Where a rye old-fashioned donut meets the classic cocktail
Listen, I am a donut person. As a self-proclaimed donut person, I can, with much authority, tell you that not all donuts are equal. You can line a path with warm raised, and I could easily crawl through, nose to the ground, without even stopping for a sniff. Switch them out with buttermilk bars, glazed old-fashioneds, even a jimmie-covered cake, and I’ll have crumbs in my hair within minutes.
The old-fashion cocktail has been having its moment lately, and its flavor profile quite nicely translates to the sweet side. Use a nice rye and fancy cherries to up the snob factor.
Old Fashion Donut
1/2 cup pumpernickel rye flour–toasted
2 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 Tbs unsalted butter-melted
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs rye syrup (see note)
1 large egg
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup buttermilk
Mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and set aside. In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars until fully incorporated but not yet fluffy. Beat in the egg, egg yolks, and rye syrup and mix until they lighten. Add the flour and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape from the bowl onto a lightly floured workspace. Form into a square, wrap in plastic, and place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.
When ready to make the donuts, remove the dough from the refrigerator onto a lightly floured surface. Dust the top with flour and roll out to 3/4″. Cut into bars. Using the back of a knife or a bench scraper, make a deep line down the length of the bar, careful not to cut all the way through. Place back into the refrigerator until ready to fry.
Place enough oil in a heavy pan to at least 2″. Heat oil to 325F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and fry in small batches, remembering that the cold dough will reduce the oil heat. Let the oil come back to temperature between batches. Fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side. The internal temperature of the donut should be 185-190F. Place on a cooling rack. Dip in the old-fashioned glaze.
Once the glaze is hardened, decorate with amarena or luxardo cherry and candied orange piece.
1 cup rye
1/4 cup (or so) candied orange peel
2 Tbs lemon-lime soda (optional)
Pour the rye and soda into a saucepan and add the candied orange peel. Heat over low heat for a minute, turn off the burner, and light the liquid on fire. Let the flame go out naturally. Remove the orange peel and place it in a dish of granulated sugar. Coat and use to decorate completed donuts. Use in donut dough and glaze.
Old Fashion Glaze
3 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbs tsp agar agar*
3 shakes of Angostura bitters
few drops of Fiori di Sicilia or a bit of orange zest
Place the powdered sugar and agar agar (if using) into a bowl. Add the Angostura bitters and the flavoring (and/or zest) and mix well. Add enough rye syrup to make a glaze slightly thinner than heavy cream.
*I use agar agar for my powdered sugar glazes as it hastens the hardening of the glaze. It can be an allergen, so use it with caution.