Monday, April 11, 2011

Semi-Homemade Donuts

by Darla

My husband finally returned home this weekend, after having been abroad for training for a little over a month. Who can’t stop smiling? This girl! I’m so happy to have my family all together in one place again! To celebrate, we had one of my favorite breakfasts ever this weekend: biscuit donuts.You know, “homemade” donuts made from store bought biscuit dough.

When I was a little girl, my parents used to make these for my sisters and me all the time. We rarely had them for breakfast, though. Instead, they were our movie night snack! Mom and Dad would get the oil heating while my two sisters and I took turns cutting the holes into the biscuits. Then, after my parents fried the donuts, they would drop them into bags of sugar and my sisters and I would shake our little hearts out to get as much sugar on each donut as possible. Once all of the donuts were done, we’d all pile into my parent’s bed  for a movie together. Can you believe how crazy they were to let three little girls eat sugary, crumbly donuts in their bed?! After tucking us into bed, they must have spent so much time cleaning their own bed up before they could sleep. Those nights are among the most wonderful memories of my childhood, and they’ve led to amazing memories for me and my family too.

I thought my parents were absolute geniuses when I was little! I mean, they took boring grocery store biscuits and transformed them into sweet, fluffy donuts! It never occurred to me that it had been done a million times, by a million other people. No, they were invented by my mom and dad, and I was the luckiest kid around to have such magical parents. :) As I got older, I learned that my dad had actually started making these donuts with his own mother when he was a boy. Now they were even more special.

My sisters and me, circa 1981...I'm the baby :)

Of course, I eventually came to the realization that we weren’t the only family in the world making donuts this way, but they were already indelibly linked to my family and the nostalgia of nights snuggled between my parents and my sisters, licking sticky sugar from our fingers, and watching movies way past our usual bed times. Looking back now, I value those nights even more. My dad passed away when I was 17 years old, and I never got to introduce my husband to him, or see the joy on his face the first time he met his new grandson, but I get to introduce him to them with treats like this, and I see the joy on their faces when they get to be a part of making and gobbling up these donuts. And today, I get to share them with all of you! If you’ve never tried these, you’re in for a treat!

You just need a few simple ingredients: cinnamon-sugar (recipe below), refrigerated biscuits (I used Pillsbury plain biscuits, but these are excellent with Pillsbury Grands, as well), confectioners’ sugar, and brown paper bags, as well as frying oil.

First thing’s first, you need to preheat oil to 375 degrees. If the oil is cooler than that, then the donuts will absorb it and fry very slowly, leaving them heavy and oily. Next, place a brown paper bag inside of another bag, so that you have a double lined bag. Prepare another set of bags the same way. Place the confectioners’ sugar one of the brown paper bags and set aside. Place the sugar and cinnamon in the other bag, close the bag and roll the top down, and shake the bag vigorously to combine the cinnamon and sugar.

Lay all of the biscuits on a clean dry surface. Using a small (not much bigger than 1- to 1 1/2-inches), round cutter, cut a hole in each of the biscuits. Drop half of the donut holes into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides. Place the donut holes into the bag of confectioners’ sugar, close and roll the top of the bag down, shake the bag vigorously to coat the donut holes. Repeat the frying and coating steps with the reamining donut holes, but cover these in cinnamon-sugar.

Next, drop two to three donuts at a time into the oil. Fry on one side until deep golden brown, two to three minutes, then flip the donuts and fry the remaining side until deep golden brown, another two minutes or so. If the donuts are too light in color, they will not be cooked on the inside.

Shake the donuts in confectioners’ sugar or cinnamon sugar to coat. Serve warm.

No, these are not healthy. But if you’re looking for a healthy donut, then you’re on quite a quest. These are fast, easy, cheap, and fun to make. Plus, they really are so tasty! They have a light and fluffy center that’s just slightly buttery, with a crisp, sweet, sugary outside. The sugar donuts are my very favorite, but both flavors are excellent, and we all try to share both flavors. My thought for the cinnamon-sugar donuts is “the more cinnamon, the better,” so there’s a whole tablespoon in my mix, but you can lessen that if desired.

I can never make these, let alone eat them, without thinking of my parents, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Through these simple, semi-homemade treats, I’ve been able to share pieces of my dad with my husband and our boy, neither of which had the good fortune to meet him. It’s just a tiny piece of who he was that got passed onto me in a way that I can share with the world, but what a delicious and fun memory! I hope that you whip these up with your kids and loved ones, and start new memories of your own. My dad may not have invented these, but it’s still a small legacy of his that my entire family loves! You can fry these babies up in less than 20 minutes and have, not only fresh, but hot donuts for breakfast any day of the week! No driving, ordering, standing in line, and waiting required! Enjoy!

Semi-homemade Donuts
(makes half sugared and half cinnamon-sugared)

Makes 10 donuts and 10 donut holes
Ingredients

2 tins 5-count packages refrigerated biscuits (such as Pillsbury)
1 cup (110 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon (6.8 grams) cinnamon
2 to 4 cups frying oil (I use canola), depending on the size of the pan you use (needs to be deep enough to allow the donuts to float)

Preheat the oil to 375 degrees.

Place the confectioners’ sugar into a brown paper bag that has been put into another brown paper bag (so that it’s double bagged).

Place the sugar and cinnamon in another (double bagged) brown paper bag, close the bag and roll the top down, and shake the bag vigorously to combine the cinnamon and sugar.

Lay all of the biscuits on a clean dry surface. Using a small (not much bigger than 1- to 1 1/2-inches), round cutter, cut a hole in each of the biscuits. Drop 5 of the donut holes into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides. Drop the donut holes into the bag of confectioners’ sugar, close and roll the top of the bag down, and shake the bag vigorously to coat the donut holes. Repeat the frying and coating steps with the reamining donut holes, but cover these in cinnamon-sugar.

Next, drop 2 to 3 donuts at a time into the oil. Fry on one side until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, then flip the donuts and fry the remaining side until deep golden brown, another 2 minutes or so. If the donuts are too light in color, they will not be cooked on the inside. Shake the donuts in confectioners’ sugar or cinnamon sugar to coat. Serve warm.

Recipe by my dad, Roger.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tara Lee Conklin April 11, 2011 at 10:18 am

Darla!! What a wonderful family tradition and those look delicious!!! – will definitely have to try them. Fab photos as well lady! Thanks for sharing.

Tara
http://www.thebutterdish.net

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2 bttrflybabydoll April 11, 2011 at 10:34 am

My mom used to make these for us too. And I now make them for my kids as well. My dad actually requested these a few weeks ago, and we have the biscuits in the fridge. Looks like I need to make them for him. I had kind of forgotten he’d asked. Thanks for sharing! I have wonderful memories attached to these too. There were four of us though, and we didn’t all snuggle in my mom and dad’s bed. I bet you all had a ton of fun doing that though! :)

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3 Renea west April 11, 2011 at 10:51 am

These look so good!! I have never heard of doing this before but now I am going to make these a new family tradition on Holiday mornings or when even my kids are craving these. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe! YUmmm!!!

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4 Lucy @ The Sweet Touch April 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Looks yummy! Hope you are having fun having your family all together!

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5 alethea April 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm

What a wonderful memory to have!!! I don’t really remember my childhood so it was lovely to read your happy memory!!! I’m not sure that we have refrigerated cookies here in Australia but these look so yummy!!! Thanks for sharing!!! Hugs xx

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6 Baking and Mistaking April 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Very sweet story. Enjoy your doughnuts!

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7 Sarah April 11, 2011 at 11:15 pm

My mom would make these for breakfast on really special occasions. I remember punching out the middles with a soda bottle cap. Sometimes we would frost them with store bought chocolate frosting while they were still hot and it would melt into a “glaze”. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories that brought back some great memories of my own! I will have to make these soon.

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8 Beth @ Persnickety Hall April 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm

My mom used to make these as well!

In fact, about a year ago i decided to make some and my husband thought i was crazy. Lol. He’s never heard of using canned biscuits like that and totally made fun of me while i was cutting them. Of course, once they were done and i was munching away he had a change of heart, and a happy belly. :)

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9 Debbie April 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Never heard of this, but I love the sounds of it. I just bought some biscuits last night for them and can’t wait to try them. I should wait until the weekend, but I don’t know if I’ll have that kind of restraint. Pretty sure I won’t be able to wait.

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10 Debkb April 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I haven’t had these in years! My mom used to make these when I was growing up. Absolutely the best. I mentioned something to my husband about making them recently and he thought I was crazy. He could not understand how you’d end up with anything that resembled a donut. Guess I’ll just have to make a greasy mess and prove him wrong!

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11 Medifast Coupon April 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Great idea, and I can control the sugar consumption too. Now I just have to see if I can find paper bags.

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12 Dawn April 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Love these. My mom made them for us as kids and my hubby and I make them for our kids. They love them. I have never tried them with confectioner’s sugar. Will have to do that next time. Thanks!

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13 Marama April 24, 2011 at 2:42 am

I live in a place where “biscuit” means “cookie” and store bought biscuits are… well… a packet of cookies, I guess.
I assume that you mean the scone-like biscuit that I’m pretty sure is what American biscuits is (correct me if I’m wrong)…
Anyway, I had a question, which is “Is there something else I could use instead of store bought ‘biscuits’ and/or is there a recipe to make something similar that would work?”

Thank you :D

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14 Sarah May 27, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Wow! What a great idea Darla! Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to get some packaged biscuit dough soonish, the kids have mid term break from school and would love some of these! Marama, you are right, American biscuits are similar to scones, but not as dense (at least the ones I’ve made from the pillsbury can rolls aren’t dense that is). I’m sure you’d find an easy enough recipe online, or check Martha Stewart, she always has a recipe for everything!

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15 Renee June 6, 2011 at 2:04 am

My mom used to make these for us when I was a kid, too. I wish I lived in a place with canned biscuit dough. They look so delicious.

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16 Taunia February 13, 2012 at 12:35 am

I love these! My Mom would make them for us when we were camping. They were a special treat and so yummy! Like you, I thought it was magic. :) Thank you for the reminder. I am going to make these for my boys next weekend!

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17 Kristie's Kreations January 16, 2014 at 5:56 pm

I stumbled upon your post and had to make them that following weekend. OMG! My boyfriend enjoyed them so much he had me whip up 3 dozen for him to take to his firehouse.
Great post!!

I even mentioned you on my blog! http://kristieskreationsva.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/homemade-donuts/

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