Sprinkles required

December 14, 2009

You know who I feel really sad for at Thanksgiving? Dogs. Not only are there all sorts of smells to be constantly aware of, ("Ooh, that smells good, I should go stand near it. And look sad.") but there are loads of people around who possibly don't know that the dog is not allowed to eat 1 lb. blocks of imported aged provolone. ("Perhaps if I sit here and paw at this leg, this stranger may give me all the food on that plate. Don't forget the sad eyes.") Multiple times during Thanksgiving Day at my parent's house someone would ask, "Where's Gus?" and my dad would respond, "Oh, he's in the kitchen, praying to the turkey." ("Oh please turkey, use those crisp yet juicy wings to fly off the counter and into my food dish!") So you can imagine the stress of the holiday on my parents' dog. And, the heartless creatures that we are, my husband and I had the gall to whip up something else that smelled delicious just three days later. I bring you:

Pumpkin Donuts! (Yes, this is spelled with an exclamation point.) from Bon Appetit
Makes 12-13 donuts and 12-13 donut holes, which was plenty for 6 people
Note: You have to start this 3 hours in advance, so I made up the dough the night before.

1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch cloves
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 egg (I used - 1/2 egg and 1 egg yolk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon buttermilk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin

Canola oil (for deep-frying)

Spiced sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
(I had lots of this leftover, so you could probably cut it back some if you wanted to.)

1 cup powdered sugar
whipping cream

Whisk together the flour and spices (through cloves.) Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter in large bowl until blended. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Slowly beat in the buttermilk. Beat in the pumpkin in four additions. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture in four additions. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.

In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the spiced sugar.

In another small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons whipping cream. The glaze should be thick, but not too thick, so whisk in a few dribbles of whipping cream if you need to thin it out a little.

After their chilling time, roll out the donut dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2 inch wide round cookie or biscuit cutter (if you don't have one, use a glass), cut out the donut rounds. Using a 1 inch round cookie cutter, cut out the donut holes. Repeat with remaining dough. (You can re-roll the scraps.)

Heat oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches in a large, sturdy dutch oven or Fry-O-Later to 365-370 degrees. (You'll need a deep-frying thermometer if you're using a dutch oven.) When the oil reaches temperature, fry a few donut holes at a time. They'll take about 2 minutes, and you should turn them occasionally. Drain them on a rack over paper towels, but when they are still warm, toss them in the spiced sugar. (This is a great two-person job.) The donut rounds will take about 1 minute per side, so flip them halfway through. When they come out, drain on a rack, and then spoon some glaze over top. While the glaze is still warm, liberally apply sprinkles.

The recipe says to let the glaze set for 30 minutes before eating, but if you have that kind of willpower, I'm not sure we would get along that well. Happy Donutting!