Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Doughnuts

This may be a shock to those of you who are members of what I call "The Cupcake Brigade," those moms who seem to show up to every event with specially crafted homemade goodies, but I had never made doughnuts before. So, when my precious preschooler informed me that he had told his teachers that I would make doughnuts for the Christmas party, I was a little nervous. "Can't I buy doughnuts?" I asked him. "No, you can make doughnuts. It's super easy." I'm not sure where he got his information, but it turns out he's right!

I did a little online research and found that I could use refrigerated biscuit dough instead of cooking from scratch. Since I needed to drop him off at 9 and then magically appear at 11:30 with three dozen fresh doughnuts, I decided this was the way to go. We stopped at Walmart the day before and purchased the biscuits, as well as the frosting and sprinkles of his choosing. We also picked up some vegetable oil, which was on special. The only problem was the candy thermometers were all sold out, and neither my mom nor I had a thermometer that reached the required 375 degrees F. Luckily, that night my daughter had dance in the next town over, and their Walmart had them in stock. Score!

When I got home from dropping off my adorable, pajama-clad preschooler (they had a pajama party the last day of school), I got all my stuff together. I put a cooling rack over a paper-towel-lined cookie sheet, poured the bottle of oil into my deepest frying pan, and opened the biscuits. I basically just stuck my finger through each one to make it look like a doughnut. The hardest part was waiting patiently for the oil to reach 375 without getting impatient and turning it up too high. Once the oil was ready, I just dropped each poked biscuit in, waited for it to turn golden brown, then flipped it with tongs and browned the other side. These things are truly easy to make. Since we wanted them frosted, I had to wait for them to completely cool. Otherwise, I'd have ended up with a glazed effect. I then sprinkled on the pre-approved green sugar crystals, and I was ready to go! These end up looking so much more impressive than they should! If you're like me, a lazy mom who is not crazy about cooking, this is a surprisingly simple treat to whip up for a party, as long as you have the time to wait for the oil to get really hot. (If the oil is cooler, they will take longer to heat, absorb more oil, and end up greasier.)