This doughnut features a sticky, crunchy topping combining caramel and pecans with a nice hit of bourbon. Try this on your favorite cake-style doughnuts.
Yield: depends on doughnut recipe chosen; glaze recipe makes enough to coat twenty-four 3-inch doughnuts
2 1/4 cups sugar
2⁄3 cup water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
Scant 1 cup pecan halves, toasted and finely chopped
1 recipe cake-style doughnuts, cut into 3-inch rings, fried, and beginning to cool
1. Stir the sugar and water together in a deep pot (you need headroom, as it will bubble up furiously when the cream is added). Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, swirling the pan once or twice, but do not stir. Cook until the sugar is caramelized and has turned a dark golden brown. Remove from the heat and add the cream; the mixture will bubble vigorously. After the bubbling subsides, place the pan back on the burner over low heat. Add the butter and bourbon and whisk just until smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, salt, and nuts. Pour the glaze into a heatproof bowl and cool until slightly thickened.
2. Line two rimmed baking sheet pans with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Dip the tops of the doughnuts into the glaze or spread it on top using a small offset spatula. Let the glazed doughnuts sit on the prepared pans until the glaze sets, 5 to 10 minutes.