Long time Football Foodies readers know I’m a huge fan of quick and easy brunch items for 10 a.m. Pacific Time kickoffs. Dishes like Overnight French Toast Casserole, Four Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Quiche, or Breakfast Enchiladas that are assembled the night before and thrown in the oven to bake while you make poor last-second fantasy football picks, dust off the TV and brew coffee for your whiskey.

So when I had the Bacon Cheese Doughnut Holes at The Den at happy hour, I knew this could be a football brunch treat for all the times I didn’t feel like making something beforehand. From the time you cook the bacon to the time you serve the doughnuts, you’re looking at only about 30 minutes in the kitchen, tops.

And don’t let the word “doughnut” fool you. These doughnuts dough-not (HA! I slay me!) have to be just for breakfast games. The savory of thyme, the meatiness of the bacon and the creaminess of the melted cheddar more than hold up for a mid-game snack with beer if you’re watching the later games. All you need to do is make the batter ahead of time leaving out the bacon until it’s time to fry, and these can easily be made during halftime.

You will need:

1 cup (8 ounces) milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup melted butter, (half a stick)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 strips (about 4 ounces) bacon, cooked and chopped
1 cup or so of freshly grated cheddar cheese, preferably medium or sharp
A few stems of fresh thyme, about 1 teaspoon of leaves
Powdered sugar and maple syrup for serving

The Den’s Bacon Cheese Doughnuts used a milder, creamier cheese and the dough itself was a little denser. I prefer a sharper cheese that adds a little more bite and a lighter fried dough ball.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. In a smaller bowl, mix together the milk and melted butter, then the egg. (Letting the milk cool down the butter avoids scrambling the egg during mixing.)

Slowly stir in the milk and egg mixture into the dry ingredients until fully combined. Fold in the cheddar, bacon and the thyme leaves.

Fill a heavy skillet or dutch oven with oil until it’s about 2 inches deep. Heat to 350º.

Working in small batches, use either a cookie scoop or a large spoon, drop the dough in 1 to 1 1/2 balls into the hot oil cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip over to cook the other side.

Set the cooked doughnut holes on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to drain and keep warm in a 250º oven while making the remaining batches.

As you can see, they’ll puff up to be a little larger in hot oil. Remember, work in small batches as not to crowd the pan and cool the oil down too much. Cold oil means oil-soaked greasy food; hot oil means crispy.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup.

Unfortunately I will be be missing the games this weekend as fly over to Europe, although I am hoping we’ll get to see some highlights during our very brief layover in Dulles. Watching next weekend’s Steelers-Colts Sunday night game is proving to be problematic, since it will be 2 a.m. in Prague, and so far all of the sports bars I’ve emailed say they stay open late, but not that late. Even if it’s not for a Steelers game, I’m hoping to see at least one NFL or college game in a European sports bar just for the experience.

I know what you’re all thinking; traveling during football season? What is wrong with you?

First off, when someone says they want to take you to Europe for a few weeks, you go no matter what season it is. Secondly, when we booked this trip in the spring, I really thought the lockout would last until October if not the whole year. And really, Steelers-Seahawks, Steelers-Colts and Steelers-Texans? There are worse stretches of games to miss.

As far as the Football Foodie goes, have no fear! Four or five posts are lined up in the queue for you since snacking never takes a vacation.

Bacon Cheddar Doughnut Holes: Football Foodie Brunch
Print
Recipe type: Snack, Breakfast
Author: sarah sprague @ sarahsprague.com
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 strips (about 4 ounces) bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup or so of freshly grated cheddar cheese, preferably medium or sharp
  • A few stems of fresh thyme, about 1 teaspoon of leaves
  • Powdered sugar and maple syrup for serving
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. In a smaller bowl, mix together the milk and melted butter, then the egg.
  2. Slowly stir in the milk and egg mixture into the dry ingredients until fully combined. Fold in the cheddar, bacon and thyme.
  3. Fill a heavy skillet or dutch oven with oil until it’s about 2 inches deep. Heat to 350º.
  4. Working in small batches, use either a cookie scoop or a large spoon, drop the dough in 1 to 1 1/2 balls into the hot oil cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip over to cook the other side.
  5. Set the cooked doughnut holes on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to drain and keep warm in a 250º oven while making the next batch.
  6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup.

Basic doughnut recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour and Joy of Cooking.

 

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15 Responses to Bacon Cheddar Doughnut Holes: Football Foodie Brunch

  1. Ally Garner says:

    This is why I have a Fry Daddy. Can’t wait to make these. I hope you have a safe & terrific trip Sarah!

    • sarah sprague says:

      Thanks, Ally!

      You know, I have a deep fryer but I rarely use it. So much hassle to clean and I don’t have the space to store it where I can keep the oil in it. (Although it’s what I use when I make Buffalo chicken wantons and most fried cheeses.)

      • TKnTexas says:

        I have a small fryer, same size as Fry Daddy but with thermostat and a drop down lid that can be used during frying to minimize spatter. Its max line is one quart of oil. After I am done I just drain back to that bottle and refrigerate. I have one bottle for donuts (sweet) and one for savory(chicken).

        Can wait to try these. Combines most all the important food groups.

        • sarah sprague says:

          Hope they come out for you!

          I don’t fry many sweets, so I do save that oil more often. My savory oil is a mess in no time.

    • Stephanie Vetor says:

      These sound wonderful sarah thank you for sharing!

  2. Clare says:

    You’re doing the Lord’s work, Sarah.

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  4. [...] for a heart attack: we’re introducing a new occasional series on football snacks. This week: “Bacon Cheddar Doughnut Holes”, the latest recipe on Sarah Sprague’s Football Foodie blog. [...]

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