Samantha Price, Jacob Dayton, and Janine Coppola Contributing Writers
Nothing gets someone in the mood for fall better than making fall-themed desserts. On one September weekend, myself and two friends attempted the daunting task of making apple cider donuts from scratch instead of buying them from a store, as normal people would. To say this journey was an ambitious one is a bit of an understatement; none of us had ever made donuts before. Sure, we’ve dabbled in cookies, brownies, and the occasional cake, but never donuts. We aren’t horrible bakers, so how hard could it be?
The first indication that this would not be a normal baking day was the giant jug of oil we needed to buy. We were not exactly sure how much oil we would need to fry these bad boys, so we bought the biggest container we could find just to be safe. Thankfully, the rest of the ingredients were normal enough that the cashier didn’t judge us for our decisions. Then, the time for baking was upon us.
After a brief confusion on why the recipe called for espresso powder, and discussing if we could use regular espresso instead, we realized we were looking at a similar but completely different recipe. We pulled up the correct recipe, and we were off. There were some interesting steps involved, including combing milk and butter in a bowl. It took us a minute to figure out just how melted the butter had to be, because it’s not exactly easy to combine a solid and liquid when you have never done it before.
Thankfully, the two dairy products finally started to put aside their differences and accept each other as equals. “Let me tell you,” Janine, one of our bakers, said, “Wet butter is one of the grossest feelings I’ve ever felt.”
Remember when I said we initially looked at the wrong recipe? Well, it turns out that for apple cider donuts, the milk had to be substituted for apple cider. Unfortunately, this discovery meant our other disgusting milk concoction met a grizzly fate in the garbage, though we did consider keeping it just so we wouldn’t waste food.
After all that, we finally made the dough with all the correct ingredients, only to find out that it had to sit in the fridge for an hour. We had put aside our whole afternoon for this, and now we had an hour to spare. Some of us did homework, some of us showered, and some played video games. It felt like no time had passed at all when the moment came to fry the dough. The recipe called for four inches of oil in a pot, but since we are all English majors, we just estimated. Carefully, we cut out circles with a cup and removed the middle with a shot glass. Don’t worry, we didn’t waste those; they became our own version of munchkins.
All in all, making apple cider donuts was certainly an adventure. It was hands-down the most dangerous baked good we’ve ever made (oil can become very, very hot). In the end, these doughnuts were a success. A delicious, wonderful success. If you want to make your own, you can find the recipe here. Happy fall!