Daring Bakers Challenge: Salted Apple Caramel Bourbon Glazed Donuts.

by Irvin on October 29, 2010 · 24 comments

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So I have to be completely honest. This post was going to be about something else entirely. I had every intention of doing a post to tie in with my guest post for Eating Rules – October: Unprocessed project. It was going to be a baked good that was completely unprocessed, with whole grains, vegan even. I had written it all out, and all I needed to do was tweak the recipe, when I realized it was the day before the Daring Baker’s Challenge was due. So I bounced over there with EVERY intention of posting in the forums stating “I won’t be able to make the challenge this month…” and then I SAW the challenge. DONUTS. I’ve always wanted to make donuts. Damn it. So I caved and made the exact opposite of a healthy whole grained baked good. I made a salted apple caramel bourbon glazed donut. Yep. I caved real bad. But what the hey, these suckers are worth it. The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

Sticky sweet salty crispy deep fried goodness.

Growing up, we have very few sweet treats in the house. My mom occasionally made her blueberry cheesecake or marble bundt cake for the monthly Bridge Club, but otherwise, sweet treats were not really available, which meant I had to either pilfer them from my friends’ houses (which, let’s face it, always hit or miss in terms of selection) or make my own (leading me to baking cookies – lots and lots of cookies).

But somehow Dunkin’ Donuts arrived on our kitchen table every now and then. It was always a happy day when I’d come down from my bedroom to find their signature pink, orange and white box waiting for my siblings and me. I’d open up the box to see the colorful frostings, hoping that my mom would have gotten me the vanilla kreme filled donut (not the bavarian kreme filled one, that’s the one that my dad liked – no the vanilla kreme filled donut which in retrospect was basically a frosting filled donut). I was probably a ridiculous site, with my bowl haircut (what small Asian boy DIDN’T have a bowl haircut) munching on my donut with powdered sugar all over my face and a huge grin.

Note my stylish blue vest. I was a fashion plate even back in the 1970s.

I can’t wait to have kids so I can witness that.

Dunkin’ Donuts don’t exist here in San Francisco and it’s actually been awhile since I’ve been to one. I was recently at the Dulles Airport waiting for a delayed flight back to San Francisco (I flew to DC for my sister’s wedding – which his a whole other epic post yet to be written) and I saw a directional sign pointing to Dunkin’ Donuts. I was tempted to go and see if they had the vanilla kreme filled donut but then I realized that my palate has changed in the past 30 years. Any nostalgia I would have for the donut would surely be overruled by the sweetness factor.

Thinking about it, the last time I went to a donut shop, I was at Voodoo Donuts up in Portland Oregon. A definite different twist on the donuts, the shop had a rock ‘n’ roll kitch feel with absurd donut flavors (Captain Crunch, Fruit Loops, M & Ms) and shapes (Voodoo Doll, Cock-N-Balls, Gay Bar). We got an assortment of donuts and though I enjoyed them for what they were, I realized I wanted something more adult in flavor than they provided. I wasn’t going to be encrusting my homemade donuts with any breakfast cereal as fun as it looked.

My teeth ache remembering what these Voodoo Donuts tasted like.

However, I kept on reminiscing on the donuts I had at the Meals on Wheels event I went to in May. Local donut purveyor Dynamo Donuts had a table where they were offering some amazing donuts where the flavor profiles were a little more sophisticated. Vanilla Bean, Apricot Cardamom, Chocolate Spice, Passion Fruit were all amazing to look at, but there was only one that AJ and I gravitated towards (and really we could only eat just one as we were stuffed – go look at my blog post about that event and you’ll understand why). It ended up being one of their signature donuts, the salted caramel glazed donut. I was so making that one.

But I wanted it still a little more adult and something a little more seasonal. So how about an apple caramel glaze? With a little booze to go in the glaze? This is not a donut my 7-year old self would like. Nor is it the donut that I will be serving my child in the future. But since AJ and I keep on trying to get pregnant and it’s just doesn’t seem to be happening, I think I’m safe for the time being munching on this here donut.

Yeah. I think I made too many of them. Anyone want one?

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Kat October 29, 2010 at 1:22 am

I'm really glad you decided to participate this month! The world is a much better place for your amazingly shiny doughnuts.
I'm going to have to try a cinnamon glaze. Despite my love for cinnamon, it's not something I've ever tried. Weird….


jenskitchen October 29, 2010 at 2:06 am

Oh my… I may have a new convert to Gluten-Free Challenge for myself. These look amazing!!!


E.K.R October 29, 2010 at 2:13 am

Great job!!! Your doughnuts look amazing and I love the idea of the salt to counteract the sweet. Sweet and salty is my absolute favorite combination. 🙂


chef_d October 29, 2010 at 2:22 am

Your donuts look fantastic! Amazing flavors too, salted caramel is a favorite of mine 🙂


Mary October 29, 2010 at 2:30 am

Beautiful doughnuts! They are amazingly shiny, and the glaze sounds amazing. I was in Portland working for a bit, and made a few visits to Voodoo Donuts, but, like you, didn't try to recreate any of them. Oh, and that childhood photo brings back 70s memories. I had a bowl cut too.


Audax October 29, 2010 at 4:32 am

Salted Apple Caramel Bourbon Glazed Doughnut sound so sophisticated and very adult. That glaze is so shiny and silky what a great flavour profile. Well done this challenge.

Love that photo for your family so cool in a strange way LOL LOL.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.


Serene @ MomFood October 29, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Holy crap. Those are a thing of beauty.


kudzu October 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm

I just drooled on my keyboard. Really. I am so impressed with your recipe and the look of the beauties and….I love the family photo!


Mr. Jackhonky October 30, 2010 at 12:15 am

@Kat. Thanks! Ha! I dunno if the world is a better place, but certainly my kitchen was! Let me know how your cinnamon glaze turns out. I love cinnamon too, which is why I threw a cinnamon stick into the glaze. I wanted to give it a little spice.

@jenskitchen. Thank you! Tell me how the gluten free conversion goes!

@E.K.R. Thank you! Sweet and salty is totally one of my fave combos too.

@chef_d AJ adores salted caramel. So I couldn't resist making these!

@Mary. Thank you! Portland is beautiful and is a great city! Voodoo was definitely fun for it's novelty but I doubt I would go very often if I lived there. And I think every child in the 70s had a bowl cut.

@Audax. Thank you! I would never call myself sophisticated and adult, but I was pretty happy with the way the donuts turned out! And yes, the photo from the 70s is pretty awesome. I love it!

@Serene. Thanks!

@kudzu. I love that! Thank you! And yes, the family pic. My sister got married this past weekend (as I mentioned) and we had to scan images for the slideshow and so this photo was floating in my hard drive… pretty cool eh?


Jeannie October 30, 2010 at 4:38 am

You can cross off number 5 on your unfinished business list (; These look to die for! Thanks for sharing; at least I can imagine.


Jenny October 31, 2010 at 1:36 am

Your doughnuts make my teeth hurt, but damn! that are pretty. So happy to watch your DB challenges…wait until you see the monster I'm cooking up for next spring!


Mr. Jackhonky October 31, 2010 at 6:49 am

@Jeannie. OMG! Thank you! I totally forgot I put it on my unfinished list! whoo hoo! The glaze is amazing. Good for a lots of things. I had some leftover and I just used it on vanilla ice cream.

@Jenny. They actually aren't as sweet as they look. Shiny and sticky, but the salt and the bourbon cut the sweetness. As for the monster you're cooking up… I'm scared…


Ruth Ann October 31, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Cool donuts! I bet that a version of the apple carmel glaze could be used in a lot of different dessert.
P.S. Love the family pic!


make my day November 2, 2010 at 11:41 pm

This does sound like a very adult doughnut…..but it also takes me back a bit with the bourboun..wish they'd had these outside the nightclubs I went to once upon a time. HMMM DOUGHNUTS!!!


DianasaurDishes November 3, 2010 at 11:41 pm

You were a ridiculously adorable little kid! Stylish indeed!


Mr. Jackhonky November 4, 2010 at 3:32 am

>@Ruth Ann. Thank you! One thing to keep in mind with the caramel glaze is that it's fairly stiff. Once you refrigerate or pour it on something cool (like ice cream) it pretty much solidifies. However if you stir in a few more tablespoons of cider/water/booze it'll loosen up. That said, I can't wait to use it in some other desserts, especially as a plating sauce.

@make my day. LOL. Oh, these donuts would have been great post nightclub/bar. Not that I go out that much anymore. I'm too old and boring.

@DianasaurDishes. Why thank you!


Rachelino November 4, 2010 at 6:19 am

Your haircut is adorable, and your expression is just pure joy and mischief. Appropriate. 🙂
Question: Was that a fake background/backdrop or actual bookshelf behind you guys?


Mr. Jackhonky November 4, 2010 at 6:26 am

@Rachelino. Oh I was all sorts of mischief back then. You could ask my parents. Apparently I was quite the handful, from the get go.

And that picture is a classic Olan MIlls photo studio shot. It's TOTALLY fake. They STILL use those fake backgrounds. It's pretty awesome.


Merri November 10, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Aw youre cute in your back in time photo… the last time I went to visit back new england (where I'm from) in june, I went to dunkin donuts in the airport home, just on principal since theyre not here. I got a small iced coffee and two jelly filled munchkins I think. Im not a fan of donuts though, not even as a kid. Also, sadly, since we were in the airport, those were stale. I do think dunkins is missing from CA. but id never want to work there again! Those look good though. I remember when I was little and lived in VT we went to an apple cider place and had apple cider donuts freshly baked from there, and they were really yummy.


Mr. Jackhonky November 15, 2010 at 6:02 am

@Merri. Thanks! I have to say that the apple cider caramel glaze was pretty darn amazing. I'm ever so pleased I came up with it! that said, it's been YEARS since I've been to a Dunkin' Donuts. I probably should have tracked it down at the airport…just for nostalgia sake. but I didn't…


Rita December 1, 2010 at 1:49 am

You are the funniest, most heart-zinging person ever. I love thinking about your future child, and also, I want to eat these donuts.

Love love LOVE.


Louelljoy March 24, 2011 at 9:10 pm

How come doughnuts turn tough after just an hour in room temp? Commercially made donuts stay soft even after 8hrs just like donuts from Dunkin and KK. Would you happen to know what additives to add to my mix so that the resulting donuts stays as soft as that of commercially amde donuts? [email protected]


Irvin March 24, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Hi Louelljoy.

That’s a great questions. Just a couple of weeks ago Lara Ferroni (author of the excellent book Doughnuts) wrote a post about a possible solution in keeping homemade donuts from getting stale so fast.

A lot of commercial shops like Dunkin and KK use preservatives and chemicals to keep their dough from going bad, but she found that the added ingredient of SOY FLOUR actually makes a big difference, in keeping the doughnut both fresh by adding moisture AND keeping the dough from absorbing the oil as they fry.

Check out her post about this discover at http://www.laraferroni.com/2011/03/02/raised-doughnuts-v3-0/


chicken breast recipe September 18, 2017 at 10:02 pm

You are very Nice, most heart-singing person ever. I just wish you all the luck and future, I want to eat these donuts.

Sending lots of love


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