When I was growing up, one of our winter traditions was to make donuts on the first day that school was cancelled for snow. We’ve carried on that tradition with our kids, although not consistently. This year I decided to do “donut day” on the Saturday that we missed the Christmas parade because of snow.
They were supposed to be on their school’s float in the parade, and then sing in a cantata afterwards, so they were really sad to miss out, especially Judah. My attempt at easing their disappointment was to download Randall Goodgame’s new CD “A Slugs and Bugs Christmas” for them to listen to while we made donuts. It was a huge hit and I recommend it to anyone with kids, especially if you’re a fan of his and Andrew Peterson’s “Slugs and Bugs and Lullabies.” If you like the Tractor Song and/or Star Wars, you’ll love the Camel Song.
But… back to donuts. What I remember making as a kid was usually cake donuts rolled in sugar (we’d shake them in a brown paper bag to coat them.) Those were wonderful; they taste like a snowy day. And they’re fairly simple and quick. But I really like glazed yeast donuts. So this year we went with the long and drawn-out version of donut making. With close-to-perfect results:
That morning, I was looking through cookbooks, trying to find the best recipe, and after comparing several, all I ended up with was this thought: you can make donuts out of any yeast dough! So instead of investing hours of my life into a brand new dough recipe that could potentially end up as a flop, I decided to use my regular cinnamon roll dough recipe. So, I mixed up my dough (added an extra tablespoon or so of sugar – just in case!) and set it on the stove to raise.
When it was nice and poofy, we divided the dough into smaller sections (easier to work with), rolled it out fairly thin, and used our handy-dandy donut cutter to cut them out. This part of the process was a fun learning together experience with the younger kids. But when they lost interest and Judah took over, we really got going. Judah cut the donuts out and laid them on a tray that we stuck into our barely warm oven to help them raise faster. I took charge of frying them and kept the kids away from the hot oil, and Wesley and the girls all enjoyed putting the glaze on the donuts.
If you’ve ever wanted to make glazed donuts, click here for my glaze recipe! It really is a good one. It has Knox gelatin in it, which helps it to firm up enough that it doesn’t all run off the donuts. And it doesn’t dry sticky!
I wonder what my kids liked best about donut day. Was it playing in the first big snow of the winter? Listening to fun new music? Rolling and cutting out dough? Making a mess with glaze? Or maybe it was this: When they asked me how many donuts they could have, I said, “Donut day is a rare occasion! Just don’t make yourself sick.”
I asked them later how many donuts they ate – and those answers became classified information which will not be made public on my blog. HA. But they didn’t get sick!
Bonus photo: Wesley pulled this donut hole off the cooling rack and noticed that it was smiling at him. We couldn’t resist taking a picture!
ps – If anyone is ambitious enough to actually click my links and follow my recipes, you’ll need another half recipe of glaze to coat all of the donuts you’ll get out of that dough recipe.