Well, I’m back in Colorado, people. I spent most of yesterday flying, and driving, and grocery shopping and I’m tired! I’m beat, let me tell you! The flight from Denver to Provo and back is always full. This time, I had to sit in the back. I’m cool with that. This was a particularly difficult flight because I was surrounded by three little kids flying alone, and a mom with her two screaming children. She had a toddler who was almost two and he was in the WORST mood. I think he may have been a little sick. Before we even left the gate, the poor thing was screaming. Screaming. Bloody murder. Blood curdling. Screaming.
At first, I was thinking to myself, “I sure hope he stops.” “This better not last through the whole flight.” “My headphones are missing an earbud?!? Really?!?” But then I started to watch the mother. She was so frazzled. She didn’t know how to get him to stop and he could not be comforted. I was starting to feel for that mother and wishing there was a way I could help. I don’t have any children. And I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to travel with more than one. And she was doing it alone! I wasn’t upset that the little boy was screaming and crying. I was worried about the mother and how she was doing. I don’t know what came over me! About forty minutes into the flight, little man fell asleep. I’m sure he exhausted himself from all the diaphragm exercise. I chatted it up with the mom for a bit and just loved her.
Before the little boy fell asleep, the flight attendants were standing over the mother and lecturing her on how to calm him down. I don’t know, but I think that just makes it worse. What parent wants to be told by a stranger how to handle a situation like that?! I noticed that people were really quick to judge, and I totally get the irritation, but after taking a bigger look, I began to understand how mortified and upset the mother must have been feeling. Have you ever been in a situation like this? Were you the parent? Were you the onlooker? What would you do?
Ok – back to the purpose of this post. While I was in Utah, we decided to make a little treat. I’ve said it before, but my food board is my biggest board. I swear, my eyes are bigger than my stomach… maybe. We used this recipe for our little Sunday breakdown. The pictures look delicious, right? The recipe sounds easy enough, right? Well, it actually took a few hours (I’m slow), and only produced maybe two dozen little donut holes. I can eat three dozen by myself, sooooo…
I changed things up a little. The dough wasn’t really cooking all the way through and it was taking way too long to fry. I decided to try a churro dough that I love. (Costco churros, anyone?) The custard was great, but we don’t have caramel essence in the states so I substituted a little vanilla and it was perfection.
Donuts (Adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey):
2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 c. water
¼ c. vegetable oil
½ tsp. salt
1 ¼ c. all purpose flour
4 large eggs
3 c. canola oil for frying
Mix sugar and cinnamon in a large and shallow dish. Set aside. To make the churros, combine the water, olive oil, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir like crazy with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from sides and forms a big clump. Place the pan over medium heat and stir for a minute longer.
Line the work surface with a piece of aluminum foil and turn the dough out onto the foil. Pat the dough into an 8-inch circle and let cool for 5-8 minutes. You can also leave the dough in bowl to cool, but it will take a little longer. Once cooled, return the dough to the pan. Beat the eggs, one at a time, into the dough, stirring briskly after each addition. The final dough should be smooth and just slightly sticky.
In a large stockpot, heat your canola oil to 365 Fahrenheit. We rolled the dough into little balls slightly smaller than a golf ball and dropped them into the oil. You can do this, or pipe them into the oil like a traditional churro. Let the dough fry for 2-3 minutes per side. Using a wire-mesh skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer dough to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture while still warm.
Caramel Custard Filling (Adapted from Lick The Spoon):
2 c. milk
4 large egg yolks
6 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. corn flour
2 ¾ Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
To make the custard, bring the milk to a boil. At the same time, in a separate saucepan, combine yolks, corn flour, and sugar together and whisk over low heat until the milk is boiling. Add a splash of boiled milk to the yolk mixture and begin to whisk like crazy. Gradually add the rest of the milk, continuing to whisk constantly, until thick and smooth. Remember – keep this yolk mixture over low heat so it can thicken. Once thickened, remove from heat and immediately scrape the custard into a bowl and place in a basin containing a few inches of cold water. Add the butter in 3-4 installments. Add vanilla. Mix well and let cool.
After donuts are rolled in cinnamon and sugar, pierce each with a knife and pipe custard into the middle. If any spills, make sure you lick the counter. It’s that good. :)