Every Halloween for the last few years, I’ve tried my hand at a new doughnut recipe. I’ve struck gold in the past with flavors like Apple Cider and spiced Pumpkin, and had high hopes that these little guys – fashioned after the Girl Scout cookie classic, Samoas (also known as Caramel deLites) – would be just as yummy. Mission accomplished! The combination of sticky caramel, crunchy toasted coconut and semi-sweet chocolate was divine, if not a wee bit messy (which just means ooey-gooey delicious, right?). The recipe below makes 12-15 miniature doughnuts – perfect for a brunch treat or a morning meeting in the office. Enjoy!
Tip: Make sure that you use a slightly thickened (but still drizzly) caramel sauce rather than a caramel syrup. The thickness of the sauce helps the coconut adhere to the doughnut’s surface, preventing the whole thing from falling apart while eating.
Happy November, baking gods and goddesses! Fair warning: this month is going to be all pumpkin, (almost) all the time. If you’re a pumpkin hater, it’s time for a hiatus from this blog (and some deep soul-searching, because seriously – you don’t know happiness). For the rest of you, welcome and enjoy!
These Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze were a first for me. Not because I’ve never made doughnuts – in fact, I try a new doughnut recipe every fall – but because every single member of my household went absolutely BALLISTIC for them. My husband – who has never shown any particular interest in sweets – ate 5 before my last tray came out of the oven. Our puppy wouldn’t leave my side for a moment, and our two cats went on a meowing frenzy, ninja-flipping off walls and repeatedly jumping onto no-cat’s land (the kitchen counter). Just when I thought it was safe to reach for my camera and snap a few photos for this blog, our youngest kitty – a rescue boy named Perseus – poked his head up beside the cooling rack, snatched a doughnut, and was out of the room in a flash, leaving only a trail of crumbs in his wake. I don’t know exactly what it is about these wee doughnuts, but they’re definitely a fall favorite for creatures big and small!
The original recipe (from the brilliant blog Confessions of a Cookbook Queen) calls for dipping the doughnuts in glaze only once, but I went for it (‘it’ being diabetes, I guess?) and dipped them three times. Then I sprinkled them with copious amounts of cinnamon-sugar. I know, I know – but I’m not sorry. Not even a little. They’re SO GOOD!
BAKED PUMPKIN DOUGHNUTS
Yields: 3 dozen mini doughnuts
For the doughnuts:
1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large fresh eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
6 tablespoons warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius). Spray mini doughnut molds with nonstick spray; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Stirring frequently, bring pumpkin, cinnamon, and cloves to a simmer in a medium saucepan until puree thickens and just begins sticking to the bottom of the pan (approximately 4-6 minutes). Carefully pour the hot puree into a mixing bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar and oil, then slowly beat in the eggs. Add the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
Fill each doughnut mold about 3/4 full. [The original recipe recommended using a piping bag, but I used a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off – easy filling and cleanup!]
Bake doughnuts in preheated oven for 5-6 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Keep an eye on these to prevent over-baking.
Let the doughnuts cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack while you prepare glaze.
In a medium bowl, whisk all the glaze ingredients together until smooth.
Place a sheet of foil or wax paper under your cooling rack. Dip each doughnut in the glaze, allowing excess to drip off. Place back on the cooling rack until glaze is firm. [I actually repeated this dipping process three times, because I love this glaze. I also topped them of with a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar.]
For topping (glaze): 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, 2 tbsp apple cider
For topping (cinnamon sugar): 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1. In a saucepan over medium or medium-low heat, gently reduce the apple cider to approximately 1/4 cup (20 to 30 minutes). Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed (with the paddle attachment, if using a standing mixer) beat the butter and granulated sugar until mixture is smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat until the eggs are completely incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
4. Reduce mixer speed to low and and gradually add the reduced apple cider and buttermilk. Mix just until combined. Add the flour mixture and blend just until the dough comes together.
5. Spray doughnut pan with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each doughnut cup half full and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes (for mini doughnuts) and 20 minutes (for full-sized doughnuts). After baking, immediately remove doughnuts to a wire rack to cool.
6. Meanwhile, make desired topping using the ingredients listed above. If using glaze, dip slightly cooled, inverted doughnuts in topping for 5 seconds and leave to dry on a wire rack over newspaper or a kitchen towel (glaze will drip). If using cinnamon mixture, brush donuts with melted butter and immediately sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.