Apple Cider Donuts

donuts

It’s starting to feel a little more like fall, my favorite season! Unfortunately in Madison fall only lasts for, like, a month, so gotta take advantage of it while it’s here. I love that the weather gets cooler, that the leaves change color, and that it’s apple season! Super not into all the over-hyped pumpkin spice stuff (except for a certain someone’s pumpkin white chocolate chip cookies) but I love apples, apple pie, apple crisp, apple cider (both cold and hot), and apple cider donuts!

I was first introduced to apple cider donuts when I was in college. Every October one Friday was declared to be Mountain Day, classes were canceled and we all climbed up Mount Greylock, drank apple cider, ate apple cider donuts, and listened to various a cappella perform. It was definitely one of the most fun, memorable experiences of college.

When I moved out to Madison I got excited when I saw some apple cider donuts at the local grocery store. But unfortunately those ones were not nearly as good as the ones from Mountain Day (they tasted like they were made using those powdered hot apple cider packets… gross!). So with the help of Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction, some sisters from my family group and I made some on our own.

We tripled Sally’s recipe and followed the directions pretty much to a T with one exception – instead of dipping the donuts in melted butter, we put them directly in the cinnamon/sugar mixture… which makes them healthier right? 😉

The result was pretty delicious (especially given that they’re baked and not fried). Super flavorful, moist, and fluffy. Definitely the best apple cider donuts I’ve had in a while. As one of my friends often says (she’s a huuuuuge Sally’s Baking Addiction fan), “Sally’s done it again!”

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Baked French Toast

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2 posts in one month! Haven’t done that in a long time.

This past weekend was pretty busy and eventful. It was fun, but also tiring. I have retreats the next two weekends, so the next couple weeks will be equally if not more exhausting. Saturday started off with a brunch for the non-undergrad women at my church. My roommate and I “hosted” (albeit at someone else’s house), so we made lots of food including the french toast from this post, scrambled eggs with cheddar and spinach, and hashtagbrowns (aka #browns). We also played some get-to-know you Bingo which revealed the “beliebers” among us as well as the die-hard T-Swift fans, and made cute bookmarks.

Yesterday I played basketball and badminton for the first time in months. It was really fun and it was nice to get some exercise, but man I am SORE today. My roommate and I hosted Sunday dinner last night, although I didn’t actually help cook. As many of you know, my church has hangouts on Sundays that involve sports and dinner. We started out a few years ago with just a handful of young adults (like, 15), and last night we had 49 young adults and undergrads! We are looking to find a new venue though since 49 people in an apartment is just a teensy bit cramped.

There were a few other things that happened this weekend, but those were the highlights. A few people at brunch asked me for the recipe for the french toast, so I figured it was worth putting up here. It’s funny because my pastor’s wife actually sent this recipe from Rachel Sheldon’s blog almost 2 years ago for a baby shower. She was at the brunch on Saturday and didn’t recognize it!

I ended up making a few adjustments, but all in all the recipe was really good!

Ingredients
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 loaf Texas Toast
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cinnamon for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix melted butter and brown sugar.
Spread 1/2 of the butter/brown sugar on the bottom of a 9×13 pan
Layer Texas toast slices on top of that.
Spread the other 1/2 of the butter/brown sugar mix on top of the bread slices.
In a separate bowl, beat 4 eggs. Add in milk and vanilla extract.
Pour 1/2 of the eggs mixture on the bread. Sprinkle on a little cinnamon.
Put a second layer of toast.
Pour the rest of the egg mix on top and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 min, covered.
Remove foil and bake an additional 15 min.