I made donuts.
The mini kind. The kind you can eat in two bites.
The deep-fried, not baked, kind.
The leave your fingers chocolately, tummy happy, kind. The can’t stop popping them in your mouth kind.
I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s back this up.
Who doesn’t love donuts? No one. That’s who.
I mean, come on, if you didn’t have to worry about weight, sugar intake, and all that other health related business wouldn’t you just eat donuts on the regular? I’m pretty sure I would. It would be my morning staple. Sometimes even my snack. I would definitely have a ‘usual’ at the donut shop, and never have to wait in line. Sounds pretty awesome, right? In my perfect world that would happen. But, in the real world, I can’t even tell you the last time I had a donut. And, I’m talking a real donut here. Not the baked kind. Not like the Baked Cinnamon Brown Sugar Donut Bites I made a while ago.
It may actually have been a year ago that I ate a real donut. Maybe even longer. It’s not like I’m purposely avoiding donut shops either. It’s just…I’m not a huge breakfast person. And by that I mean I drink a cup of coffee, sometimes two, and call it a day. And, my snacks typically consist of goldfish or pita chips with a little hummus. As you can see, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for donut eating.
The idea of making my own fried donuts never really was a thought. I mean, there are a million other decadent desserts I want to make, and I don’t even have a deep fryer. Yes, I could just use oil and a huge pot, but I never had a good enough reason to go through all that trouble. Plus, I’ll admit it, I was slightly nervous about getting oil burns. I hear they hurt. A lot.
Are you wondering why I decided to finally make fried donuts? No. Okay, well, I’m still going to tell you anyways. My good friend, Lauren, visited this past week. Unlike myself, Lauren has no fears of oil burns. She is a lover of donuts, is always willing to have adventures in the kitchen, and can handle my craziness during the baking process rather well.
Let the fried donut making ensue.
As a first timer making donuts, I just want to start by saying, it’s actually kind of fun. Sure, it’s a process—making the dough, refrigerating the dough, letting the cut donuts rise, frying, cooling, stuffing with coconut cream, dipping in chocolate, and sprinkling with toasted coconut—but, the end result is totallllyyyy worth it. And, when you have a partner in crime in the kitchen with you, the time literally flies by.
The dough for these donuts was super easy to work with, and fried up rather nicely (and pretty quickly) into little golden donut holes. Neither Lauren nor I was burned by the oil, but we did burn the roofs of our mouths trying to taste test the donuts before they had cooled. Yup, we both are that inpatient. One of the reasons we’re friends. The donuts themselves are light, fluffy, and not overly sweet. Each donut hole is filled with coconut cream pudding, dipped in chocolate, and then sprinkled with toasted coconut shreds. If you like donuts, and you like coconut, you’ll want to make these!
Toasted Coconut Donut Holes with Coconut Cream Filling
Yields: about 40 donut holes
1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
2/3 cups milk, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 7 tablespoons
Canola oil, for frying
Coconut Cream Filling
1 (3.4 oz.) package of Jell-O instant Coconut Cream Pudding
2 cups milk
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
vegetable shortening, as needed
¾ cup sweetened coconut shreds, toasted
In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine yeast and milk. Allow yeast to dissolve completely, about a minute.
Mix in sugar, salt, flour, and eggs on low for about 4 minutes to develop the dough.
With the mixer still on low, add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until incorporated, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove dough from bowl—it will be sticky, so do your best—and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let dough sit in fridge for 6-15 hours (I let mine sit overnight and then made the donuts in the morning).
Once chilled, remove dough from plastic wrap and place on a piece of large parchment paper. Cover the top of the dough with another piece of large parchment paper and roll dough until about ½-inch thick. Using a 2-inch circle cookie cutter, cut out the donuts and place on a prepared (lined with parchment paper) cookie sheet. Allow donuts to rise in a warm spot for 1 ½-2 hours or until puffy and doubled in size.
When ready to fry, heat a pot filled with 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with papers towels (to soak up the extra oil) and set aside. Add donut holes to oil—be careful not to overcrowd the pot—and fry each side of the donut for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes, until golden brown. Make sure to watch your temperature as you continue to fry each batch of donut holes.
Remove donuts with slotted spoon and transfer to the paper-towel lined baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, transfer donut holes to a tray to cool completely.
Coconut Cream Filling
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together coconut cream mix and milk until combined. Let sit in the fridge for about 5 minutes.
Fill a pastry bag with a medium sized tip with coconut cream pudding. Poke a hole on each side of the donut (equidistant between the top and bottom of the donut) and squirt about 1/8 cup in each side of the donut.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and a little vegetable shortening, until of drizzling consistency (microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth).
Dip the tops of each donut hole into the chocolate, holding the donut upside down to let excess chocolate drip off. Sprinkle the top of the chocolate-coated donut with toasted coconut shreds.
*donut recipe adapted from Buns In My Oven