Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Made Donuts

Last Wednesday, I found myself at World Market with a coupon for a free bag of coffee.  (If you’re part of their Explorers program–and I recommend it, if you shop there often–you get a free bag of coffee after buying six bags at the regular price.)  I love World Market.  Their spice and seasoning section is a great place to look for hard-to-find items like lavender and five-spice powder.  They have great sales.  And they sent me a $10 coupon for my birthday.

I knew going into the store that I had to buy something besides coffee.  Though there’s no stipulation that says this, I’m one of those ideal shoppers who feels bad just walking in and taking the free thing to which I’m completely entitled.  I worked retail for a long time.  I know how stores make money.  I know if stores don’t make money, they don’t stick around.  And, as I said, I love World Market.  I’d like to see it stick around for a good long time.  So I browsed through the food section at the back of the store until I found something that looked interesting.  That doesn’t usually take too long.  What I found this time around was a donut mix for $3.99.

Confession:  I’m not a big fan of boxed mixes for specific purposes.  The Girl had asked me to buy this mix on another trip to World Market, and I’d told her the truth:  It’s really just a cake mix.  We have cake mix at home.  But it was late on a Wednesday afternoon, and I was hungry, and the donuts on that box looked good.  Plus, I needed to buy something.  So I bought this mix from Sof’ella Gourmet Natural Foods.   And then I went home and realized there was no way I could, in good conscience, make donuts for dinner.  Which means the mix sat on my counter until today, when donuts seemed like a more reasonable proposition. 

It’s a very basic mix.  I added milk, eggs, and a little bit of melted butter to the dry ingredients.  You’ll need a donut pan (either mini or standard size–my standard donut pan makes six at a time) if you want to try these on your own; I bought my pan a few years ago, when I found a recipe for sweet potato donuts that I wanted to try.  Those particular donuts were a disappointment, but having the pan has come in handy on occasion.  Each well takes about 2 tablespoons of batter, and the Sof’ella mix made 16 donuts; each batch needed to bake about 10 minutes and cool for 5 minutes before the donuts came out of the pan.

The mix does not come with its own icing packet, so I made my own.  You can make a very basic glaze with 2 cups of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  I tinted my frosting with three or four drops of pink food coloring, but you can always skip that step–or, of course, use a different color.  (If you’re a fan of chocolate icing, you can make that with 2 ounces of chocolate, 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons of warm milk.  Melt the chocolate and butter together, stir in the powdered sugar, and add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time.)  Dip the tops of the donuts into the icing and let the excess drip back into the bowl; then, while the icing is still soft, dip them into coconut, sprinkles, chopped nuts, or whatever sounds good.  Set the donuts on a cooling rack that’s been placed on top of waxed paper.  If you’re not a fan of glazed donuts. brushing the tops with melted butter and sprinkling them with cinnamon sugar–or shaking the donuts with some powdered sugar in a zipper-top bag–would work just as well.

As boxed mixes go, this one isn’t bad.  The donuts turned out light and spongy, not as heavy as cake donuts sometimes are.  It’s a little light on the vanilla flavor, so I might add some sort of extract or spice if I make these again.  (I think orange extract and zest would make a nice complement to the understated vanilla.)  But, because I don’t make donuts all that often, the whole family was delighted with them just as they are.

Or, um, were.

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One Response to “I Made Donuts”

  1. 1

    Cyn Huddleston — January 30, 2011 @ 1:44 am

    I heart cake donuts more than the other kind. I might buy that mix next time I go there. I heart World Market even more than cake donuts and feel the same way about buying when getting a free item. (BTW my word verification was dredg, as in "dredg them donuts in frosting." I often have that kind of symmetry with Word Verification.)

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