Pumpkin Chai Donut Holes

This recipe could be made into actual donuts, but I don’t have the requisite pan for that, so I’m going to take the easy path and use my mini-muffin pan, and just CALL them donut holes! ¬†Hah, I don’t know why I feel sinister/tricky about this ‘deception’ that I’m freely admitting to. ūüėõ

Chai Spice Blend (this makes more than needed for the donut recipe, so try using it with other things too! ¬†If you like it, multiply the recipe and keep it in a mason jar – they are the BEST! ¬†I’ve completely stopped buying plastic containers, and store everything in mason jars now. ¬†Seriously, everything, not just when doing actual canning; I use them to store craft supplies, dry food, everything that comes in a plastic bag that isn’t resealable, my homemade broth I make on the back burner on my cooking days, EVERYTHING. ¬† ¬† …sorry about the tangent)

  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 2 tsp cloves (or allspice)
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

Donut Batter (or ‘donut hole’ batter, but that sounds weird AND takes longer to type, so forget it)

  • 3 c. flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder (2 + 1/2 tsp)
  • 0.25 tsp baking soda (1/4 tsp)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp nutmeg (1/2 tsp)
  • 0.25 tsp allspice (1/4 tsp)
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1.25 c. pumpkin¬†pur√©e (1 + 1/4 c.)
  • 10 Tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 c. light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs (or 3 medium)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease your donut / mini muffin pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice.

In a medium bowl, combine milk and pumpkin purée.

In electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs individually, scraping down the sides between each.

In increments, alternately add the dry mixture and the pumpkin mixture to the electric mixer until everything is homogeneous.  Batter will be thick.

Fill your pans appropriately.  (According to the lady who made both kinds, a mini ice cream scoop is good for the mini-muffin tins; for donuts, put the batter into a baggie and cut off the tip, like a makeshift icing-piping bag, and pipe the batter into the donut pan.)

Bake 13-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

The icing/sugar/glaze/frosting/whatever:

  • 6 tsp Chai Spice
  • 0.75 c. sugar (3/4 c.)
  • melted butter (about 1 stick)

Remove donuts from oven and allow to cool 10-15 minutes.

During this time, melt about 1/2 c. butter.  Be sure to use a bowl big enough for dipping!

In a different bowl, also big enough for dipping, whisk together 3/4 c. sugar and 6 tsp Chai Spice.

Remove slightly-cooled donuts from pan, dip in melted butter, and toss in sugar-spice mixture until coated.

If possible, let them cool for another 10 minutes before eating. ūüėÄ

Source: http://dailydishrecipes.com/pumpkin-chai-donuts/,
who sourced/adapted from
http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/04/pumpkin-chai-donut-muffins.html,
who sourced/adapted from
http://sundaysweets.blogspot.com/2011/03/pumpkin-doughnut-muffins.html¬†… oh, internet *sigh*

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Cardamom-Almond Cream Cheese Pound Cake

I’m always a fan of moist, heavy pound cakes, and this combination of flavors sounds divine! ¬†The original recipe calls for whole spices, which are always superior (well, superior for flavor, but not superior for your finances), but if you don’t have whole vanilla & cardamom pods, just substitute a splash of vanilla extract and some ground cardamom. ¬†When I try this, I’ll measure how much cardamom I get from 3 pods, and update the recipe.

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 c. (5 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • thinly sliced almonds, to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350 F and generously coat a loaf pan with nonstick spray.  Line the bottom of the loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit of overhang.  Coat the parchment paper with nonstick spray as well.

In medium bowl, sift together the flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

In electric mixer, combine butter and cream cheese until blended.  Slowly beat in the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Crack open the cardamom pods and remove the black seeds.  Using a mortar and pestle, grind the cardamom.  Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean pod.  Add the vanilla seeds and ground cardamom to the butter & cream cheese mixture.  Mix until incorporated.

On medium-low speed, individually beat in each egg.  Scrape down sides of bowl, then incorporate the almond extract.

Turn mixer speed to low, then slowly add the dry mix, beating until just incorporated.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Bake about 60-70 minutes, until top is golden brown, springs back when pressed, and toothpick in the center comes out clean. ¬†If the almonds start to brown too early, you can tent the cake with foil until it’s fully cooked through. ¬†If desired, serve with whipped cream, ice cream, and/or poached fruit.

Source: http://www.turntablekitchen.com/2013/10/cream-cheese-pound-cake-with-cardamom-vanilla-and-almonds/

Strawberry Shortcakes

These are THE SHIT, bro. ¬†I cringe when I see those little “shortcake” things that are like the shallowest bowl ever to put your strawberries in… ugh. ¬†Mine won’t act like a bowl, but it is about 9000% more delicious, without being too sweet. ¬†This is the recipe I always make for friends who don’t like desserts that are “too sweet” or “too rich” – this is just right for everyone.

Approximately. ūüėõ

  • 1.5 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c. cold butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c. dairy sour cream
  • 2 Tbs milk
  • 5 c. sliced strawberries
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • (optional) whipped cream

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Lightly grease baking sheet; set aside.

Decide now if you want to use a pastry cutter (aka pastry blender, aka that thingy like a whisk had an affair with some brass knuckles) or an electric mixer, and subsequently whether you want to use a large mixing bowl or electric mixer bowl for the next step.

In the bowl you just decided to use, combine flour, 1/4 c. sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Incorporate butter in manner previously determined, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In small bowl, combine lightly beaten egg, sour cream, and milk.  Add to flour mixture; stir with fork until just moistened.

Drop dough into 8 large mounds on prepared baking sheet (you could make them smaller, I guess, but this way everyone gets one giant … scone blob thingy for themselves). ¬†Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until edges become golden. ¬†Transfer to wire rack and let cool.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine 4 c. strawberries and 3 Tbs sugar.  Using a potato masher, mash berries SLIGHTLY and set aside.

When ready to serve, halve shortcakes like you’re going to use it as a hamburger bun, and then put the strawberries inside like a raw, oozing hamburger of delicious sweetness. ¬†Add whipped cream if you want to stretch this analogy to include “cheese” as “a sweeter and fluffier dairy product”. ¬†Top with extra sliced strawberries if any remain. ¬†Or don’t. ¬†You’re the boss.

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

For a lighter and fluffier bread (as compared to the Bacon & Cheddar Scones), here’s another cheesy recipe. ¬†I’m seriously considering trying adding bacon to this recipe… what could possibly go wrong? ¬†Actually, I want to try a few changes to this… actual roasted minced garlic in the batter itself, along with some green onions, maybe some rosemary, AND bacon bits…now that sounds like a damn good fluffy biscuit recipe. ¬†Will update with results after, y’know, I have the results.

  • 2 c. flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs oil or melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 to 1.5 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic salt

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Spray cooking sheet with nonstick spray.

In bowl of stand mixer, combine all ingredients except milk.

Add milk; stir until combined. ¬†Add a little more milk if necessary, but don’t go crazy with it (the dough should be able to hold things upright if you stick something in the top).

Use Tbs or large spoon to scoop up lumps of batter; use regular spoon to shove batter off first spoon onto baking sheet.

Place in oven and set timer for 10 minutes.

Melt 2 Tbs butter and stir in oregano and garlic salt.  After 10-minute timer goes off, brush butter mixture over each biscuit, then cook for an additional 6 minutes, or until lightly browned.  If desired (or if you still have melted butter mixture left over) re-brush garlic-herb butter over biscuits a second time.

Source, with pictures! http://www.joyfulabode.com/2008/03/08/cheesy-garlic-biscuits-a-la-red-lobster-step-by-step-easy-recipe/

Bacon & Cheddar Scones

I don’t often include recipes with cheese, but this is an exception!

For directions on how to make these without a stand mixer, and for great step-by-step pictures, check out the King Arthur Flour Blog at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2008/07/16/bacon-cheddar-scallion-scones-love-at-first-bite/.

  • 2 c. flour (8.5 oz)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 Tbs butter (1/2 stick, or 2 oz)
  • 1 c. coarsely grated cheddar cheese (4 oz)
  • 1/3 c. fresh chives or green onion tops (1/2 oz)
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled (about 1 c.)
  • 3/4 c. + 2 Tbs heavy cream or whipping cream (7 oz) – enough to make the dough cohesive

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Lightly grease baking sheet, or line with parchment.

In bowl of stand mixer, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.

Cut butter into small lumps, and work it into the flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly, with some of the butter still in lumps and some fully incorporated. (The paddle attachment usually works for this, but some application of a pastry butter cutter thingy can be helpful. I don’t know what they’re called; it looks like a set of brass knuckles and a wire whisk had a baby.)

Mix in cheese, chives, and bacon until evenly distributed.

Add 3/4 c. cream, stirring to combine. ¬†Test by squeezing dough together; if it’s crumbly and won’t stay together, or if there are crumbs remaining in the bottom of the bowl, add a bit more cream. ¬†Continue until dough comes together. ¬†Transfer the “shaggy” dough onto a well-floured work surface. ¬†(I never knew “shaggy” was a proper technical term for a type of dough, but you learn something new every day.)

Pat dough into smooth 7″ disk about 3/4″ thick. ¬†Transfer disk to prepared baking sheet.

Use knife or dough scraper to cut disk into 8 wedges, spreading apart a bit on the pan. ¬† (Or, for mini scones, divide the dough in half and roll each half into a 5″ round and follow directions from there; cook mini scones 18-20 minutes.)

Brush scones with a bit of cream to help brown the crust.

Bake for 22-24 minutes, until golden brown. ¬†Remove from oven and allow to cool right on the pan. ¬†Serve warm. ¬†(The original recipe says “or at room temperature,” but let’s be honest – warm is better.)

Source: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/bacon-cheddar-chive-scones-recipe?recipe_id=1216052660380

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

This is the second banana & chocolate bread recipe from King Arthur Flour. ¬†I can’t see any real reason these aren’t muffins… why aren’t these muffins? ¬†I think I’m going to make this recipe into muffins…. mmmmmmmm muffins……

Yields one 9″x5″ loaf, or two mini loaves, or ?? muffins

  • 1 c. flour (unbleached all-purpose)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs cocoa (Dutch-process)
  • 1/2 c. (8 Tbs) soft unsalted butter (seriously, who ever buys¬†salted¬†butter? ¬†What’s the point? ¬†I’ve never seen any recipe demand salted butter…)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp+ vanilla extract
  • 1 c. mashed banana
  • 1/2 c. cold sour cream
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips (mini size preferred)

Preheat oven to 350 F. ¬†Lightly grease baking container (two 3-and-a-quarter-inch by 5-and-three-quarters-inch mini loaf pans, or one 9×5″ pan, or MUFFIN PAN).

In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.

In stand mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Then beat in the egg, vanilla, banana, and sour cream.

Gently mix in the dry ingredients.  When well-incorporated, add chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the container(s) and bake

  • 60 minutes for one large loaf
  • 45 minutes for 2 mini loaves
  • ?? for muffins¬†(will edit recipe after I try it and find out)

Remove from oven, and allow to rest in pan(s) for 10 minutes (maybe less for the muffins??). ¬†Turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely. ¬†(Ha! ¬†Eating it while it’s still warm is, like, 70% of the fun.)

Source: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/double-chocolate-banana-bread-recipe

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Here come two AMAZING-SOUNDING banana & chocolate recipes from King Arthur Flour…

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 c. mashed banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c. flour (unbleached all-purpose)
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c. chocolate chips
  • (optional) 1 c. chopped walnuts, pre-toasted in a 350 F oven for 8 minutes
  • (optional) 1/8 – 1/4 tsp coconut or butter rum flavor

Preheat oven to 350 F (and toast walnuts if desired).  Lightly grease 12-14 standard muffin cups.

In stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together.

Beat in the mashed banana, then the egg, milk, and optional flavorings.

Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flours, stirring until smooth.  Increase speed if necessary to remove lumps.

Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts, if using. ¬†Do not use high speed for this part, moron, or you’ll just pulverize the chocolate and nutty bits.

Heap batter into prepared muffin cups, mounding them quite full.  If desired, sprinkle the tops with coarse white sugar.

Bake 20-23 minutes, until it passes a toothpick test.

Remove the muffins from the oven, and tilt them in the pan to cool a bit in order to prevent the bottoms from becoming soggy.  As soon as they are a handle-able temperature, transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Source: I already told you, King Arthur’s Flour ūüėõ
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/banana-chocolate-chip-muffins-recipe

I should probably note that they include directions for adding cinnamon bits, also, but I didn’t include that in my re-typing. ¬†And they say the chocolate chips are optional. ¬†HAH!