By Tali Simon | December 10, 2012
Soft little cakey chocolate donuts ensconced in a sweet shell of glaze. No greasy residue from the frying. A batter made of pantry items that doesn’t even involve yeast. Highly addictive. And — ready for this? — they are better than Dunkin Donuts.
Like I said, they’re perfect.
It’s not that I think the stuff sold at Dunkin Donuts chains is the be-all and end-all, but it still always catches me by surprise when I realize that I can replicate the “real thing” in my own home. Of course, when you think about it, it’s what I make at home that’s the real thing.
These were kind of messy. That’s real, too.
As is the fact that you don’t have to waste a second wondering if it’s worth it. Because of course it is. Worth the mess? Yes? Worth the calories? Yes, yes. Although because they’re innocent little donut holes and not big huge fat donuts the size of your head, you can totally stop at one with your pride intact.
But then you might want to wait until there’s only one left to try. Otherwise, that’ll never work. Never never.
Donuts aren’t even my favorite sweet thing — that would be (as I’ve mentioned once or twice) iced coffee. Which, incidentally, would go beautifully with a handful of these little guys. Huh.
While we’re talking, I should let you in on a little secret.
I made these without a candy thermometer. Yep.
It was risky, to fry without really knowing the temperature of my oil. But I’ve done that a few times and I was fairly certain I could make it work here, too.
I heated about an inch of oil for something like three minutes. Hoping for the best, I test-fried one donut hole for two minutes on the clock. Once I had fished it out of the pot and let it cool for a minute, I cut it in half to see whether the inside looked (a) cooked and (b) delicious.
It earned modest marks on both counts.
Keeping the heat on low, I moved the pot to another burner to let the oil’s temperature come down slightly as I moved another two test donut holes inside it. Back to the heat, another two minutes of frying, and another round of slicing them open to peer at (and then taste) their insides. This time, I was satisfied.
So I had a little system going: Move the pot off the heat for 30-60 seconds while I transferred the next batch (I fried in groups of three) inside, then put it back on the heat for exactly two minutes of frying. Those two minutes were interspersed with frequently flipping the donut holes over and back with a (long-handled) slotted spoon. Then move the pot to the side to transfer them to napkins for draining (no paper towels in the house). And…repeat!
So. The moral of the story is that you should probably just stick to using a candy thermometer and eliminate the guesswork.
But the other moral of the story is that if even without the thermometer, I can create moist chocolate donut holes…then so can you.
* Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the printable recipe! *
One year ago: Baby bow-tie tuna bake
Welcome to our first Chanukah Blog Party, hosted by Leah of Cook Kosher and Miriam of Overtime Cook. It’s traditional on Chanukah to eat fried foods, most notably donuts and latkes, and we’ve got a fabulous array of Chanukah-themed recipes and crafts from Jewish bloggers all over the world! Scroll down to browse the 42 recipes!
But first — to help get everyone into party mode, we’re giving away six fabulous cookbooks:
- 2 copies of Susie Fishbein’s new Kosher By Design Cooking Coach
(sponsored by Artscroll)
- 2 copies of Leah Schapira’s Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking
(sponsored by Artscroll)
- 2 copies of Esther Deutch’s CHIC Made Simple
(sponsored by the author)
Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday, Dec. 16. Limit one entry per person per blog, so visit the other blogs for extra chances to win! Prizes can only be shipped within the U.S. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address in order to qualify. Want to participate in future Jewish holiday blog parties? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready to enter? Leave a comment on this post that answers this question: What is your favorite Chanukah indulgence?
And now for the party food…
- Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki
- Daniel from Peikes Cookbook made Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce
- Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes
- Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin
- Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes
- Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes
- Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can’t Believe They’re Crispy!) Baked Latkes
- Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes
- Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes
- Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes
Donuts & Other Desserts:
- Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling
- Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts
- Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters
- Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns
- Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt
- Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake
- Tali from More Quiche, Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes
- Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
- Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc
- Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets
- Gigi from Gigi’s Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts
- Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs
- Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls
- Shoshana from Couldn’t Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate
- Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp
- Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies
- Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets
- Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
- Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts
- Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog Cream Filled Mini Sufganiot
- Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce
- Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake
- Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies
Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks & Other Chanukah Foods:
- Yosef from This American Bite made Garlic, Za’atar, and Olive Oil Stovetop Popcorn
- Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce
- Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini
- G6 from Guess Who’s Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup
- Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup
- Jennifer from Juanita’s Cocina made Kugel
- Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff, Roll!
- Shelley from The Kosher Home made Hanukkah Crafts and Printables
Tweaked from How Sweet It Is
Yield: 40 Dunkin Donut-sized donut holes
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup unsalted butter (or margarine), melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- canola oil, for frying
- 3½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 5 Tbsp + 1 tsp milk (or water)
1. In a large bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Add the wet mixture to the dry one and stir until there are no dry spots.
3. Place a sheet of parchment paper on the table and fill it with rows of dough balls about half the size of a golf ball (they’ll expand during frying). I found this step easiest when I lightly oiled my hands after rolling every eight or so donut holes.
4. Pour about an inch of canola oil into a saucepan and heat to 350 F/180 C. A candy thermometer would be an excellent idea. (Other recipes will tell you to use more oil, but I found this amount was fine.) Transfer donut holes to the oil with a slotted spoon, about three at a time, and fry for two minutes. Flip them over back and forth continually throughout the frying to make sure they get cooked evenly. Transfer them to a waiting paper towel bed and let cool completely.
4. Mix up the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk until a glaze forms. Immerse each donut hole in the glaze (one at a time), poking it around with a spoon to coat all sides.* Transfer it to a cooling rack with a sheet of parchment paper underneath (this makes it easier to scrape the drippings if needed) and let sit until the glaze hardens. Repeat. You will want to try them right away, but they’re actually better the next morning. And even the morning after that.
*Tip: If you run out of glaze, move the cooling rack to the side and recycle the drippings. I did this multiple times.
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