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by Caitlin Saniga

Doughnut holes

I took these doughnut holes back to my room at the bed-and-breakfast and ate them in bed while watching “Toddlers and Tiaras.” Talk about extravagant.

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by Caitlin Saniga

You can use the doughnut recipe with other toppings: strawberry glaze, melted chocolate, even peanut butter. And as a side note, these two doughnuts were the best of my batch. The rest puffed up so much the hole closed, and they were all a little more firm than fluffy (I think I kneaded the dough too much). I shared them at work, jokingly calling them a "food fail." My co-worker Kevin said "DOH!nuts" might be more appropriate. LOLZ.

For doughnuts

  • 1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For coating:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

I used a 3-inch-wide drinking glass and a (clean) hair mousse cap to cut out the holes for my doughnuts.

Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and let stand for about 5 minutes. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt – just until the flour is incorporated. With a dough hook mixer attachment, beat the dough for a about 2 minutes at medium speed. If your dough is too sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured surface, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Transfer the dough to a buttered bowl, cover, put bowl on top of the oven (or another warm place), and let rise for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Use a 2-3 inch circle cookie cutter (or a cup) to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter (no kidding, I used a hair mousse lid). Transfer dough cutouts to a baking sheet. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for 45 minutes.

Bake until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes. While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quickly toss in the sugar bowl. These are best when served immediately.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

Recipe adapted from: 101 Cookbooks

Photos: Caitlin Saniga

Baking Tips:

— When letting dough rise in a bowl, cover it with wax paper. The dough is more likely to get stuck to wraps like aluminum foil and plastic wrap as it rises.

— Kneading is a process of stretching dough and creating gluten, the springy stuff that gives baked goods their texture. To knead dough, use the heels of your hands to fold the dough in on itself. Turn the pile of dough and keep folding it in. The dough will become firmer as you work with it. You’ll want to pinch the dough every now and then to test the firmness.

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by Sarah Steimer

I was afraid I’d have to hold people away to take the picture.

I remember in high school when, for whatever reason, everyone went crazy for Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I didn’t get it.

Madsen Donuts, in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio, will remain forever in my mind as having the best doughnuts. My all-time favorite has been the simple cake doughnut with chocolate icing. And anyone who moans about cake doughnuts being too dry is clearly getting their doughnuts from a below-par baker.

Another popular favorite (judging from my family) is the creme stick. It’s simple: pastry, creme filling, chocolate icing. Madsen also carries cake with cinnamon and sugar, cake with jimmies, cinnamon twists, jelly-filled, powdered cake, cake with nuts and a couple more I’m sure I’m forgetting. But it’s the same, reliable variety each time.

The trademark blue-and-white box.

There is nothing complex about the doughnuts that Madsen carries. There’s nothing complex about the store, either, which opened in 1938. There is just enough room to walk in, through a screen door that slams behind you, and order. There will always be a high school or college student to wait on you. And if you order a dozen, they will always tuck your doughnuts away in a white-and-blue-striped box.

It’s part of the charm that is Geneva-on-the-Lake. The store is nestled on the “popular” Lake Erie strip that hosts bars, arcades, diners, mini golf courses and tattoo parlors. A quick walk from the old cottages that line the beach.

One doughnut is $.75, a dozen is $9.

Visit Madsen’s: 5426 Lake Road East, Geneva-On-The-Lake, Ohio, 44041. See another fond review for the doughnuts here.

Photos: Sarah Steimer

*$6 Snacks is a recurring feature that reviews an area eatery’s snack — for $6 or less. Look at a map of the places we’ve tried.

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