The second Sunday in August is a special day in Argentina--it's Día del Niño, or Children's Day. (This year it was postponed for elections, and was on Sunday the 21st.)
Día del Niño is a day celebrating the fleeting and wonder-filled years of childhood. I suppose adults on this day may reflect on their own fond memories of youth, but really the day is to celebrate the children in our lives--our own or even someone else's. On this day of honoring children, kids get a small gift and are told 'Feliz Día!'--they feel important, special and loved just for being themselves!
Esteban woke up to balloons on his chair at breakfast, a little metal lunch box from the Cars 2 movie with a t-shirt inside, and these dulce de leche-filled donuts to eat. A special boy on this special day deserves a treat for breakfast, don't you think? (Although in all truth, Papí ate many more of these donuts than Esteban did!)
These would be wonderful for breakfast not only Día del Niño, but on any day when a little celebration is in order--the first day of school, or a birthday, or to celebrate any kind of pint-sized accomplishment--the winning goal, memorizing that challenging piano piece, or making the grade.
I adapted the recipe from one for filled donuts I found on my friend Jen's blog, Use Real Butter. Since we live near each other at high altitude I knew this recipe would be a good one for making at a mile high, and it worked out perfectly--thanks Jen! They were delicious!
The rest of the day was spent playing--something we all need to slow down and do--young or old. Even if for a day, we got to celebrate our son and be kids again, ourselves.
Donas Rellenas de Dulce de Leche (Rosquillas Rellenas de Dulce de Leche)
These donuts are wonderful served with coffee for grownups or warm milk for little ones. They are best when fresh, but will last a day or so in an air-tight container--at least long enought to enjoy as a midnight snack! They can also be filled with jelly, custard or frosting.
makes a baker's dozen
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/8 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit)
3/4 cup warm milk (scalded and then cooled)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
heaping 1/4 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
cooking spray (or butter or vegetable oil, for greasing bowl)
vegetable oil (about 2 cups, for frying)
1 cup dulce de leche
confectioner's sugar, for dusting
In a small saucepan, heat the milk just until the boiling point and then remove from heat. Let the milk cool to lukewarm. Rinse the metal bowl of your stand mixer with warm water (so that when you add in the warm water for the recipe, it doesn't cool the water down). Add the 1/8 cup warm water to the mixer bowl and dissolve the yeast into the warm water. Add in the milk, sugar, salt, egg, shortening and 1 cup of the flour, and then beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go, for about 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining flour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until a smooth dough forms, about two minutes. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and let rise for about an hour, covered, in a warm place, until the dough has doubled in size.
Flour 2 baking sheets. (Rub with butter or spray with cooking spray, dust with flour and discard the extra flour.) Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface and roll it out to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter or the rim of a sturdy juice glass, cut the dough. Place the cut dough onto the cookie sheets, and repeat the process with the remaining dough. Let the donuts rise on the floured cookie sheets, covered, until doubled in size, about a half hour or so.
Heat the oil in a fryer, dutch oven or frying pan (if using a frying pan, use about 3/4 cup to start) and prepare a plate lined with paper towels. Heat the oil to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slide the donuts a few at a time (I did batches of 4) into the hot oil, and fry until golden on one side (about one minute) before turning over with a spatula. Fry for about one minute more, and then carefully remove the donuts to the plate to drain.
Once the donuts are fried and cooled, fill a pastry bag with a wider tip with dulce de leche. Make a small hole in each donut with a sharp, narrow knife, and then use the knife to make a cavity inside the donut to fill with dulce de leche. Fill the cavity with the dulce de leche, and then dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.