Showing posts with label doughnuts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label doughnuts. Show all posts

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Beignets #Recipe @PegCochran

This week a lot of mystery writers are attending Bouchercon--an annual mystery writer/editor/agent/publisher conference.  It's being held in New Orleans and my Facebook feed is filled with people talking about beignets, eating beignets and pictures of beignets.

What are beignets?  They are a sort of fried doughnut and a specialty of New Orleans--no visit is complete without at least one!  The best place to get them is at the Cafe du Monde which is always crowded with people drinking coffee and eating beignets.  

Since I didn't get to go to Bouchercon (although I did make my fourth trip to New Orleans in June), when I happened upon this beignet mix in the grocery store, I decided to make my own!

I know it's cheating to use a mix...but the real challenge is in rolling these out and frying them...and waiting long enough for them to cool so you don't burn your mouth when you eat them!

So...start with a box of Cafe du Monde beignet mix (available by mail order).  Add water.

Put a good bit of flour on your counter and roll out your dough to about 1/8 inch thick.  I found it was a little sticky but by dusting with flour, it was fine.  (I did divide the recipe because if I'd made the entire recipe we'd be eating way too many beignets!

Cut dough into squares--more or less.  Mine weren't even but they still worked and still tasted good!  One cup of mix made about a dozen beignets.

  Heat a couple of inches of oil in a pan to 370 degrees (use a thermometer to check your temp--it took a lot longer to heat up than I expected.)

 Drop two or three squares of dough into the hot oil--I found using a metal spatula to get them off the counter worked best.  My squares sometimes stretched out to unusual shapes but that didn't in any way affect the deliciousness of the beignets!

When the beignets have risen to the top and turned golden brown on both sides, remove from the hot oil.  Dust with powdered sugar while still warm.  You can't eat the beignets at Cafe du Monde without coming away awash in powdered sugar so don't hold back!

I started out using my powdered sugar shaker and finally resorted to pouring powdered sugar into a mesh strainer.  You want PLENTY of sugar!

 They are so, so good!




And for your reading pleasure...No Farm, No Foul is now available!


On her blog, The Farmer’s Daughter, Shelby McDonald is growing her audience as she posts recipes, gardening tips, and her experiences raising two kids and running Love Blossom Farm in the small western Michigan town of Lovett.

Working the farm is demanding but peaceful—until that peace is shattered when the minister’s wife is murdered on Shelby’s property during a fund-raiser for a local church. But the manure really hits the fan when Shelby’s good friend veterinarian Kelly Thacker emerges as the prime suspect. Shelby decides to dig in and find the murderer by herself. As more suspects crop up, she’ll have to move fast—before someone else buys the farm. . . .

Monday, February 15, 2016

Jam-Filled Doughnuts

The other day, my mother ever-so-subtly reminded me that it's Fasching time in Munich, her hometown, and that meant Krapfen. Translation: it's Mardi Gras, and I would like doughnuts. I could take a hint. Since Valentine's Day was coming up, I thought the timing was perfect for making doughnuts.

I really liked the last doughnut recipe I posted but it made sooooo many doughnuts! For the record, I froze some of the unbaked dough and tried frying them a few months later. Don't bother. They were a sad under-deflated mess. Doughnuts are best fried and eaten the day they are made. And don't even think about refrigerating them! Yeast doesn't like the refrigerator.

This modified recipe makes about 22 doughnuts. That's still a lot! But it's much more manageable. Plus, the dough fits nicely in a KitchenAid mixing bowl. Although the recipe involves yeast, this is really very simple. All the ingredients except the flour go into the mixing bowl almost like you're dumping them in!

These are filled doughnuts. There's a reason that doughnuts are so often filled with cream or jelly. They go through the pastry filling tip so smoothly! Easy! But we like preserves. Sigh. The easiest way to handle preserves for a filling is to simply put them through a sieve.

My mother used this tip when I was a child!

This is a picture of the pastry filling tip I used. I'm pretty sure I saw them at Walmart the other day, so they shouldn't be hard to find.

Filled Doughnuts

1 packet fast-rising yeast
3 tablespoons warm water (between 105-115 degrees)
3/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup sugar plus a pinch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening (like Crisco)
canola oil
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
jelly or jam
powdered sugar

Add one pinch of sugar to a small bowl. Pour in the 3 tablespoons of water and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let sit about 15 minutes or so. It should double in volume. Meanwhile, scald the milk by placing it in a pot over medium high heat. The second you see it bubble, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Outfit your mixer with the dough blade. Mix the yeast, milk, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg, and Crisco in a mixing bowl and combine. The shortening may still be chunky, but that's okay. Add the flour about a cup at a time and mix on low to medium speed. (At a higher speed, the flour will fly all over the place.) Quit mixing when the dough has formed into a ball. Place in a new bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and let it rest in a warm place for one hour.

Take out the dough, and roll it about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the doughnuts with a round 2 1/2 inch diameter cookie cutter. Place on a baking sheet, cover with the kitchen towel, and let rise about 40 minutes in a warm spot.

Pour canola oil in a wide and deep pot. Doughnuts float on the surface so oil about 2 inches deep will do. Bring the oil to 350 degrees. Gently slide a few of the doughnuts in. Don't crowd them! Flip them when brownish on the bottom side, about one minute, and cook another minute until the other side is done. Remove to a rack or paper towel. Continue cooking in batches until all are done.

Put your favorite jam through a sieve. (I used apricot preserves and tart cherry preserves). Outfit an icing bag with a pastry tip and gently push into the middle of the doughnut from the side. Don't overfill or it will ooze out. When all doughnuts are filled, dust with powdered sugar.

Yeast, a pinch of sugar, and water.
Roll out and cut circles.

After rising.
Heat the oil.
After cooking!
Insert tip at the side and squeeze. But not too much!

Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Coming June 7th!

Monday, February 17, 2014

On Diets and Krispy Kreme

One of my favorite things in the world to eat is a chocolate glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut. I admit this with some reluctance because Natasha would call me plebian. So much more chic to love the Napoleons at a little out-of-the-way patisserie in Provence. Nope. Apparently, I am all American in my adoration of sugar and oil.

Unfortunately, my fondness for food also leads me to the vulgar necessity of dieting. Ho hum. So boring. Over the years, I have come up with my own little tricks to keep myself on a diet. Here's where Krispy Kremes come in. When I see something in the grocery store that I want to eat but that would blow my diet, I tell myself, "Sure! You can eat that. If you bake it yourself."

Now I have to tell you that this trick works verrrry well. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred, I will
A) have forgotten all about said sinful item by the time I get home
B) not have the necessary ingredients
C) not have the time
D) be too lazy
E) realize that I need to stick to the diet and be proud of myself for being so strong.

And that, as they say, will be the end of that. But eventually, I was bound to hit that one hundredth time. So there I was, shopping amid frenzied people who were busy wiping shelves clean thanks to the pending snowstorm. The Krispy Kremes called my name. "Krista . . .  Krista . . . You'll want us after you shovel the snowwww." I swear the lights overhead gleamed on them like jewels. Big, luscious, chocolate iced jewels. They would be soft and pillowy. Light as air. I checked the calories. I could have one. I could! But they came in a box of six. (If you work for Krispy Kreme and you're reading this, you could make a fortune selling doughnuts in individual boxes. They're $3.77 for six doughnuts, and I would gladly have paid an entire dollar for a fix, er, one doughnut.)

So my dieting rule kicked in. You can have one if you bake them at home. Hmm . . . Normally A through E above would have followed, but this time, my mother said something about Mardi Gras being around the corner. In Germany, that means doughnuts. I can take a hint. Time to make doughnuts. And it was Valentine's day. Wouldn't it be fun to make some doughnuts as a little gift?

In years past, the "make it at home" rule was easier to follow because I didn't have a recipe for something like Krispy Kremes. But now the stinking Internet has recipes for everything. So I found a Krispy Kreme Copycat recipe that people were raving about. Raving! And I made it. That loud noise you just heard was me falling off the diet wagon.

This recipe is by scoochmaroo and can be found at .

My take on it? In a blind taste test, I feel confident that I would be able to pick out the real Krispy Kreme doughnut. But these are REALLY GOOD! She's dead on with the chocolate glaze. It tastes just like the real chocolate glaze. The doughnuts are close, very close.

It's worth noting that someone who says he worked at Krispy Kreme didn't recall milk in the recipe. He thought they used water. Next time, I'll try water instead of milk.

Happily, that fall off the wagon woke me up. This recipe makes 39-40ish doughnuts. I only made 1 dozen, and most of those went straight to my mom, who will eat half of one and then freeze the rest. The other two dozen plus went all the way through the second rising, and I popped them (still raw) into the freezer. Sometime when I have a bunch of guests, I'll pull them out for breakfast, cook them, and see how well they held up. Of course, I had to try some. For you! Really, that was the main reason for eating a couple of doughnuts. And the middles, and the scraps. And licking the chocolate glaze bowl . . .

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Copycat Recipe
by scoochmaroo 


3 packages Rapid Rise yeast
1/2 cup water (105-115F )
2 1/4 cups milk, scalded, then cooled
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
canola oil for frying

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Stir and set aside for at least 10-20 minutes while you scald the milk and let it cool. Then mix everything except the flour. Add the flour one cup at a time. By cup number seven, you'll see the dough coming together very nicely. If your mixer cannot handle the quantity, knead the last cup of flour in by hand.

Place the dough in a large bowl or divide and place in two large bowls. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for one hour.

Dust a rolling pin and a board with flour. Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thick and cut into doughnut rounds, placing them on a baking sheet. Cover with kitchen towels and let rise for 30-40 minutes.

Make the glaze.


1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
6 - 9 tablespoons evaporated milk
6 squares (ounces) unsweetened chocolate (I used Bakers.) OPTIONAL

I wanted both the glaze and the chocolate glaze, so I melted half the butter and placed it in a mixing bowl. I melted the other half of the butter with 3 ounces of chocolate and placed it in another mixing bowl. Then I added half of the remaining ingredients to each bowl and whisked them. I found them both to be just a bit too stiff and added one tablespoon of water to each bowl. That was perfect.


Pour canola oil into a wide and deep pot. Doughnuts float on the surface, so a couple of inches of oil will do. Heat to 350. Slide the doughnuts into the oil using chopsticks, a wooden spoon, or a pierced spoon. Watch the time! Try frying a scrap first. Expect to cook doughnuts about 1 minute on each side, though you may need less time. Doughnut holes will definitely require less cooking time.

Scoop doughnuts out of the oil and place on a rack or paper towels. When they are cool enough to handle, dip each one into the plain glaze, turning it to cover the whole doughnut. If you are using chocolate, then dip the top into the chocolate glaze as well. Place on a rack over a tray (to catch drips). 

Makes a very lovely dough.

Ready, set . . .



Return to diet the following day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fresh Baked Doughnut Muffins and a Chance to Win $25 in Books from Cleo Coyle

Ever since Roast Mortem first hit the shelves in hardback last year, fans have asked me to post this doughnut muffin recipe. Well, today is the day! But first two quick contest announcements…

Cleo Coyle, who does not know
the muffin man, is author
of the Coffeehouse
Dru, a follower of this blog, is also a dedicated book reviewer. Mysteries are her specialty, and she’s running a contest this week. Leave a comment on her new review post, and you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of Murder by Mocha. 

BTW, Dru's blog is a great one to follow, with authors who regularly post creative entries. Click here to jump there and have fun! (If you're wondering what Dru said about Mocha, here's a quote I think any writer would be proud to hear. Thank you, Dru...)

Win a signed copy
at Dru's blog by
clicking here.
"This wonderful story boasts a brilliant cast, a great setting, tantalizing conversation and recipes that will whet your appetite...." 

Fresh Fiction is also running a Coffeehouse contest. Prizes are spiffy and include a $25.00 gift card to your favorite online bookstore; a Gimme Coffee Latte Cup and Saucer (made in Italy); and signed copies of my newly released culinary mysteries (Murder by Mocha and Roast Mortem). Click here to jump there, and good luck!

And now…

Let's Eat!
(at least with our eyes...) 


Photos (c) Alice Alfonsi who writes as Cleo Coyle in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. All rights reserved.

Tender and sweet, these muffins taste like old-fashioned cake doughnuts, the kind you might order at a diner counter with a hot, fresh cuppa joe. Clare, my amateur crime-solver, bakes them up one morning to calm her nerves after a ruthless firebug torches her friend's cafe. "The coffee shop arsonist" is only getting started, but then so is Clare Cosi....

You will find this recipe, along with many others, in the recipe section of my culinary mystery Roast Mortem, now a national bestseller in paperback. 

Makes 12 standard-size muffins (Note: The muffins make look big in the photos, but these babies were made with my regular, old muffin pans.)

For the batter:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork
1 cup whole milk 
2-½ cups all-purpose flour
2-½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the cinnamon-sugar topping:

½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Step 1—Prep your oven and pan: First preheat your oven to 350° F. This recipe bakes up nice, coffee shop-sized muffins with generous tops, so lightly spray the tops of your muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. This will prevent the tops from sticking to the pan. Line the muffin cups with paper holders.

Step 2—Make the batter: Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs and milk and continue mixing. Stop the mixer. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg and mix only enough to combine ingredients. Batter will be thick. Do not over mix at this stage or you will produce gluten in the batter and toughen the muffins.

Step 3—Bake: Using two tablespoons (one to scoop, the other to scrape in the thick batter), fill each cup to the top, dividing any remaining batter among the 12 cups.

Bake for 20-25 min­utes, or until the muffin tops spring back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. After a few minutes out of the oven, remove muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack. (Muffins that remain long in a hot pan may end up steaming, and the bottoms may become tough.)

Step 4—Finish with cinnamon-sugar topping: Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Melt the butter, brush it lightly over the muffin tops...

Roll the buttery tops in the bowl of cinnamon-sugar, and… 

Eat with joy!

Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To get more of my recipes, win free coffee,
or learn about my books, visit my online
coffeehouse by  clicking here.

See more of the recipes featured in
Roast Mortem by clicking here.

“Coyle's strong 9th coffeehouse mystery pays tribute to New York City firefighters.…Coyle even provides an appendix of useful tips and tempting recipes.” ~ Publishers Weekly 

A Reviewer's Pick: "Favorite Book of the Year"

“Fast pacing and clever dialogue…a fantastic mystery.” 4-1/2 stars ~ RT Book Reviews 

Now a National Mystery
Bestseller in Paperback! 

To visit Amazon's Roast Mortem page, click here

To visit Barnes & Noble's page click here.
Or try your favorite bookseller.