I whirled through a Mother’s Day weekend of playing, cooking and baking. My 2 1/2-year-old granddaughter, Claire, was here with her mom and dad for 65 hours, give or take a few minutes. That included 3 nights of hugs and kisses from sweet Claire before bed and three early mornings of cuddling on the couch drinking juice and eating muffins or granola while watching recordings of Thomas the Tank Engine and his Friends. Oh, moments that a grandma treasures.
My daughter-in-law, Katie, brought a cookbook along that included a recipe she wanted us to make while she was here. Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts in “Family Meals: Creating Traditions in the Kitchen,” by Maria Helm Sinskey sounded very tempting and a little intimidating to my daughter-in-law. I’m far from an expert when it comes to making cake doughnuts, but between the two of us, the task seemed much less threatening.
It was before 7:00 on Saturday morning when I awoke to see two big blue eyes staring at me. Claire was anxious to get going on the doughnuts. Apparently, she decided she would be eating Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts for breakfast.
Still in my pajamas and with a big mug of dark coffee nearby, I measured out the wet ingredients while Katie measured all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Claire (still in her jammies, too) was right there with us standing on a stool, measuring and mixing flour.
Katie mixed the wet and dry ingredients together and formed a very dry, unappealing mass that we knew was not conducive to patting out onto a work surface. We added a couple more tablespoons of apple juice to the bowl. It did the trick. As oil heated in a deep cast iron pan over a gas flame, Katie patted out the dough and cut out doughnut shapes.
It took some testing in the hot oil before we finally came up with just the right thickness of dough to be sure the doughnuts were cooked through by the time they turned golden brown.
Claire decided she could just blow on the hot doughnut balls and presto, they were ready to eat. Claire seemed happy with the balls and the doughnuts.
“I opened our suitcase full of dirty clothes this morning and they smelled of fried doughnuts.Â Â I’m thinking if that’s going to happen again, we better enjoy them a bit more!! Â Â Hopefully our next attempt will be more successful.”
Maybe you’d like to try the doughnut recipe from “Family Meals” and let us know what kind of results you get. Click right here to get to that recipe. I must tell you that Katie has prepared at least a few recipes from that book and she has had good results with all of them. Maybe it was the early morning doughnut-making hour that tainted our results with this recipe. Really, though, it doesn’t matter much how the doughnuts turned out. It was such fun spending girl-time in the kitchen with Katie and Claire.
I might try that recipe again just to see if I get better results a second time. But, I would probably just stick to the recipe for Applesauce Doughnuts that I wrote about in my column a couple of years ago. I haven’t made them since publishing the recipe, but I do remember they were quite good. Maybe I’ll surprise Claire with Applesauce Doughnut Balls next time I see her. You can get to my recipe for the Applesauce Doughnuts by clicking right here.
So, our Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts were nothing to brag about, but…ask me about my grandchildren. (Smile)
Claire had such fun playing outside in the Bemidji sunshine. She and Gracie are still learning how to play with each other. Gracie needs her gentle leader to remind her not to jump on Claire. Gracie will have her first birthday on May 21st. She’s still all puppy. Claire will turn 3 in September, shortly after the birth or her new baby brother or sister.
Soccer and tummy troubles made it impossible for my other three grandchildren to come for a visit, but here they are with our traditional lamb cake on Easter.