Kids love sprinkles. I know I did. And now I know why bakeries like Dunkin' and Krispy Kreme tend to use the colorful, waxy stuff. They adhere like a dream and they look great. You can substitute colored sugar for sprinkles here, but be aware that a coarse colored sugar will pop much more on chocolate frosting than a fine one.
To make the heart shape I used an approximately 3-inch heart shaped cookie cutter and cut out the center using a 1-inch round biscuit cutter.
- For the Doughnuts:
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk, warmed to 90°F
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
- 2 whole large eggs, room temperature
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 quarts neutral oil, for frying
- For the Glaze:
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 5 ounces high quality (70% cacao) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
In a small bowl, combine warm milk and two tablespoons of sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top, stir gently then cover with plastic wrap and allow the mixture to proof for five minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, and vanilla and set aside. In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine the remaining sugar, flours and salt. Fit mixer with the dough attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add milk mixture until fully combined, then increase speed to medium to form a dry-looking dough. Return speed to low then add the egg mixture and mix until it is fully incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and knead for approximately 10 minutes, stopping as needed to scrape the dough off the hook. Dough will be ready when it is very smooth and elastic. Grease a large bowl with vegetable oil or cooking spray and place the dough inside. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Lightly flour your work surface and turn your dough out. Dust your hands and the top of the dough with flour then use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out and a 1-inch biscuit cutter to cut the holes in the center. Combine and re-roll any scraps to cut out additional doughnuts.
Place the doughnuts on the prepared baking sheets leaving room for the doughnuts to expand during proofing. Place the trays in a warm spot to proof until they puff up, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
While doughnuts are proofing, prepare your glaze. In a medium saucepan combine butter, milk, and corn syrup. Heat over medium until butter has just melted. Decrease the heat to low, then whisk in chocolate until fully incorporated. Remove pan from heat and whisk in vanilla and confectioners sugar until smooth. Set mixture over a bowl of warm water, stir as needed to keep it from hardening.
Fill a Dutch oven or deep fryer with 2-inches of oil. Heat oil over medium high heat to 350°F. Doughnuts will be fragile. Carefully transfer, one at a time to a shallow, heat resistant strainer. Use the strainer to gently drop doughnuts in the oil and fry until a deep golden brown on both sides (about 2 minutes per side, use the color as your guide as the oil temperature can very with time). Use wooden chopsticks to turn the doughnuts. Be careful not to crowd the doughnuts in the pan (no more than 2 doughnuts at a time). Remove doughnuts immediately from the pan using a heat resistant strainer or tongs. Tear apart your first doughnut to test for doneness and adjust your cooking time as needed. Set on baking racks to cool.
Once doughnuts are cooled enough to touch, dip them in glaze, decorate with sprinkles, if desired, then return them to the racks so the glaze can set completely, about 30 minutes. Doughnuts are best the day they are made, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for a day.
dutch oven or electric fryer, doughnut cutter, wooden chopsticks, heat resistant spatula, frying thermometer, 3 inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, 1 inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter