Episode: Toot! Toot!
One of my favorite shows in the entire universe is Cartoon Planet. I had been watching Space Ghost & Dino Boy for years, so I already liked the characters. Then they got the 90’s treatment (We affectionately refer to it as “being slapped with the 90’s pan.”) and I fell in love with them! The characters were taken in a direction I never imagined they would be (They became stupid, really stupid in Brak’s case.) and it’s so much fun to watch. I was immensely enjoying Space Ghost Coast to Coast and before I knew it, Cartoon Planet came out of nowhere and amped up the crazy! By that I mean they added Brak as a co-star. (Sorry, Moltar.) And they started “Zorak’s Helpful Hints”, and “The Cartoon Planet Storybook,” and songs about baloney sandwiches and other silly stuff. This reminds me, I’d like to take this moment to apologize to my parents who had to endure all those car rides with us wailing “Highway 40 Revisited” in the backseat.
Anyhoo. With my crazy love for the show, I’ve been dying to cover food from it. And Space Ghost and the guys do love food. They have several songs dedicated to foods and they talk about eating often. Brak even has his own cooking segment. (That he never really gets to do because his cooking makes people seriously ill.) The problem though, is Cartoon Planet was made on the cheap. When the guys spoke or sang about food, the same images were recycled over and over. I’d have no problem with that except that they were real foods. I very well can’t make cartoon food a reality if I don’t have cartoon food to start off with. On rare occasions, a quick drawing of a food item would show up. And lucky for me, a lone doughnut shows up during “The Cartoon Planet Storybook’s,” “What Does My Second Cousin Do?”
Recipe makes 18-24 glazed doughnuts.
1/3 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
4 ½ teaspoons yeast
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup milk, room temperature
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ½ cups flour
Vegetable Oil for Frying
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Black Food Coloring
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar in the warm water. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, or until foamy. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the rest of the sugar, salt, butter, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and half of the flour. Add the yeast mixture and mix all the ingredients together using the paddle attachment. Once all the ingredients are fully combined, add the remaining flour and mix until the flour is fully incorporated. Replace the paddle with the dough hook attachment and beat on medium speed until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, about 5 minutes. Move the dough to a large, clean bowl. Lightly coat dough with oil and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a ½ inch thickness. (A little less thick is fine too. I just like big doughnuts.) Cut out doughnuts with a doughnut cutter or large and small cookie cutters. Move the doughnuts to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a towel. Let the doughnuts rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat oil in a large pot/deep skillet or in a deep fryer to 370 degrees F.
Fry the doughnuts for 60-90 seconds on each side. (Whenever they turn golden.) Move the doughnuts to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Begin stirring in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Whisk until smooth. Move some of the glaze to a small bowl and tint with the food coloring. Place the black glaze in a piping bag.
Putting It All Together:
Dip the doughnuts, one at a time, in the glaze until they have a thick, even coating on top. Allow the glaze to rest a few minutes to fully set. Use the black glaze to pipe little circles onto the doughnuts. Once they set, you can eat up!
Is this batch of doughnuts a desperate excuse to talk about Cartoon Planet? Oh you bet, but who doesn’t like tasty doughnuts? I mean aside from “My Second Cousin.” And it’s Cartoon Planet we’re talking about. Nothing has to make sense here. If you want something bad enough and throw a bunch of funky stuff together, you should end up with something great.
Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!