I've got to be quick today, for two reasons:
First, because Hanukkah is just around the corner, and I want you to seriously consider making these Easy Applesauce Drop Doughnuts with Caramel Glaze for your holiday get-together. They're fried, they're much easier and quicker to make than Sufganiyah (they take less than an hour from start to finish), and despite being pretty fool-proof, they're also ridiculously, addictively delicious. Don't make me tell you how many of these I've eaten.
The second reason is that I'm moving on Saturday morning. I should be excited. I am excited. But it's currently 3 AM Friday, I'm running low on coffee, and I haven't even begun to pack yet... so I should probably be brief.
I really wanted to share these with you first, though, because you're gonna wanna make Easy Applesauce Drop Doughnuts with Caramel Glaze this weekend.
In the amount of time it takes to heat up the oil, I make the batter. It's a simple mixture of ingredients you likely already have on hand, but the end product tastes like something you'd get straight from a doughnut shop... except, you know, even better. The applesauce addition lends a subtle flavor to the doughnuts, and it also allows you to use less oil or butter than usually necessary in the batter while keeping the doughnuts moist and cakey.
Some people take the time to make their drop doughnuts perfectly circular, but I feel like that defeats the purpose of drop doughnuts. Let them be funky shapes, right? That's part of the fun. A lot of them wind up round anyway, but I do get a decent amount of Picasso pieces in there, and I love them (and eat them up) just the same.
Once the doughnuts have puffed up and fried to a golden-brown on all sides, I remove them from the oil, set them aside, and work on the glaze. I could make caramel from scratch for these, but for the sake of keeping things quick and easy, I use store-bought caramel sauce as the base. Powdered sugar thickens things up to a dip-and-dry consistency, and a few tablespoons of milk ensure that the glaze doesn't clump on top of the doughnuts.
It's important to leave some time for the excess to drip off and for the remaining glaze to harden by placing the drop doughnuts on a wire rack and letting them set. However, by the time I'm finished cleaning up in the kitchen, the doughnuts are already ready for eating. I always enjoy a few right away with my family and friends, and then save some for the next few breakfasts. They taste best when served as fresh and warm as possible, but they're still awesome when made ahead of time!
Make these doughnuts for your Hanukkah celebration, special treat, or Christmas breakfast, and don't forget to take a picture. Tag #hostthetoast on Instagram or Twitter and show the world that Dunkin' ain't got nothin' on you!
For the Drop Doughnuts:
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup milk
- Oil for frying
For the Caramel Glaze:
- 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
- ¾ cups caramel sauce
- 2 tablespoons milk
- To start, prepare the drop doughnuts. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add the eggs in, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Beat in the applesauce and vanilla extract.
- Add in the flour mixture, a small bit at a time, alternating with adding in the milk, and mix until just combined.
- Heat 3-4" of oil in a deep, heavy bottomed pot or deep fryer to 375 degrees F.
- Drop batter, one tablespoon at a time, into the oil. Don’t overcrowd the pot, cook 4-5 max at a time. Fry til golden brown, flipping once halfway.
- Remove the doughnuts from the oil with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel lined plate to cool. Continue until all of the doughnuts have been fried.
- Next, make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, caramel sauce, and milk. Mix until smooth.
- Dip the drop doughnuts in the glaze, turning to coat, and place on a wire rack set over a lined baking sheet. Allow the excess to drip off, let dry, and serve.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins