My coworker Lauren celebrated her birthday on Monday, and of course I had to make something for the celebration in our office.  Lauren and I are now the only two in our “group” within our whole office, and we have a whole lot of work ahead of us, but I know we can do it.  So I figured for her birthday I needed to make something special.

It all started when I started to send my blog around to some coworkers (two of which are trying to figure out how I can make money from it, gotta love them), and she saw that I had made my magical cider donuts, but hadn’t brought them in to work.  Now let me tell you, I work with almost all women, and when I DO bring in baked goods, I always get the “I need to be on a diet and can’t eat all that,” and so the baked goods get sent to work with the husband.  So I decided for her birthday to make donuts.  I was able to find cider and did make those, but I also wanted to try something new.

Since cider donuts are of the old fashioned cake variety, I wanted to try raised donuts.  I had a harder time finding a recipe than I thought I would, and the one I used is from the Better Homes and Gardens Step By Step Cookbook, which I had bought for the husband back in the day, when he lived in Ohio for a bit while I was still in school in Boston (and he moved back shortly after).  I don’t think he opened it once.

The donuts were all right, but not like the ones I always get at Dunkin Donuts.  I might have needed to make them larger, or maybe I need to scour the internet and try another recipe.  If you happen to have a tried and true one, send it my way and I will try it for sure!

Raised Donuts

3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
cooking oil

Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour and yeast in bowl of a standing mixer.  Heat together milk, sugar, shortening, and salt, just till warm, stirring constantly.  Add to flour mixture; add eggs.  Beat at low speed for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly.  Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.

Add in remaining flour, and once it comes together, switch to dough hook.  Knead on a lightly floured surface, or knead using the mixer.  Dough is ready when it is smooth and elastic.

Shape dough into ball and place into a greased bowl, turning once.  Cover and let rise till doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.  Punch dough down, and turn onto a lightly floured surface.

Divide in half, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Let me take a minute to talk about the above rings.  I was so excited to get these for Christmas, there are 11 different sizes, so I can make donuts, biscuits, you name it.  I’m a sucker for kitchen gadgets, and these are my new favorites.

Roll each half of dough into 1/2 inch thickness.

Cut with floured donut cutter into donuts.

Cover and let rise until very light, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Heat oil in a large dutch oven to 350 degrees.  Add donuts, a few at a time, and turn when golden, about 1 minute on each side.  Drain on paper towels.  You can shake them in cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar, or dip in chocolate ganache and cover with sprinkles, like I did.

I made both cider and raised donuts, so I had a pile of them.  The cider donuts definitely were the winners, but everyone loved all the donut holes.

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