So last weekend when my friend Leigh was in town there was also a big event in our house. The first weekend of college football. There is not way to express how important this is in our house without it being an understatement. We set alarms to get up early (on a Saturday!) so we don’t miss anything. We plan our game-watching schedule based on not only our teams, but also our online Pick ‘Em competition with our families. And somehow it has become tradition for me to make a special breakfast in celebration of it all.
Last week I made cinnamon rolls, and we enjoyed them so much that it only made sense to extend this “special breakfast” tradition another week to make these doughnuts that I’ve been craving ever since we went out to eat for our anniversary and had a plate of sweet potato doughnuts for dessert.
To be honest, I generally want my doughnuts to be light and fluffy and yeasty. And these chocolate doughnuts are none of those things; they are dense and cake-like and have no yeast. But oh my goodness I loved them so much. So much so that I served them as dessert while we watched the Auburn game with my family. I think that if you are going to have a dense doughnut, it needs to be chocolate (although I’m also willing to be proven wrong on that point). And even though I love yeasty doughnuts and I love chocolate, I never go for the chocolate yeasty doughnuts as my first choice. But if all chocolate doughnuts were as cake-like as these, they might sometimes beat out those heavenly glazed ones.
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
These doughnuts are dense and cake-like, which makes them work not only for breakfast but exceptionally well for a dessert. To fry the doughnuts I used shortening, which causes the doughnuts to soak up a bit less oil than if you were to use a vegetable or canola oil. You have a choice of glazes here, too: regular and chocolate. Both are, of course, equally good.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Wait Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes (2 minutes per side in batches)
Makes 16-18 3 inch doughnuts (with accompanying doughnut holes)
For the doughnuts:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
3 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Oil for frying
For the regular glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
For the chocolate glaze:
1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, sour cream, melted butter, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until a sticky dough forms. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
2. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto an extremely well floured counter. Sprinkle a good amount of flour on top of the dough and flour your hands well. Pat the dough down to about 1/2 inch thickness. Flour the sides of your biscuit cutters and cut the dough into a doughnut shape (I used a 3 inch cutter for my outer circle and the cap of my olive oil for the inner circle). Place the doughnuts onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and chill them in the freezer while your oil heats up (this will help them hold together better). Gather the scraps of dough up, pat them down into a new layer, and cut more doughnuts (continue until all the dough is used).
3. Make the glazes while your oil is heating up (see step 4). To make the regular glaze, stir together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a shallow bowl. To make the chocolate glaze, stir the powdered sugar into the melted chocolate in another shallow bowl and then stir in the milk to thin it out.
4. Fill a large pot up with oil to 4 inches deep (or fill a shallow pan with 1-2 inches of oil). Heat oil up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a couple of doughnuts plus a couple doughnuts holes in the oil. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side (the holes will take a bit less time). Remove the doughnuts from the fryer and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain them of the excess oil. Once the doughnuts are cool enough to handle (but still warm) dip the tops of them into your choice of glaze and let drain on a wire rack.