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 Â 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.
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.Â 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.
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.Â 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!
(makes half sugared and half cinnamon-sugared)
Makes 10 donuts and 10 donut holes
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.