Both Santa Claus and the Donut Maker were entirely too good to me this year. Witness:
What this means for you is more beautiful kitchen-y goodness. And my own domain name! (More on that in another post). I am left utterly speechless. So I leave you in the capable hands of today's Guest Blogger--my husband--the Donut Maker.
Happy Holidays, all! This is Mark, shifting temporarily into Guest Blogger status from my usual role as this blog's Designated Eater.
So. Christmas Donuts. I suppose it falls right in that delicious holiday intersection of Tradition Street, Baking Drive, Family Avenue, and Psychotherapy Lane. And it's as busy an intersection as you might expect.
First a bit of family history: I doubt the word "abandoned" is too strong a word for my father's presence in my life. He was barely around, but I do have a snapshot memory of him making donuts from scratch in the shape of an "M" and a "K" ... my and my sister's initials. I don't know if it had anything to do with Christmas, but when I became a father I decided I'd like to claim it as my own Christmas tradition. Something I could own and pass down to my children, in a way of exorcising a Ghost of Christmas Past.
It's become an integral part of our Christmas celebration along side the tree and eggnog. It's a nice leisurely activity, as everyone looks through presents and I attend the deep fryer, and lets a lazy morning stretch into grazing on crisp donuts throughout the day. I even make Christmas Morning deliveries to the Eagle Mountain branches of the family!
The recipe is not a secret, and I can't claim any skill in donut-crafting. While I cook plenty, this is about the only baking I do in a year, and I forget a lot in the 8760 hours between batches. What really hits the spot in this recipe is the nutmeg and mace, which make it taste very Christmas-y.
It starts on Christmas Eve with shortening, condensed milk, and other fine products, and it chills overnight. It doesn't look much like donuts at this point, or even a dough you could work with, but by the time Santa's come and gone and the first Bailey's and coffee has been imbibed it's ready to flour, roll, cut and fry.
Though the dough is so spiced and flavorful no topping is needed, I do a few in powdered sugar and some in a chocolate glaze. This year, we had leftover crushed candy cane from Seconda's pie request and she suggested some candy cane donuts, which I happily provided.
It's "good eats", but it's more than that: a chance to spend a few hours on Christmas Morning each year thinking about tradition and family and fatherhood. And I look forward to making Christmas Donuts for years and generations to come.