Last week I felt the need to bake. When I go several days without baking something, I get antsy. But what to bake?! It'd been a while since I made doughnuts. My doughnut pan used to get used once a month, but cakes have been my baking focus for a while. Every time I make doughnuts, they're generally the same: cake-like, baked, and frosted with some sort of delicious glaze. I wanted more. I wanted yeast risen doughnuts.
After deciding to make fried doughnuts, I had to figure out what flavor. Should they be filled with jam and covered with powdered sugar? Should they be coated in cinnamon sugar? Sam wanted maple bars. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted a doughnut covered in crushed Oreo pieces. Instead of using store bought Oreos, I opted to make my own chocolate cream cookies and make half of the doughnuts Oreo and half of them maple bars.
The cookie recipe is one I've used before and successfully made gluten-free and vegan. The recipe here is glutenous first, then gluten-free and vegan.
Homemade Oreos (with gluten, without, and/or vegan)
1 cup earth balance butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg––1 flax egg (1 Tblsp ground flaxseed; 3 Tblsp water)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour––2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, beating until well incorporated.
Whisk together dry ingredients. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixer. Mix on the lowest setting until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Divide the dough in half and shape into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350º. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Take a portion of the dough out of the fridge and roll the dough to 1/8–1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Use cookie cutters to cut the cookies into your desired shape. Just because Oreos are round doesn't mean yours have to be!
Bake the cookies for 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
Whip up a batch of vegan buttercream. After the cookies have cooled, fill them with your frosting.
I made the cookies a couple of days before the doughnuts. Yeast risen doughnuts require a lot of time. I could've made the cookies while the doughnuts were rising, but making them ahead of time meant sharing them with friends.
Basic Doughnut Dough
1 Tblsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup slightly warm almond milk
1 tsp salt
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup earth balance butter (melted)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve yeast in milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
Beat in the eggs and sugar.
Add the butter and salt and beat until combined.
Begin adding flour one cup at a time until a smooth dough is formed.
Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about 2 hours). At this point, you can decide to refrigerate the dough overnight instead.
To make doughnut bars
On a floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle that's about 1/2-inch thick and 10x12 inches. Cut the dough into 10 bars and place them on a parchment paper lined try in a warm place. Let rise for about 45 min.
While the doughnuts are rising, make whatever glaze or frosting you're going to use.
3 cups powdered sugar
2 Tblsp almond milk
3 Tblsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk together maple syrup, vanilla, and milk. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. For a runnier glaze, add more milk 1/2 Tblsp at a time.
To cook the doughnuts
Heat 3 inches of oil in a large skillet or pot to 350º. Taking 2 or 3 bars at a time, gently drop them into the oil using a large spatula. Fry for 35–45 seconds, then flip and fry the other side for 35–45 seconds. Using a large spatula or tongs, gently lift the doughnuts out of the oil and place on a plate lined with paper towel.
If covering in maple glaze, pour glaze onto doughnuts while they're still warm. Allow them to dry for a few minutes before serving. If you're filling or frosting your doughnuts, wait until they've cooled.
I filled half of the bars with vanilla buttercream, melted some chocolate chips and vegetable shortening with a little bit of powdered sugar to make a chocolate frosting, and crushed up my animal shaped Oreos. These doughnuts aren't good––they're amazing. They require patience, but the end result was worth the wait.
Although I'm not sure this particular dough can be made vegan––the egg yolks are an important ingredient––my next batch will be made with a gluten-free flour. Stay tuned to see how they turn out when they're gluten-free!