In my family, it's a tradition to make these lovely spiced doughnuts after sledding. The whole family gathers in the kitchen to talk and laugh while we mix these up and fry them. We all think they are the best ever!—
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- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup apple butter
- Oil for deep-fat frying
- BROWNED BUTTER ICING:
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Combine evaporated milk and lemon juice; let stand 1 minute. Stir in apple butter. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with apple butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 5-6 times. Roll to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-1/2-in. cutter.
- In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
- In a small heavy saucepan, cook butter over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Pour into a small bowl; beat in the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla. Frost doughnuts. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Apple Butter Doughnuts in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2012, p55
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