My love for doughnuts began at a very early age. I can still remember my mom frying up homemade doughnuts as a special treat every once in a great while. And my good friend Stacey and I would regularly visit Thompson’s Bakery with our moms after story hour at the library.
As fate may have it, when I was 15 years old I got my first paying job (outside of cleaning band instruments at my dad’s store), at Daylight Donuts in Sterling. I worked every Saturday morning from 5:00am to closing at 1:00pm, unless we ran out of doughnuts before this, which happened most Saturdays. The doughnut shop would be filled with the regulars, women taking a break from garage sales, elderly men enjoying a cup of black coffee, and children visiting with their grandparents. I loved it. I loved the smell, I loved the look of the doughnut cases filled with every different kind of doughnut possible, I loved the big yellow and orange melamine trays that held dozens of doughnuts waiting to refill the case, and I loved filling them with sweet jams and bavarian creme. I would have a german chocolate cake doughnut every Saturday morning…back in the days when my metabolism could handle it. 🙂 Even into adulthood, I would treat myself to a doughnut on my birthday each year. That all stopped a little over two years ago when I found out I wouldn’t be able to consume them anymore, but my love for the little fried cakes has never ceased. Now instead of loving the taste, I love the look and the process of how they get their look.
You can imagine my absolute excitement when I found out about National Doughnut Day. That’s right. There’s a day completely dedicated to these sweet circles with a hole punched out, and you better believe I’m all over that one. National Doughnut Day is celebrated the first Friday in June each year. It follows the “Donut Day” event created by the Salvation Army in 1938, honoring women who served doughnuts to the soldiers during World War I. A fact-finding mission that was sent into France shortly after the US entered the war, concluded that huts serving baked goods, providing services that mended the soldiers clothes, and offering writing supplies and stamps would be of great service to the men. They were staffed with 6 people each, 4 of them being women who could “mother” the boys. Making freshly baked goods wasn’t practical for the time or the space they were given, but doughnuts were an easy substitute. I love this little piece of history! After reading about it I was more than excited to make some doughnuts of my own. My house smelled like a fryer, but regardless of the smell, these little cakes were Aaron’s late night snack.
Now go mark your calendars for next June and give yourself permission to have one of these!
Applesauce Spice Doughnuts
Makes about 10 doughnuts
- 1 2/3 cups flour
- 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of ground allspice
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 large egg
- oil for frying
- flour for dusting
- sugar for dusting
Place the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl and stir with a whisk to blend; reserve. Place the sugar and melted butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat to blend. Add the applesauce and egg; beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture in two additions and blend on medium speed until mixed. Cover dough and chill for at least 1 hour.
Place dough on a generously floured surface and dust with flour. Roll out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut dough with a floured doughnut cutter and place doughnuts on a waxed paper lined baking sheet that has been lightly floured. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
Heat the vegetable oil in the fryer until it reaches 375 degrees. Carefully lower 2 doughnuts into the hot oil–do not overcrowd. Fry on each side for about 45 seconds, turning with a slotted spoon or wire skimmer.
Remove and drain on layered paper towels. Pat gently to remove any excess oil, and sprinkle with desired amount of sugar.
Recommendation: Serve hot with a cup of french press Backporch Coffee. 🙂