Semi-Homemade Donut with Vanilla Creme Sauce

I love donuts…and my hubby dislikes donuts…but he LOVED the semi-homemade donuts I’m going to share with you today. That’s how delicious they are.

My cousin and life-long partner in crime, Danielle, introduced me to this donut recipe at her kids birthday party several weeks ago. So, I played around in my kitchen today and have some seriously yummy results for you. The donut’s are semi-homemade, so they are easy, and the dipping creme is to die for – it’s not too sweet, but the perfect accessory for your donut.

I made my donut and creme anglaise Easter-themed. Holy donuts…my Catholic mom is proud! But, think of the adorable inner-ring theme possibilities with these – bridal shower, baby shower, initials, a heart, star, etc.

recipe adapted from Danielle {owner and baker of Mimi’s Sweeties}

Pillsbury Biscuits
Powdered Sugar
Grapeseed Oil

{Danielle has a fryer, so she uses that; however I do not, so I fried on my stove}.
To make sure the inside of the biscuit is cooked, bake the biscuits in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. Remove the donuts before they are golden brown on top.
While still hot, use a knife to cut the shape of the inner donut ring. For Easter, I made a cross {you can try to cut the shape of the inner donut ring prior to baking}.
In a medium saucepan, heat grape seed oil {or vegetable oil} to a temperature  between 360 and 275 degrees F.
Place donuts in the oil to fry to a golden brown.
Remove from the oil, place on a paper towel on top of a plate, then while still hot, roll the donut in powdered sugar.

recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

2 cups half and half
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Red food coloring

Prepare an ice-water bath {fill a bowl larger than a medium size bowl with ice and water}.
Beat yolks, sugar and salt with a mixer on high until the mixture thickens and turns a light yellow.
In a medium saucepan, add half and half and vanilla. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
Slowly add half of the hot half and half mixture to the bowl with eggs, sugar and salt, and mix on low.
Pour the yolk-milk mixture into the saucepan with the remaining half and half mixture and cook on low, stirring constantly for about 7 minutes until thick enough to coat your spoon or spatula.
Add 4 drops of food coloring to the saucepan for a light pink color Anglaise.
Pour in a bowl {original recipe strains mixture into a bowl, however I didn’t have and it turned out ok} and place in the ice-water bath, stirring occasionally until chilled.

{images via Tutto Bella}

apple of my eye

I have a love/hate relationship with fall right now. With fall comes all the warm and gorgeous colors, yummy crock pot recipes, pumpkin patch events with the kids, beautiful fall foliage, toasty drinks and fall boots and sweaters…but it also means winter and SNOW is quickly approaching {which also means it will not end for 8 months}. I’m going to stay positive and focus on at all the things I love about this time of year…and appreciate it before it’s too late. Besides, in the mountains it’s too gorgeous not to enjoy it, however quick it may be.

This apple-inspiration from Martha Stewart Living, October 2011 caught my eye.

The talented people at Martha Stewart used a 24-inch-diameter straw form and about 130 apples and wooden floral picks for the sweet apple wreath. Working in rows, they jabbed the pointy half of the wooden pick into the bottom of the core of each apple and the other half into the straw form. You can tuck leaves into the gaps. Another good tip: Hang with a double-wrapped loop of monofilament.

For the beautiful foliage in the apple-filled vase, cut a large amount of branches from a burning bush or a sugar maple tree. Place your foliage in a cylindrical vase and insert that vase into a larger cube-shaped, clear glass vase and fill the space in between with lady apples.

Who could resist these adorable and delicious apple bowls filled with ice cream and caramel? Not me. Caramel Apple Sundaes
{recipe via Martha Stewart Living, October 2011}
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 cup heavy cream
12 apples, such as Gala
1 lemon, halved
3 pints vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

How To
Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is dark {about 6 minutes}.
Remove from heat, and carefully pour in cream {mixture will spatter}, whisk until smooth. Let cool.
Slice the top 3/4 inch from each apple, discard.
Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out enough flesh to fit a scoop of ice cream.
Drizzle with some lemon juice to prevent flesh from browning.
Fill each apple with a scoop of ice cream. Spoon caramel on top, and sprinkle with walnuts.

{images via Martha Stewart Living, October 2011}