I know right. Intense. It is like a mouthful of fall. I baked up these little munchkins while watching Hocus Pocus, relishing the best month of the year. Anything mini immediately tastes better. Anything with pumpkin in it is automatically amazing. If you take a sweet ball of baked dough, submerse it in butter…then roll it around in a happy bath of sugar and spice, you cannot lose.
look at this little guy
I tell myself these donuts are “healthy” because they are baked, and they are definitely an upgrade from deep fried donuts, but really they are just tiny little bites of puffed fat and sugar. I don’t hate it. Because they are baked and not fried they taste more like those Auntie Annes cinnamon sugar pretzels, or like those pretzel nibs they sometimes give out in front of Forever21 in Regency Mall. You know which ones I am talking about, the ones they put out to try to tease you into buying a whole cup full. The ones I throw ‘bows and nudge toddlers out of the way for. The ones that say “try one” and I grab as many as I can fit in my paws. It is probably safer for society if we just make these in the future.
just a little nub of heaven
These donuts are the perfect lazy day thing to make. They are time consuming, but in a really fun crafty-hobby kind of way. You will feel accomplished, like Martha, I swear!
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (make sure it is not the pumpkin pie filling, just pure pumpkin)
3 tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup whole milk
2¼ tsp instant dry yeast or one packet
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp vanilla
1 extra large egg
2 extra large egg yolks
3.5 cups white flour
Sugar and Spice Coating:
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter, and let it cool.
In the microwave heat the milk to just below 105F, about 30 seconds. Any higher will kill your yeast. We hate dead yeast. It makes things flat and boring.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix up the yeast and warmed milk. let them get acquainted for 5 minutes, canoodle if you will. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, nutmeg, and whisk to combine.
Add the pumpkin, butter, egg and egg yolks, and beat until well combined.
Change to the dough hook, and add the flour. Mix at medium for 2 minutes, then bump the speed up to medium high and knead until a soft dough forms and it pulls away from the sides and toward the middle. You want it to be dough , but still malleable enough to be pushed through a piping bag.
pumpkin dough delight
Take dough off of mixing stand, cover with either saran or a clean dish towel, and let rise for 2 hours. It will not rise very much, so don’t freak out, most of that happens in the oven. Next in sandwich ziplock bag with a corner snipped out, or a piping bag if you are fancy, spoon in dough. In a well greased mini donut pan, begin to pipe dough into each circle, trying to ensure they are as smooth as possible. Do not fill them to the brim as they are sort of like muffins and will rise.
pipe that mess
Bake the doughnuts in the centre of the oven for about 10 minutes, until they have puffed up and are golden brown.
You will have to repeat this process about 6 times as the pan is tiny and there is a lot of dough. It is fun though, just keep watching Hocus Pocus and making a butter sugar assembly line.
Make this sugar and spice topping by melting the butter in one bowl, and whisking the sugar and cinnamon in another.
its lykk buttaaa
While the doughnuts are hot out of the oven, toss them in the butter, then immediately toss in the sugar spice bowl. I used a fork so it wouldn’t clump as much.
i wish i could take a little bath in a bowl of sugar
final cooling products