Apple Cider Doughnuts

makes 12 (3-inch) doughnuts and 24 (1 1/2-inch) doughnut holes

*If you don't have graham flour, you can substitute whole wheat or all-purpose

For the Doughnuts

2 cups good apple cider

3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup graham flour 

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground mace

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 extra large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

Vegetable oil or shortening for frying

For the Cinnamon-Sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

pinch of ground mace

pinch of ground allspice

pinch of ground cloves

In a saucepan over medium to medium high heat, reduce the apple cider to about 1/4 cup, about 30 minutes; set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt; set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again until the mixture is smooth.  Mix in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low, add the reduced apple cider and buttermilk; mix just until combined.  Add the flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together.  Scape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and generously dust one of the sheets with flour.  Turn the dough onto the floured baking sheet and generously top the dough with more flour.  Roll or flatten the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness using more flour if needed.  Transfer the dough to the freezer until firm, about 20-30 minutes.  Remove the dough from the freezer and cut out doughnut rounds and holes using a 3-inch round cutter and a 1 1/2-inch round cutter.  Place the cut doughnuts onto the other prepared baking sheet. (Scraps can be re-rolled and cut, refrigerating if necessary, before cutting). Refrigerate the doughnuts for another 30 minutes.   

For the Cinnamon Sugar

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and spices; set aside.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set a wire rack on top.  In a dutch oven or cast iron pot, add enough oil or shortening to measure a depth of 3-inches.  Heat the oil until a candy thermometer reaches 350º F.  Carefully drop a couple of doughnuts at a time into the hot oil.  Fry until golden brown on the first side, about 1 minute.  Carefully turn the doughnuts over and fry on the other side until golden and cooked through, about 30-60 seconds.  Transfer to the prepared wire rack and allow to drain and cool slightly.  Once cool enough to handle, dredge in the cinnamon mixture, sprinkling on all sides.  Return on the rack to cool a bit more.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for two days or frozen for up to one month.  At room temperature doughnuts can be re-warmed in the microwave briefly.  Frozen doughnuts can be thawed in the refrigerator before warming in the microwave.  Enjoy!

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