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Rum Cream-filled Donuts

rum and cream filled doughnutsThis recipe can feed a crowd, making it a great dessert for a dinner party. You can even make the dough and rum cream up to two days ahead.

1½ cups whole milk
½ cup vegetable shortening
4½ tsp. (2 envelopes) instant dry yeast
⅓ cup warm water (95–100 degrees F)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup plus two Tbsp. granulated sugar
1½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
4½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Vegetable oil, for frying

Place the milk in a saucepan set over medium heat. Scald the milk by just barely bringing it to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the shortening; mix until melted, then set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, mix the yeast with the warm water and let stand for 5 minutes.

Once the shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm temperature (under 100 degrees F), pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add yeast mixture and mix on medium-low speed until blended. Add eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; mix for two minutes until well blended. Reduce speed to low and gradually add 4½ cups (638 grams) of flour. Mix until blended, then increase speed to medium and continue beating until mixture comes together into a dough. Switch out paddle for dough hook and beat at medium for 5–10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. The dough will still look sticky and won’t come away from the sides of the bowl, but it shouldn’t be spoonable like batter. If it is, add more flour until it looks more like a workable dough. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the dough overnight or up to 2 days. Just give it a little more time to rise.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1 centimeter thick (a little more than ¼ inch). Cover with a clean, lint-free towel or a sheet of plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick spray and let rise until doubled in height, about 1 hour. Using a 1 ½-inch biscuit cutter, cut circles from the dough and set aside for frying.

Line 2 baking sheets with paper towels to hold the fried donuts. In a deep fryer or large pot, heat at least 3 inches of vegetable oil to 345 degrees F to 350 degrees F. Working in batches, add the donuts and fry for a few seconds. When they begin to color, turn them over and fry on the other side until golden brown, about 1 minute. Turn over again to finish cooking first side, about 1 minute more. Remove from oil with a wire skimmer and transfer to the prepared pans. Let donuts cool completely before glazing.

Spiced Sugar
¼ cup  turbinado or natural sugar (available at most supermarkets)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Set aside until donuts are glazed.

1 cup powdered sugar
4 to 5 tsp. water

In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and water until smooth. The glaze should be runny, not stiff.  Place several donuts in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with a little glaze; toss until fairly well coated. Roll the glazed donuts in the spiced sugar and set aside. Repeat until all the donuts are glazed and sugared. They are now ready to be filled.

Spiced Rum Cream Filling
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ vanilla bean
1½ cups whole milk
3 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. Myers’s dark rum
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp. rum extract

In a small bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg; set aside. Split vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out seeds and place them in a medium mixing bowl; set aside. Place the pod in a medium saucepan, add the milk and set over medium heat; bring to a simmer.

While waiting for the milk to warm, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl with the vanilla bean seeds. Add the flour mixture and whisk until combined. Once the milk begins to simmer, remove from heat and whisk about 1 cup of it into the egg mixture. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly, and set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, until thickened.

Remove from heat and add the rum. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

Whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Add the chilled pastry cream and rum extract; beat until smooth and fluffy. To fill donuts, fit a pastry bag with a round decorating tip, then fill the bag with rum cream. Alternatively, fill a squeeze bottle. Insert a small knife into the side of each donut and twist to make a small opening. Pipe in the rum cream until it just starts to come out of the opening in the donut.

Serve immediately, or keep refrigerated and serve the same day. Yields about 100 mini donuts, or 18 full-sized donuts.

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