Friday just needed something epic this week.
Quick question you guys, does anyone else find it really annoying when one of your favorite products or brands gets discontinued? Urghh, it drives me nuts! For example, pepperoni. My family is obsessed (possibly a little too much) with pizza and, oh my goodness, can the guys in my house put it away like nobody’s business! Of course, there has to be meat involved or it doesn’t count as real pizza as far as they’re concerned.
Usually that means some combination of bacon, sausage, salami, and obviously pepperoni. The problem though, is that the meats in Chile have completely different seasoning than what we were accustom to in the States and what is a typical pepperoni to us doesn’t seem to even exist here. This was a bit devastating to the gang until my mom discovered one store that sold imperted real pepperoni and for a while we were able to buy it all the time….until we weren’t. The same goes for tons of other random things like exotic ingredients and stuff, it’s so sad.
I mean, I do get it. I understand that sometimes new products don’t do well enough for stores to keep them in stock, but seriously, it’s happened over and over to us, especially since living here. Clearly we’re going to have to start stockpiling the next time we find a new favorite thing, too bad not everything lasts that long. Oh, like Bluebell’s good heavens ice cream. Do you remember when I shared my recipe for a homemade verion because that’s the only way we can ever have that wonderful stuff again? Yep, it’s lame. Hey, but the good news for those beloved yet forgotten foods we all have in our memories, they can usually be recreated!
That was all pretty much my long-winded and off-subject way of getting to these incredible buttermilk bars and why I’m so excited about them. All right, so Mom has been telling me about these things for ages. Ha, I think it’s been since last Christmas that she’s been subtly hinting about how I want to make some buttermilk bars “for the blog” (Lol, I love her so much). My mom is from California and, in case you didn’t know this, LA is one of the most famed destinations in the world for real deal doh-dohs. See, so she has reason to be the aficionado (#doughnutsnob) that she is.
Anyway, she’s been describing these buttermilk bars that she adored getting as a kid. It’s taken me a while to get around to it but I finally decided to try them. That’s when I did some scouring of the internet to compare notes on different recipes thinking I’d find a bazillion of them, but to my surprise, there are barely any. A few poor quality photos with ancient recipes and a fair amount of requests for buttermilk doughnut bars on different forums was all I was able to find. How something as amazing as these bars could be so unappreciated is beyond me but as soon as realized this it gave me even more incentive to come up with the perfect recipe to share with you.
Let’s talk recipe here. Essentially these are the same thing as a traditional Old-fashioned doughnut but I’d say the biggest difference is that frying them in bars gives the center the best texture ever! It’s something you won’t get from the ring shape that produces more edge and less middle. That’s great if you’re wanting the texture of a doughnut, which is delicious in its own right, but when you want even more fluffy decadence these are the way to go, baby!
Another notable difference I think is the nutmeg. While I’m not completely positive on this, it seems that buttermilk bars don’t usually have it but old-fashioneds do. I devoted nearly a whole day to testing different recipes for these bars and ended up making 4 batches in a row so I tried them with and without to see what was more popular. My loyal taste testers told me that they liked it both ways, with and without nutmeg, but that the doughnuts didn’t need it to be good. The amount of nutmeg you add doesn’t stand out very strongly but I personally love it so I’m leaving it as a completely optional addition if you like it as well.
Also, these are way simpler to make than I ever realized. In fact, they’re so easy that it may be a dangerous thing later on when I’ve got no excuse not to make them again. I really hope you can try them because, whether you’ve never tasted them before or you’re one of the many people who have been searching for a recipe so that you could make them yourself, you can hardly go wrong with these! Happy weekend!
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
- 1 cup buttermilk*
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg (optional)
- 4 - 4 1/2 cups cake flour*, plus more for work surface
- oil for frying
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or honey)
- 4 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- Stir the wet ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl until well mixed and in a separate large bowl, sift 4 cups of flour and the other dry ingredients together. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir well until it forms a thick, slightly sticky dough. If it seems too sticky add a little more flour as needed. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for about 20 minutes to make it easier to work with.
- Divide the dough in half and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out one half into a rectangle that's about 3/4 inch tall. (The dough may seem a bit sticky so try to keep your hands lightly floured and handle it as little as possible.) Cut the rectangle into bars (I did 8 smaller ones but If you'd like them a bit bigger only do 6) and repeat with the other half of dough. Now you should have 12 to 16 bars. (Alternatively, you can cut them into traditional doughnut shapes and doughnut holes if you'd like.)
- Heat a few quarts of oil in a deep fryer, deep and wide skillet, or dutch oven to about 350 degrees F (180 C).
- Make the glaze while your oil is heating up. Whisk the salt, milk, vanilla, and syrup together in a medium bowl then add the powdered sugar a little at a time until incorporated into a smooth glaze.
- Carefully drop a few bars at a time into the hot oil and fry on both sides, turning once, until golden brown. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a plate or tray lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Allow them to cool for 3 to 4 minutes as they are a little bit fragile when hot, then dip each one in your glaze and place them on a wire rack to dry. Serve as soon as possible and store any extras (Ha, as IF!) in an air-tight container.
*You can substitute 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt for the buttermilk. **If you don't have cake flour on hand you can still make these using regular flour, however the texture won't be quite as light and fluffy the results when using cake flour.