Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Maple Glaze

I absolutely love fall. I'm guessing you love fall too, because really, who doesn't? But you probably don't love fall quite as much as I do. If you ask me, the other seasons simply exist to allow my anticipation and excitement for fall to build. I can't even wait until summer is officially over; as soon as September begins, I get the overwhelming urge to do fall things. For me, this includes one or more of the following:

I've already done most of these things at least once this year, and fall only officially started a week ago! Today, I baked my first fall-themed recipe. Having been inspired by my (mostly) successful first attempt at doughnuts, I decided to try another doughnut recipe, and this one sounded decidedly autumnal.

The first doughnuts I made were yeast-raised, whereas these doughnuts are leavened by a combination of baking powder and baking soda. I thought that they would end up being like cake doughnuts, but they really weren't. The texture was actually very similar to the aforementioned yeast doughnuts.

The flavor was good, but not as great as expected. I am inclined to blame this on the fact that I am not a very skilled deep-fryer, nor do I really have the proper equipment to do so. But fear not! I love doughnuts more than the average person, and I am determined to produce perfect doughnuts at home eventually. Until then, good doughnuts are better than no doughnuts at all!

Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Maple Glaze
Adapted from Paula Deen
Yield: 10-12 doughnuts, plus doughnut holes

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mashed sweet potato
Vegetable oil, for frying


1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.

2. Using a stand mixer, beat together eggs, sour cream, and sweet potato until combined. Reduce the speed to "stir," and gradually add the flour mixture.

3. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface. The dough will be very sticky, so knead in flour with your hands until the dough reaches the consistency at which it can be rolled with a rolling pin. Roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thickness.

4. Cut out doughnuts with a doughnut-cutter or round cookie cutters (2-1/4-inch and 3/4-inch). You may re-roll the dough as needed.

5. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat to 360˚F. Cook the doughnuts and doughnut holes in batches 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Be sure not to fry too many at once, or it may lower the temperature of the oil. Drain the doughnuts on paper towels after removing from oil.

6. Prepare the Maple Glaze: In a small bowl, combine 2-2/3 cups powdered sugar with 1/4 cup milk. Stir well, and add additional milk to reach the desired consistency. Add 1/4 teaspoon maple extract and whisk to combine.

7. Dip doughnuts in maple glaze and allow them to set for 1-2 minutes. If desired, dip doughnuts a second time to create a thicker layer of glaze.

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