Forget cookies. Santa wants doughnuts. Here are a couple of fun ideas you can make with your kids to make your late night present delivering a bit sweeter.
How cute are Doughnut Snowmen? I made little hats from this Martha Stewart meringue recipe, but a little piping of chocolate ganache would make a great hat too.
To make these, just make the holes only from any dough recipe (if you are making my cake doughnut recipe, just drop in spoonfuls, and they should come out round enough). I used my basic raised dough recipe, but any flavor would be great. Given it's the holidays, maybe try it with the eggnog doughnut recipe in the book! You can make the holes all the same size, or some bigger and some smaller. You can even make snowmen using a full doughnut as the base, and then topping it with two doughnuts! Just dust whatever doughnut you are making generously with powdered sugar. You might also need to use a skewer to hold them together, although I didn't with the raised doughnut holes I made.
Or, how about Doughnut "Candy Cane" Twists.
These take just a bit more work, but it's a technique that works great year round to create flavored twists. You make these with a basic raised dough, but work a very small amount of red gel food coloring (it's important to use the gel food coloring for this... regular liquid won't work) into about 1/2 the dough once it's gone through its cold proof, but before you cut anything out. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each 1/2 into a rectangle a little less than a 1/2 inch thick and 3 to 4 inches wide. Then cut into strips that are 3/4 inch thick (and 3-4 inches wide). Take one strip of each dough... a plain and a red... and connect the ends to form a long strip.
With one hand on one end and the other on the other side start rolling, pushing one hand forward and the other back. The strip should start to twist. Keep twisting the strip until the whole thing is quite twisty. Then pick up the ends and quickly bring your hands together. The strip should twist itself together (if not, no worries, you can do the twisting manually). Pinch the end together and place the twist on a lightly floured, non-terry baking cloth on top of a sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining dough, and then cover the twists to proof, and fry in 360F oil, turning the twists over twice.
Lightly dust the rectangles with caster sugar, cinnamon sugar or a citrus sugar once they cool slightly.
If you've been trying to track down a copy of Doughnuts as a gift for Christmas, sorry it has taken so long! My publishers have told me that the 2nd printing has arrived and is now working its way out to stores, so it should be any moment now...
Happy Holidays everyone!