Let’s celebrate some men, shall we?! Today I find myself far from all of the men I love. They are in Oklahoma, Texas and my fur-baby daddy is in Michigan, visiting his family. What a good dad he is to Bella. She loves him the most, which simultaneously breaks and swells my heart.
I imagine one of life’s greatest gifts is being a father to a daughter. You are her first love, her protector, her example for all future men in her life. It’s a tough job, but oh so rewarding. You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you can almost always tell if a girl has a good relationship with her dad. It permeates her entire life.
So I feel pretty lucky.
I have a lot of incredible men whose examples have shaped my life for the better: the life-loving grandfather I miss, the grandfather who loves God, music and family, the step-dad who makes me laugh, the father-in-law I never got to hug but who raised Joe to be the amazing man he is, and, of course, my dad.
I remember as a little girl being amazed that my dad knew so much. There wasn’t a question that didn’t have an answer. He was the smartest, the strongest and larger than life.
There were high expectations of us, but who would the Jackson kids be if not over-achievers? We were encouraged to always be the very best we could possibly be and every day was an opportunity to learn, even when on vacation. #IhadWilliamBarretTravis,Bryan
One of his greatest gifts he instilled in us was a sense of adventure. The need and desire to get out of Oklahoma and explore the world.
And, when I started embarking on my own adventures, he would come visit to be a part of them.
Whether it be a three-week road trip to Yellowstone, or a tour of America’s finest Civil War battlefields, we saw and learned so much every summer.
And, all of those adventures started with a single treat.
After we would all pile into the car, before we got to the highway, we would stop at Judy’s Daylight Doughnuts. Though sometimes we went inside with him, many times we’d stay put in the car and Dad would bring back a white sack for each of us. In mine was always a mini bottle of orange juice and a sprinkle cake doughnut, which we lovingly called “Judy Doughnuts.” The taste of that combination signals to my brain the start of something big and fun. It symbolizes family togetherness and comfort. Plus, it is just delicious. And I’m still pretty partial to sprinkle doughnuts, 30+ years later.
That’s why when Joe gave me doughnut pans for our anniversary, Judy Doughnuts were the first thing that I wanted to make. Especially to celebrate the man who bought me numerous ones across the years. The man who has given me so many adventures.
Here’s to many, many more. I love you, Dad.
If you don’t own doughnut pans, fix that right now. They run a whopping $7.50 on Amazon and are my new favorite kitchen toy. I have a slew of doughnut recipes to try, but I had to start with this classic, which is a vanilla cake case with simple frosting. Doesn’t get much easier or delicious.
When the dougnuts came out of the oven, the tops were a little soft and bumpy from where I hadn’t smoothed the batter down. I didn’t mind, though. That was the side I was going to dunk in the frosting, so it just a bonus that it would sink into all of those nooks and crannies.
The bottoms were brown and firm. A perfect foundation to hold a load of sprinkles and glaze.
I found this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction (great site!) and she says the key to doughnut glaze, how to get that crispy bite, is to warm your frosting before you dunk the doughnuts. Then let it harden and set before eating. (Oh, and she also does a double dunk on each doughnut. Mmmmm.)
Just look at that frosting! Gah!
I would also add that you should dunk with your non-dominant hand so you can use your dominant hand to immediately add the sprinkles after that second dunk. I didn’t do that, which resulted in my left hand not able to properly balance the sprinkles around the dougnut. #sprinkleclumps
I waited as long as I could, I promise, but I just had to try one. It took me right back. The cake was so tender and the glaze was warm and welcoming.
The doughnuts only last a few days after you first make them, which was *awesome* since I’m home alone. I feel like it’s a mission, my responsibility, that they don’t go to waste…just to waist.
Make these for your next adventure!
Baked Vanilla Cake Doughnuts
Slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
dash of salt
1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) milk*
1/4 cup (60g) Greek yogurt*
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60ml) milk*
2 cups (240g) confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt
sprinkles (for top only)
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
For the doughnuts: whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Whisk the milk, yogurt, and egg together until smooth. Add the melted butter and vanilla, whisking until fully combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be very thick.
Spoon the batter into the doughnut cups, filling 2/3 – 3 /4 of the way full.
Bake for 9–10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow the donuts to cool completely before glazing.
For the glaze: combine the glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk until the glaze is smooth. Remove from heat and immediately begin dunking the donuts, one by one, into the glaze with your non-dominant hand. I simply dropped each donut into the saucepan and moved it around to coat evenly. Transfer each donut to a wire rack over a baking sheet to catch the glaze drippings. Take each donut and dunk again if you have enough glaze leftover. Sprinkle with sprinkles immediately after each doughnut’s second glaze bath.
Donuts taste best eaten the same day, though they may be covered tightly and stored at room temperature for 2 days.
Notes from Sally:
*Skim milk, 1%, 2%, whole, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or rice milk is OK.
*Nonfat, low fat, vanilla, plain, Greek or regular yogurt is OK.
*You may make this recipe into muffins using a muffin pan. Bake at the same temperature for 18 minutes or until lightly browned.