Allergy Friendly · Changing Seasons · Life with Littles · Sweets

The Season Is Now, and Apple Cider Donuts

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Matthew 6:34 (MSG)

Dear Joey,

Remember how I felt so against the change in season a couple weeks ago? I’m still in that place a little bit: not really ready for some of the things I know are just around the corner. With Fall pressing in on us I felt pushed, like I had to hurry up and pretend to be excited for change. I wasn’t ready for a lot of the change that happened so far this year, and really, I’m not sure I’m ready for most of what’s waiting just around the corner either. But this past weekend reminded me to be present to what is now as it is now because someday soon I will be lonesome for these moments.

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Fall doesn’t last long, does it? Summer seems to drag on forever, and every October we seem surprised the weather is still warm, too warm to put a pot of soup on the stove or cradle a mug hot apple cider. By the time cooler weather comes around, Fall is halfway over. Christmas arrives on its heels and before we know it, the best time of year is gone, just like that. The weather turned cooler over the weekend, and I think it must be the swirling winds and rainy days that changed the way I’m feeling about Fall. A blustery Saturday whisked away my lingering resistance to Fall and ushered in much needed rain–and a fresh perspective for this season.

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Addie has her first loose tooth I want to pretend it isn’t happening. She has been wiggling that thing all weekend, and every time she announces “It’s getting even more wigglier!” I tear up and she rolls her eyes and I smile and and she laughs as I tell her to stop growing up already. That wiggly tooth is evidence her babyhood flew by just like they say it would, and I didn’t know “they” would be right.

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Then again, the baby-toddler-preschool years are like a wiggly tooth that seems to hang on forever, and sometimes I just want the thing to fall out already. Sometimes little kids are just, well, annoying, and as much as I treasure our own and don’t want to rush them into being big kids, sometimes I wish they could just pour themselves a bowl of cereal in the morning without me. The implications of that moment are terrifying, of course, because the reality of the big kid world is unknown to me still, and I often wonder how I’ll be capable of mothering older children when I feel so inept at mothering such small ones.

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I keep reminding myself the anticipation of change is often harder to deal with than the change itself. Addie’s fear about what it will feel like when her wiggly tooth actually falls out has a pain all its own, the sort that will be dispelled the moment that tooth pops out and she realizes losing teeth doesn’t hurt at all. I expect the same will be true for me when I wake up one morning not to the sound of “mama!” but to the clinking sound of spoons scraping the bottom of bowls of cereal I didn’t pour.

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It’s Fall right now and if I don’t immerse myself in the beauty and flavors and traditions of these moments now, when will I? Fall will come around again next year, true–but we’ll all be a little bit older and Addie’s tooth will have long since fallen out, Mia might be losing her baby teeth by then, and these days will be just a memory. I don’t want to miss my chance to enjoy these days because I’m too preoccupied with the things that scare me about the next chapter in our lives. I’ve got to grab hold of these moments, right now and really give them my attention, or they will be gone before I really notice. I don’t want to miss my chance. And so, in celebration of the season and things that are, I made Apple Cider Donuts.

Love,

Scratch

Apple Cider Donuts (GF/DF/NF)

 

These mini donuts are gluten free, dairy free, and nut free and can be Vegan if you so desire. They are fantastically easy to make; the only real trouble is using a donut maker to cook them. I happen to have a mini donut maker because my dad found me one at a thrift store for a song (thanks again, Dad!).  You could use a mini-muffin tin and pass them off as donut holes, or use a donut pan and bake them in the oven (375 degrees for 12-15 minutes ought to do the trick). Roll them in cinnamon sugar if you don’t want to fuss with the glaze (and I don’t blame you if you don’t), but goodness that cinnamon glaze is yummy.

Ingredients:

For the donuts:

  • 3/4 cup spiced apple cider (such as Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce (or 2 eggs. Using apple sauce makes the donuts vegan and amplifies the apple flavor, but eggs work just fine instead)
  • 1/2 cup pure cane sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons Vegan buttery spread (such as Melt or Earth Balance brands, or use regular butter if dairy isn’t a problem for you)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

For the glaze:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegan buttery spread (such as Melt or Earth Balance brands, or use regular butter if dairy isn’t a problem for you)
  • 3 Tablespoons Almond milk (or other non-dairy beverage, such as rice milk; or regular milk if dairy isn’t a problem for you)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt
Method

For the donuts: First, the dry ingredients: whisk together the sorghum flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, kosher salt and xanthan gum in a small bowl and set aside. Next, move on to the wet ingredients. Melt the buttery spread and set aside to let it cool slightly. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the apple cider, apple sauce OR eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract, then slowly whisk in the melted butter. Once the wet ingredients are mixed well, whisk the dry ingredients into the batter in three additions (pour a third of the dry ingredients in and whisk; pour another third in and whisk; pour the last third in and whisk).

Heat up your donut maker. When it’s ready, spray the iron with non-stick cooking spray (like Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray) and scoop about 2 Tablespoons of batter into each mold (each donut is about 2″ wide–if your donut maker is larger, increase the amount of batter accordingly).  Cook for about 3 minutes (or longer, if your donut maker is bigger), until the donuts are golden and easily pop out from the molds.

If you are making the glaze, proceed to the next step. If not, toss the hot donuts in cinnamon sugar and call it a day.

For the glaze: Melt the butter over medium heat, then whisk in the powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Add the almond milk and whisk until the glaze is smooth–no lumps, please.

Dip the donuts in the glaze, flip them over, and make sure to coat both sides. Let them dry on a wire cooling rack (with parchment paper beneath them to catch drips). The glaze remains sticky, but goodness they’re good that way, and sticky hands can be washed, right?

 

 

 

 

 

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