When I was whisking the glaze for these Almond Sour Cream Doughnuts, a funny thought flew into my head, “When did I become so obsessed with pink?”. The natural answer for most pink-loving girls is “For as long as I can remember”. I mean, the moment we girls spring from the womb someone hands us something fluffy and pink. It’s natural to form an attachment, I suppose. But I never did.
As a kid, I was a pro-purple through and through. I made my grandmother make me a purple tutu for ballet class, I pitched a fit when I discovered the world was devoid of purple life jackets, and I chose my Barbie dolls based on how much purple they wore. In my opinion, pink got in the way of purple. How dare people assume all a girl wants is pink! But somewhere along the way, I reconciled myself to pink. I’m just not really sure when.
I’ve been thinking about the rise of millennial pink lately. Where did it come from? When did I become aware of it? What shade of pink is it exactly? The answer to the last question can be found via The Guardian and the Pantone website. The other two questions are more difficult to answer. I remember seeing this hue flying around Pinterest and Instagram and found myself liking and pinning it more and more. I had assumed the shade was a homage to the pink stucco homes common in mid-century Hollywood (Palm Springs is a mid-century modern wonderland, btw). But it seemed to be a something else entirely.
Later, I found out the color had been dubbed “Millennial Pink” and man, did I feel basic. I already felt basic for inadvertently embracing pink, but the idea of sharing a color preference with my entire generation? I felt like a hanger-on. An unthinking, trend-hungry slave to pop culture. But why was that my immediate response? As a perpetual over-thinker, I had to figure out where this disgust came from.
When I was a “tortured”, self-important teenager, I worshipped at the altar of the Avant-Garde. I then went to university for Art History where I was formally educated in interesting people who operated on the fringes of society. So, somewhere in the recesses of my mind, there was (and probably still is) a very simple equation: different = good, same = bad. Well, thinking that way is a good way to hold yourself back. Paradoxically, it is incredibly narrow-minded.
Inspiration comes from everything and everywhere. Absorbing stimuli is how you build a stylistic inventory in which to draw from. And somewhere along the line (I blame the pink wigs in Lost In Translation and Closer for getting the ball rolling) I decided a particular shade of pink was totally nifty, which over time, led to these Rose Water Pavlovas and today’s Almond Sour Cream Doughnuts with Rose Water Glaze.
I would’ve called this post Meditations on Millennial Pink if I could have handled the disparity in the titling of my articles. There is a recipe for these Almond Sour Cream Doughnuts somewhere in here, I swear. If you think I’ve gone beyond the pale, please feel free to scroll down to the bottom of this page for doughnut salvation. These babies are seriously delicious, you won’t be sorry.
I told you about my love/hate relationship with pink not because it’s deeply interesting (it’s not), I told you this story because I think it’s helpful to explore your knee-jerk reactions. It’s about realizing the boxes you put yourself in and how liberating (and delicious) it is to let yourself out. Am I concerned that my desserts are “too feminine” because they’re pink? A little. Am I uncomfortable? Yes. Is that a good thing? Heck yeah! The act of making should be a little uncomfortable. You should push yourself to do something different and for some that might be embracing a color that’s too popular for comfort and to another, it might be making doughnuts at all.
I guess what I’m saying is if you don’t think you’re a baker. Challenge yourself. If you think making your own doughnuts is too Stepford. Challenge that assumption. If you think deep frying is too messy. Come to terms with it because it is but it’s also worth it. Okay so, now I’m just soapboxing in favor of you making these Almond Sour Cream Doughnuts with Rose Water Glaze but I swear my original message is from the heart. Make no assumptions, especially not about yourself.
In closing, pink doughnuts! Doughnuts, in general, are hard to say no to. But pink doughnuts? Well, they’re near impossible.
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 cups Canola Oil for frying
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon rose water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pink food color gel
- Silvered almonds for sprinkling
- In a medium-sized bowl sift the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, place sugar, butter, lemon zest and almond extract. Beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time and beat until fully integrated.
- With the mixer set to low, add a third of the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Next add half of the sour cream followed by another third of the dry ingredients. Finally, add the last of the sour cream and the remaining dry ingredients. A sticky dough will form.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Place chilled dough on a very well-floured surface. Roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thickness, using a well-floured rolling pin.
- Dip a doughnut cutter into some flour and cut out as many doughnuts as possible.
- Set aside the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes.
- Form the remaining dough into a ball and roll it out again. Repeat this step until you run out of dough. I got 8 doughnuts and 10 doughnut holes.
- Pour the canola oil in a large heavy bottom pot. Place a candy thermometer in the oil and place the pot over medium-high heat.
- Heat the oil to 325F. Try to keep the oil between 325 -350F while frying the doughnuts.
- Working in batches, add the doughnuts to the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes a side or until golden.
- Transfer the doughnuts to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. When cool enough to touch, transfer the doughnuts to a cooling wrack to allow to cool completely.
- Sift the confectioner's sugar into a large bowl. Add the milk, almond extract, rose water, salt and coloring gel. Whisk until smooth.
- Place a piece of parchment paper underneath a large cooling wrack, then place the doughnuts face down in the glaze. Transfer the doughnuts, face-side-up, to the cooling wrack.
- Immediately sprinkle the doughnuts with slivered almonds and drizzle the remaining glaze over top.
- Let the doughnuts sit for 2-3 hours to set.
- Serve with a cup of coffee and chill Sunday vibes - even if it's not Sunday.