Monday, December 6, 2010

Donut Mix-Up


During the holiday's it can be especially difficult to find substitutes for ones family's tried and true recipes and memory evoking foods. For example, giving a child a store bought gluten free cookie is no substitute for freshly made sufganiyot, the fried jelly donuts traditionally eaten at Chanukah time. To me it is especially important to have nice gluten free and allergy free options at home, since there are so many parties at school (and elsewhere this time of year) where my kids need to bring their own food. I want them to feel caught up in the festivities like everyone else. And, let's face it, inevitably food contributes to the celebration.

Last year I thought I was really clever when I discovered a shortcut to make great gluten free donuts---gluten free pizza dough mix! I used Whole Foods 365 brand, and it was great. I came to this by dusting off an old syllogism I learned in college (if, then, therefore). I remembered reading that Paula Deen's mother made donuts from refrigerator biscuits (the kind you buy in the tube), and I thought the gluten free pizza dough mix yielded a biscuit like crust, therefore it may also yield a decent donut. And, it did just that.The only thing I did different than the package directions was add an extra 1/4 cup sugar. They fried up beautifully in 350 degree oil. I used a pastry bag to fill them with strawberry jam, and put out melted chocolate and confectioner's sugar for toppings. Lillie loved them!!!

So what a disappointment on the first night of Chanukah this year, when I took the remaining box of 365 Pizza Dough Mix out of the cabinet and mixed up the contents only to find that it had a weird smell. Checking the box I saw to my chagrin it had expired a while back. Yikes. The clock was ticking and I had a kid with a special diet who I didn't want to disappoint on the first night of Chanukah. To add insult to injury, I used all my eggs on the rotten mix. I frantically thought and remembered the box of Gluten Free Bisquick I had in my fridge. I remembered once seeing a recipe for Bisquick donuts with the non GF variety. I quickly went to the Betty Crocker site and did a search, no luck. A Google search finally yielded the recipe. My nice and ever prepared neighbor lent me another dozen eggs, and I set to work with a prayer on my lips that this would work. I had to add more liquid to the GF version, but they came out lovely. One advantage of the Bisquick donuts over the pizza crust version is that they stayed soft even the next day. Gluten free baked goods often harden when not eaten fresh. But Lillie was able to take one in her lunch for a party at school! So for this mother, I found that necessity is indeed the mother of invention!

As a postscript you may be wondering what Rosie ate, as the donuts contained egg, I have a little secret I use to make super easy eggless and vegan (but glutenny) donuts. E-mail me at the address on the right if you would like to know!

If latkes are your thing, pretty much any recipe will work, just substitute potato starch or any gluten free all-purpose blend for the flour or matzo meal called for in the recipe. As an egg substitute, you can use Ener-G Egg Replacer, or 1 Tablespoon potato starch dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water. This acts like a "glue" to keep the latke together.

If sugar cookies are your thing, I tried Better Batter's Vegan Sugar Cookie recipe this year. It came out nice, but not as sweet as I would like, although the kids didn't seem to care. Sugar cookies are more about the process than the end result in my opinion---especially if you're 4 years old. It seemed as if it would work great in a spritz press though, just don't refrigerate first.

Happy Holidays!

The gluten free version of Bisquick is dairy free as well---a nice plus in my opinion. I call these "anything fritters", as you can add just about anything to them, such as grated apple or zucchini, or sliced bananas. They are easy to make and delicious to fresh and hot.

Gluten Free Bisquick Donuts
2 cups gluten free Bisquick
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup rice, soy or dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
Canola or vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
Confectioner's sugar

In a large mixing bowl, mix together first 6 ingredients. Add more milk, a tablespoon at a time, if mixture is very thick. Cover and refrigerate until oil heats.

Meanwhile, heat 3 inches of oil in a large pot on medium-high (375 degrees) heat. To test readiness of oil, drop a walnut size piece of dough into hot oil. If it floats and small bubbles appear around it, the dough is ready. Using two tablespoons, scoop up batter in one and push it off the spoon with the other into the oil. Don't crowd the pot. Fry only 2 or 3 donuts at a time. Using a slotted spoon, turn donuts when they appear golden. Fry for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove donuts to a paper towel lined plate and drain well. Repeat until all batter is used up.

Hint: Put a two inch piece of peeled carrot into the boiling oil to soak up all the yucky brown stuff that appears when frying. It keeps the oil clear and your donuts looking good.

Allow donuts to cool for 5 minutes. Using a pastry bag fitted with a round tip, fill donuts with jam. Place confectioner's sugar in sieve and sprinkle over donuts. Best served warm. Store tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.

Yield: 1 dozen small or 9 large donuts.

1 comment:

  1. I want them to feel caught up in the festivities like everyone else. And, let's face it, inevitably food contributes to the perfume samples