Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Friends & Family Series: Ashley's S'more Donuts

Hi guys!  I'm on vacation right now so I've asked my friend's and family to step in while I'm away!  Each day that I am gone, I will be sharing a recipe from one of my friends or family members.  I started this project with no clear goals, I was just hoping to fill a few of the recipe gaps while I was away.  I received an overwhelming response from everyone, and I am truly honoured and excited to be able to share with you so many great recipes made by so many of my favourite people!  Please enjoy their recipes and be sure to leave them comments at the end of their posts!  

This post was written by my little cousin Ashley, who also inherited our Gramma's passion for baking, and our Grampa's passion for writing! Ashley is one of my favourite people mainly because she is such a free spirit, but also because she is always filled with such positive energy!  Ashley's just one of those people that can find the good in everybody and every situation.  I always leave conversations will her filled with happiness and inspiration.  I truly believe that you are what surrounds you, and that it's really important to surround yourself with people who inspire you in a positive way.  I hope that Ashley's post fills you with wonder and inspiration just like it has for me!  

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Hey, everyone! My name's Ashley, and I'm here to teach you how to make S'mores donuts.
Before we get into the gooey details, I should probably fill you in a little bit about myself! I am 20 years old, live on Vancouver Island, and I am also related to Jax, who obviously shares my love and passion for cooking and baking.


 Another thing, I'm about to embark on the greatest adventure of my life by leaving Canada to backpack and live in Europe with my lovely boyfriend, Trevor. 

SO, these s'mores donuts are my tribute to the things I love about where I live; forest campfires, the woods, and the nostalgia of sitting around getting my hands messy with marshmallow goo and melted chocolate.


In the recipe that I made, I halved everything so don't worry if it looks like you're making more for some strange reason!

Ingredients
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 white sugar
- 1/3 cup margerine or butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups warm milk (add cinnamon & vanilla to milk to personal taste)
- 5 cups flour
- Graham crackers
- Butter or margerine
- Icing sugar
- Cocoa powder
- Butter
- Marshmallows
OR
- Marshmallow fluff

1. First, you're going to want to put the yeast into the bowl with the warm water and slightly stir. While you are waiting for the yeast to start bubbling up to the surface, it's a good idea to get your other ingredients in order. The way I do it is getting my margerine into a measuring cup with the sugar and egg as you can see pictured below so it's all in one place. This also allows me to clean the counter a lot faster!


2. After the yeast is activated, add in the egg, butter or margerine, the warm milk with the cinnamon or vanilla in it (make sure the milk is lukewarm, so it doesn't kill the yeast!) the sugar, and two cups of the flour! 

3. Mix these ingredients until just incorperated, and start to slowly add the rest of the flour (3 cups!) but be careful not to over-mix, as it will make the donuts very dense. 

4. When the dough stops sticking to the sides of the bowl, dump it out on a floured surface to knead a few times until the surface becomes smooth. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with syran wrap and let stand on the counter or a warm place until it has risen twice in size. Now, I have tried to cover it with a towel or cloth while it stands (like the original recipe had said to do..) but a sort-of crust forms on top so I have found the plastic wrap works best.

- PLEASE SCRAPE THE FLOUR OFF YOUR COUNTER AND SIFT IT TO RE-USE IT FOR THE NEXT ROLL! Just keep it off to the side in a little bowl for when the dough is ready to be rolled out again to cut!

5. THE DOUGH HAS FINALLY RISEN! Time to dump that saved flour out on the counter and roll out the dough about 1/2 inch thick! You will need a very, very sharp cutter for this (a real donut cutter works, but a scone cutter will too!) because a dough like this has fat layers and if you twist the cutter as you press down, then the fat layers will break apart and make the donut very wonky as it fries. If you do end up using a scone cutter or something without a hole in the middle, I would guess that you could use a smaller cookie cutter for the middles if you wanted, or just make them like boston cream-type donuts.


6. Lay down wax paper on cookie sheets and grease them with pam spray, oil, or butter! Whatever you can get your hands on, really, that won't make the rings stick to the paper. Place the rings about 1 inch apart and keep a few of the donut holes if you made any to test the oil later. You're going to want to do the same thing here as before - cover the dough with plastic wrap to keep the it from oxidating, and leave them somewhere safe for another few hours until the rings are about twice in size.


7. Once risen, start to heat your oil up in a large saucepan! To test when the oil is ready, stir it with a pair of metal tongs and then (be careful!) plop a donut hole into the oil. You will have to turn it over so that both sides cook slightly, and it should turn a light to medium golden brown. The hole should rise to the surface of the oil almost immediately for you to turn, so if it lasts under the surface for more than 15 seconds then the oil is not hot enough. When it's cooled down, give it a rip open and a taste to see if it's too doughey and figure out the best course from there. If it's cooking too fast, take the oil off the heat and stir with the tongs to cool it down a little. If it's not hot enough, the doughnut will cook (eventually) but it will be a very oily doughnut.


8. When you have the perfect donut hole, take a dough ring and guide it carefully into the oil. Flip the ring as soon as it rises to the surface, and then flip twice more for the most even cook. 

- VIOLA! You've made your first doughnut! 


If you wanna continue with the s'mores doughnut, read on you curious little cats, read on!

I'm %85 sure that all of you have made rice crispie squares, so you'll probably know how to make melted marshmallows if you decide to forgo the route of "marshmallow fluff" for a stickier mess.

Marshmallow Goop

1. Cut your dougnuts in half using a bread cutter and space them out on the counter to keep the pairs together.

2. Grab a bag of marshmallows and a crap-load of butter (seriously, at least a 1/4 cup of the stuff) and melt the butter in a saucepan. When it's all ready to go, dump in three handfulls of the mini-marshmallows and DO NOT STOP STIRRING! Otherwise it turns out to taste like a very toasty campfire-mallow and (unless that's the way you like them) nobody wants that.

3. Scoop the messy gooey mess you just made onto one doughnut half, using a spatula. This process is easier than you might think, as it comes out in strands and is easy to work with in that way. If it starts to get too hard, just put it on the element again and stir to heat it up.

- You can also just buy a jar of fluff from (i'm pretty sure..) any grocery store, and it won't be as sticky or harden, but fluffier and probably prettier instead. But my way is more fun so just keep that in mind.

OKAY WE'RE ALMOST THERE. Did I ever mention that this is pretty much an "all-day" thing? No? Sorry 'bout that.


CHOCOLATE GLAZE & GRAHAM CRACKERS

1. Find a recipe online for chocolate glaze doughnuts (Alton Brown's on the Food Network looks delicious! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/chocolate-doughnut-glaze-recipe.html )

2. Crush graham crackers while they're still in the package and release them into a shallow, but wide, bowl.

3. Make chocolate glaze of your choice

4. DIP ONE DONUT AT A TIME into the glaze, and then into the graham cracker crumbs, and place on baking rack to fully dry.

Serve immediately!!

These are best the day of baking, but you could wrap them and put them in the fridge, though there are a bit more dense and "cakey" the next day.

BUT, if you wanted to make them for your kids class for their birthday or do something crazy for halloween or cute for valentines, you could easily just make the dough the night before, cut it into rings, and then have the risen doughnut rings to work with as soon as you get up in the morning. This is would be quicker if you are using the marshmallow fluff, of course.

So that's that - My tribute to Canada in the form of a s'more doughnut.

You're welcome!

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