A Very Pumpkin Spice Saturday

16 Sep

Look what I found!!  More precisely, look what I sent the boyfriend to the store to find for me on his way home from campus!

You know what that means.  I brewed up a pumpkin spice latte (brown sugar, pumpkin spice, and milk steeped with a bit of pumpkin puree) and whipped up a batch of :

These were my first cake doughnuts, and I am pretty happy with the results.  I made yeast doughnuts once before (in an attempt to duplicate a glazed Krispy Kreme).  They were awesome, but crispy on the outside.  I also know that yeast scares some people off, so I chose a cake doughnut for this batch of seasonal fried delights.

I will say this: even though this is not a yeast recipe, it still calls for 3 hours of wait time while the dough chills in the fridge.  The recipe also makes a ridiculous amount of doughnut holes, so unless you’re planning to feed an army, cut it in half (I took a full batch to a tailgate and they were gobbled up in minutes).

In spite of the preparation time and then rolling out the dough, cutting out the doughnuts and frying them, these.are.incredible.  They definitely are more cakey than a yeast doughnut (less melt-in-your-mouth), but still fluffy and moist.  And so flavorful!  The seasonings and the amount of pumpkin are absolutely perfect.  Plus, my house smells like I just cooked a pumpkin pie.  It’s intoxicating. Mmmmm.

You should make these.  Feed your friends and enjoy the first few bites of the pumpkin-y fall season! =]

—-

The dough is made the same way you would make a cake.  You need three mixing bowls…one large, one really large, and one medium sized.

First, sift together all the dry ingredients and spices in the large bowl.

Then whisk together pumpkin and buttermilk in the medium bowl.

Next, in the very large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar (it’s a lot of sugar and not much butter, so it will be pebbly looking), then beat in the eggs and vanilla.

 

Now alternate additions of wet and dry ingredients to the egg/sugar mixture.  As long as you start and end with dry it doesn’t really matter how you do this.  I did dry, wet, dry, wet, dry.

 

The dough will be thick and elastic, but not especially stiff.  This is when you put it in the fridge for 3 hours.  Basically, you want the batter to be cold and stiff.  It may not take three hours, and you can put it in the freezer for some of this time if you want to speed up the process.  I actually recommend leaving it in the fridge overnight…this morning I fried up some leftover dough from Sunday.  It was easier to roll out, seemed to fry up better, puffed up more and the doughnuts were fluffier on the inside.

Anyway, when you pull it out, dump the dough onto a heavily floured surface.  (see how firm it is?)  Then just roll it out, applying more flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Then just cut out your doughnuts!  I don’t have any cookie cutters, so I’m using a shot glass.  Dip it in flour so it won’t stick to the dough while you cut, and press hard and twist when you cut the doughnuts.

This dough is more forgiving than yeast dough.  I balled it up and rolled it out several times, and applied lots of extra flour.  The final products didn’t get dense or heavy because of it.

Once you’ve got all your doughnuts cut you’re ready to fry!

Get an inch or so of oil warming up in a large saucepan.  Meanwhile, make your toppings: cinnamon sugar and pumpkin spice glaze (recipes at the end).

Once the oil reaches 365-375, you’re ready to start dropping your doughnuts.

These don’t behave exactly like anything else I’ve fried.  They start to brown on one side (see picture below), but they may still be doughy inside. Give them a gentle squeeze with your tongs before you flip, and they should feel set on the sides (not soft and doughy), and you want the tops to look like a baked cake or a biscuit.  These guys are about ready to flip.

Also, you don’t want to see any batter oozing out of cracks (see the ones on the top and bottom left in the picture below? They’re not quite done yet).  It’ll take slightly under a minute per side to cook these doughnut holes.

And even if their centers are a bit gooey, they’re still good…see?  I ate it.  It was delicious.

Pull them out onto a paper towel to absorb excess oil, then (while they’re still warm, but not necessarily immediately), roll in the sugar or glaze.

These are best served warm out of the frier, but they keep fresh for a few hours, and are still pretty good warmed up the next day.  You could maybe even freeze some so long as they are cool before you move them into the freezer.

—-

Now I know you’re wondering what to do with that leftover pumpkin.  Scoop it into a Tupperware, lay some plastic wrap right on the surface of the pumpkin and you can store it for several days in your fridge or freeze it for whenever you’re ready to make more pumpkin spice goodies (don’t worry, I’ll have plenty to share in the upcoming days and weeks).

Some of my extras went into pumpkin spice oatmeal! In preparation for a long day of tailgating and football, I knew I would need a heartier breakfast than doughnut holes (delicious, delicious doughnut holes…). Packed with fiber and protein, oatmeal was just the thing.

Here’s how I made mine:

½ cup old fashioned rolled oats (none of that quick cook nonsense)

¾ cup water

2 tsp brown sugar (totally add more or less to taste)

2-3 T canned 100%  pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

A pinch of pumpkin pie spice

A splash of milk

Just combine the oats and water and microwave for 1:45.  Keep an eye on it…it will bubble up a bit, and you don’t want the bowl to overflow and make a mess.  Pull it out and give it a stir halfway through or when it starts to look like it might explode.

Then just stir in brown sugar, pumpkin and milk, and give a little sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice on top.

You could totally sweeten this with maple syrup or molasses, and throw some dried cranberries or chopped pecans on top.  I would approve of any of those combinations.

Here’s the best part (besides the fact that it tastes like oatmeal cookie meets pumpkin pie): Pumpkin is high in fiber and low calorie:  2.5g of fiber and only 20 calories in the quarter cup I mixed in with my oatmeal. Score!

—-

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

From Annie Eats

Makes ~50 doughnut holes

For the doughnuts:
3½ cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree

Canola oil or peanut oil, for frying

For the cinnamon-sugar:
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the spiced glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves
2 tbsp. milk

  • To make the dough, in a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl.  Whisk to blend, and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together pumpkin and buttermilk and set aside
  • In a large bowl combine the sugar and butter and beat until well blended.  Beat in the egg, then the egg yolks, and then the vanilla until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the pumpkin mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Once the dough is mixed, cover and chill for at least 3 hours or until firm (I recommend overnight)
  • On a well-floured work surface, roll or pat out the dough to a ½-inch thick round.  Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour. Then cut out doughnut holes with a small cookie cutter or shot glass.  Reroll and cut as necessary.
  • Add oil to a large saucepan or Dutch oven to a depth of about 1-3 inches, and heat to 365-370˚ F. (while the oil heats, make cinnamon sugar and pumpkin spice glaze). Add the rings of dough to the hot oil so that they are in a single layer and not touching.  Fry, turning once, until both sides are golden brown and doughnuts are cooked through, about a minute per side.  Use a skimmer/strainer to remove from the oil and transfer to a paper towel-lined rack.  Bring the oil temperature back up to the target range before repeating with the next batch of doughnuts.
  • Toss doughnut holes in cinnamon sugar or glaze while still warm.
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