As one who thrives on the adrenaline rush of working until the very last minute, I prefer the role of hostess in the production of Thanksgiving. This year, however, I feel like more of an understudy to an understudy. I’m not sure which part I’ll be playing, where I’ll be performing or what I’ll be eating.
I’ve been in such a frenzy of projects, Thanksgiving had been hiding in the shadows of deadlines, and it very quickly sneaked up on me. Despite my lack of plans, I couldn’t let the Donut o’ the Month series pass November without a nod to the month’s star holiday.
This recipe draws inspiration from Thanksgiving’s cranberry sauce tradition, fall herb accents, mugs of hot cider, and the shot of whiskey you need when dad digresses into politics at the dinner table.
Whole Wheat Cranberry Sage Donuts with Whiskey Cider Glaze
makes about 12-15 standard sized donuts
4 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup organic raw cane sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest (~2 lemons)
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped sage
1 cup organic whole milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten (organic/cage-free)
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (8 Tbs) organic, unsalted butter, melted
3 cups fresh organic cranberries
Organic, non-GMO Safflower oil for frying (about 1 quart)
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, spices, salt, zest and sage, whisking to combine.
In another bowl, combine egg, milk and vanilla extract, mixing together.
Add melted butter to the dry ingredients, quickly stirring to disperse the butter and form small crumbs.
Stir in milk and egg mixture, bring the dough together with a spoon.
Before it comes completely together, add in cranberries, mashing some as you stir, and bring dough together with your hands.
Form the dough into a large ball, then roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut donuts using a biscuit cutter. Use a smaller cutter to create the donut hole. Repeat with dough scraps until all the dough is used.
Heat oil in a large pot or deep fryer, bringing it to 375 degrees. Fry donuts 1-2 at a time, frying for about 1 1/2-2 minutes per side. After your first donut, check it by cutting into the center and making sure the dough is cooked. Finish remaining donuts, transferring to a cooling rack as you go. Once all the donuts are made, add the glaze.
Cider Whiskey Glaze
2 cups organic powdered sugar
1-2 Tablespoons Hickory Finished Wigle Whiskey
1/4 cup apple cider
For the Glaze
Whisk ingredients together until a smooth glaze forms. If the glaze is too thin, add sugar a few tablespoons at a time, while whisking. if the glaze is too thick, add more water by one very small drop at a time, whisking constantly. Dip donuts in the glaze and set aside for the glaze to harden slightly. Note: You may need to make a second batch depending on the size of your donuts and your glaze preferences.
May your Thanksgiving morning be stress free and donut filled!
p.s: A bite of one of these donuts with a dollop of all natural pumpkin ice cream (and maybe a coffee on the side) is the stuff dreams are made of.