This month I decided to give up processed sugar (as well as all processed sugar substitutes). I did it for two reasons. First off, I have been looking for a way to cut artificial sweetners out of my diet, specifically heavily processed candy and soda. Very specifically diet coke. I love me some diet coke. Secondly, I wanted a kickstart. I’ve been tired, sluggish, cranky, and downright hard to deal with lately. I haven’t felt like cooking or writing or waking up, and I was hoping that a sugar-free period would allow my body to rediscover an energetic, sugar-free life.
Mostly, at the near end of the month, I feel the same. I don’t have much more energy and getting out of the bed is still totally the pits. I haven’t lost any weight and my hair is still frizzy. But, what did I really expect to happen? That one day, a few weeks into October, I would wake up Penelope Cruz? Unrealistic. Mostly I wanted a way to say goodbye to the sugary crap that was killing me slowly, and that I have accomplished. I haven’t craved soda yet, and the only chocolate I want is on a croissant (I guess that reveals my real dependence- butter). What I have been craving, like it is my job, is a donut. I want a donut. On November 1st, I will eat all the donuts. (PS- Donut or doughnut? I’ve gotten mixed feedback. I prefer donut).
I’ve been saving this recipe since last fall, and I have to tell you, these donuts have been in my dreams. They’re light, delicious, and covered in tasty chocolate that makes your mouth water. Mostly, they epitomize the things I love about this time of year. The beautiful colors, the slightly richer food, frying things in my backyard… oh fall.
Still on a quest to kick my ass into gear I’m thinking that in November I’ll excuse myself from white carbs and alcohol that isn’t red wine. Thanksgiving aside, of course. We’ll see. Fall is always a hard transition for me, I don’t expect there is a magical cure to the shorter, darker days and the dreary prospect of a long winter. If there is, please let me know. Also, I’d love to hear what worked for you, if you’ve tried something similar!
3/4 cup milk, warm
1/4 cup heavy cream, warm
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, very soft
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Peanut oil, for frying
1 stick butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup hot water
2 cups dark chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups fall-colored chocolate candy, crushed
Mix milk, cream and yeast. If you’re using a stand mixer, go ahead and combine them in the bowl for your mixer. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes. Add sugar, butter, yolks and flour. In a stand mixer, or by hand, mix together and then knead until it forms a ball. Add warm water as necessary.
Cover and let rise 1 hour.
Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch. Use a biscuit cutter (3 to 4 inches) to cut out circles. Use a smaller cutter (or a doughnut roller, if you have one) to cut a 1-inch hole from the center.
Heat your oil to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Two or three at a time, drop your donuts into the oil. Let fry one minute, flip, and then another minute on the other side.
While your doughnuts cool, make your glaze. Combine all ingredients. Dunk your doughnuts in the glaze and set aside.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Stir in cream. Dip each donut in the chocolate and then sprinkle with chocolate candy.