I'm usually not a pastry-for-breakfast kind of person. But when I met a friend early in the morning at one of her favorite restaurants, she immediately asked for the made-to-order doughnuts before she even looked at the menu. I figured she knew what she was doing and I was all in.
They arrived hot from the fryer in a plain white bag, encrusted with cinnamon sugar and accompanied by small pots of housemade blueberry jam and whipped vanilla mascarpone cheese to top each two-bite bit. Because they weren't delicious enough as is? When they cooled enough to touch, I found their texture was more like a yeast-based beignet rather than a cake batter doughnut, with a lightly crisp crust and an airy interior that pulled apart beautifully. All the better to smear with mascarpone and jam before stuffing them into our faces. They were so small and light and delicate, we ate them all before we knew what we were doing.
To indulge in these little darlings, come to Seattle and have breakfast at Lola, a Tom Douglas restaurant in Hotel Ändra, located in the heart of downtown and just a few blocks from Pike Place Market. The jam changes seasonally, but, judging from my friend's satisfaction, the doughnuts remain reliably the same.
Can any doughnut recipe be made into mini doughnuts? Of course! You just need to adjust the cooking time to account for smaller pieces of dough. Here are some choice mini-doughnut recipes to make at home:
Yeast Dough Mini Doughnuts
Delicate, airy texture. These doughnuts take longer to make because the yeast dough needs time to rise.
Beignets — Made popular in New Orleans, these airy puffs are served dusted with powdered sugar.
Olie Bollen — Chopped apples flavor this traditional Dutch favorite, typically served on New Year's Day.
Loukoumades — These golden Greek-style doughnuts are sweetened with honey.
Polish Doughnuts — Extra egg yolks make these super-rich and tender.
Crispy and Creamy Doughnuts — Cut the dough smaller to make bite-size version of your favorite drive-thru doughnut. You know the one.
Video: See how to make beignets.
Cake Batter Mini Doughnuts
Crumbly, sturdy texture. Cake batter doughnuts depend on baking powder or baking soda to raise the dough, therefore the time from start to finish is shorter than with yeast doughnuts. Some cake batter doughnuts are baked instead of fried.
Pictured: Baked Mini Doughnuts
Baked Mini Doughnuts — Roll them in cinnamon sugar, dust with powdered sugar, or top with chocolate glaze.
Sufganiyot — A traditional Jewish holiday recipe, commonly served during Hanukkah.
Aebleskiver — This Danish dessert is cooked in a special pan with indentations where the dough goes.
Samoan Panikeke — Another way to use up very ripe bananas.
Pumpkin Zeppole — These Italian doughnuts are enriched with fresh ricotta cheese.
Video: See how to make Super Easy Doughnuts.
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