Just last month, I wrote a post for Williams-Sonoma’s Blender blog about the multitude of uses for squash and pumpkin. When cooking for families, the puree can be blended into mac and cheese, smeared onto tortillas for quesadillas, and whirred in a blender with a banana and apple cider for a smoothie. All of these recipes are delicious and nutritious as we like to say at Purple Asparagus. But none will generate more applause than this.
I love homemade doughnuts. But making them for the three of us doesn’t seem an economical use of time or ingredients. The cost of the oil alone. Oy.
I don’t often entertain for brunch. But when I do, it’s too much effort to sit in front of a hot pot of oil. Fry, drain, repeat. Fry, drain, repeat.
That’s what’s nice about being the snack mom for the organized sport du saison. I get to try out new crowd-pleasing recipes for a very hungry crowd. On a cold, October morning, two dozen chocolate and cinnamon sugar pumpkin doughnuts were disappeared by a hungry team of 6, 7 and 8 year old soccer players and parents.
Pumpkin-Spice Doughnuts Adapted from John Hadamuschin’s Special Occasions
3 cups sifted cake flour 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 cup sifted whole wheat pastry flour 2 tablespoons baking powder ½ teaspoon kosher salt 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg ½ teaspoon cloves ½ teaspoon allspice ¼ cup vegetable shortening 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 2 large eggs 2 cups pumpkin or other squash puree
Chocolate Glaze 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate ¼ cup heavy cream 1 ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Cream together the shortening and the sugar in a large stand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after the addition of each. Beat in the squash puree. Gradually add in the dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Let the batter sit for ½ hour.
Pour vegetable oil into a large heavy pot to about 4-inches. Heat it over medium high heat to 360° F.
On a well floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 3/8-inch. Cut out the dough with a doughnut cutter well dusted with flour. Let sit for 10 minutes. While waiting, make the cinnamon sugar by combining the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Set the chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir in the cream and sugar.
Fry the doughnuts and the holes in the hot fat until browned, a minute or so on each side. After the first batch of doughnuts are done, you can reroll the scraps.
While hot, toss half the doughnuts and the holes in the cinnamon sugar. Glaze the remaining doughnuts by dipping them in the chocolate glaze. Let them drain on a baking rack.