Chocolate Doughnut Holes

Happy National Doughnut Day! While I’m not typically on top of the various food holidays, there were a ton of posts in my Facebook feed alerting me about this one. And I’m so glad I found out in time, as I’ve been saving these glazed chocolate doughnut holes for a special day and this is it!

If you know me at all, you know I’m completely obsessed with doughnuts. Fried doughnuts to be exact. While baked doughnuts are an ok substitute sometimes, when I have a doughnut craving it needs to be the real thing! There’s a Dunkin Donuts within walking distance of our house and the temptation to go there once a day for a doughnut or a couple of munchkins is strong. The reality is that I’ve never once bought a doughnut there; I know it’d be a slippery slope – once I started it’d be hard to stop :)

The only time I make an exception and treat myself to a Dunkin doughnut is at the airport. I’ve started our last two vacations off with a chocolate glazed chocolate doughnut. Luckily calories don’t count on vacation!! And that’s a very good thing because we booked a cruise for this fall and I recently discovered there’s a doughnut shop on board the ship. I am in SO much trouble…

Chocolate Doughnut Holes

Most of the time when I want a fried doughnut, I force myself to make them at home. I find the process so satisfying and fun, and by the time the doughnuts are actually ready, I don’t go too crazy indulging in them. These chocolate doughnut holes were a lazy Sunday morning project back in April. They’re not yeasted and you just need a few bowls and a whisk to make the dough so it comes together really quickly. The only tricky part of the process is the frying. Because the dough is already so dark in color, it’s hard to tell when the doughnut holes are done. You’ll have to test a few out to get the timing right, but you can eat of all the test samples so it’s a fair trade-off!

To me these doughnut holes tasted very, very similar to the chocolate munchkins at Dunkin’ Donuts but with even more chocolate flavor. And unlike so many fried foods that really need to be eaten within minutes of coming out of the oil, these have some staying power. They were still really good the day after I made them. And maybe they’d have been ok on the 3rd day, but they didn’t last that long here!

Chocolate Doughnut Holes

Glazed Chocolate Doughnut Holes
adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted from Diana’s Desserts

{Note: I halved the recipe without any problems, so that’s an option if you’d rather not have 4 dozen doughnut holes tempting you.}

Doughnuts
2 3/4 cups (352 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (90 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) cups sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Vegetable oil, for frying

Glaze
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) confectioners’ sugar
7-8 teaspoons milk (I used 1%)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In a large measuring cup, whisk the eggs, sugar, buttermilk and melted butter together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and, switching to a rubber spatula, stir them together until well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Use a small cookie scoop (mine holds just under 2 tablespoons) to portion the dough from the chilled batter. Roll between your hands to form small balls. You’ll probably have to wash your hands and the scoop a few times during the process as this dough is quite sticky (if the dough gets too sticky to work with, just put it back in the fridge for a little while to firm up). Transfer the dough balls to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Add about 3 cups of oil to the bottom of a Dutch oven and set over medium to medium-high heat. Heat the oil to between 365 and 370 F. Drop a few doughnut holes at a time into the oil – if you fry too many at once you’ll cause the temperature of the oil to drop too much. Fry the doughnut holes for about 2 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. You’ll probably want to test a few out at first to get the frying time right, it’s hard to tell when they’re done because you won’t necessarily see them turn golden. Return the oil to between 365 and 370 F before adding a new batch of doughnut holes to the pan.

Let the doughnut holes cool while you make the glaze. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Adjust the consistency as necessary – thicken by adding more confectioners’ sugar and thin by adding more milk. When the doughnut holes are cool, dip them in the glaze, allowing excess to drip off and then transfer to a wire rack to set. (I found the easiest way to do this was to drop the doughnut hole in the glaze then lift out with a fork, letting the excess glaze drip down through the tines of the fork.)

The doughnut holes were best on the first day, but still completely delicious the following day. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes about 48 doughnut holes