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The traditions my family still practice take me back to the winters of my childhood.
One tradition I started this year: an advent calendar! Helen has been loving opening a new envelope each day. I filled it with tiny gifts and activity cards.
We have been enjoying Starbucks beans lately – I’ve been experimenting with the proper ratios of water to make espresso in the French press. I’m still learning, but it’s a fun process.
Yes, I allow Helen to drink coffee. But rest assured, it is the tiniest amount. And since I make my coffee at home, I know exactly what goes into the cup. I think she loves feeling grown-up like mommy with a cup of coffee all her own.
I opted for a traditional yeast dough, and I was not disappointed.
By the way, here’s a tip for shopping at Target during the holidays: do your shopping during the week if possible! It can get a bit crowded on the weekend. Of course, I often opt to go shopping when Reuben can come and help with Helen, so we brave the weekend crowds!
Get a $5 Starbucks Card e-gift when you purchase 3 or more qualifying Starbucks products.
What are some of the traditions that you and your family keep?
For the doughnuts:
- 1/2 cup warm water (no more than 115 degrees)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup cream, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon unrefined salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg + 1 yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour + extra for adjustments and dusting work surface
- 4 cups coconut oil, for frying
For the chai-spiced sugar:
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
To make the doughnuts:
Place the warm water, yeast, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Whisk and set aside for about 5-10 minutes to get foamy.
Add the rest of the sugar, cream, salt, butter, egg + yolk, vanilla, and half of the flour. Using the whisk attachment, whisk until smooth. Switch to the dough hook. With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining flour. Add additional flour if needed to create a dough that’s a bit sticky/tacky (dough shouldn’t stick to your finger).
Place dough in a buttered bowl (turning once), cover with a clean dish towel, and set in a warm spot of your kitchen to rise, about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled.
Gently punch the dough down and place on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Roll dough out to a bit under 1/2-inch thick. Using two biscuit/round cutters (or a doughnut cutter), stamp out doughnuts. Transfer to a separate sheet of parchment paper that has been lightly floured. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-40 minutes.
To make the chai-spiced sugar:
In a shallow bowl or dish, whisk together all of the ingredients for the spiced sugar.
To fry the doughnuts:
Place the coconut oil in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan (you could also use a cast iron pan). Insert a candy thermometer and turn the heat on medium.
When the oil reaches 360 degrees F, do a test-run with an ugly doughnut. It should only take a minute or two for the doughnut to get golden brown on one side. Flip and cook until the other side is golden as well. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts and holes. Watch to make sure the oil stays around 350-360 degrees F.
When the doughnuts are done cooking, remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Cool slightly and dip both sides in the spiced sugar.
Serve with a cup of coffee or cold milk.