Monday, February 11, 2008

Spicy Gingerbread Makin' Like a Doughnut

When Peabody and Helen announced a February event, It's Time To Make the Doughnuts, it was so tempting to think that I could do that...make doughnuts that is. But the truth is that I've never been successful making them, at least not by frying. In fact, I have strong anti-fry feelings which I blame on the fried oysters.

Well, I like to eat...make that love to eat fried oysters. The reason I don't like the frying thing so much has to do with childhood. A lot of fears and dislikes can be traced back to when we were young, I guess. Anyway...fried oysters...imagine having to dredge in seasoned flour, dredge in beaten egg, dredge in breadcrumbs, and fry enough oysters to feed a family of ten. The dredging components would mix and cake up on my fingers and it was a challenge to keep the oil at the right temperature for so many batches. To this day I dislike the smell of oil being used to fry things. Since my whole house smells that way at the moment, you can just imagine my love and respect for "Gracie" and Tartlette.

Enough about oysters. Today it's doughnuts. In this case, spicy Gingerbread Doughnuts with Lemon Curd filling. If you are going to go whole hog and fry, then make it something you don't find in every doughnut shop (the proper place to find doughnuts) and something that Sweetie likes, too.

The recipe is a much varied variation of Peabody's Vermont Apple Cider Doughnuts. The Lemon Curd (recipe found here) was brushed on the tops while the doughnuts were still warm, then some more was piped into the middle with a plain tip on a pastry bag and more with a star tip piped on top.

The results were good for the first two. After that the oil was too hot, then not hot enough, then I gave up. But those two were yummy! The spicy gingerbread flavor goes really well with the creamy, tangy lemon curd. The texture is soft and tender cake doughnut. If you have mastered hot oil, as I obviously have not (see the much-too-dark doughnut in the photo below?), do consider making these for your Sweetie... or just for yourself.

Spicy Gingerbread Doughnuts with Lemon Curd
based on Collette/2001 and
Vermont Apple Cider Doughnuts/Peabody

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg, lightly beaten, at room temperature
1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon molasses
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Beat together brown sugar and butter until creamy. Add the egg and mix to combine. Add the buttermilk and mix to combine. Mixture may be curdled looking...that's OK. Set aside.

Begin heating vegetable oil (I used a mix of canola and corn oils) in a deep, heavy pot to about 3 inches deep. Heat to 375 degrees F.

On a sheet of waxed paper, stir together the flour, soda, salt, and spices. Add to liquid mixture and mix just enough to combine. Transfer dough to a lightly floured board and pat to 1/4 inch. Fold half of dough over the other half and pat lightly. Cut with 2 1/2 to 3 inch round cutter. Reroll and cut scraps.

When oil reaches 375 degrees F., fry several doughnuts at a time, turning once when the edges begin to darken, about 2 minutes. Cook about 2 more minutes until browned and cooked through. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon. Try to keep the oil at 375 degrees as you fry.

While hot, brush the tops with some of the lemon curd.

When the doughnuts are cooled enough to handle, poke a very small slit in the side about half way between the top and bottom. Pipe some lemon curd into the slit using a piping bag and plain small tip. When all the doughnuts are filled, use a small star tip to pipe circles or spirals of lemon curd on top.

Serve slightly warm or cooled. These didn't last long enough to know how they will store. This recipe makes about 8, but you can easily double the recipe for more.


  1. What a magnificent combination of flavors, Elle - yum!

  2. In the second pic the donut looks like he's sticking his tongue out at us!

  3. I think these are my favorite doughnuts that I've seen so far!!

  4. Evil. Just plain evil. :)

  5. These are so cool. I have never seen donuts like these before.

  6. I've tagged you! Check out my blog for details. =)

  7. Wonderful! I love everything about them! Thank you for participating!

  8. These sound like a delicious combo. I wouldn't have thought about gingerbread and lemon in a doughnut but the flavours make perfect sense. Good on you for making them despite not liking frying.

  9. These are so above and beyond I am in awe! Mmmm gingerbread doughnuts...genius.

  10. I do love the idea of spicy gingerbread in a doughnut.
    With you on that fried oil smell - uck.
    Love your doughnuts!!

  11. Anonymous4:11 PM

    I love how that doughnut looks like he is sticking his tongue out at us! Too cute!

  12. holy cow.. what a combination.. I am in love! I swear it's not fair you live so far away!!!! But it's good only a couple were made before you gave up.. if there were more I'd be on my way.. and they'd be on my hips! :D


  13. Patricia, Thanks...they do go well together.

    Brilynn, That's what I though, too. Sassy doughnut!

    Deborah, Thanks! Just took a look at the rest and there sure are a lot of awesome ones.

    Davimack, *Grin*

    Cheryl, Not sure if there have been spicy gingerbread ones, but someone probably made some at some point in the past...who knows?

    Celeste, Thanks!

    Helene, Glad you like them :)

    Katie, I love gingerbread and lemon sauce, so that was the inspiration. It will probably be months or years before I deep fry anything again.

    Peabody, So glad you liked them.

    Tanna, Try is tricky to fry them without burning them...brown and sugar and molasses both in the dough...but very tasty.

    Kristen, Yeah, a cutie.

    Lis, Ohh, don't remind me of my hips :) If you lived closer we would be happy campers, but have even bigger hips...heeheehee

  14. Elle, these look just gorgeous, and ginger and lemon together is a devine combination. I would pay for these if they sold them!

  15. What a delicious combo! I *love* lemon and think it would be delicious with gingerbread. And a donut!!!