Not So Saucy Turkey Stuffed Peppers

So I was all ready to sit down and blog about the turkey stuffed peppers I made for dinner last week, and then I remembered in a kitchen cleaning binge I pitched the recipe. I had pulled the recipe from a Food Network magazine, and decided it wasn’t spectacular enough to save and make again. Lucky for you I have a pretty fantastic memory so I can at least give you a pretty convincing break down on how the whole thing came together.
Plus I didn’t follow all the measurements perfectly anyways, because really what fun would that be if something didn’t go wrong?

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So the filling for the peppers was really easy to put together. You chop up fresh parsley and dill, which was the first place I digressed from the recipe. It called for a cup or so of each I think, but I didn’t wanna deal with chopping and measuring. I also really didn’t want fresh dill left over because let’s face it, it would end up in the trash after it rotted to a nice brown smush in my crisper. So I just chopped up the majority of what I bought, eye-balled it as close enough, and called it a day. Then I chopped up 4 green onions. The next step is to mix cooked brown rice (I used one “boil a bag” of rice), ground turkey (I just used a whole package), parsley, dill, green onions, plus 2 cups of mozzarella and what I remember to be about a 1/2 cup of feta.

I found this recipe extremely appealing because you don’t have to mess with cooking the ground turkey first. When it comes to fixing myself dinner the less steps the better. If I’m baking I’ll take my time, but when I’m just trying to get a meal on the table for me, myself and I, the easier the better. So after cutting the “lids” off the peppers (which I screwed up because I need new knives), you stuff ’em up and then get the sauce ready.

This is the part where I began measuring exactly because making sauce freaks me out. This is also the part where my recipe started to not turn out as it seemed it would. So the sauce was made with water, tomato puree, and cinnamon. Yes, the cinnamon seemed kind of weird but it did add a nice flavor and smelled good. So you put the sauce ingredients in a pan and then put the little peppers in the sauce, cover, and bring to a simmer. Then you let it simmer for like 50 to 60 minutes.

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The peppers were cooking just fine but the sauce was not getting thicker. After the hour, the insides of my peppers were cooked but the sauce still resembled tomato water. So for the next step where you cover the peppers with  a reserve of your herbs and cheese and then bake for like 10 minutes, I decided to also add a little plain tomato puree on top.

They turned out just fine, and made for a quick and easy thing to bring for lunch the next couple of days. I don’t know where I went wrong when it came to the sauce, and since the recipe is at the bottom of my trashcan I probably never will.

Oh well, hopefully my next kitchen adventure will be more of a success.

Country Style Coca Cola Cake

I’ve come to realize my secret obsession with all things country (okay maybe not all things country, just boys, music, and recipes….) is not so secret anymore. From the Studs & Spurs calendar I got for Christmas from one friend and the half-naked cowboy on a birthday card I received from another, it looks like the cat is outta the bag. Or maybe “the horse is outta the barn” would be the more appropriate metaphor. (Too cheesy?) Any way you want to say it, my latest life fantasy involves owning a farmhouse with a giant porch and having the ability to bake the perfect biscuits.

Unfortunately total country living isn’t in the stars for me at the moment. However last night I decided to crank up the country music, dance around my kitchen a little (or a lot…) and bake a Coca Cola cake. Now even if this recipe didn’t have southern origins, it has enough butter in it to make Paula Dean proud. I should be more in the “eating/cooking healthy” spirit of the New Year, but there was a bottle of Coke sitting in my fridge I was wanting to get rid of and dumping it down the sink sounded way less fun than baking a cake.

Coca Cola Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup coca-cola
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350, and grease up (I like Crisco) a 9×13 (or so) pan.

Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium high heat stir together butter, cocoa, Coca Cola, and buttermilk until it boils.

Now take off heat and add this mixture to the flour, mix & whisk until combined.

Then add eggs and vanilla, mix, put in pan, bake it for about 30 minutes.

Glaze Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup coca cola
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine in a saucepan and heat until it boils. Remove and slowly stir in 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar until nice and smooth. Then add in about a cup of chopped pecans, and give it a stir.

Once cake is done and out of oven (toothpick should come out clean), pour this warm glaze right over the top of the hot cake!

Let set and cool at least for a few minutes before enjoying. Can be served hot or cold.

IMG_4648I made the glaze while my cake was baking and the timing worked out perfectly. Not going to lie this cake is worth the every ounce of butter that is going to no doubt make permanent (hopefully semi-permanent if this new yoga/gym routine pans out) on my hips and thighs. Seriously though, WORTH EVERY OUNCE.

Now I’ve just got to find the perfect biscuit recipe and I’ve got this Southern cooking thing in the bag.

(Original Source: http://mayflaum.com/2011/06/08/the-chocolate-cola-cake/)

Add It to the Christmas Cookie List

This recipe for Toffee Chip cookies is definitely going to find its way back on my list of recipes worth repeating. I normally make a batch of regular chocolate chip cookies for Christmas, but felt like spicing it up a little this year. I found this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine in my mountainous collections of cookbooks. 2012-12-22 12.00.04

The recipe is a little unusual because the bulk of the dry ingredients comes from graham cracker crumbs and the main source of sugar comes from sweetened condensed milk. This is a drop cookie (it’s okay if you just starting singing Drop It Like Its Hot, I may have too…), so you don’t have to mess with nicely rolling the dough into little balls or rolling it out with a rolling pin. Just grab a spoonful and dump it on your cookie sheet. (Okay, technically you are supposed to make “rounded” tablespoons and of dough, but you get the picture.)

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I do think the recipe is a little deceiving because the “toffee” part of these cookies is not an overwhelming flavor. I think they taste more like a jacked up chocolate chip cookie. I added the exact amount of toffee bits, which left me with some leftover bits. If you are a big toffee lover, through in some extra bits.

Ok enough of my rambling… here’s the recipe!

Toffee Chip Cookies (Original Source: Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies & Bars 2008)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup English toffee bits or almond brickle chips (I have no flipping clue what almond brickle chips are… I used the little heath toffee bits)
  • 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut (optional)

Directions:

Combine butter and condensed milk. In a separate bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, and baking power; then gradually add to the butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, toffee bits and coconut.

Drop by rounded tablespoons, 2 in apart, on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for a couple of minutes before moving to a wire rack. 2012-12-22 12.28.05

I will also say, some of these cookies were tough to get off the baking sheet, so don’t skimp when you grease up your pans. Be sure to grease up the pan between each batch, otherwise you’ll make a hot cookie mess. And if you end up with a hot cookie mess, well at least you made it from scratch and sarcasm.

Happy Baking!

I’ll Be Home for Chrismas (Cookies)

I’m one of those huge nerds when it comes to Christmas. I can’t get enough of cheesy Christmas movies, I play Christmas music as soon as Thanksgiving is over, I enjoy wrapping presents, and no Christmas is close to being complete without baking a TON of Christmas cookies.2012-12-24 15.35.05

There are certain cookies I have to bake every year, but I always like to try a few new recipes. Here is the list of what I baked this year:

  • Molasses Sugar cookies
  • Snickerdoodles
  • Peanut Blossoms
  • Toffee Chip Cookies
  • Cherry coconut cookies (which were really supposed to be cherry macaroons but didn’t quite work out.)

I always like making some sort of ginger/molasses cookie, but I haven’t found one recipe to be totally loyal to. Snickerdoodles and Peanut Blossoms are always a must. I decided to try toffee chip cookies and cherry macaroons this year. The toffee chip cookies might have to become a regular on my list, the cherry macaroons are a whole other story….

I’ve never made coconut macaroons, and when I found the cherry macaroon recipe I thought it would be perfect for Christmas (since the cherries add a little red color). Well they taste great, but I must have somehow screwed up this recipe because they look nothing like a normal macaroon. I’ve read over it ten times and I swear I measured everything right, but they just didn’t turn out the consistency you’d expect. So instead of macaroons I’m calling them cherry coconut cookies. I’ll have to find another macaroon recipe to try to master.

Anyways I’m going to post the cookies recipes later, but wanted to make sure to wish everyone a Sweet and Merry Christmas!

The Particular Sadness of Low-Fat Lemon Cake

So awhile ago I read a book called, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. In the book the main character discovers she can taste feelings in the food she eats, one example being a lemon cake her mother made. I was not really sad while making this cake, but it turned out kind of sad.

I’ve always liked lemon cake or other lemony baked goods. Every year my dad requested a lemon cake with lemon frosting for his birthday, so I’ve tasted plenty of different lemon cake, from the boxed variety to the made from scratch kind. I don’t want to give this cake a bad reputation, it really isn’t terrible. This cake comes out more like a pound cake, and my really my only complaint is it is kind of dry.

2012-12-05 19.36.36My favorite part of making this cake is zesting the lemons. Aside from enjoying the word “zest,” zesting made my kitchen smell all lemony and fantastic.

The recipe called for a cup of yogurt, and said you could use plain yogurt or greek yogurt. I opted to go with greek yogurt – which could be a contributor to the drier cake. Maybe switching to regular yogurt, and maybe using a little more than a cup would help. Maybe.

The recipe also suggests using 1/3 cup vegetable oil instead of 1/2 cup. I eyeballed the amount of vegetable oil as I was using a single cup measuring cup… Maybe that lazy short-cut was another mistake, but I’m pretty sure I used about 1/3 cup.

2012-12-05 19.41.48The glaze has a pretty intense lemon flavor as it all lemon juice and powdered sugar. So I would say you definitely have to like lemon to enjoy this cake. I also had never lined a cake pan with parchment paper, and I freakin’ loved peeling the paper off and having my cake come out of the pan perfectly!

I think this cake would go nicely with tea or coffee, and it really isn’t a bad recipe, but I wouldn’t use it for a special occasion. Special occasions call for full-fat cakes, so if you return to my little blog sometime in January I will make a real lemon cake.

Here is the recipe for Low-Far Lemon Yogurt Cake (found on the craving chronicles)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt (Greek yogurt also works)
1 cup sugar
1 whole large egg, 3 large egg whites
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 to 1/2 cup vegetable oil

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.

Measure the flour (scoop and level), baking powder, and salt into a small bowl and whisk until combined. In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and slowly whisk together. Fold the vegetable oil into the batter until it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. If the glaze is still too thick, continue adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice until it’s runny enough to pour. Carefully place on the cake a baking rack over a sheet pan or a sheet of parchment paper. While the cake is still warm (but not hot!), pour the glaze over, allowing it to drip down the sides.2012-12-05 20.58.37

Happy baking! Hopefully my next baking adventure won’t be so lame!

 

Thankful for Pie… and my favorite people

This year I spent Thanksgiving with one of my best friends and her family. At dinner we decided to go around and say what we were thankful for. It seemed kind of humorous as everyone started the same way, “I’m thankful for my friends and family.” Even though it may seem cliché, I think it demonstrates people are what really matter.

So my internet friends, I must tell you I have the best people in my life. I don’t even know where to begin in expressing how lucky I am to have the most loyal and supportive people around me. I have wonderful relatives, and incredible friends who have become family. I am thankful for the unconditional love, support, and loyalty I get from all these people.

Okay enough of my sentimental, mushy-gushy rant; time to talk about pie! I picked this recipe because it seemed like a fun way to jazz up apple pie, and I wanted something a little more Thanksgiving-y. I opted out from making my own crust on this one, mostly because I didn’t realize how much refrigeration time it required. So the Pillsbury stuff in a box worked just fine.

A lovely side-effect of baking this pie is how good your kitchen smells when you have the apples and cranberries cooking on the stove. Serious fall smell-gasms. The recipe tells you to cook the apples in a Dutch oven; I do not have a Dutch oven so I hoped my biggest pot would suffice. It did. When I got the filling ready to put in the pie I stole a spoonful to taste test, delicious. I think I would add a few more apples the next time, as the cranberry flavor was a little overpowering. I rolled out some of extra dough scraps to decorate the top of my pie. I went the lazy way and rolled the dough out with a drinking glass, then hand cut the leaves. A rolling pin and some cookie cutters would probably work too. I’m always a little nervous to try out a brand new recipe on people without being able to taste the finished product before it gets served. Luckily, this recipe did not fail me! The pie stayed together nicely when it was sliced, which is always a plus. I have made pies where the filling all spilled out from between the crust after you take out the first piece. Aside from it looking good, this pie was pretty delicious if you don’t mine me tooting my own baking horn.

I like to have a pretty traditional Thanksgiving meal, however dessert is one course I like to experiment with new recipes. I will definitely be making this one again.

Apple Cranberry Pie (original source: Williams Sonoma)

Ingredients (for the filling only…I used store bought crust):

3 1/4 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
10 oz. fresh cranberries
1/4 cup water

To make the apple-cranberry filling, in a 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven, stir together the apples, brown sugar, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, the cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch until the apples are evenly coated. Set over medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and vanilla, and let cool for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, stir together the cranberries, the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the water. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have broken down slightly and the liquid has thickened to the consistency of a loose jam, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes. Add the cranberry mixture to the apple mixture and stir to combine.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven, place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Let the pie shell, dough round and cutouts stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Transfer the apple-cranberry filling to the pie shell and gently place the dough round over the pie. Trim the edges flush with the rim of the dish and press the top and bottom crusts together to seal. Brush the underside of the cutouts with the egg wash and gently press them onto the top crust, decorating as desired. Brush the entire top crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.

Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet. Bake until the crust is crisp and golden brown, about 1 hour, covering the edges with aluminum foil if they become too dark. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it is time to focus on Christmas! So don’t worry I will have a lot of treats to share with you in the next month, all made from scratch and sarcasm!

Zucchini Is an Awkward Word to Spell

Do not proceed if you are of the faint of heart. I will warn you right now… the batter for this recipe looks like barf or swamp muck. And yes, I am showing you pictures.

Okay, now that you’ve been warned let’s get to the zucchini bars! These bars were adapted from a recipe for zucchini carrots bars. I had some zucchini to get rid of, but the only carrots I had were baby carrots. Shredding a cup and a half worth of baby carrots sounded awful so I skipped that step.  I was a little concerned by the amount of moisture that was pooling in my bowl of shredded zucchini, but I was already more than halfway done getting the zucchini ready and was not about to throw in the towel…except I did throw some paper towel in the bowl to soak up the water. This seemed to work, although, my concern grew as a made the batter and it looked swampy. Pouring it into the pan, didn’t make it look any more appetizing. I said a little prayer to the baking gods and put that bad boy in the oven. When all was said and done they smelled fantastic and tasted even better. I followed the recommendation from the blog I found the recipe on and threw in some chocolate chips, definitely made these a little more special! Plus they are basically like zucchini bread in a bar form, which I think means you can pass it off as dessert or a breakfast treat.

Here is the recipe (adapted from The Domestic Wannabe):

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • chocolate chips (I didn’t measure, I used a couple of handfuls)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey and vanilla.  Don’t worry about clumps of the brown sugar, those will dissolve as it sits while you prepare the remaining ingredients.  Then fold in the zucchini, and walnuts.
  2. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, ginger and baking soda.  Whisk to blend together.
  3. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture.  Stir until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips. Spread batter into an un-greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  4. Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.  Cut into bars.

I’d leave you with an innuendo regarding putting the zucchini in the oven… but that would be too obvious. So happy baking!

 

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Yes. Dr. Pepper Cake to be exact. Yes, I’m going to use corny, pun-filled titles here. So I made this cake back in September for a certain bestie’s birthday, purely because she loves Dr. Pepper. It turns out you don’t really TASTE the Dr. Pepper in the cake, but what you do taste is fantastic chocolatey-goodness. Yeah… I’m also going to make up words on this blog. Anyways, the cake was such a hit I decided to make it for a book release party  last weekend to celebrate another certain someone’s newly published book.

Okay, the public relations person in me says I must insert a plug here…. Go buy The Light of the Moon by David James. Then bake this cake, and read whilst eating said cake. Do it! Alright, PR plug over.

Seriously though, this cake is pretty fantastic, and the frosting might be even better. Like eat it with a spoon and then feel guilty because it has so much damn butter in it kind of good. The recipe is pretty straight-forward…except the second time I made the cake, I made the frosting way too soon and decided I needed to refrigerate it while I waited for the cake to cool. This made the frosting really hard and thick, so then I had to wait some more for it to come back to room temperature. My recommendation is to bake the cake, and whip up the frosting (it really is easy) right before you are ready to frost.

Note, if you don’t normally stock Dr. Pepper, I was able to use one 20 oz. bottle to make both cakes (frosting and all). Also, the recipe calls to use round cake pans, or cupcakes, but I baked mine in a 13 x 9 glass pan, I think the baking time was a little longer but otherwise it turned out perfect. So here you have it… Dr. Pepper Cake (as found on The Sisters Cafe)

Cake:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup Dr Pepper
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans (or 9×13 or prepare cupcake liners).  Sift (yeah I never sift… I stirred) together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa and baking soda and set aside.  Heat the Dr Pepper in a small saucepan over low heat.  Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted.  Remove from heat.  With an electric mixer, beat the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla for 2 minutes.  At lowest speed, slowly add the Dr Pepper mixture and beat for 1 additional minute.  Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 15 minutes, then invert onto cooling racks, lift off pans and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup Dr Pepper (I added an additional 1-2 Tablespoons once, and I actually liked that better.  However it did make the frosting thinner…)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy.  At low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar and cocoa.  Add the Dr Pepper and vanilla, and turn mixer to high speed until frosting is light and fluffy.

The first time I made this treat I used red frosting to go with the Dr. Pepper theme… the second time I used blue sprinkles. Unfortunately, I forgot to document the second cake.  So I will leave you with a picture of the frosting… because who doesn’t love frosting!?

Just Like Mom Made

Every now and then I’d like to post here about the people who have inspired me in the kitchen. (Yes, I was the child who got excited about checking out the Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Special VHS from the public library.) So it is only appropriate to start these “inspiration” posts by discussing the person with the biggest influence on my adventures in the kitchen, my mother.

Since I’ve been living on my own I have developed the deepest appreciation and an incredible amount of respect for my mother’s ability to work a full-time job and put a home-cooked meal on the table every night. She made big Sunday morning breakfasts, your favorite cake on your birthday, the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, and enough Christmas cookies to feed an army.

I owe all my domestic talent to my mother. She taught me how to make french toast, roast a turkey, and frost a cake. She could whip up a meal without looking at a recipe card or using exact measurements, which I think is the true tell of a great chef. She got great joy from being in the kitchen, and she truly cooked and baked with love. Anyone who had the pleasure of eating anything she made could tell you this.

Every year when the holidays rolled around my dad would promise plates of her cookies to everyone we knew. She’d end up baking dozens of cookies and plating them up for my dad to deliver. The first Christmas after my mom had passed away it was clear not only was she deeply missed, but so were the baked goods. I can only hope to one day have the kind of reputation my mother earned in the kitchen.

When I started this post I thought I might share one of my mom’s favorite recipes. I started thinking of some of my favorite things she made, or some of the best stories I have of her in the kitchen. (At some point I must share the attempt at making peanut brittle, or our Easter cupcakes gone wrong, because every chef has some kitchen failures.) I could tell you her recipe for mostaccioli, or meatloaf, or chocolate chip cookies. I could tell you how she made the best french toast or managed to scramble eggs just the way I like it every time. I could give you the recipe she used for stuffing on Thanksgiving, or ham on Easter… Then I realized no matter what recipe I shared it would never come out just like mom made.

Note: This post was light on the sarcasm and sass. Don’t worry internet friends I will be sure to bake some extra snarkiness (yeah i know that isn’t a real word) into my next confection. 🙂

Sugar Shakin’ and Pumpkin Doughnut Makin’

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Doughnuts (Sources: Milk & Honey, Original Source King Arthur Flour)

Sometimes when you are walking through Target you get crazy ideas. One of my most recent epiphanies was I needed to make homemade doughnuts. With cider mill season in full swing, I was instantly drawn to the apple cider and pumpkin recipes blowing up the food boards on Pinterest.  So naturally when I saw the doughnut pan on an end of aisle display I had to throw one in my cart.

Now, I think a major concern people have over these doughnut pans is if they would just result in making doughnut shaped cakes…after all doughnuts are supposed to be fried in oil. I had this same worry, and usually think it is silly to buy novelty baking pans, but like I said crazy things happen at Target.

I came across this recipe on the Milk & Honey blog, and already had all of the ingredients on hand (which is always a bonus). Now instead of keeping you in suspense while I detail making these bad boys, I’ll tell you fresh out of the oven they were fantastic. Like cider mill flavor explosion, kind of fantastic.

After mixing up the batter, I took one look at my doughnut pan and decided filling it with a spoon was going to create a hot mess. So I filled a plastic bag with the batter, cut off a corner and piped the batter into the pan.This worked spectacularly; the only messy part occurred when I needed to set down the batter bag.

There was some batter bag oozing, BUT hey the batter was in the pan, and even better when the doughnuts baked they actually maintained their doughnut shape.

I let the first batch cool on a wire rack, while I re-filled the pan. FAIL. The doughnuts got too cool so when I tried to sugar them up, it didn’t really stick. I sugared the second batch sooner and it seemed to work. I also didn’t follow the “shake them in a bag” advice and decide to just stick them in a bowl. I wasn’t confident I could shake the doughnuts without them falling apart. Exuberant shaking and somewhat delicate baked goods just doesn’t seem like a good combination.

Then I decided to try the doughnut hole option and pipe the rest of my batter into a mini-muffin pan. I’m never filling a cupcake pan with a spoon again; the pastry bag method works wonders. The little doughnut muffins (they don’t really look like real doughnut holes) came out and I decided they could withstand my sugar shaking.

These doughnuts are super moist, and the next day the cinnamon sugar had kind of soaked in. So they were sticky, still delicious, but I would recommend serving them the same day you make them if you care whether things are pretty and look exactly how they should, or if you have friends who might be scared of a wet doughnut.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus a heaping 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • Cinnamon-sugar, for coating

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the wells of a doughnut pan (or muffin tin) with cooking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients except flour and cinnamon sugar in an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
  3. Fill the wells the doughnut pan about 3/4 of the way full. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Run a knife along the outer edge of each doughnut to loosen and remove to a wire rack to cool.
  4. When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, but still warm, place a zip-top bag with cinnamon-sugar and shake to coat. Cool completely on a wire rack. Makes 15 to 18 doughnuts.

Happy Baking 🙂