Yield: 6 donuts
Preparation: 2 hrs (includes rising time)
Cook time: 2 min.
1 tsp. active dry yeast
1/3 c. whole milk, heated to 100F (38C)
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
210g 1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 egg, room temperature
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Neutral oil such as vegetable oil
50g 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
4 oz. salted caramel sauce, room temperature
1/2 c. powdered sugar
Combine the warm milk with the dry yeast and 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar. Mix together and set aside for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture starts to foam. If the mixture is not foaming, the yeast may be dead and you should not continue forward with those ingredients. Instead, try again with a new batch of milk, yeast, and sugar.
For this next part you can either use a stand mixer or your hands for kneading the dough. I prefer to knead by hand as it is much easier with the smaller amount of dough.
If by hand: Whisk together the melted butter, egg, and yeast mixture. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and remaining sugar. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes. You will know the dough is done when the dough bounces back after being lightly pushed.
If by mixer: Whisk together the melted butter, egg, and yeast mixture. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, salt, and remaining sugar. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Knead the mixture for 3-5 minutes. You will know the dough is done when the dough bounces back after being lightly pushed.
Lightly spray the bowl used for combining ingredients with nonstick cooking spray. Form the dough into a ball and place in the bowl, covering the top with a towel. Leave to rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down to release the built up air. Then, divide the dough into 6 equal-sized pieces. (Optional: Scale – I used a scale for this part to make sure they were exactly the same, and each came out to about 65g.) Form each dough piece into a ball and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 30 minutes.
Add about 3 inches of oil to a medium-sized saucepan. Heat the oil to 325F (165C). Depending on the size of the pan, carefully lower the donuts into the oil 2 to 3 at a time. Fry for about 1 minute on each side before removing from the oil. Repeat until finished with all 6 donuts. Let the donuts slightly cool before moving on to the next part.
Prior to coating, make a hole in the side of each donuts for them to be filled later on. In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon. Roll each donut in the cinnamon sugar.
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Then, beat in the salted caramel sauce until completely combined with the cream cheese. Add in the powdered sugar and mix until combined.
Transfer the filling to a piping bag or ziploc bag (cut the tip of the bag prior to filling). Place the tip into the hole of the donut that was made earlier and fill each donut using an equal amount of filling. Serve and enjoy!
These donuts are best enjoyed warm and fresh. However, they will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Enjoy!
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