Spiced Apple Cider

Spiced Apple Cider

1 gallon apple cider (preferrably from your local farmer's market or pick your own apple farm)
4 cinnamon sticks
10 whole allspice berries
20 whole cloves
1 orange sliced

*Pour cider into a large stock pot. Add orange slices.
*In a small fry pan, toast spices over medium heat just until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
*Add toasted spices to cider and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
*Remove cider from heat and allow to steep for at least 10 minutes.
*Strain cider and discard solids. Serve warm, or for a party, pour into a slow cooker set on low and allow guests to serve themselves!


Cara's Cider Donuts

2 c. apple cider
4 tbs butter, softened to room temperature
1 c. sugar
4 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 c unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 c. buttermilk
canola oil for frying

For cinnamon sugar coating, combine 1 c. sugar with 2 tsp. cinnamon in a brown paper bag - set aside.

*Boil cider in a small sauce pan until it is reduced by at least half - about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool
*Using a stand or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together.
*Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl.
*Combine cooled cider, egg, applesauce and buttermilk in a separate small bowl.
*Pour half of the milk mixture into the sugar and mix, followed by half the flour. Repeat additions, mixing after each one.
*Turn dough out onto a floured surface ( it may be very sticky, don't be afraid to add some more flour) and knead a few times, then pat down until about 1/2 inch thick. Using a donut cutter, cookie cutters or a drinking glass and shot glass, cut donuts from dough, and then holes from each donut. Set each cut piece aside on another floured surface.
*Heat about 1 inch of canola oil in deep, heavy fry pan until very hot. Gently place donuts into oil, 2-3 at a time and allow to cook for about 2 minutes per side. Be VERY careful when flipping donuts - they can slip a little and will cause hot oil to splash. Remove cooked donuts from pan and place directly into bag with cinnamon sugar topping - shake bag well until donuts are completely coated. Set to drain on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Serve warm or store in an airtight container at room temperature.