Challenge Accepted: Mac & Cheese Doughnuts

The Internet is full of strange and wonderful things, my friends.

This isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, but there are a lot of people doing a lot of “interesting” things, and the ‘net allows us to catch a glimpse. Of course the vastness of the web is too much for even the most devoted digital subject, so it helps that our friends link us to various things, thus saving us the trouble of having to plumb the binary depths ourselves.

Such was the case when a friend linked me to some Mind-Blowing Mac & Cheese Donuts that I felt missed the mark. For one thing, there was no dough in those ‘nuts; they were simply thrice-cooked box mac & cheese, pressed into the customary shape. My feeling on the matter (which I expressed to said friend) is that if we’re going to propose something as questionable as mac & cheese doughnuts, it should live up to the promise of the name!

And that’s when she all-but dared me to do it.

While I originally contemplated a traditional ring-shaped doughnut with cheese-filled pasta in the dough and then topped with a cheese sauce (no, not powder from the box mixes), for the sake of ease, I scaled back for this first* try and decided a filled doughnut might actually work better and allow the filling to retain some of it’s dignity. After all, this is humble food we’re talking about, no need to go into deep deconstruction.

Homemade Mac & Cheese
Homemade Mac & Cheese

First, I included my homemade mac & cheese in that week’s dinner menu and purposefully made extra to hold over for the weekend. It’s a variation (no bacon in this one) of my Bacon and 3-Cheese Macaroni from What to Feed Your Raiding Party that depends on the basics of good pasta (in this case, brown rice pasta) topped with a multiple-cheese and egg-enriched bechamel (made with lactose-free milk to keep things relatively Low-FODMAP). It may not bear the neon orange of the commercial mixes, but such is our “sacrifice.”

For the doughnut I decided to try the Glazed Yeast-Raised Doughnut recipe from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring. By setting up my makeshift proof box I did achieve some lift to the dough but it was more out than up, so the finished product more resembled Fry Bread than anything else, but we made it work.

As the doughnuts came out of the oil, I topped them with a sprinkle of cheese (quattro-formagi blend, in this case) to allow it to melt a little before the doughnuts fully cooled.

While all that was going on, I took out a hunk of the chilled mac & cheese and sliced it up into smaller bits before reheating with a splash of milk. Since the doughnuts didn’t achieve the height I was looking for, I skipped the pastry bag with filling tip and just split the doughnuts and spooned the filling into them.

Mac & Cheese Doughnuts... because I could!
Mac & Cheese Doughnuts… because I could!

Todd was my initial taste-tester and he proclaimed them tasty enough to go back for seconds. The leftovers reheated perfectly with just a quick zap in the microwave (15 seconds was plenty) and made for a good mid-afternoon snack.

Does the world really need  a Mac & Cheese Doughnut? No more than we needed mac & cheese pizza or other doubled-carb dishes, but sometimes it’s nice to try something just because, you know?

*No telling if I’ll actually try this again, though I am still on the hunt for the perfect gluten-free doughnut recipe. 

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