In elementary school, nothing said peak winter like a snow day. As much as I looked forward to not going to school, pretending to help shovel the driveway, and frolicking with my dog in the backyard, my favorite part was making donuts with my mom. Real donuts, you guys! Not the baked nonsense I make these days. Real-life, fried rings of dough.
Today I'm pretty off-put by frying in my tiny kitchen with a 10" skillet. Been there, done the hot oil burns. And while I firmly believe there's no substitute for what you're craving (eat real cheese! fake cheese will only leave you sad and lonely), it's also nice to occasionally lighten up your most indulgent favorites.
During last weekend's New York blizzard, I decided I had to make donuts, just like my mom — minus the terror of actually frying them. While real donuts are obviously better, for me, baked donuts exist in their own class. You can't compare them to a fried dough ring (clearly the winner), but you can enjoy them for what they are: ring-shaped cakes with frosting. These particular cakes bow down to winter citrus and are topped with a pink glaze that you simply must cover with the sprinkles of your choice. They're not as good as my mom's, but I feel less guilty eating two in a row every time I decide to dig in.