In case you missed it, last Friday was National Doughnut Day. Krispy Kreme gave away free doughnuts, as did a number of other doughnut bakeries across the country. I didn’t get around to claiming my free doughnut, so I settled for baking my own, instead.
I didn’t realize that it was Doughnut Day until it was announced on the Today Show that morning. “It’s fate!” I thought, for only days before, my new favorite show, Unique Sweets, featured a number of LA doughnut destinations and their off-the-wall creations. Two thoughts: 1) I did not know that LA was the doughnut Mecca of the west coast, and 2) why have I not gotten more adventurous in my doughnut baking? So, here we are.
Rum raisin ice cream is the cat’s pajamas and a dynamite grown-up treat. Lest you have to wait all day just to enjoy it for dessert in the evening, I vote that a morning incarnation of this flavor make an appearance. The raisins soak up the spiced rum in a matter of hours, and additions of cloves and cinnamon add an extra hit of flavor to these morning glories. These doughnuts are nice and light and are made extra tender by the use of pastry flour. I suggest enjoying these fresh out of the oven with a hot cup of coffee and at a leisurely pace.
Baked Rum-Raisin Doughnuts
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Makes 6 Doughnuts
1 scant cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. buttermilk or plain yogurt
3 Tbs. canola, vegetable, or safflower oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins
1/3-1/2 cup spiced rum
2 Tbs. powdered sugar (for dusting)
To Soak the Raisins:
Place the raisins in a small bowl and break apart any raisins that may be stuck together. Add just enough spiced rum to cover all of the raisins, about 1/3 to 1/2 cup. Allow the raisins to soak for at least eight hours or, preferably, overnight. When ready to use, scoop the raisins out of the rum with a fork or slatted spoon.
To Make the Doughnuts:
Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter or grease a doughnut pan, and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients except for the powdered sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk or yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth and well-combined. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Use a spatula to mix just until all of the dry ingredients are moist. Add 1/4 cup of the rum soaked raisins, and mix until evenly distributed. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag. Note: this transfer is easiest if you set the bag in a glass, rolling the edges of the bag over the sides of the cup to keep it open and upright. Be sure to cut the opening of the bag wide enough for the raisins to move through.
Pipe the batter into the greased doughnut pan, filling each space about halfway full. Bake the doughnuts for 11-13 minutes, until golden brown and slightly springy to the touch. Allow the doughnuts to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for five minutes before inverting the pan. Allow the doughnuts to cool for at least another five minutes before removing the pan. If necessary, gently slap the pan to shake the doughnuts out. To finish, dust the doughnuts with a bit of powdered sugar. Enjoy!