We’ve been spoiled for weather over the last few days here on the west coat but the sun is in hiding today. With a chill in the air it seemed like the perfect day for National Doughnut Day. You may be skeptical, as I was, that this is just a big marketing holiday to get people in the doors of the big doughnut chains. It turns out that there is a real historical reason to celebrate National Doughnut Day with all the deep fried dough you’d like. This day celebrates the Salvation Army women volunteers who distributed doughnuts to American soldiers in World War I. It started as a fundraiser to help the hungry during the great depression. Read more about the interesting history of National Doughnut Day on NPR’s food blog, the Salt.
I’ve never made doughnuts before but I’ve been saving this recipe for the right opportunity. I traded the ricotta for cottage cheese because that’s what I had on hand and they turned out beautifully. I also wanted to add a little zing from the garden and made a lemon-thyme glaze with some of our beautiful French cooking thyme.
Lemon Thyme Glazed Doughnut Holes
Adapted from Cup of Jo
(Makes 16 doughnut holes)
For the doughnuts:
- 1 ¼ c all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ lb cottage cheese
- ¼ c granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
- Oil for frying
For the glaze:
- ¼ c milk
- 1 c powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Juice of half a lemon
- 3-4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped
Sift together the flour and baking power, I use a sieve as a quick sifter. Use a fork to blend the cottage cheese slightly and to break up some of the larger chunks. Add cottage cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest to the flour. Mix until just combined.
Fill a pot with oil over medium heat. Make sure your oil is at least 2 inches from the top. I used canola oil but any oil with a high smoke point would work. Heat the oil to between 325-275 degrees. If you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer 10 minutes over medium should get the oil nice and hot.
Drop a spoonful of dough into the oil to check the temp. Let it cook for about 2 minutes on each side. The doughnut should be golden brown and cooked through.
Fry the rest of the batter in spoonfuls, making sure not to overcrowd the oil.
Let cool on a paper towel lined plate.
Combine all glaze ingredients and whisk well.
Dip the cooled doughnuts in the glaze. Alternatively you could dust the doughnuts with powdered sugar.
Perfect with a big cup of coffee! Enjoy