and they tasted good but I wanted to try using Smitten Kitchen's this time. One note about making cake donuts: use a lot of flour and make sure your donuts are thoroughly chilled before handling them or else it's gonna get real messy...and sticky.
Pumpkin Baked Cake Donuts:
I used King Aurthur Flour's recipe.
....And finally for the brown butter icing I went to Joy the Baker's recipe. Splendid.