Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day Chocolate Donuts: Traditions and Recipes

Leap Day, February 29, comes every four years and is the day that keeps our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the Sun. Julius Caesar implemented the first leap day into his Julian Calendar in 45 BCE. At that time the leap day was February 24, and February was the last month of the year. In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian Calendar which we use today. This calendar has a more precise formula for calculation of leap years.

Leap Day is also a holiday of folklore and traditions. On February 29, according to Irish legend, it was a day when women could propose to men. This balanced things out in the same way that the leap day balanced the calendar. And if a man who refused the marriage proposal on Leap Day, he was subject to a fine.

Leap Year Chocolate Cake Donuts
Recipe from allrecipes

1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

All ingredients should be room temperature (70 degrees F).
Beat sugar and eggs together until creamy and lemon colored.
Melt butter and chocolate together in small saucepan over low heat.
Beat into sugar and egg mixture.
In separate bowl combine vanilla and buttermilk. Stir into sugar mixture.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Stir into liquid mixture.
Chill dough slightly to make easier to handle. Roll out half dough on lightly floured board to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into doughnuts. Allow the cut doughnuts to dry for 10 minutes.
Heat 2 inches of oil to 370 degrees F in large skillet. Dough should be at room temperature before frying. Dip metal pancake turner into hot oil each time before using to move or turn a doughnut. Transfer doughnuts to skillet, one every 15 seconds.
Fry each doughnut about 90 seconds per side. Remove doughnuts and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough.
To make icing:
Beat sugar, egg white, and vanilla together until smooth.
Drizzle onto the doughnuts after they have cooled.

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