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Apple Cider Donuts

These are one of the best things about Vermont in the fall. At orchards, farmstands, and bake sales, you'll find a lot of different interpretations of the apple cider donut.

When I decided to master this New England classic, I was looking for three main things: crunchy, deep-fried deliciousness; strong apple cider flavor; not too sweet.

If you search for cider donut recipes, you'll find a lot of recipes for baked donuts. I am sorry, but if it's baked, it's not a donut. It's a cake. It may taste pretty good, but it's not a donut. As for the apple cider flavor, there's only one way to get that: boiled cider. Any recipe that doesn't call for boiled cider isn't going to achieve that apple flavor. And finally, a lot of the recipes I tried were much too sweet. I landed on a combination of brown and white sugar in lesser amounts and also, some cloves and cardamom in the spice mixture to complicate the flavor profile a bit. Here is my apple cider donut recipe, which is a combination of many of the more popular recipes I found. Make them as often as you can for the next few weeks or so!

Apple Cider Donuts

Mix together in a large bowl:

3 1/2 cups flour

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cardamom

½ teaspoon cloves

Mix together and then add to dry ingredients:

4 cups of fresh apple cider (not juice, cider), boiled down until it's about 1 cup

6 tablespoons melted butter

2 eggs

½ cup of buttermilk

Stir until it forms a wet, sticky dough. You can chill the dough to firm it up a bit or you can start cutting out your donuts. It's best to get them all cut out before you start trying to cook them. Put a lot of flour on your cutting board or silicon mat and form the dough into a rectangle. Put a lot more flour on top and roll it out until it's about 3/4 inch thick. Then use a donut cutter to cut out the donuts. Let them sit while you pour about three inches of vegetable oil into a pot or dutch oven and heat it to about 175 degrees F. Start lowering the donuts and donut holes carefully into the oil with a slotted spoon and allow to cook until golden brown on one side before turning and letting the other side get golden brown too. Then drain on paper towels, roll in cinnamon sugar and serve!


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