I must have lived a shelter life as I never had heard of apple cider donuts until recently. They showed a recipe for Apple Cider Donut Trifle on The Chew TV show. With the flavors of Christmas, I thought I’d give a gluten free apple cider donuts recipe a try. They turned out delicious! They remind me of hot apple cider in the form of a donut. If you haven’t ever tried one, now is your chance.
In a small sauce pan, add 1 cup apple sauce and 1/4 cup apple cider. Cook on medium-low heat until the sauce reduces to about 1 cup. If you reduce it too much, add a bit of cold apple sauce to the mixture.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl; and set aside.
Beat 1/3 cup granulated sugar and the shortening in the bowl of your mixer on medium speed until tiny balls/beads form.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons beaten egg and 1 egg yolk. (Set the remaining beaten egg aside for frying.)
Add the apple sauce you set aside; and beat until creamy.
Beat in half of the flour mixture over medium-low speed. Then beat in the buttermilk and vanilla. Beat in the remaining flour mixture and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Scoop the dough onto a heavily floured baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a floured silicone baking mat. Pat out the dough to 1/2-inch high. Refrigerate until chilled, about 90 minutes.
Make the Glaze: Add 1 cup apple cider to a small saucepan over medium to medium-high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and whisk in the confectioners' sugar until thoroughly combined. Pour into a shallow bowl and set aside.
In a separate shallow bowl, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon; and set aside for dipping.
Heat 2 inches of neutral-flavored cooking oil in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350ºF. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
Cut the chilled dough into about 6 or 7 circles by using about a 2 1/2 to 3-inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour. Then cut out the center using a smaller cutter, about 1-inch in diameter. You can also use a donut cutter. Roll the holes into balls. Slowly lower 3 or 4 donuts into the preheated oil and cook a total of 1 1/2 to 2 minutes total, turning once to brown both sides. Lower heat as necessary. Transfer fried donuts to the paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Dip each one donut into the cinnamon sugar to cover the entire donut. Then dip the top of the donut into the apple cider glaze, and again in the cinnamon sugar. Roll the donut holes in the cinnamon sugar. Set them aside or serve warm.
If the dough is too sticky, knead in additional flour.
If the dough bursts open a little/cracks during frying, the oil is too hot or you have fried it too long. It's still edible, though.