Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 49/365

fastnachts feb 18 10

A few years ago, Rachael Chamberlain shared a recipe for her grandma Julia's Fastnachts. I'd never heard of them before so she explained that her grandma, who had recently died, made them every year on Fat Tuesday. I'm a sentimental one when it comes to traditions so I decided I'd make a batch of Fastnachts for my family, just for fun.

fastnachts 1 feb 18 10
What I didn't expect was that they'd all flip over them and I'd end up making them not just on Fat Tuesday, but on Fat Day once a month.

fastnachts 2 feb 18 10
Fat Day is one of our traditons we started a few years back. Shawn was trying to lose weight and we decided that changing our habits so that eating became a miserable experience (we love our cheesy, greasy foods,) wouldn't work. We decided to have one of our more fattening meals, and a dessert, every Thursday.

fastnachts 3 feb 18 10_1005
Being fried, Fastnachts definitely qualified for Fat Day!

fastnachts 4 feb 18 10
They are ridiculously easy to make. And you can always use the excuse, "I have to use up these left-over mashed potatoes," when you feel like eating a warm, homemade donut.

fastnachts 5 feb 18 10
Good stuff. The proof is in the powdered sugar. The more they eat, the more they wear, the more you know you're loved more than Dolly Madison. Dolly's donuts never end up on the tip of his nose. Eat your heart out, Dolly. This one's mine.

Julia's Fastnachts

3 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup shortening
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 cup melted butter
2 pkgs. yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
12-14 cups flour

Add shortening to scalded milk and heat to the boiling point. Stir in sugar and salt and let cool to lukewarm. Beat eggs and stir into milk.

Have yeast softened in lukewarm water. Stir into milk along with the mashed potatoes. Add the melted butter and nutmeg.

Add flour a cup at a time. Beat by hand as long as possible. Then work in with oiled hands. Turn out onto a flour dusted surface and knead about 10 minutes. Cover and let rise to double in bulk in a warm sheltered place.

When double, turn out and roll to 1/4" to 1/2" thickness. Cut with a sharp knife to make 2" squares of dough. Cut a slit in the center of each. Let rise again about 45 minutes. Fry to a golden brown on each side in deep, hot fat (shortening.) Drain and while still warm, roll in granulated or confectioners sugar.

I cut this recipe in half and have enough to stuff a family of 4 to the point of misery, share a bowl with my in-laws, and have left overs for breakfast.
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