How the Donut Dance came to be.

Some of you may remember my previous blog post about making donuts.
It was an adventure. The donuts had problems, and I wasn’t sure how to fix them. At the end of it, I mentioned that I would like to make chai donuts one day… but I was missing some ingredients. Like cardamom.

And then, a couple of weeks ago, an envelope showed up in the mail… a lumpy envelope, from a friend of mine in Texas. In general, lumpy envelopes are the most fun to get, and this was no exception. It had cardamom in it.
This is not the first time something like this has happened. A long time ago, my purse was stolen. I blogged that I was very upset about several Starbucks gift cards that were in my wallet. In the next couple of weeks, I received about 10 new Starbucks cards in the mail. It was wonderful, to a super poor and coffee-dependent college student. I love my blog readers.

Also, there was a tea towel in my Christmas stocking, from my Grandma. There was even a note pinned to it that said “tea towel,” so that there could be no mistake. My last donut experience was a problem because I didn’t have a tea towel. Next time I make raised donuts, I am good to go.

Upon finding the cardamom in our mailbox, I did a happy dance, and then started wondering when I could make my chai donuts. It took some careful planning and preparation. Once again, the recipe seemed complicated. It called for things I don’t usually keep… like plain yogurt (ew) and whole milk.

But today, it seemed that the day had finally come. A friend here in Glennallen had given me a grinder to grind my cardamom. I bought yogurt. I decided that 2% milk was just fine. J was away for most of the afternoon, calling basketball games. It was time.

I opened the recipe book and studied the instructions. The book is like a big puzzle… you choose your dough (raised, baked, fried, etc.). Then you can add things to it to make different flavors… chai, for example. Then you choose from a list of glazes. It’s like a really yummy game.

For the chai donuts, you were supposed to use a fried cake dough. I didn’t want to fry them. It’s bad for you, and the oil was supposed to reach a very exact temperature… and I don’t have a thermometer. I decided to use the baked cake dough, and hope that it worked.

The only problem was that the baked dough called for pastry flour. Pastry flour. I don’t have pastry flour. I never have. I’ve never used it. I Googled pastry flour, to see if I could replace it. The articles I found were complicated and talked about things like active proteins… it frightened me. I text my mom to see if we knew anyone who knows about things like pastry flour. She said we knew Google.

I finally found something that said I could use 2 tablespoons of cornstarch plus enough all-purpose flour to make 1 cup in place of pastry flour. Why not? I thought.

I didn’t get to make them while J was gone, because I discovered a note in my cookbook that said the donuts would turn out better if all ingredients (including yogurt, eggs, etc.) were room temperature. So I gave them a couple of hours sitting on the counter, and made them this evening.
They are full of good smelling things… like ginger, and cinnamon, and nutmeg, and, of course, cardamom. And milk that was steeped with black tea.

My recipe book said, “you need to bake these in a donut pan. If you do not have a donut pan, you can use a muffin pan to make muffin-shaped donuts.”
I do not have a donut pan. Now it’s on my birthday list. (my birthday is in May… in case you were wondering…)

Fortunately, these donuts didn’t have to raise. Thank goodness. But, once again, the baking process was odd… they were supposed to bake 6-10 minutes. They took sixteen minutes. I don’t understand this. But, it gave me plenty of time to create a Donut Dance, which I performed in the kitchen (it involves lots of twirling and jumping and running in place).
I perused the glaze options carefully. There were several kinds to choose from… and they all looked AMAZING. It was really hard, but I settled on a cinnamon-allspice glaze.
I got a little over-excited and put the glaze on while my muffin-donuts (donins? muffnuts?) were still too hot. It melted off, and made a huge mess. So I waited until they’d cooled, then put more on… so that it would stay on.
You know how some foods simply need coffee to go with them? These donuts did. I could hear their little donut voices crying out, “make coffee! We must be eaten with coffee!”
So, we made coffee. And then we sat down to eat our donuts. Off of heart plates… because I already knew I loved these donuts.
Oh. My. Goodness. Eating this donut was like having a giant party. Like a religious experience. I wrote a song about them, and sang it with my mouth full… without shame. “I thank God for this day, and the donuts I have made…
I want to eat these donuts all the time.

I think I want to work my way through the donut book, and make all of the donuts. Maybe I will start a DONUT BLOG! (the excitement-nerves in my head just exploded a little bit). Next might be the bacon-maple donuts. A brilliant idea, I do believe.

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