Old Mill, Apple Cider Hushpuppies with Cinnamon-Sugar

(Makes about 24-26 hushpuppies)

Ingredients:

¾ cup flour
¾ cup Cream of Wheat
3 tablespoons sugar
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon, heaping, pumpkin pie spice
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup unfiltered apple cider (fresh-pressed style)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large Honey crisp apple (or 2 small), skin-on and diced very, very small
½ Granny smith apple, skin-on and diced very, very small
• Vegetable or peanut oil for frying (about 3-4 cups)
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
AND/OR:
• Powdered sugar
• Maple syrup

Preparation:

-In a bowl, add the flour, Cream of Wheat, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice, and whisk together to combine very well; next, add in the beaten egg, the apple cider and the vanilla, and using a spatula, combine the mixture just until well blended, but not overly worked; next, add in the finely diced apples and fold them into the batter until well combined.

-Add the vegetable or peanut oil to a large pot, and heat the oil to 325 degrees; once the oil is hot, begin frying the hushpuppies by dropping scant tablespoonfuls carefully into the hot oil, about 4 hushpuppies per batch; use a slotted spoon (or wire spider) to continually move the hushpuppies around in the hot oil to prevent them from getting too dark on one side, and fry for roughly 2 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through in the center; remove the hushpuppies from the oil and place them onto a paper towel-lined baking sheet or bowl to drain; repeat the process until all hushpuppies are fried.

-*In a small dish or ramekin, combine the 2 tablespoons of sugar with the ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and set side for a moment; next, add the warm hushpuppies to a jumbo-sized Zip Lock bag, sprinkle in the cinnamon-sugar mixture over them and shake the bag to coat the hushpuppies evenly.

-To serve, place the cinnamon-sugar coated hushpuppies onto a platter, and enjoy while still warm.

*For a wonderful, really yummy alternative that is perfect for breakfast, skip the step of coating the hushpuppies in the cinnamon-sugar, and simply serve them warm, sprinkled with some powdered sugar, with some rich maple syrup on the side; it’s a totally different taste, and perfect for kids to dip. (This version’s great with coffee!)

**These are best eaten while warm and fresh, but can be reheated gently for a few minutes at 350 degrees to get some of the “crisp” back.