Each time I put a post up, I wonder if my readers will actually make the recipe I feature? It is appealing? It is enticing? Did I photograph it well enough to create the I-want-to-eat-this-now feeling? These are the questions that run through my mind.
And sometimes I say things like “you need to make this” or “give this one a try, you won’t be disappointed.” And I mean it.
But this time I am insisting that you make this recipe…as soon as humanly possible.
Because you cannot deny yourself the pleasure of fried dough. Ever.
Because I had to sacrifice myself in the name of quality control to make a second batch of these little morsels so I could…ahem…perfect the pumpkin-to-spice-ratio.
And because I made the batter with a whole wheat flour blend and then rolled the donuts in organic sugar and cinnamon to make them more healthy.
It’s what I do. Think of me as a giver.
I mixed up a batter which I didn’t bother photographing because it’s really straight-forward. I heated 3 inches of canola oil – a little more than one bottle’s worth – to 375 degrees F. You’re going to need a candy/frying thermometer for this – sorry about that. Then using my tablespoon sized cookie scoop, I dropped the batter into the screaming hot oil. Please be careful. The dough will drop to the bottom of the pot and then it will pop up to the surface.
The little donuts need to cook for about 4 to 5 minutes and you need to roll them periodically in the hot oil so both sides cook. If one side cooks too much, the donut will not want to roll over. Keep an eye on your oil temperature. You don’t want it to get too high or too low for obvious reasons. Honestly keeping the oil at the proper temp was the hardest part about this; I was constantly turning the heat up and then down. If you have a deep fryer, you may not have this problem. Remove the donuts and let them cool on a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
I found that rolling the cooled dounts or sprinkling them with the cinnamon sugar mixture was better than shaking them in a paper bag. Also it is much better to allow the donuts to cool significantly before rolling them in the sugar. When they’re too warm, the sugar mixture really attaches and makes them too sweet…tooth-achingly sweet, in my opinion.
I went easy on the sugar coating for the second batch and liked them better with less. The batter is sweet too, and believe it or not, I kinda don’t like overly sweet flavors.
I heart you little pumpkin donut, even though I had to work out twice as hard after enjoying you. You were worth it.
I dare you to eat just one!
My kids and I had so much fun making these donuts. I let them roll the cooled donuts in the sugar mixture and of course they sampled as they went along.
But then I had to pack them up and deliver to my neighbors. They are dangerous to have around. As one of my neighbors put it, “These are scary, scary good!” I couldn’t agree more.
Pumpkin Doughnut Drops
Recipe adapted from California Heritage Continues
Makes about 4 dozen
3 cups flour
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
3 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups ginger ale
Oil for frying
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Sift together the flour, dry milk, baking powder, spices and salt. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar; then beat in the eggs. Mix in the pumpkin and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the ginger ale, mixing well after each addition. In a medium to large heavy pot, heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees F. Drop batter 1 tablespoon at a time for each donut into the hot oil. Cook 4 to 5 donuts at a time for 4 to 5, minutes turning to brown evenly. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Cool. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl or paper bag and roll or shake to coat. These are best served immediately, which isn’t a problem, though they are okay through the next day, if they make it that long.
– I halved this recipe. It would be way too dangerous to have nearly 50 of these babies tempting me!
– You may think the addition of pumpkin pie spice redundant. However, I did not. It’s my addition and it was just what the batter needed in order to bring out the true pumpkin pie-like flavors I was looking for in these donuts. I really tinkered around with the spices to get to the end result. My suggestion would be to taste your batter and make sure the flavors are to your liking.
– My recommendations for keeping the oil at temperature and the length of time to cook each dount was what worked for me on my stove top using the pot I had. Using a deep fryer may result in a cooker cooking time.
– I questioned the need for more sweetness with the addition of ginger ale. Should I make these again (and I probably will, but I need to give my body a break first), I would consider using sparkling water and possibly spiking it with a little bit of ginger juice.