KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, Empire Red.
I used to mix everything by hand after taking an Ayurvedic cooking class, in which I learned that love for your family can be incorporated into your food. I figured I could get more lovin’ into my cookies by sweeping my spoon beautifully around the bowl as I hand-creamed butter and sugar, but it really became more of an exercise in cutting, mashing and stabbing. That just incorporates violence, aggression and frustration into the food! Now through marriage and procreation, I have a larger family to cook for, and I realize that the time I save by using the mixer allows me to bake more, effectively sharing more love with more family. Plus, with donuts, there are many opportunities to handle them gently by hand and incorporate loving creativity into those little morsels of feeling. Using the mixer incorporates ingredients better and results in fluffier, more uniform dough. You’ll need the paddle attachment and the dough hook. This is what I have: KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, Empire Red.
Lodge Logic L8DOL3 Pre-Seasoned Dutch Oven with Dual Handles, 5-Quart
You’ll also need a big pot for frying. I use a Lodge Dutch Oven. The enamel-covered dutch ovens come in pretty colors, but they’re a lot more expensive. The Lodge Logic L8DOL3 Pre-Seasoned Dutch Oven with Dual Handles, 5-Quart is around $30. I originally bought it to make No Knead Bread from the New York Times. If you haven’t made No Knead Bread yet, I highly recommend it! It’s easy, delicious, and another great use of your dutch oven. I also think it would be fun to take it car camping, throw it in the fire and cook something amazing outdoors. There are entire cookbooks devoted to doing this. Maybe that will be my next endeavor.
I don’t have one of those awesome electric fryers that regulate the temperature of the oil, so I have to use a thermometer. But that’s cool, because I need the thermometer for checking the temperature of water and milk before adding yeast for raised donuts. Plus, I’ve read that donuts are pretty finicky about oil temperature. If the oil is too cold, the donuts soak it up and get soggy, but if the oil is too hot, the outside becomes too crispy before the inside gets done! Ugh! So that makes your thermometer an important tool. I opted for the probe thermometer for no other reason besides the fact that Alton Brown said it was better. That guy is the ultimate food nerd and in my opinion, food + nerd = sexy.
OXO Good Grips 12-Inch Stainless-Steel Locking Tongs
Metal tongs for flipping donuts while frying. You can find these anywhere. I have OXO Good Grips 12-Inch Stainless-Steel Locking Tongs, which work great until you invite one of your friends over for dinner and even though they happen to be a brilliant engineer who works at Google, they can’t seem to figure out that you have to push the little tab at the top to open the tongs. So instead, your friend forcefully pulls them apart which bolloxes up the spring. Now my tongs don’t spring in nicely for storage, but it doesn’t affect their performance. So it’s all good (Danial!)
Victorinox 3-Inch by 6-Inch Chef’s Slotted Fish Turner, Walnut Handle
I have an awesome metal spatula that has a super flat edge that is handy for transferring donuts from the cutting board to the oil without distorting the shape. If you click on the picture for details, you can zoom up and see that there’s almost a knife blade edge on the end so it slips under dough very easily. It works way better than any plastic spatula I’ve ever had and I use it for almost all of my cooking. It is metal, so you obviously can’t use it on a non-stick pan, but we got rid of all of those a few years ago and now we just use seasoned cast iron skillets. I was so surprised and impressed with the non-stick-ness of cast iron pans. Anyway, back to the metal spatula. It wasn’t cheap, but it is my staple tool in the kitchen, so I’ve come to terms with the $25 that I paid. This one is the Victorinox 3-Inch by 6-Inch Chef’s Slotted Fish Turner, Walnut Handle, and I think it’s funny that they call it a “fish turner.” It just seems a little off-putting to imagine handling donuts with a spatula adorned with charred fish chunks from last night’s dinner. At my house, we just call it “the flipper.”
You have one already. If not, get one of these ones without the handles so dough won’t get caught in places that are impossible to clean out.
Ateco 5357 11 Piece Plain Round Cutter Set
Get an Ateco 5357 11 Piece Plain Round Cutter Set for cutting round donuts, and a pizza cutter for cutting raised bars and a 2-gallon bucket for Texas donuts!
Snapware 6032 Large 2 Layer-Cupcake Keeper
For transporting donuts to Blair’s office, I bought a Snapware storage bin at Joann Fabrics for 50% off. I wanted a bin with a handle on the top so I could carry it one-handed and I liked that I could snap on and off levels depending on how many donuts I planned to transport. The Snapware 6032 Large 2 Layer-Cupcake Keeper has a removable cupcake tray and has more than enough clearance for donuts. It’s probably obvious that I’m much more of a donut girl than a cupcake girl. Many cupcakes have too high of a frosting to cake ratio and the super soft ones tend to get lodged in that spot between my throat and my stomach. I guess I should chew better!
Oh well. And I also kinda suspect that donuts might be better for you. I have no scientific evidence for this, but I think that since donuts are fried in oil that their fat content must be higher, therefore creating a more filling treat. The fat also slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, resulting in a lower blood sugar spike (note, I said “lower” because there will definitely still be a blood sugar spike!). Whichever you choose as your treat, cupcake, cookie, candy or donut, just be sure to have some protein, fiber or fat in your tummy first, and maybe take a walk around afterwards.
Eating sugary, floury treats on an empty stomach and then just sitting around is probably the worst thing you can do. Our moms knew what they were talking about when they insisted that we don’t eat sweets before dinner. But all this is just my rationalization and opinion, so don’t listen to me. I guess that it’s good that I put my health claims in an obscure place like the cupcake carrier section, since I don’t really know what the hell I’m talking about :).
These piping bags are kind of annoying, but they are a necessary evil for getting fillings into donuts. You’ll need the pokey tip for piercing the side of raised donuts to make them cream-filled, jelly-filled, etc. and you can use the other tips for decorating the icing. This Norpro 8 Piece Cake Decorating Set is only around $7.