We all love cinnamon, right? If you don’t, then I truly pity you. I mean, cinnamon is great on pretty much anything sweet. But, if you’ve yet to try a cinnamon sugar donut, you have not yet lived. More specifically, if you haven’t had a cinnamon sugar brioche donut, then you really need to get going on fixing that. These donuts are out of this world. Out of this universe when eaten fresh out of the fryer. The dough is flavorful. The coating is wonderful. These are just great all the way around. These donuts are a bit denser than traditional donuts since they are brioche donuts. But the texture is still wonderful. The outside is crisp, the inside is fluffy. Being that no one really eats sweets in my house, I had to eat these donuts all myself. Let me tell you, I have absolutely no regrets. Donuts ARE my kryptonite, after all.
Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Sift the flour into a bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Add in the yeast and mix for about 15 seconds. I just used my hands to give them a quick mix to combine.
Next, add in the salt, sugar, vanilla, eggs, warm whole milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and dry milk powder.
Mix on low for five minutes.
Add in the butter piece by piece while mixing on low. Mix on low for five minutes after adding butter or until dough ball forms onto hook and butter is absorbed.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold either side to the middle, like a letter. Then, turn and do it from top to bottom. Place the dough into a bowl and cover in plastic wrap. Leave out at room temperature for an hour.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold either side to the middle, like a letter. Then, turn and do it from top to bottom. Place back in the bowl and place in the fridge, covered, overnight.
The next day, dump out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out until about 1/2″ thickness.
Cut out with a floured 3″ cutter and a pastry tube. I try not to twist as I cut. Biscuits have me paranoid. Use a spatula to move the dough onto a parchment lined, greased and floured baking sheet. Once all the donuts and donut holes are cut and placed onto the baking sheet, place the baking sheet into the oven or next to any warm area. Our oven is off, we’re just placing them in there to proof for an hour.
At about the 30-minute mark, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish and set to the side. Also, prep your baking sheet covered with paper towels for draining. Prep your pot with oil. Preheat the oil to 375°F. Your donuts should be noticeably bigger after the hour proofing.
Move one donut into the oil with a spatula. Cook for a few minutes or until it’s golden brown. Then, use a chopstick or skewer to flip the donut. Cook for a few more minutes or until golden brown. It’s always best to test timing with the first donut. It will truly differ because your oil has to be exactly 375°F (use a thermometer) and the dough should be no thicker than a 1/2″ or it will take longer to fry. Anyway, test with the first donut.
Right out of the fryer, quickly drain onto the paper towels for a few seconds, then move to the cinnamon sugar mixture. Toss the donut into the cinnamon sugar mixture and move it back to the paper towel covered baking sheet.
Enjoy immediately fresh and warm. The exterior should be crisp and the inside fluffy with a slightly dense texture. This is brioche after all.
See how I do it:
- 518 grams Pastry Flour (3 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons)
- 10 grams Instant yeast (dry active yeast) (1 tablespoon)
- 74 grams Granulated sugar (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- 9 grams Salt (1 tablespoon)
- 1.5 grams Nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon nutmeg)
- 5.6 grams Cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
- 212 grams Warm whole milk (3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons; at about 75°F)
- 111 grams Eggs (1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons; about 2 large eggs)
- 9 grams Vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste (1 1/2 teaspoons)
- 10 grams Nonfat dry milk powder (1 tablespoon)
- 55 grams Unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes (2 ounces)
- Canola oil or peanut oil, for frying (enough to fill your Dutch oven or pot 3 inches deep)
- 300 grams granulated sugar or vanilla sugar (1 1/2 cups; sugar massaged with leftover vanilla bean pod)
- 10 grams cinnamon (1 tablespoon)
- Spray a medium bowl with non-stick spray and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the flour and yeast for 10 seconds on low. Add the sugar, salt, warmed whole milk, eggs, dry milk powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla and mix on low speed until incorporated about 5 minutes.
- With the mixer running on low, gradually add the butter, a cube at a time, incorporating each cube completely before adding the next. Continue until you’ve added all the butter, scraping down the bowl periodically. Mix for 5 more minutes.
- Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangular shape, using only enough flour so it doesn’t stick to the surface. Stretch and fold the left side of the dough to over 2/3 of the dough, and then stretch the right side and folder over the left (Like you would fold a letter). Repeat again, this time folding the top down and then the bottom up. Place in prepared bowl seam-side down. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean dishtowel and let sit at room temperature for an hour.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat the dough down pressing large air bubbles to the edge to release. Repeat the stretching and folding process and then return the dough to the bowl, seam-side down, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spray with non-stick spray, lightly flour and set nearby. Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to about 11-inches wide and about 1-inch thick. Working quickly using your doughnut cutter or round cookies cutters, cut rounds from the dough. Dust off excess flour and place onto prepared pan. Place the baking sheet full of donuts and donut holes in an oven that is turned OFF. Allow to proof for about an hour to an hour and a half. If you press into the dough and the imprint is still there, it's ready.
- Fill a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot with 3 inches of peanut or canola oil. Fit with your candy thermometer and heat oil to 375°F/177°C. Prepare a baking sheet covered with paper towels for draining. Gently lower 2 to 4 doughnuts (depending on how large your pot is—the doughnuts should be able to float freely) into the oil and fry for 30 seconds, without moving them. Flip doughnuts over with a skewer or chopsticks and fry for 45 seconds. Flip back over once more and fry another 45 seconds, or until they are golden brown. Adjust the heat as needed throughout frying to maintain the temperature. Transfer the doughnuts to the prepared baking sheet with paper towels to drain. Instantly move the donut to the cinnamon sugar and toss together. Continue this process.
- The doughnuts are best enjoyed the day they are fried. Especially, fresh out of the fryer and into the sugar. While warm, they are heavenly. They do last another day or two in a covered container but their texture will be much denser and some of the coating will be absorbed.
I strongly urge you to use pastry flour. I use nothing but pastry flour for pastries like donuts. Makes a huge difference in texture. Also, I strongly urge for ease and accuracy, use a digital scale and scale out the ingredients. In the video, I only fry one at a time, because the pot is small. You can use a bigger pot and fry more at a time. Eat fresh/warm, use the right ingredients, don't overwork the dough and you'll have some great textured, delicious donuts.
Where does my love of chocolate trace back to? Maybe it was all those years of devouring many pounds of chocolate in the form of Halloween candy. Maybe it was my early indoctrination of watching the “Cooking with Randy and Mandy” segment on All That. Who knows? One can’t really trace back the roots of my love for chocolate. But, make no mistake about it. My obsession for the stuff only continues to grow. So, when I need my chocolate fix, this is one of my go-to recipes. It’s easy, quick and very chocolatey, which hits all the important marks on my checklist. Because the sooner I make it, obviously, the sooner I can enjoy it. If you’re obsessed with chocolate like me, then trust me, you’ll want to put this recipe in your repertoire.
Combine the room temperature unsalted butter into the bowl of your stand mixer with the brown and white sugar.
Mix with the paddle attachment for about five minutes until light and fluffy.
Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
Sift together the dry ingredients and dump into the bowl.
Add in the chocolate chips. Remove the bowl from the stand and begin folding in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula. Mix until just combined. Don’t overmix!
Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate or freeze for 24 hours or you can freeze for two hours and refrigerate for an hour with the dough balls formed on the sheet tray to shorten the wait.
Once the dough is properly refrigerated or frozen, let it thaw and come back to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Use a mini or large ice cream scoop to scoop out dough balls. I used a mini scoop and scooped out three dough balls to form one portion. Scoop out and roll the dough between your palms to form one dough ball portion. Set onto a pre-greased cookie sheet. Place about 1″ apart. The cookies will spread a bit. I only baked off six, but it will yield you a few more. I just froze the rest.
Flatten with your palm slightly. Bake off at 350°F for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Leave the cookies on the sheet for a minute or two.
After a couple of minutes out of the oven, remove the cookies from the baking sheet and move to a wire rack.
Cool slightly. These cookies are phenomenal when eaten warm with some milk. The chocolate is melted and the cookies are super soft. But, they can be eaten at room temp as well.
See how I do it:
- 1 cup (145 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (75 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 10 tablespoons (141 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) light or dark brown sugar
- 2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon light instant coffee granules
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (305 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate discs or chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until very light, about 5 minutes.
Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.
Take the bowl off the stand mixer and add the dry ingredients.
Fold in the dry ingredients and the chocolate discs or chips and until just combined. Don't overmix!
Press plastic wrap against the dough and chill it for at least 24 hours and up to 36.
As a shortcut, you can also freeze for two hours or refrigerate portioned out for an hour.
Out of the fridge or freezer, let it thaw and come to room temperature.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet and optionally, line with parchment or a silicone mat. Portion the dough out into balls slightly larger than golf balls, about 3 1/2 ounces each, and transfer six balls to the baking sheet. (They will spread significantly.) Flatten slightly with the palm of your hands.
Bake the cookies until set, being careful to remove cookies from the oven when still soft in the center, about 10 minutes. Leave the cookies to continue baking out of the oven on the sheet for about one or two minutes.
After a couple of minutes, move the cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly.
You can use semisweet or bittersweet chips or discs. Best served warm but still very good at room temp. You can freeze for a couple hours and refrigerate for an hour to shorten the chilling time required or if you're patient, you can refrigerate or freeze for 24 hours or up to 36 hours.
Everyone needs this recipe in their repertoire. Here’s why. It’s delicious…well, duh. That’s kind of important. Second, it’s versatile. I mean it. This dough is very versatile. I’ve used it for mini tarts, sugar cookies, pies, etc. This stuff is multi-faceted like crazy. Third, it’s easy to make. I know I say this about most of my recipes, but trust me, I’m not BSing you. This dough is really easy to make. I usually whip it up in under ten minutes when the ingredients are at room temperature, which should be a given. There is absolutely no reason to not try this. You will love it. You will be using it a lot and you will be eating the raw dough like nobody’s business. That’s just how it goes. So better to try it now so you can impress your neighbors with your cool Halloween and Christmas cookies when the time comes.
Place the room temperature butter into the bowl of your stand mixer or into a large bowl. Use some decent quality butter, please.
Mix on medium-low speed until light and fluffy for about five to seven minutes.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Pour in the granulated sugar in a steady stream and mix on medium speed until sugar dissolves and the mixture is fluffy. Should take about four to five minutes.
On medium speed, add in one egg at a time, allowing the egg to absorb before adding the second one. Stop the mixer and scrape.
Add in the zest, vanilla and lemon juice and mix for a minute until combined.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and pour into the dough all at once.
Begin to pulse the dough a few times with the stand mixture until big clumps of dough forms and some of the flour is absorbed. Stop at this point and remove the bowl from the stand mixer.
Use a rubber spatula to mix in the dry ingredients into the dough. This will take time. I use a stabbing motion to mix in the flour. Don’t overmix. Some flour will be visible, but the dough will look smoother in texture and slightly darker in color.
Move into a plastic container or form into a round shape and cover in saran wrap. I typically chill in the freezer overnight, which is ideal. You can also chill in the fridge or freezer for a few hours. This allows the dough to relax and absorb the rest of the flour.
When you are ready to use the dough, let it thaw for at least a half hour from the freezer or fridge. It should be somewhat pliable, but still cold. If the dough isn’t cold, your shapes won’t cut out as nice and the cookies will spread once in the oven. So, it’s important that the dough is cold but workable. It will be crumbly, to begin with. Work it and it will become easier to work with, smoother and slightly darker in color.
You can wrap up the unused dough and freeze for later use. Here are some examples of decorated sugar cookies I made with this delicious dough.
See how I do it:
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- zest and juice from one large lemon or two medium lemons
In the bowl of your Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment or with a bowl and hand mixer, cream the room temperature slightly softened butter at medium-low speed until light and fluffy, about five minutes.
Pour in the sugar and mix for about four to five minutes. Scrape.
Add in the sour cream all at once and mix.
Add in one egg at a time on medium-low speed. Let the egg absorb before adding the next egg. Stop the mixer and scrape.
Add in the lemon zest, juice and vanilla extract. Mix for about a minute on medium speed until combined.
Next sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and add it all at once to the creamed mixture. Pulse until big clumps of dough form. Take the bowl off the mixer at this point.
Use your rubber spatula and "stab" in the dry ingredients. It will take a few minutes, so take your time. Don't overmix! Flour will still be visible.
Wrap in plastic container or form into a round and cover with saran wrap.
Chill for at least a couple hours or overnight before using.
Knead in portions until it comes together. It will be crumbly at first. That's normal. Keep working it.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/2" thickness and cut shapes as desired and bake at 350°F for about 9-11 minutes or until the bottom edge is very lightly golden brown. Note: smaller shapes will bake faster, so if you're baking a variety of shapes, make sure to take the small shapes out of the oven first.
Once the cookies are baked off, leave them on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store them in a plastic container covered for about a week.
You can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to one week and freeze wrapped well for up to three months.
We all know the French invented cooking and pastries. They are the pioneers that we should all bow down to for giving us so many delectable dishes. One of the many creations the French gave us is called crème anglaise.
The name may make it sound fancy, but all it really is a custard like cream sauce. It’s not hard to make, but it is worth the effort. What you’ll get is a rich cream sauce that tasted like vanilla ice cream. It’s so good and complements so many desserts. I used it in my trifle, but you can use it along side any dessert really. This recipe will give you a thicker crème anglaise than you may be used to seeing. It tasted just as delicious though. I took it to a thicker stage by continuing to cook it, but if you wanted it thinner, you would just take it off the heat quicker. Anyways, let’s get this party started.
Start by combining the cream, about 1/4 cup or 50 grams of milk, and 68 grams of sugar in a medium saucepan.
If you’re using the vanilla bean cut in half, place it in the saucepan at this point. Place over medium heat and stir for 10 seconds. Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and the remaining 68 grams of sugar in a medium mixing bowl and whisk immediately for 30 seconds.
Add 50 grams of milk to the egg yolk mixture.
When the milk comes to a boil in the saucepan, turn off the heat. Remove the vanilla pod. If you didn’t use a pod, at this point pour in the vanilla extract and stir. Stir constantly with a whisk pour about 2 cups of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture.
Pour this egg yolk mixture into the hot milk in the sauce pan and place over low heat. Use a rubber spatula to stir constantly until it begins to thicken.
The temperature should reach between 165°F – 185°F and the sauce should stay put if you run your finger down the middle of a spatula.
Strain the mixture into a mixing bowl over an ice bath. Stir for a few minutes until it’s cooled and then let it cool down for 20 minutes.
Once cool, transfer to a container, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it’s ready to use. Custard will keep for up to 48 hours in the fridge.
See how I do it:
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 vanilla beans or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8-9 egg yolks
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
Set aside 1/4 cup of milk and place the rest of the milk, all of the cream and 1 1/3 cup of sugar into the medium saucepan. Place the vanilla bean in the saucepan if you're using that.
Place over medium heat and stir for 10 seconds to make sure that the sugar doesn't stick to bottom.
Meanwhile, combine the yolks and the other 1 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in a medium bowl and whisk for 30 seconds. Add 50 grams of milk to the egg yolk mixture and whisk in.
When the milk cream mixture comes to a boil, turn off the heat and remove the vanilla pods and at this point add in the vanilla extract if that's what you're using.
Stir constantly with the whisk, pour about 2 cups of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture. Whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the hot milk in the saucepan.
Place the saucepan back on low heat and use a rubber spatula, stir constantly until you feel the mixture starting to thicken.
Cook, stirring constantly until it reaches 165°F -185°F. Strain this mixture into a bowl placed over an ice bath. Stir for a few minutes, then cool for 20 minutes.
Once cool, transfer to a container, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Lasts for about 2 days in the fridge. Sauce should be thick and creamy, not runny or grainy.