Monday, September 12, 2011

a little taste of autumn

Yesterday I woke up and it was fall. I walked to my car on frost-covered ground and smelled the air. The air, soon to turn bitter cold, for now smells like leaves that are about to change from green to yellow to red to brown.

Fall means new jeans and sweaters. It means earlier sunsets and soup for dinner. It means college football on Saturdays and that my favorite holiday is just around the corner.

People often make fun of me because I love Halloween so much. It is not the holiday that I enjoy per-se, though dressing up and eating free candy is pretty wonderful. I like the whole fall season. From early September through November, the days are nice enough outside to be active yet cool enough to justify lounging around the house in an outfit entirely comprised of fleece drinking cider and baking.

Fall is also the prettiest time of year in my opinion. It looks a little something like these treats I made at work.

Ok, I didn't make the beer. But I drank it directly after work if that counts for anything. I love how pretty much any autumnal baked good involves vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

These are no exception.

I now know how to fry donuts at home. I am the ideal roommate.

Happy Fall!

Pumpkin Donuts
3 1/2 c flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 c sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 and 1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 c pumpkin
oil for frying

1. Whisk first 8 ingredients together
2. Beat sugar and butter in mixer (it will be grainy)
3. Add egg, then yolks and vanilla
4. Add buttermilk and then pumpkin (in 4 additions)
5. Using a spatula, fold dry ingredients into wet in 4 additions
6. Cover and chill for 3 hours
7. Roll out dough on floured surface until 1/2-3/4 inch thick and place on a floured baking sheet
8. Heat oil to 350
9. Fry! Submerge each donut halfway into oil using two forks and hold for about 30 seconds before releasing (that way the donut will float and not sink and soak up excess oil). Flip when golden brown, about two minutes, and cook other side
10. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain
11. Cool and glaze

I made a simple vanilla glaze by scraping the contents of one vanilla bean into 1/2 c milk. After 5 minutes (infusing time) mix in 3 c powdered sugar. Thennnn, dunk your donuts

* cinnamon and nutmeg sugar
* frozen cranberries & fondant
* confectioners sugar

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