Apple Cider Fritters

I love Apple Cider Donuts! I first had them years ago when I went apple picking in upstate NY and now you can find them anywhere and everywhere. The best one’s I’ve had are from Wilklow Orchards in upstate NY and from Wooside Orchards out on the North Fork- their hard cider is good as well. I’ve also had some bad ones, but, we won’t get into that.  I did try to recreate them at home last year, but, it was a fail. I tried again this year, but, instead of donuts I made fritters and they were DELISH! The only problem… It’s easier to mindlessly eat a ridiculous amount of fritters than it is donuts.

Apple Cider Fritters

  • Servings: 24 Fritters
  • Print

Ingredients:

Fritters:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg*

1/8 teaspoon cardamom*

1/8 teaspoon all spice*

3/4 cup apple cider

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled**

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons ground cinnamon

*Instead of all 4 spices, you could sub 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice for them

**Can use salted or unsalted, I used unsalted

Directions:

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and all spice in a large bowl. In another bowl stir together the apple cider, eggs, butter and vanilla. Add the apple cider mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the coating in a shallow bowl.

Pour the oil in a Dutch oven or another heavy bottom deep pot and heat over medium heat to 360 to 370 F. Using a cookie scoop, drop the batter in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

While still warm roll the fritters in the cinnamon sugar and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from My Recipes

Cocoa Snickerdoodles

If you have seen this month’s issue of Food Network Magazine you know they are getting their readers ready for the Holidays with a slew of cookie recipes. While they all sound amazing one of them stood out from the rest for me… Cocoa Snickerdoodles. What is there not to love about a cookie made with cocoa and then rolled in cinnamon sugar?

IMG_6144

I began by whisking together the dry ingredients: flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar (which I just recently learned is the key ingredient that makes a Snickerdoodle and Sugar Cookie different. The addition of the cream of tartar prevents the cookie from having the crunch of a Sugar Cookie and instead a soft and cakey inside.)

IMG_6084

Next I beat room temperature butter along with granulated and light brown sugar until it was light and fluffy.

IMG_6085

I then added in an egg and vanilla extract.

IMG_6086

And finally I beat in the flour mixture until the two mixtures were just combined.

IMG_6087

Before placing the cookies on the baking sheet I rolled them in a mixture of sanding sugar and cinnamon.

IMG_6089

Since I knew these cookies would spread while baking I was sure to give them ample space on a parchment lined baking sheet prior to baking them in a 375 F oven for 9 minutes; rotating the pan after the first 5 minutes.

IMG_6093

My first batch right out of the oven… I let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

IMG_6099

Once cooled I couldn’t wait to try one… Here’s a close-up of the soft cakey texture I mentioned.

IMG_6153

And while these cookies were delicious once cooled they were even better the next day once the cinnamon sugar mixture had more time to seep into them. The only bad thing about this recipe… It only yields 18 cookies!

 

Cocoa Snickerdoodles

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup white sanding sugar

1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla; reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

2. Combine the sanding sugar and cinnamon in a small shallow bowl. Form heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls with damp hands; toss in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Arrange about 3 inches apart on 2 baking sheets.

3. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are set around the edge, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Cinco De Mayo Treats – Cupcakes & Churros

Happy Cinco de Mayo! While many will celebrate this day with tacos, burritos, margaritas and/or maybe some sangria (I had some yesterday,) I opted to bake some sweet treats… Tres Leches Cupcakes and Churros. The cupcakes were a piece of cake to make but the Churros; well I had my concerns prior to making them. I am not big on frying things – not because of the healthy/unhealthy debate, but, because I am fearful of hot oil splattering on me. Thankfully nothing of the sort happened and the Churros were a success.

Up first the cupcakes… I started off by assembling and prepping (separating the eggs, sifting the flour and melting the butter) all of my ingredients.

IMG_3248

I began making the batter by whisking together the egg whites with salt and baking soda until soft peaks formed. Following that I added in the eggs yolks and sugar.

IMG_3252

I then folded in the butter…

IMG_3253

And then the flour.

IMG_3254

After a little more folding the batter was ready.

IMG_3255

Per the directions, I used paper-lined foil liners which would hold up better while the cupcakes soaked up the Tres Leches.

IMG_3256 IMG_3257

While the cupcakes were baking I made the Tres Leches mixture by whipping together condensed & evaporated milk and heavy cream.

IMG_3259  IMG_3263

As soon as the cupcakes were done baking, approximately 25 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven, I poked holes in them with a skewer and brushed the milk mixture over the cupcakes until I was just about out of the mixture.

IMG_3264

I then let the cupcakes sit for a bit so the milk mixture could be absorbed by the cupcakes and so they could finish cooling.

IMG_3266

On to the Churros… I began by making the dough for the Churros. I’ll be the first to admit that it didn’t look all that appetizing.

IMG_3267

I then filled a pastry bag fitted with a star tip with the dough.

IMG_3269

Now the part that concerned me… Piping the dough into hot oil. As I said though, it went off without a hitch.

IMG_3273

And after a frying up a few batches and letting them drain on paper towels I shook them up with a cinnamon sugar mixture and they were ready for munching.

IMG_3275

And to finish off the cupcakes… I topped them with a whipped cream frosting and then sprinkled them with some cinnamon. Delicioso!

IMG_3291

 

Tres Leches Cupcakes

From Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

For Cupcakes:

6 large eggs, separated, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup heavy cream

For Whipped Cream Frosting:

2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper-lined foil liners. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together egg whites, baking soda, and salt until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low. Add yolks and sugar; whisk until completely combined. Fold in melted butter with a flexible spatula. Add flour in four batches, folding until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each half-way. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Immediately pokes holes in tops of cupcakes with a skewer.

Whisk together evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. With cupcakes still in tin, brush milk mixture over cupcakes, repeating until all liquid has been used. Allow cupcakes to absorb mixture, at least 30 minutes (or up to 1 day in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly in plastic once completely cool; bring to room temperature before serving.)

For whipped cream – whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add confectioners’ sugar and whisk until combined.

To finish, dollop whipped cream generously onto cupcakes, and dust with ground cinnamon. Serve immediately.

 

Mexican Crullers (Churros)

Courtesy: Daisy Martinez

1 cup water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 to 5 eggs

Canola oil, for frying

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

To make the crullers: In a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup water, the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt over medium-high heat until the edges of the liquid start to bubble. Add the flour all at once and stir briskly with a wooden spoon until well mixed and no lumps of flour remain.

Remove from the heat. Add 4 of the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each. The dough should look soft and glossy and keep a “hook” shape when the spoon is pulled from the dough. If not, beat in the last egg.

Scrape the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pour enough canola oil into a deep heavy skillet (cast iron is ideal) to fill 1-inch. Heat over medium heat until the tip of the handle of a wooden spoon gives off a slow steady stream of tiny bubbles. Carefully pipe the dough into the oil, forming 6-inch crullers. Pipe only as many crullers into the oil as fit comfortably. Overcrowding the pan will result in soggy crullers. Fry, turning once, until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Put the sugar and the cinnamon in a paper bag. Crimp the top and shake well to mix. Drop a few crullers at a time into the bag and shake until coated. Best served as soon as possible.

Snickerdoodles

I always thought that Snickerdoodles were a cookie with toffee or something of the sort. I remember having a cookie like that back when I was in college and for some reason I thought that was it. But, not too long ago I had the real thing and was instantly hooked. For those of who are in the dark like I was, Snickerdoodles are essentially sugar cookies that are rolled in cinnamon sugar prior to baking. Recently I picked up Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook and one of the first recipes I came across was for Snickerdoodles so of course I had to try it out.

IMG_2077 IMG_2080

To begin I sifted the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) into one bowl and mixed together my wet ingredients (sugar, butter and eggs) in another bowl.

IMG_2070 IMG_2072

I then gradually mixed the flour mixture into the sugar mixture and as simple as that the dough came together.

IMG_2073

Using a small cookie scoop I shaped the dough into balls and then rolled them in cinnamon sugar and placed them on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

IMG_2074

After baking for 13 minutes (I rotated the sheet at 6 minutes) in a 350 degrees preheated oven my Snickerdoodles were done.

IMG_2082

I let them cool on the cookie sheets on wire racks and once they were cool enough I tried one and they were great! A favorite to be baked over and over again!

IMG_2121

Snickerdoodles

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar

2 large eggs

3 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Put butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in the flour mixture.

2. Stir together cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into twenty 1 3/4- inch balls; roll in cinnamon sugar. Space 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

3. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment paper in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apple Doughnuts

There are a few great things about going apple picking… The scenery, the apples (of course) and the freshly made apple cider doughnuts. The doughnuts are amazing but unfortunately they don’t stay fresh very long. By the following day they are quite hard. Hoping to get that yummy goodness at home I decided to bake my own Apple Doughnuts by tweaking the recipe for the Pumpkin Doughnuts that I made last month that.

The scenery…

IMG_1529

To begin I whisked together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda and set it aside.

IMG_1647

I then peeled and cored three apples – I used the Golden Delicious apples I got while picking – and pureed them in a food processor. While the original pumpkin recipe called for 1 cup of pumpkin puree I decided to use only 1/2 cup of the fresh apple puree (it was essentially applesauce) since it wasn’t as thick as the pumpkin puree and I didn’t want my batter to be too watery.

IMG_1653 IMG_1655

To continue with the batter I mixed the apples with sugar, brown sugar, oil, an egg and vanilla extract and then added in the dry ingredients.

IMG_1656

It was then time to fill up my doughnut pans. I filled in each doughnut crevice with a 1/4 cup of the batter.

IMG_1659

I baked them for about thirteen minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven and they were done to perfection. I recently bought a second doughnut pan so I wouldn’t have to wait for my first batch of doughnuts to cool in the pan before using it again.

IMG_1663

And finally I melted 3 tbsp. of butter in one bowl and combined 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tsp. of cinnamon in another bowl so I could coat the doughnuts in cinnamon sugar. I dipped each doughnut in the butter and then in the cinnamon sugar.

IMG_1665

Final verdict… They were delicious! Doughnuts have quickly become one of my favorite things to bake!

IMG_1667

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apple Doughnuts

Ingredients

1/2 cup canola oil

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. fine salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup fresh applesauce

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

3 tbsp. melted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350° F. Spray two 6-compartment doughnut pans with baking spray. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Peel, core & puree three apples. Whisk the pureed apples with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not over mix).

3. Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each compartment of the prepared pans. Bake until the doughnuts are golden brown and spring back lightly when touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

4. Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping in a shallow bowl. Dip each doughnut into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place each doughnut on a wire rack to cool completely.