11.09.2010

pumpkin doughnuts with buttermilk glaze.

I'm glad to see that Libby's is back to the land of the living after their little home on the grocery store shelf sat vacant for two years. Apparently, a few weeks of nasty weather nearly depleted the pumpkin crop and homes everywhere went pumpkin-less for entirely too long. So when those precious orange cans reappeared a few weeks ago, I stocked up. You can never be too sure when bad weather will strike again.


I thought I was doing okay in the pumpkin department until a friend casually asked me if I had any pumpkin recipes she could try, and I immediately defaulted to my recipe index only to find that the only pumpkin-anything on there is a recipe for pumpkin butter and that is just not enough pumpkin, my friends. How did I let this entire season pass me by without a craving for pumpkin pancakes, muffins, or pie? I'm a disgrace.


What I haven't missed out on are pre-natal-esque cravings for doughnuts. (No, I am not preggo, just to clarify, unless you count the food baby that I have every week after too much pasta.) I used to have so much self-control, I could say no to the box of Krumpe's, the perfectly round, blue-dotted cake doughnuts from Krispy Kreme, but I'm growing weak in my old age. Just the other night, I dragged myself in from school at nearly midnight only to find a box of glazed doughnuts sitting on the counter. All alone. Nothing else. They may as well have had a sign on them saying Eat Me. I felt like Alice after she tumbled down the rabbit hole only I had doughnuts instead of that little vial of elixir.


Now, I like a yeast doughnut just as well as the next person, but yeast hates me and we rarely see eye to eye, so I opted for an easy cake doughnut recipe instead. Plus I'm lazy and didn't want to wait for the dough to rise and I cringe at the idea of deep frying anything. Well, it's a good thing I am not easily discouraged or these doughnuts would never have made their way to my belly. The dough was almost soupy, gloppy and gummy all over the countertops and it seemed no amount of flour would keep it moving.


Once the doughnut shapes were cut out, the dough started creeping together again, threatening to seal up the center hole and leaving me with, oh no!, Frisbee-shaped doughnuts. So I nudged it apart a little bit and crossed my fingers after I slipped the plan into the oven, hoping they didn't balloon up into mini-cakes that didn't look at all like a doughnut shape.


Well, they did. Mostly. Some of them cooperated, others closed up all but a pencil-sized hole in the center of each one and I endured few stink-eye looks from my Dad after he questioned if they were actually cupcakes gone awry. But, redemption lies in the flavor. These are richly spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, sloshed into a bath of buttermilk glaze and left to form a sugary shell, I almost didn't mind the absence of the required doughnut hole.


Pumpkin Doughnuts with Buttermilk Glaze
Adapted from Cheeky Kitchen

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg)
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spice and sugar. Set aside.

In a second medium-sized bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk until well combined. The dough will be very, very wet - don't be nervous. Sprinkle a good amount of flour on your work surface and have a bowl of extra flour ready - this dough will glue itself to your counter like that blob from Ghostbusters if you're not careful. Pat it out to 3/4 inch thick, keeping it moving to prevent sticking, and cut out the doughnuts with a doughnut cutter. (I imagine you could fudge this with a water glass somehow, but this dough is so fussy as is, I'd hate for you to make it harder on yourself.)

Transfer to a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the doughnuts are cooked through. Drench immediately in the buttermilk glaze and serve warm.

Buttermilk Glaze

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Dip the hot doughnuts in the glaze and allow them to air dry on a wire rack until the glaze forms a crackly shell.

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