Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Maple Bacon Donuts!

Did I ever tell you I worked at a bakery when I was in high school?  It was an awesome old school mom and pop kind of place.  They hated my pink mohawk, and I hated my pink mohawk in a hairnet, but we all managed, and no small part of what kept me showing up every day was the endless supply of sugar.  The on-the-job perk of the place was that we were allowed to eat as many donuts as we wanted.  And me + free donuts=perfect after school job.
The place is gone, but I've never gotten over my lust for fresh, lovingly made donuts.  Unfortunately (or not), they're hard to get around here.  Other than a 20+ mile, bright and early round trip which really isn't part of my ideal weekend morning, our options are grocery store or gas station, neither of which even sort of comes close to the real, made-with-love thing.
But every once in a while it occurs to me that I can fix that right in my own kitchen.

Maple Bacon Donuts!


I used the Alton Brown yeast donut recipe for these, which is absolutely lovely.  And the bacon.  Well, that's bacon.  I used a pound for topping one batch of donuts, but you couldn't go wrong with more.  Make it the best you can get your hands on.  Before cooking I diced mine into bite size pieces to avoid everyone's least favorite maple-bacon donut eating pitfall, the full slice clean and jerk.  So far, so good, right?  So the real revelation here is the glaze.  Many or most examples of the maple bacon donut leave me wanting.  They're usually overpoweringly sweet and not much else.  And I need punch.   I want in your face maple and bacon, with sugar as the background music, all cradled on pillowy, yeasty fried goodness.  So maple syrup, yes, you'll find that in most maple glaze recipes, but the real key is the artificial, chemical goodness of maple extract.  The glaze just can't carry a tune without it.  Also, a bit of salt.  And the super secret ingredient:  apple cider vinegar.  It's a trick I've learned with caramel sauce.  Just a teaspoon or two of acid creates a perfect balance in super sweet stuff.  (For caramel I use lemon juice which would work just as well here, too.)

Maple Glaze
enough for 16-20 long john shaped donuts.

2c. powdered sugar
2T. reserved bacon fat
2T. maple syrup
1t. maple extract
1t. salt
2t. apple cider vinegar
milk or cream

Mix first six ingredients with just enough milk or cream to make a thick, gloppy but still somewhat pourable glaze.  Adjust consistency by adding more powdered sugar, if necessary.  You want it thick enough to stay mostly on the tops of the donuts.  Dip or spread on cooled yeast donuts.  Add bacon strips or pieces while glaze is still wet.
I dare you not to eat at least two standing right there at the counter.

These freeze beautifully.  I found 10 seconds in the microwave brought them back to thawed and nearly as perfect as freshly made.

P.S. no one will ever know about those those dough scrap "holes" you ate all of yourself.  They never existed, and especially not if you are making these on the heels of the biggest ass kicking in the history of workouts, aka Cross-Fit.










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