Is anyone else really in the Fall spirit this year? Maybe because it means we’re that much closer to wrapping up this insane year? Whatever the case, this Fall, I’m ALL IN. Pumpkins, mums, bales of hay, Halloween decor and games – and, of course, baking. I’ve been craving Apple Cider Donuts so last weekend I convinced my husband to help me make them. He was very hesitant mainly because I’m what you might call…a disaster in the kitchen.
I think the problem is that I suffer from two fatal flaws while cooking: impatience and misplaced confidence. The first means I often skip crucial steps or ingredients, naturally leading to my own recipe “alterations” that usually don’t work. My husband is the complete opposite. He’s detail-oriented, patient and meticulous. Cooking something nice for our family is his love language. Cooking together with me is not. But he’s a good sport and so we dedicated our Saturday night to making donuts.
At first, things were great. We used some of the apple cider to make a spiked and spiced cocktail. An excellent start. We measured and mixed side by side, having fun. Soon everything was ready to go except the apple cider. It had to be reduced down and the process was taking longer than I expected. This is usually when things go awry for me. I started to multitask while waiting. Are you paying attention to the stove? was asked frequently…I was not. My husband gently sat me down in front of the simmering cider while he took the dog out. A few (long) minutes later, the reduction was complete. Finally! I poured the cider into the measuring cup and dumped it into the waiting dough…uh-oh. “Let cool for 10 minutes” was the last step in the directions. Crap. I looked down and things were BUBBLING. An actual witches cauldron of apple cider donut dough. Double crap. I stirred like a maniac hoping everything would just settle down and reshape. It did not. My husband walked in the door and I confessed my mistake while simultaneously offering him another cocktail. After we had a productive “marital discussion” around needing to slow down and read directions, the soupy donuts went into the oven and, miraculously, they came out pretty good! Certainly good enough to dunk into a cup of coffee the next morning while looking out at our mums and pumpkins.