Monday, October 28, 2013

Oh for the love of doughnuts!

Hello, are there any doughnut lovers out there?  For myself, a more accurate label might be recovering doughnut addict.  A while ago I decided that the best way to deal with this problem was just to avoid these delectable treats altogether.  I could never (and I mean NEVER) just have 2 doughnuts.  In fact, I break out in a light sweat whenever someone brings them to work.  It ruins my day because these treats have little voices that call out to me no matter where I am in the building.  It takes all of my concentration to assist patrons while I’m fighting the urge to run blindly into the lunch room and inhale two or three of the remaining doughnuts. 

And then some brilliant person created a doughnut pan for bakers.  For a year I resisted buying one, but as of last weekend I am now the proud owner a doughnut pan.  I just had to know if they created doughnuts that are as good as fried doughnuts.   I will be honest with you, fellow doughnut lovers and addicts. They are not the same, but to compare them is not fair.  It is like comparing sorbet to gelato.  But I will tell you they are very, very good and photogenic too!  I always like my baked goods to look like they come from a bakery.  After all we do eat with our eyes too.

So here are my reasons for encouraging you all to consider making your own baked doughnuts:
-The pan is not a huge investment. I bought mine for $9.00.
-Baked doughnuts are easy to make -- no special techniques or ingredients.  It took just 15 minutes to make the batter.
- The recipes are very versatile.  You can get creative with your flavors and toppings.
-Your house doesn't smell like a fast food fry joint.
-They look professionally made and you will impress your family and friends.
-They only take about 15 minutes to bake.
-This one is my favorite.  They freeze really well and then you can reheat them in the mornings and have warm doughnuts to start your days!

Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

This recipe is my favorite one so far.   Yes, you can use it to make muffins instead, but for some magical reason they are much more satisfying to eat as doughnuts.  Recipe adapted from

Makes approximately 18-20 doughnuts

½ cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (plain canned pumpkin)
zest of 1 orange
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½  teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour (if you have almond meal try substituting ¼ cup of the flour)
¼ cup granulated sugar mixed with 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

1   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease your doughnut pan.
2   In a large mixing bowl beat together the- oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and orange zest. (I substituted 1/4 cup of the toasted pumpkin seed oil for some of the vegetable oil)
3  In a separate bowl mix together the cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and flour.
4  Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, stirring just until smooth.
5   Fill the wells of the doughnut pans just ¾ full.  You can use a spoon for this, but for the best results use a plastic ziplock bag-  Fill bag with batter, seal bag and then snip off one corner of the bag.  Then pipe the batter into the pan.
6   Bake the doughnuts for 15-18 minutes.  If you’re making muffins, bake for 23-25 minutes.
7   Remove the doughnut pan from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.  Then invert the pan onto a tray or carefully remove them with the tip of a butter knife.
Let the doughnuts cool for few minutes and then gently shake them in a bag with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.