Right now is about the time when you have started to come off your sugar-induced Halloween high only to realize that (yikes!) Thanksgiving is LESS THAN THREE WEEKS AWAY!! Oh well, I guess you can forget about that extra hour of sleep that you thought you were going to get on Saturday night because you are going to need every waking minute to pull together a Martha-worthy holiday, right? Wrong (I'll bet that you were hoping I was going to say that.). Never fear, Julie's here to help you through this most wonderful, yet unnecessarily stressful, time of the year. Over the next twenty days, I am going to offer up some of my favorite recipes, tips, and entertaining ideas for the Thanksgiving holiday, which you can tailor to your particular situation, be it cooking everything from scratch for a group of twelve (been there), or just bringing an impressive, yet simple and fool-proof, side dish to a potluck. I'll go through everything from breakfast to dessert and hopefully, by Thanksgiving, you can burn that piece of paper containing the Butterball Hotline number that has been taped to your fridge for the past ten years. Please let me know if you have any special requests for menu suggestions or specific questions!
Maple-Glazed Pumpkin Doughnuts
Doughnuts are one of those recipes that many people want to make at home, but they never try because they assume that they are difficult to make correctly or too labor intensive. I've got news for you: they're not. Yes, there is a little bit of a mess involved, but once you flash these maple-coated treats in front of your family, I'm willing to bet that they will eagerly help with the cleanup in exchange for a sample. This is a great recipe to make with the kids over the Thanksgiving break and to serve for a crowd with coffee or hot spiced cider. An adult should do the frying, but kids will have fun shaping the rings and rolling the finished products in sugar and glaze!
Makes 18 delicious doughnuts and 18 doughnut holes
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
Canola oil (for deep frying)
2 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon maple extract (available in the spice section at the grocery)
For spiced sugar: Whisk all ingredients in a medium bowl to blend and set aside.
For doughnuts: Whisk first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until blended (mixture will be grainy). Beat in the egg, then the yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin in 4 additions. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for one hour.
Sprinkle a work surface lightly with flour. Press out half of the dough on the floured work surface to ½ inch thickness. Using a 2 ½ inch diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Repeat with the remaining dough. Press out scraps and cut out more dough rounds until all of the dough is used. Using a 1-inch round cutter, cut out the center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes. Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour the oil into a large deep skillet to the depth of 1 ½ inches. Attach a deep-fry thermometer and heat the oil to 365F-370F degrees. Fry the doughnut holes in two batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the holes to paper towels to drain. Fry the doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely.
Maple glaze: Whisk powdered sugar, maple extract, and 4 tablespoons whipping cream to blend. Whisk in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to form medium-thick glaze. Add doughnut holes to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat. Dip doughnuts on one side in the Maple-Glaze and arrange them on racks. At this point, I would tell you to let them stand 30 minutes to let the glaze set, but who am I kidding?--Dig in!!