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Inspiration comes in the shape of a doughnut

Inspiration best strikes me when I have a craving.

Michael and I just finished my doctor’s check up and all is well with me and the baby. As we were waiting in the doctor’s office I was reading a magazine and realized – oops! I had not written my article yet.

Thank goodness I had my laptop with my recipes on it. As soon as the visit was over we hurried to a nearby coffee shop and were struck by the heavenly aromas, which prompted the craving for doughnuts. This recipe does take a little time but it is well worth it. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Yummy Pecan-Coconut Doughnuts

3 ounces unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons powdered milk

3/4 teaspoon ground mace or allspice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

2 cups milk

6 cups cake flour

3 cups bread flour

1/4 cup baking powder

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon orange zest

1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

3/4 cup shredded coconut

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed with the sugar, salt, powdered milk and mace until smooth and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. In a small bowl, beat the vanilla with the eggs and egg yolks, and add to the creamed butter. Pour the milk in the bowl and continue to beat until all is well incorporated. Switch the paddle on the mixer with the dough hook. Add the cake flour, bread flour and baking powder to the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until a ball forms. Increase the speed to medium and continue to beat the dough for 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove the dough from the mixer and place on a floured work surface. Cover with a damp towel and allow the dough to rest for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat a fryer to 360 degrees F.

Once the dough has rested, remove the towel and roll the dough out to 3/4-inch thickness. Use a 4 and 1/4 to 4 and 1/2-inch round cutter to cut 12 rounds out of the dough. Use a 1 and 1/2-inch round cutter to cut a hole out of the center of each of the 12 rounds.

Place the rings in the fryer and fry for 3 minutes per side. Remove from the fryer and set on a wire cookie rack set over a sheet pan. Continue in the same manner for the remaining dough rings. Once all of the donuts have been fried, allow to cool on the rack for 10 to 12 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, orange zest and juice and whisk to combine to form a glaze. Dip the fried donuts into the glaze and twist to allow the excess to drip off. Place the donuts back on the rack, glaze side up, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the pecans and coconut. Repeat this process with the remaining donuts, glaze pecans and coconut. Serve the prepared donuts immediately with a great cup of coffee or a cappuccino.

Until next time, have fun in the kitchen, experiment and indulge your cravings.

Laura Clements is a contributing food columnist for The Demopolis Times.