Do you have a favorite family tradition from when you were little? I think that both of my brothers would agree with me that one of our all time favorite family traditions was making homemade doughnuts on the first snow day of the year. Of course, back in the 70s, they were deep fried, like everything else was back then, but oh, they were so good! I’m not sure how many we ate in one day, but it was a once a year tradition, so I’m guessing our Mom turned a blind eye when we snuck back for more.
I don’t know when or why the tradition stopped. At some point, I guess my brothers and I started sleeping in rather than getting up to make doughnuts. I do know that ever since I’ve had children, I have awaken on snow days thinking back to those fun times in the kitchen with Scott, Michael, and Mom. I can still picture us huddled around the kitchen counter taking turns putting in the ingredients and mixing the batter. After they were baked, we dropped them into powdered sugar for the boys and sugar-cinnamon mix for me. Sometimes I feel like I can taste them. No doughnuts from any chain bakery could ever compare.
Today is our school’s first snow day of the year, and guess what my mother gave all of us for Christmas this year? She gave us a pan for making baked doughnuts and a recipe to follow. She says she has tested it out, and while they’re not the same as the good old fried ones we used to make, they are pretty darn delicious. I don’t know how they taste, but I do know that my youngest daughter, Morgan, is having a lot of fun at the moment frosting them with homemade icing and topping them with sprinkles. So if you don’t mind, I think I will sign off for the week and have myself a doughnut. What snow day tradition will you continue or re-establish this year?
Snowy Day Donuts (Fried)
4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
1½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 large egg
1 tbsp honey
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour milk
1½ tsp melted butter or shortening. Need vegetable oil for frying.
Mix flour, tartar, salt, soda, spices. Beat egg; add honey, sugar, sour milk and butter. Add dry ingredients a little at a time to egg mix.
Roll out dough ¼ in thick and cut with donut cutter.
Fill frying pan with oil to ½ to 2/3 full. Oil should be 375° temp (use candy thermometer to test temp). Drop donuts in pan and fry till brown on one side. Turn with fork. Drain and roll in cinnamon/granulated or 10x sugar. Serve warm.
Cake Donuts (Baked)
FOR USE WITH A DONUT BAKING PAN
2 cups flour
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup buttermilk (reg milk with teaspoon vinegar)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
TOPPINGS: 10x powdered sugar, chocolate frosting
Preheat oven to 425. Spray pan with cooking spray.
Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Add buttermilk, eggs and butter. Beat till just combined. Fill each donut cup approximately 2/3 full.
Bake 7-9 minutes or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan for 4-5 minutes removing.
ICING or TOPPING:
Put 2/3 cup of 10x sugar in a baggie. Put donut in and shake till coated.
Cinnamon: 2 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons melted butter
Coat donuts with the mixture above
White or Chocolate glaze: ½ cup choc or white chips, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons corn syrup, 1-2 tablespoons hot water. Microwave chips, butter, corn syrup till chips melt and you can stir and mix. Add teaspoon hot water if too thick. Stir to spreadable consistency. Could add colored sprinkles, etc.
Amy Schisler is an author of mystery and suspense novels. Her first book, A Place to Call Home may be purchased in stores, online, and through ibooks. Her previously published children’s book, Crabbing With Granddad may be purchased in stores and on Amazon. http://amyschislerauthor.com/amyschislerauthor.com/Books.html