Halloween can be such a cat and mouse game. There are those that love celebrating Halloween and go way overboard — dressing up, decorating, and hitting up every haunted hayride in town. Then there are those that try to avoid being scared, who fear the “trick” part of Halloween. But no matter what type of person you are, there is always one thing that brings the two groups together: the treats.
Desserts can bring anyone together and these Scaredy Cat Donuts are frightfully delicious treats for celebrating Halloween. Whether you’re going to a big party and have been planning your spooky costume for weeks, or if you’re staying in, getting comfur-able on the couch with Hocus Pocus, these donut’s going to be claw-some.
Serves 12 (serving size: 1 doughnut)
Active 25 min. Total 2 hours, 25 min.
1 (1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast
2 Tbsp. warm water
3 cups (about 12 3/4 oz.) all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
3/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups, plus 2 Tbsp. vegetable shortening, divided
1 Tbsp. activated charcoal powder
1 cup vegetable oil
24 whole roasted unsalted almonds
3 cups (about 12 oz.) powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. whole milk
1 tsp. black food coloring gel
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1. Prepare the doughnuts: Whisk together yeast, warm water, and 1 tablespoon each of the flour and granulated sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Add milk, egg salt, 2 tablespoons of the shortening, and remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
3. Stir together charcoal powder and remaining flour in a medium bowl until well blended. With mixer running, gradually add flour mixture to yeast mixture, beating until well combined after each addition and stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
4. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured work surface. With floured hands, knead dough until smooth but slightly sticky. Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover and let stand in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours.
5. Place dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and press into 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter, cut 9 rounds from dough. Using a 1/2-inch round cutter, cut holes in center of 2 1/2-inch rounds to create doughnut shapes. Remove centers, and place doughnuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Reroll scraps, and pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut 2 additional doughnuts from dough, and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Let stand in a warm spot 30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, combine oil and remaining 2 cups shortening in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Heat over medium to 350°F. Fry doughnuts until crisp and browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack over a baking sheet, and cool completely. Place 2 almonds in each doughnut to form cat ears.
7. Prepare the glaze: Whisk together all glaze ingredients until smooth. Pour glaze over cooled doughnuts to cover completely. Let stand until set, about 30 minutes.