While homemade doughnuts made from scratch are hard to beat, when you are short on time you can make them from the frozen can of biscuit dough stashed in your freezer. The canned biscuit dough comes pre-sliced, making it easy to pull the biscuits apart and create holes in the center to make them look like doughnuts. Once they're cooked and glazed, biscuit doughnuts are hard to discern from the real thing.
To make biscuit doughnuts, you can use most types of frozen canned biscuit dough, including homestyle and buttermilk. Avoid using whole grain or flaky varieties, however, as they will not give you the flavor or texture of a traditional doughnut. If your can of biscuit dough is frozen, place it in the refrigerator to thaw, which may take up to a full day. Pop open the can and separate the biscuits, which should be easy to pull apart. Flatten each biscuit slightly with your hands, then use a 1-inch round biscuit cutter to make a hole in the center of each. If you don't have a biscuit cutter, use a clean soda bottle cap to create the hole. Save the doughnut holes to cook along with the doughnuts.
The traditional way to cook doughnuts is to fry them in oil. Heat about two inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When the oil is hot, add the doughnuts and holes in batches and fry for 30 seconds to one minute on each side, or until both sides are golden brown. Remove the cooked doughnuts with a slotted spoon, place on a plate lined with paper towels and allow them to cool slightly.
Baking doughnuts is a healthier alternative to frying. Preheat your oven to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the doughnuts generously with melted butter. You can also used margarine, if you prefer. If you plan to make sugar donuts, brush the doughnuts with sugar on both sides before baking. Place the doughnuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden brown. Remove them from the oven to cool.
If you fried the frozen biscuit doughnuts and you want sugar, cinnamon or powdered sugar doughnuts, pour the sugar and/or cinnamon in a small paper bag while the doughnuts are frying. Transfer the hot donuts, one or two at a time, from the skillet into the bag using tongs and shake vigorously to coat them. If you have baked or fried your doughnuts and you want a simple glaze, combine powdered sugar with enough milk to create a pourable glaze. Stir in vanilla extract for flavor and food coloring. For a chocolate glaze, melt chocolate with butter and powdered sugar. Dip the doughnuts face down in the glaze to coat half of each. Add sprinkles or crushed nuts of any kind on top of the glaze, if you like. Enjoy the doughnuts while they are still warm.
- Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images