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Relationships Are Like, Whoa, Nuts. And I Made Wonuts.

2 Sep

the-office-quotes-7

Do you ever jokingly say this to describe yourself? I do. Jokingly. Jokingly. Do people ever take me seriously? Periodically. Eh…often.

Almost always. Some dude I barely know recently told me my resting bitch face was the reason I wasn’t married yet. MISOGYNY IS FUN, YA’LL!

Maybe it’s my fault for the whole “hahahahIHAVENOSOULhahahaha” thing that some might refer to as a “defense mechanism,” but CRAP if there was ever a time to be taken at my word…

Truthfully, I haven’t wanted to write a new post in weeks. I haven’t wanted to bake in weeks either. I’d like to claim that it’s because I’ve suddenly come into a great sum of money and was in an exotic foreign country doing…something exotic. But I wasn’t. I was home mostly, drinking [crazy pricey for my tax bracket] bourbon and crying to episodes of The Office. The Jim and Pam thing is dangerous territory guys. Show of hands: who here has fought with your significant other because of this unrealistically perfect union? The Office has the potential to destroy even the strongest of relationships.  Sorry Jimmy. I love you. [BUT LIKE HOW HARD IS IT TO GET A DOCUMENTARY FILM CREW TO CUT SNIPPETS FROM OUR RELATIONSHIP TOGETHER, GUY?! WAITING ON YOUR RESPONSE.]

I bought these sunflowers because I was having a rotten week and they brightened up the whole room. See?! I'M ALIVE INSIDE.

I bought these sunflowers because I was having a rotten week and they brightened up the whole room. See?! I’M ALIVE INSIDE.

Oh, I’m avoiding, you say? I definitely am. I just replayed both the clean and dirty versions of T.I.’s “Whatever You Like,” a song I haven’t heard in like six years, just to prove to myself that I still know all the innocent and filthy lyrics. I do. I am proud. It is great. Avoidance is magic.

I don’t know. I feel lame. And lameness is a lame thing to discuss. I normally hate large gatherings of people I do not know, mostly because I am horribly introverted. At parties, I gravitate toward the animals (domesticated ones…usually), small children and The Cookie Table. I then pray someone will engage me, because I am very self-conscious and also incredibly weird (see: possibly wild animals, capitalizing The Cookie Table). A couple of weeks ago I found myself bawling on my boyfriend’s shoulder in an Arby’s parking lot over a particularly baaaaad get-together I’d just attended. Yes, when you are crying buckets that stain your dude’s seersucker shirt with liquid eyeliner in front of an establishment known for their roast “beef,” things are bad. It started like this: I walked in to a room with a huge grin pasted on my face–difficult to sustain if you know me–and a bunch of women I didn’t know stared daggers at me and then proceeded to ignore me for the better part of two hours. I felt like I was seven again and the cool girls at the playground didn’t like my Sunday comics collection (that I kept in a brown paper bag, just in case you thought I was making anything up to seem creative. I am fine with instead seeming lame). And I was invited! From the moment I walked in to the second I scampered away, I felt like the confused loser who couldn’t take a hint. It was awesome.

Friendship is hard, and it’s especially hard for people who have trouble finding other people to connect to in the first place. Rejection, then, is even more difficult to swallow, especially when there’s no real rhyme or reason to it. We all grow out of friendships, but I wish it were more acceptable to just say “Yo. I like you but we’re kind of over, right? Let’s wish each other well but just sort of like each other’s posts on Facebook. Yeah?” All of this to say yes, I am totally traumatized and yes, I did cry-eat lots and lots of curly fries at Arby’s. God bless that Horsey sauce.

Speaking of food and whatever…people are like doughnuts. They’re like waffles. They’re like wonuts! They’re awesome apart, but better together. Unless you’re asexual, but that doesn’t work for my simile. That’s pretty much the best I can do, guys.

This is our rosemary plant. I recommend such a plant if you want your weird city kitchen to smell fancy.

This is our rosemary plant. I recommend such a plant if you want your weird city kitchen to smell fancy.

A wonut is basically doughnut batter that has been waffled. It’s amazing, as are most things that are waffled. You may recognize the below recipe as a variation on the one I used for my baked doughnuts from a couple of years ago, and it works perfectly here in a waffle iron.

Olive Oil Wonuts (makes 6-7 wonuts)

3/4 cup of all purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup of sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of milk

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

The next four ingredients are for lemon-rosemary wonuts

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, chopped

Powdered sugar for dusting

The next two toppings are for chocolate sea salt wonuts

1/2 cup of melted chocolate

Coarse sea salt for garnish

Heat waffle iron. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in sugar, egg, milk and olive oil until batter has formed.

Full disclosure: I could not decide between lemon rosemary wonuts and chocolate sea salt wonuts, so I made all the wonuts. If you, too, would like to make all the wonuts, divide your batter into two different bowls. Then fold lemon zest and rosemary into one bowl.

SONY DSC

Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the center of your waffle iron, then close and cook for a minute, until wonut has set. Set aside to cool while you make the rest of your glorious wonuts.

Dust powdered sugar over the lemon rosemary wonuts if you’d like. I recommend pouring melted chocolate over the plain olive oil ones and then sprinkling sea salt on top.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Edit: I realize I was fretting so much over telling that story about the weird party I went to that I forgot to tell you all how awesome these wonuts were. You would think they’d just taste like waffles, but NO! The olive oil gives them an interesting little kick, and they actually taste like doughnuts somehow. I couldn’t decide which ones I liked more, but I will say this: the lemon rosemary wonuts were more of a breakfast treat, while the chocolate sea salt wonuts seemed like more of a dessert to me. And yes, to answer your inevitable question, I will begin work on lunch and dinner wonuts ASAP.

Relationships Are Like, Whoa, Nuts. And I Made Wonuts.

2 Sep

the-office-quotes-7

Do you ever jokingly say this to describe yourself? I do. Jokingly. Jokingly. Do people ever take me seriously? Periodically. Eh…often.

Almost always. Some dude I barely know recently told me my resting bitch face was the reason I wasn’t married yet. MISOGYNY IS FUN, YA’LL!

Maybe it’s my fault for the whole “hahahahIHAVENOSOULhahahaha” thing that some might refer to as a “defense mechanism,” but CRAP if there was ever a time to be taken at my word…

Truthfully, I haven’t wanted to write a new post in weeks. I haven’t wanted to bake in weeks either. I’d like to claim that it’s because I’ve suddenly come into a great sum of money and was in an exotic foreign country doing…something exotic. But I wasn’t. I was home mostly, drinking [crazy pricey for my tax bracket] bourbon and crying to episodes of The Office. The Jim and Pam thing is dangerous territory guys. Show of hands: who here has fought with your significant other because of this unrealistically perfect union? The Office has the potential to destroy even the strongest of relationships.  Sorry Jimmy. I love you. [BUT LIKE HOW HARD IS IT TO GET A DOCUMENTARY FILM CREW TO CUT SNIPPETS FROM OUR RELATIONSHIP TOGETHER, GUY?! WAITING ON YOUR RESPONSE.]

I bought these sunflowers because I was having a rotten week and they brightened up the whole room. See?! I'M ALIVE INSIDE.

I bought these sunflowers because I was having a rotten week and they brightened up the whole room. See?! I’M ALIVE INSIDE.

Oh, I’m avoiding, you say? I definitely am. I just replayed both the clean and dirty versions of T.I.’s “Whatever You Like,” a song I haven’t heard in like six years, just to prove to myself that I still know all the innocent and filthy lyrics. I do. I am proud. It is great. Avoidance is magic.

I don’t know. I feel lame. And lameness is a lame thing to discuss. I normally hate large gatherings of people I do not know, mostly because I am horribly introverted. At parties, I gravitate toward the animals (domesticated ones…usually), small children and The Cookie Table. I then pray someone will engage me, because I am very self-conscious and also incredibly weird (see: possibly wild animals, capitalizing The Cookie Table). A couple of weeks ago I found myself bawling on my boyfriend’s shoulder in an Arby’s parking lot over a particularly baaaaad get-together I’d just attended. Yes, when you are crying buckets that stain your dude’s seersucker shirt with liquid eyeliner in front of an establishment known for their roast “beef,” things are bad. It started like this: I walked in to a room with a huge grin pasted on my face–difficult to sustain if you know me–and a bunch of women I didn’t know stared daggers at me and then proceeded to ignore me for the better part of two hours. I felt like I was seven again and the cool girls at the playground didn’t like my Sunday comics collection (that I kept in a brown paper bag, just in case you thought I was making anything up to seem creative. I am fine with instead seeming lame). And I was invited! From the moment I walked in to the second I scampered away, I felt like the confused loser who couldn’t take a hint. It was awesome.

Friendship is hard, and it’s especially hard for people who have trouble finding other people to connect to in the first place. Rejection, then, is even more difficult to swallow, especially when there’s no real rhyme or reason to it. We all grow out of friendships, but I wish it were more acceptable to just say “Yo. I like you but we’re kind of over, right? Let’s wish each other well but just sort of like each other’s posts on Facebook. Yeah?” All of this to say yes, I am totally traumatized and yes, I did cry-eat lots and lots of curly fries at Arby’s. God bless that Horsey sauce.

Speaking of food and whatever…people are like doughnuts. They’re like waffles. They’re like wonuts! They’re awesome apart, but better together. Unless you’re asexual, but that doesn’t work for my simile. That’s pretty much the best I can do, guys.

This is our rosemary plant. I recommend such a plant if you want your weird city kitchen to smell fancy.

This is our rosemary plant. I recommend such a plant if you want your weird city kitchen to smell fancy.

A wonut is basically doughnut batter that has been waffled. It’s amazing, as are most things that are waffled. You may recognize the below recipe as a variation on the one I used for my baked doughnuts from a couple of years ago, and it works perfectly here in a waffle iron.

Olive Oil Wonuts (makes 6-7 wonuts)

3/4 cup of all purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup of sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of milk

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

The next four ingredients are for lemon-rosemary wonuts

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, chopped

Powdered sugar for dusting

The next two toppings are for chocolate sea salt wonuts

1/2 cup of melted chocolate

Coarse sea salt for garnish

Heat waffle iron. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in sugar, egg, milk and olive oil until batter has formed.

Full disclosure: I could not decide between lemon rosemary wonuts and chocolate sea salt wonuts, so I made all the wonuts. If you, too, would like to make all the wonuts, divide your batter into two different bowls. Then fold lemon zest and rosemary into one bowl.

SONY DSC

Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the center of your waffle iron, then close and cook for a minute, until wonut has set. Set aside to cool while you make the rest of your glorious wonuts.

Dust powdered sugar over the lemon rosemary wonuts if you’d like. I recommend pouring melted chocolate over the plain olive oil ones and then sprinkling sea salt on top.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Edit: I realize I was fretting so much over telling that story about the weird party I went to that I forgot to tell you all how awesome these wonuts were. You would think they’d just taste like waffles, but NO! The olive oil gives them an interesting little kick, and they actually taste like doughnuts somehow. I couldn’t decide which ones I liked more, but I will say this: the lemon rosemary wonuts were more of a breakfast treat, while the chocolate sea salt wonuts seemed like more of a dessert to me. And yes, to answer your inevitable question, I will begin work on lunch and dinner wonuts ASAP.

Sad Shibow: An Unexpected Journey (That Ends With Fritters)

23 Feb

Um. It’s still cold.

That’s about as far as I can take it. If you live anywhere that isn’t south Florida or San Diego, you have stared at the single-digit temps on your various weather apps/televisions and cried in despair, I know. I have too. Actually, it’s pretty ignorant and America-centric of me to only single out part of two warm states. Oceania and most of the Southern hemisphere, I am shaking my fist in envy at all of you, as well. Truthfully, my fist is shaking all on its own anyway, BECAUSE IT’S THREE DEGREES OUTSIDE. Also while we’re being honest, I’m usually jealously shaking my fists at Oceania anyway, because my lifelong dream has been to bum around New Zealand and pretend that I am a Hobbit, which wouldn’t be too difficult given my diminutive stature (yes, I said lifelong, because my life clearly began once I found a story involving other petite, introverted, curious creatures with a preference for brightly-colored clothing with whom to identify). One day, NZ. One fateful day.

The scene outside my window today. Poor little guy needs a space heater.

The scene outside my window today. Poor little guy needs a space heater.

Actually, can we talk more about Hobbits for a sec? Because my knowledge basically comes from all of the movies and now Wikipedia, which I am finding fascinating. If Wiki is to be believed, Hobbits “come of age” at 33, which means that it’s totally fine that I still feel completely and utterly lost in life. Perhaps in three and a half years’ time, I’ll find myself on an unexpected journey (*wink*) to self-actualization. Tee hee. Ok, I know what’s coming next so I’m going to try to head it off: guys please no more lectures on how nerdy this blog is getting. I already took a few jabs with the Star Wars references a couple posts back. I get it, I’m a hopeless geek. BUT I’M A GEEK WITH A TRIBE NOW. A fictitious tribe that now exists basically on the internet, in public libraries, and on DVD/Blu-ray, but still. Also my Gollum impression will bring you to tears [of pity or joy, it doesn’t really matter]. Ok, I’m really done now. I swear.

But speaking of things that are PRECIOUS, who likes fritters? I likes fritters. I likes them lots, but what I don’t like is third-degree burns from deep-frying stuff, so I’ve never attempted to fry anything before. Since I’m trying to be more courageous these days, and also badly wanted fritters but was too lazy to step into the bitter cold for them, I decided that there was no better time than the present to try my hand at making some. Don’t be afraid, friends. Let’s do this.

Lemon Ricotta Fritters (makes about 30 fritters)

adapted from Epicurious

4 cups vegetable oil, or other neutral-tasting oil

3/4 cup of all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 cup of ricotta

2 lightly beaten eggs

2 tablespoons of granulated sugar (add a tablespoon if you want these to be sweeter)

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Maple syrup for topping, optional

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

To start, in a large, wide saucepan with high sides, heat oil until a deep-fat thermometer inserted reads at 370ºF. Try to keep the oil at this temperature throughout the cooking process by adjusting the heat as needed.

Uhhh... maybe don't look directly into a boiling vat of oil.

Uhhh… maybe don’t look directly into a boiling vat of oil.

While the oil is heating, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. In a separate, larger bowl, stir together ricotta, lemon juice, eggs, sugar and vanilla, then add dry mixture to wet.

You’re going to fry these in batches. To start, drop a tablespoon of batter into the oil and allow to fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, allow to cool, and taste-test the fritter to make sure it’s cooked to your liking. Then, begin dropping more spoonfuls of batter into the oil. You want to make sure there’s enough room for all of the fritters– I did about six spoonfuls per batch.

Set fritters on a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool. While still warm, if you’d like, you can drizzle these with maple syrup (just a thought, but I thought the maple hooked. these. up.).

SONY DSC

 

Once cooled, dust with confectioner’s sugar, and serve.

SONY DSC

Gahhhhh……

SONY DSC

Ohhhhhhh…..

They’re beautiful. Truly lovely, crunchy on the outside, creamy and lemony on the inside. Definitely best the day they’re made, these bite-sized fritters will not– did not, in our case– last long.

Doughnut Pass. Go. Go Make This. Make This Now. The End.

19 Sep

How great am I at titles? So great, right? I’m great.

How positively positive do I sound to you? Positive enough? OK, here’s the thing: this week, I am going to actively try to be more positive. Unless I am maimed in a horrible accident or Glen Hansard decides to retire, I will not complain at all this week. No complaints. None.

Why, you might ask? Well, as I’ve mentioned maybe a bajillion and a half times, I have been under a tremendous amount of stress lately, and it all seems to have finally caught up with me. Instead of crumbling under it, though, I’ve decided to pretend none of it exists. That’s super healthy, right?

Relax, I’ll deal. But for now, I’m going to be grateful and joyful. I’m also going to be doughnutful. Well, I actually already am doughnutful.

Indeed. There are doughnuts. And cool ones, at that. Can we please all just focus on the doughnuts?

Yes? Cool. Because I am SO proud of these things.

Chocolate Chip Doughnuts With A Whole Lot of Different Toppings (makes 6, but you’ll totally make this again immediately)

3/4 cup of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

pinch of salt

1 egg

4 tablespoons of granulated sugar

6 tablespoons of milk (I used skim, but you can use any kind of milk you want)

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips (Don’t go too crazy…the doughnuts will crumble under the weight of too many chips)

Preheat your oven to 325°F and do a really excellent job greasing a 6-mold doughnut pan. Like, an amazing job.

In a large bowl, beat the egg and add your sugar, milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt, then add your dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, mixing until fully incorporated.

Then stir in your chocolate chips, and pour evenly into your pan. This is hard to do if you’re a klutz, but you can and you shall! Positive thoughts! 🙂

Positive thoughts!

Send into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops of the doughnuts spring back a little when you touch them. Let them cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove– super easily, since you greased the pans like crazy– and let cool completely. Then you can top them. This is the part where you say “YAY!”

Ok, so, as you can see, we got creative. I say “we” because my boyfriend the sudden baking prodigy was there to assist. Apparently, doughnut toppings are his jam. Seriously. Dude knows his stuff.

Here’s a list of our toppings:

Chocolate Sea Salt

Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar

Chocolate and Raspberry Pim Cookies (purchased on a whim, regretted purchasing and then decided to use as a topping, which was a pretty good idea)

Chocolate and Lemon zest/Coconut/Sea Salt

Chocolate and Toasted Coconut Curry

Cardamom Glaze

Cardamom Glaze and Toasted Coconut Curry

Now, for the chocolate topping, simply melt about 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips in a small bowl set over another bowl of simmering water. Then, dip the tops of your doughnuts in the chocolate and refrigerate until hardened. If you plan on adding other toppings on top of your chocolate, wait until you’ve added to refrigerate.

In my opinion, the last four toppings that I listed are the most interesting, and also the tastiest. Boyfriend thought most of them up, so props to him (I claim coconut curry, though. It would be kind of sad if the brown girl did not think up the curry topping first, right?) I’ll take you through the cardamom glaze and coconut curry.

For the cardamom glaze, heat 1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar, a couple of teaspoons of milk and four cardamom pods in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until just starting to boil, then remove from heat and start dunking your doughnuts!

For the toasted curry coconut, preheat your oven to 350°F. Spread a big handful (I don’t know, use your judgement) of shredded coconut on a baking sheet and toast for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Then evenly distribute a couple of teaspoons of curry powder (the amount will depend on how much you like curry powder) over the coconut and shake around to mix the two. Then sprinkle over your doughnuts.

Then you may proclaim the joyous words/profanity laden exclamations of your choice. You know, with a smile on your face.

The Ugly Cry Is Nature’s Netipot…And Other Things You Learn While You’re NOT Baking

18 Jun

GROSS! But also totally true. I learned this nastalicious lesson on a particularly difficult night. I don’t remember what I was bawling about, but I do remember being really stuffed up with an awful warm-weather cold and then suddenly… not being stuffed up. Life’s lessons. I just thought I’d drop some knowledge, in case you want to save money.

So…I really miss baking. I swear I haven’t lazed out on all of you. I’ve just been insanely busy. With what, you ask. I could not tell you, I answer. Why are you being so shady, you ask. I’m not, I just have no idea of what’s kept me from my precious sticks o’ butter, powdered sugar and various pans, I reply. Every time I wander into the kitchen to whip something up, I get distracted and eventually end up wandering right back out carrying a spoonful of Cookie Butter. I know, tsk tsk, Shibow. But don’t scold me until you’ve tried it. (I swear I’m not being paid at all by Trader Joe’s. They’re just too damn good.)

Anyway, I’m sure there’s a direct correlation between my nasal passage-clearing wail sessions (Sorry, totally inappropriate for a blog about cakes and stuff) and my failure to bake/blog. Though I can’t really blog if I haven’t baked anything. I mean, I can, but who cares about what I think of Gotye (Seriously WHO IS THAT?!) or growing basil on your windowsill?

Full disclosure: I have been baking things here and there…and everywhere (if “everywhere” is my teeny-tiny kitchen). I’ve just simply not had the time/energy/oomph to post about the sweets I’ve made. Do you care? Are you curious? Oh…what the hell! Here are a few pictures from the past month or so:

What I drowned my sorrows in for a good week after those marshmallows were first made…

What I ALSO drowned my sorrows in…kidding! These were part of a very special birthday cake…

Part 1 of boyfriend’s birthday black forest cake. I’d show you the finished product but…we ate it.

If anyone expresses interest in learning how the black forest cake is made and put together, probably don’t ask me. I still have not mastered the art of properly decorating a cake, but I seem to have figured out the taste aspect. It was a delicious hot mess. Actually it was a cold mess, as most birthday cakes are. So I guess I’d call it a success. Moving on…

So I decided it was finally time to put my big girl pants on and bake something and then blog about it. Want to know why I chose what I chose? Well, this next dessert struck me as a mash-up of a cake, a muffin and a doughnut. Are you still wondering? Really? No? Ok, let’s do this then.

Cinnamon Sugar Puffs (makes 12 large puffs or 24 mini puffs)

1/3 cup of unsalted butter

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1 large egg*

1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of allspice

Pinch of ginger

Pinch of ground cloves (I left these out)

1 teaspoon of orange zest (I also left this out…don’t judge, I forgot to go grocery shopping)

1/2 cup of milk  (I used skim)

*Since, as you now know, I forgot to pick up essentials before making this, I had to find a substitute for the one egg. Turns out 2 tablespoons of cornstarch plus 2 tablespoons of room-temperature water works pretty well.

Preheat your oven to 350°F, and grease either a 12-cup muffin tin or a 24-cup mini muffin tin. I made minis, because in my mind 24 is more than 12, regardless of size. I make no sense, I know 😦

In a small saucepan, heat the 1/3 cup of butter over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the butter has melted and browned and taken on a nutty scent. This is known as browned butter. If you love regular butter, you will fall at browned butter’s feet. As butter does not have feet, you will likely have been immensely confused by that sentence. Once the butter’s done browning, pour it into a large mixing bowl and let it come to room temperature.

Once the butter’s cooled, pour in the sugar and egg and whisk together, by hand or using a hand mixer, until fully creamed together.  Now, in a separate smaller bowl, sift together your flour, salt and spices.

Next, we’re going to mix the dry ingredients and the milk into our butter/sugar/egg mixture. Start by pouring about a third of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, then add a little of the milk to this, then alternate until all of the ingredients are happily joined in one large bowl, like so:

Scoop the batter into the cups of your muffin tin, and send into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are golden and the puffs have…puffed.

While these are baking, prepare the cinnamon sugar coating:

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

6 tablespoons of butter, melted

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/2 cup of sugar

Keep butter in mixing bowl. Sift cinnamon and sugar together in a separate bowl, and try to patiently wait for your puffs to be done. You will regret spoiling your appetite by reaching for that Oreo.

Once the puffs are done, carefully pop them out of the tin and dip each one in melted butter–making sure to pretty much bathe each puff in it– and then cover each in cinnamon sugar.

My boyfriend heard the phrase “cinnamon sugar” and promptly strolled into the kitchen, presumably to help. When I was done dipping the first one, he popped it into his mouth. I didn’t get a reaction, so I assumed he hated them. Then he started dipping and sugaring these and immediately eating them. I was relieved. Then I ate one.

Welcome back my wonky thumb!

Wow. These are spectacular. Remember how I described what I thought they’d be like? Well, I was wrong. These are more like a mash-up of a cake, a muffin, a doughnut and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Which is to say, THEY’RE EVEN BETTER THAN I IMAGINED THEY’D BE.

Also, there’s an added bonus: we had a lot of cinnamon sugar left over, which we quickly threw into an empty salt shaker for toast/pancakes/directly onto our tongues (don’t hate). It’s the gift that keeps on giving, people. It just keeps on giving.

Thanksgiving Is Upon Us. You Should Definitely Hide From Me.

20 Nov

Confession time! Last year, I turned into a Thanksgiving psychopath. Maybe that’s a little strong. Last year, I turned into a Thanksgiving lunatic. Ok, so there’s no real way to make that sound pretty. It was bad. What do I mean? Well, I promise I did not become a horrible person. How could I when Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday?  But I did kind of go overboard with the cooking and baking and cleaning and crying. I don’t remember why I cried, but I bet it had something to do with almost driving a Ginsu knife straight through my hand while attempting to whip up sweet potato wedges, turkey samosas, pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin bread pudding simultaneously. I was making all of these things for a post-Thanksgiving party I was hosting for my dearest friends. And it was a potluck dinner. See? Overboard.

Miraculously, all of those dishes turned out pretty well. I’m still damn proud of that cheesecake, and the bread pudding will be seen on this blog very soon, because it ruled. And exhausted as I was, I was also ridiculously happy to be so busy creating new things. One of the reasons I love Thanksgiving so much is the fact that I get to bake like a crazy person and no one can judge me. Someone‘s going to eat it. I also love Thanksgiving because it’s not Christmas. (I’ll explain that some other time. Maybe at Christmas.)

This time around, I kind of feel like the holiday sneaked up on me. I’m pretty sure I was prepping in early October last year, so now I’m feeling a little bit like a slacker. Admittedly, I’ve been distracted and busy. My trip to San Diego was a much-needed vacation where I got to spend some quality time with my bestie and eat my way through a beautiful city (I had an antelope burger! I’ll never eat it again!). I’ve also been…you know…dealing with some stuff or whatever, so I guess I kind of forgot that the best day ever was approaching. Basically, that now means one thing: it’s crunch time. Welcome to my Heaven, and possibly your Hell. My Heaven/your Hell is covered in pumpkin, and involves a stellar soundtrack and me pouncing on anyone who dares disturb my process. Now, I’m being really serious: if you hate pumpkin, you and I might need to be on a break. That’s because a. there are going to be, like, three consecutive posts that feature pumpkin on this blog and b. you buggin’ if you hatin’ on pumpkin. Ready? Ok!

Me, becoming one with the city of San Diego. Actually I'm just a fool.

First up: pumpkin doughnuts! Melinda was kind enough to buy me a doughnut pan while I was visiting, so I vowed to make these babies as soon as I returned. I know the idea of healthy doughnuts freaks you out a tad. It kind of throws me off, too. But ever since I got crazy and threw olive oil into my chocolate chip cookies, I’ve been a believer. It’s fancy and it’s not that bad for you. Promise. I also played around with the recipe a bit and made my own glaze:

Pumpkin Doughnuts with Maple Glaze (makes 10 doughnuts)

For the doughnuts

1 3/4 cups of whole wheat pastry flour or whole wheat flour (I used regular whole wheat)

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup of turbinado sugar (If you don’t have this on hand, you can just replace with brown sugar)

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

3/4 cup of canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix or this will become nasty sweet)

1/2 cup of skim milk

For the glaze

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons of milk

More confectioners’ sugar for dusting, if you’re feelin’ it

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and your spices. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together the oil, egg, pumpkin, milk and vanilla. Slowly fold dry mixture into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. It will still be a little lumpy.Yes, I used Hipster App for iPhone again because I am lame and forgot to charge my pretty camera.

Grease a doughnut pan and pour the batter evenly into each pan and bake for 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a doughnut comes out clean.

Can someone lend me a clue as to how to properly mold the TOP of the doughnut? These came out looking a little like sliced bagels 😦

In the meantime, make your maple glaze. Whisk together all three ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until glaze-y and syrup-y. Yep, you’re done. When the doughnuts are cool enough to touch, drench each one in the glaze until completely soaked and covered.

So…I liked these. The thing that troubles me is that my parents would love these. What do I mean? I mean that these are low-sugar whole wheat doughnuts, and they taste that way. I also mean that I am kind of programmed to hate most of the things my parents absolutely love, because they love things like Raisin Bran and Michael Bolton. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to have made them and will probably make them again…for my parents.

Keep a look out for at least one more pumpkin post this week. Yup, it’s like that. I did warn you.

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