Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mini Pumpkin Donuts with Cinnamon Maple Glaze

Make donuts?  Yeah, I totally did that, no big deal.

These donuts are the result of a complex emotional struggle that brought me to this point.  It all started last year around Christmas.  Jim and I stopped in DC on our way to his parents house to visit friends.  There, we found ourselves starving for lunch and decided to go into a Cosi.  Now I know that they're a chain and therefore unforgivably lame to the world of food bloggers, but oh well.  I had the most delicious sandwich I'd ever eaten in my life there.

It like the whole Thanksgiving meal in a sandwich.  There was Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce all on this toasted thin bread.  If that doesn't sound delicious to you...I don't even know what to say to you.  Get out of here.

Anyway, we don't have Cosi's around here, and all year I've been pining for another of those sandwiches...waiting for the day when I'd have all those Thanksgiving ingredients and I could make my own version...but alas.  This is where the story gets heart-wrenching.

I have to work on Thanksgiving.  Not just work, but work from 11-3.  Right when people are eating.  Also, this schedule renders me virtually completely unable to cook a Thanksgiving dinner of my own, so we've planned to go over to a friend's house after I get off work and eat leftovers.

Yes, work made me miss the entire Halloween that I'd been so looking forward to, and now it's making me miss Thanksgiving.  I mean leftovers, really?  I don't even get a pass at the real thing?  I can't imagine a situation more horrible at the moment.

How does this relate to donuts?  Well because I'm being deprived of my festivities on the actual holiday, once again I'm overcompensating by pumpin-saturate foods that really have no business containing pumpkin.  Although after you taste these, you may care to differ.

I may have mentioned before how Jim is not the biggest pumpkin fan in the world...but he humors me.  You can imagines the skeptical look on his face when he heard my planned baking project for today.  I could almost read his thoughts, "why are you ruining something as delicious as donuts with pumpkin?"  And you should have heard the alarm in his voice as I was mixing my wet ingredients together and he saw the orange mush go in.  "What is that?!"

But after he tried them, he too has become a believer.  And that, my friends, is the story of pumpkin donuts. Out of the ashes of the shattered dream that was a reinvented Thanksgiving sandwich rises the pumpkin-infused phoenix that is these donuts.

Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Cinnamon Maple Glaze
(adapted from blue eyed bakers and taste and tell, makes about 40 mini donuts)

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the donuts:

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray mini donut pan with nonstick spray.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.  

In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, mix brown sugar, oil, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until combined.  Add the flour mixture in gradually, do not overmix.

Spoon batter into a pastry bag (or a ziploc with a corner cut off...but don't be like me and dump a bunch on the floor by accident) and pipe into the mini donut cups, about 2/3 full.

Bake 8 minutes, turn out onto wire rack and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.  While donuts are cooling, mix glaze.

For the glaze:

Whisk together powdered sugar, cinnamon.  Add maple syrup and milk, whisking until smooth.  Dip each cooled donut into the glaze and allow to rest on a wire rack until the glaze is set.  Donuts are best the day they are made.

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