Postpone your holiday shopping and make doughnuts this weekend. I made these in the fall while the blog was under construction and then forgot to post but it's never to late for pastries. If you don't like the idea for glaze (crazy) consider dusting with cinnamon and sugar.
Apple Cider Doughnuts + Cider Glaze
For the doughnuts
1 packet (1/4 oz) dry active yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup apple cider
1/2 stick butter
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
+ 10 cups-ish oil for frying (vegetable, canola...)
For the cider glaze
1/4 cup boiling cider
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a small dish, proof yeast by pouring warm water over the yeast. Let sit 5 minutes. If the yeast is good it will foam and/or have bubble marks. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients, including proofed yeast, excluding the frying oil. Dough will be very sticky. Sprinkle dough lightly with flour so a crust will not for during rising. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 2 hours at room temperature or 8 hours in the fridge. Dough will puff and rise about double.
On a floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/2" thick. Cut into rings with a doughnut punch/cutter. Don't re-roll the dough after first cutting but save the scraps to fry. (They won't be cute doughnut shapes but will be irregular and resemble animals, states, puzzle pieces... but taste just the same.) Transfer rings, holes and scraps to a floured tray. Cover tray and let rise 30 minutes.)
In a large heavy pot, heat 2 1/2 inches frying oil to 350 degrees. (Oil this hot can be dangerous so just be careful around it.) And keep an eye on the temperature as you fry. It shouldn't get too high.
Carefully slide doughnuts into oil and fry, flipping once, each side should be a deep, pleasing golden brown. Work in batches. Transfer cooked doughnuts to rack to cool.
For the glaze, heat cider in a small pot and whisk in all ingredients. Remove from heat and dip doughnuts in pan to cover in glaze. Work in batches. If glaze gets too cool and thick while coating, return to heat. Warming the glaze will thin it out.