Carpe Donut | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Carpe Donut

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I am a firm believer in guilt-free eating. That doesn't mean irresponsible eating, although I've certainly done my share of that. In fact, let's go ahead and get the disclaimers out of the way now.

I am not a doctor. If you suffer from any condition that requires a restricted diet, take what I say with a grain of salt (or low-sodium salt substitute).

I advocate moderation. Just because I give you a recipe for deep-fried chocolate chip cookie and frosting sandwiches (see sidebar) doesn't mean I advocate consuming said deliciousness on a daily basis.

We shouldn't feel bad for occasionally indulging. (Notice the word "occasionally.") It's all about balance. It's a no-brainer that eating right and exercising regularly are the way to go. I've made an effort to do both, the exercising in particular. You wanna hear about balance? I'm the guy who will stop by my favorite Fondren bakery so I can down an éclair just before a six-mile run. I did that just yesterday.

We live in a society of extremes. For the past several years, some fast-food establishments have made an effort to add low-fat, low-calorie and low-carb options to their menus. I applaud them for that. Eating healthy should be the rule.

I've seen another trend as well, sometimes in the same restaurants. Even as the fast-food joints added healthier options, many of them have went ape-shizzle with desserts. Call it caloric counter-programming. Deep-fried cheesecake morsels and brownie bites have joined grilled chicken salads and low-fat tacos on the menu boards. If you can batter it, fry it or roll it in sugar, some restaurant probably has it on a menu.

I say, "God bless them for it."

Life is short, folks. Do you really expect the last words you utter as you leave your mortal coil to be something along the lines of: "I sure am glad I ate all that cauliflower. It is, after all, high in fiber and rich in vitamin C. As a matter of fact, I wish I had some right now."

No! Life is about moments, people, and cauliflower doesn't produce moments! All cauliflower produces is gas. Huge slices of greasy pepperoni pizza slathered with extra cheese, perfectly moist cake covered with rich buttercream frosting, giant cheeseburgers topped with smoky bacon֖now those produce moments.

So remember: Eat smart most of the time, exercise regularly, and every now and then, when you have a hankering for an edible cardiac event, remember these two words:

Carpe donut.

The Coronary Cookie Sandwich

If there's one thing better than junk food, it's homemade junk food. This recipe can be simple or complex, depending on how much baking from scratch you are willing to do. If you are so inclined, use your favorite chocolate-chip cookie recipe and make the frosting from scratch. If you want to go the easy (but still delicious) route, use some break-and-bake cookies and store-bought frosting.

Ingredients for Batter:
4 cups vegetable oil
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Powdered sugar

Directions:
Mix the milk, vinegar and 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Gradually combine liquid ingredients with dry ingredients. Place batter in refrigerator.

While the batter is chilling, heat the four cups vegetable oil in a deep fryer to about 375 degrees. I use a Fry Daddy. It's simple and there's no fiddling with the temperature.

When the oil has reached frying temperature, remove the batter from the fridge. Coat your pre-baked cookies (after they've cooled) in the batter and fry them two at a time for two to four minutes.

Remove cookies from the oil and let them cool off some. Pat them with a paper towel to remove excess oil and dust them with powdered sugar. Slap some frosting between two cookies, and you now have yourself one of the most sinful treats known to man.

Batter is good for six-to-12 cookies or three-to-six sandwiches, depending on the size of the cookies you use.

WARNING:
Do NOT eat one of these by yourself. I did for the sake of culinary posterity, and (thankfully) I lived to regret it. Don't be greedy: Share it with a friend!

Visit the JFP's new food blog for dining tips, recipes, restaurant menus and more! http://www.jfpfood.com.

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