Recipe: Peppermint snowdrift cake doughnuts
These festive doughnuts are the perfect treat to celebrate a happy occasion.When we released this doughnut after opening our Fifth Avenue store in Seattle, we topped a minty version of our signature chocolate cake doughnuts with a drift of white peppermint icing and shards of peppermint candies and called them Peppermint Avalanches—but something about that name didn’t sit well with us. We prefer Peppermint Snowdrifts, and now we top them with festive red sanding sugar. Add the decorations immediately after icing each doughnut or they won’t stick.
1 hour active time, plus glazing or icing.
Doughnut cutter (or 2-¼ in./7 cm and 1-¼ in./3 cm round cutters).
Chocolate Peppermint doughnut ingredients
- 2 cups/225 g cake or soft-wheat flour, plus more for rolling and cutting
- ½ cup/50 g unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp iodized salt
- ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ cup/100 g sugar
- 2 tbsp shortening/vegetable lard, trans-fat-free preferred
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp peppermint extract
- 2/3 cup/165 ml whole milk
- Canola oil, for frying
Peppermint icing ingredients
- 4-1⁄2 cups/1 lb/450 g confectioners’/icing sugar, sifted
- 1-1⁄2 tsp light corn syrup/golden syrup
- 1⁄4 tsp iodized salt
- 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 tsp peppermint extract
- 1⁄3 cup/75 ml plus 1 tbsp hot water
- Red sanding sugar or peppermint candy shards, for decoration
1 Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together into a mixing bowl, and set aside.
2 In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the sugar and shortening/vegetable lard for 1 minute on low speed, until sandy. Add the egg and egg yolk, then mix 1 more minute on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary, until the mixture is light and thick.
3 Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three separate additions, alternating with the milk, mixing until just combined on low speed each time. The dough will be very sticky, like very wet cookie/biscuit dough.
4 Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and refrigerate, covered directly with plastic wrap/cling film, for 1 hour (or up to 24 hours).
5 Using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, heat oil (at least 2 in/5 cm deep) in a deep fryer, large pot, or high-sided frying pan over medium heat to 370°F/185°C. Gently roll chilled dough out on a counter or cutting board floured with about 1/41/4 cup/30 g cake flour to 1⁄2 in/5 cm thick, or about 8 in/20 cm in diameter, flouring the top of the dough and the rolling pin with another 2 tbsp flour, or as necessary to prevent sticking—this is a soft, wet dough.
6 Cut into doughnuts, using the big cutter for the outside ring and the small cutter for the inside ring if you don’t have a doughnut cutter. Make as many doughnuts as possible, dipping the cutter into flour before each cut. Fold and gently reroll the dough and extra holes (working with floured hands makes the dough less sticky), and cut again. (Note: Because this is such a soft dough, you may find it easier to cut the doughnuts just a few at a time, right before you add them to the oil, instead of cutting them all out ahead of time. Transferring is easiest with a flat metal spatula.)
7 Shake any excess flour off the doughnuts before carefully adding them to the hot oil a few at a time, taking care not to crowd them. Once the doughnuts float, fry for about 60 seconds per side, or until deep golden brown on both sides. (You’ll know they’re ready to turn the first time when you see the golden brown color creeping up from the bottom of the doughnut.) Drain on paper towels/absorbent paper.
Makes one dozen plus a few holes.
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Excerpted from Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker, Copyright © 2011 by Mark and Michael Klebeck with Jess Thomson. Photography by Scott Pitts. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.