Every Fall I like to gather the family and crank out a batch of doughnuts. I'm not sure why I feel that need ... perhaps it's just an excuse to make and eat one of the most decadent foods on the planet. But it is so much fun. It requires the help of every family member and I certainly couldn't do it without willing daughters-in-law and excited grandchildren.
I think one of the reasons I like making doughnuts has to do with the recipe. I'm very proud of the recipe I use. My mother gave it to me and she acquired it from a professional doughnut maker. She was very good at putting the squeeze on people for special recipes. The batter recipe is fairly standard with the exception that mashed potatoes are added which make the doughnuts lighter and moister..so technically they are spudnuts. The other thing that makes these unique is the glaze. The glaze has unflavored gelatin mixed in with the powdered sugar so when the hot doughnut hits the glaze the gelatin melts and seals the glaze on the exterior of the product and doesn't allow the glaze to penetrate the dough and make it soggy. So that makes a big difference.
One thing I did differently this year was that I substituted mashed sweet potatoes for the regular russet mashed potatoes. I actually used a white flesh yam but you could certainly use the orange fleshed ones as well. They turned out so good!
To actually cook the doughnuts I pull out my electric frying pan and fill it about two-thirds of the way with a vegetable oil. I drain the cooked doughnuts on brown paper bags which makes that part of the clean up super easy and also prevents me from using a ton of paper towels. When we're through cooking I let the oil cool and then I strain it and transfer it to quart jars. I store the extra oil in the fridge and then use it up over the course of the next several weeks. I could never bear the thought of throwing it away.
The older kids do the rolling and frying and the middle aged children help with the decorating and the real little ones play with the dough and rolling pin and think that's neat. It's a memory for sure.