Saturday, November 17, 2012

Maple Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts

All week my husband has been talking about going fishing and pheasant hunting in a town about an hour south of us.  He had been hearing fish tales the last couple of weeks - big walleye biting on the river, and, he has seen a lot of pheasants in that area lately.  Over the summer, we drove down there a couple of times and caught some really nice walleye so we thought we'd give it a try today.  It was supposed to be an unseasonably nice day for this area, and this time of year, and it seemed a perfect time to go.  I was really only along for the fishing.  I am happy to stay in the truck with a good book while my husband and son go hunting pheasants.

We packed all our gear this morning, then layered our clothing because you just never know how the weather will turn here, and headed out.  I had big hopes that tonight's post would be a walleye recipe.  This should give you an indication of how our day went.

When we got to the river, it was about 50 degrees.  That is beautiful for mid-November in North Dakota.  I thought it would be great fishing weather, however, the slight wind coming off the water made it pretty chilly.  We perservered, though, through multiple line snags, lost minnows and freezing hands.  All for nothing!  One bite but no fish!  Okay, we still had hope for the hunting.  Nope, the mighty hunters came back empty-handed also.  They only saw 2 birds, and didn't get either one.

To cheer my husband up after the day was such a bust, I told him I would make doughnuts.  He loves doughnuts, and did seem a little happier.  Plus, I thought it was the perfect time to try a recipe that a high school friend of mine posted on Facebook recently.  They were baked pumpkin doughnuts and they looked delicious!  I asked for the recipe and she was good enough to send me the link.  Thanks, Joy, we love them!  (Of course, in my typical fashion, I made a couple of tiny changes, but they really were minor.)

Here's your Cast of Characters.

1 Cup all-purpose flour
1 Cup whole wheat flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon salt
3 Large eggs, beaten
1 (15 oz.) Can pumpkin puree
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup Maple syrup (or honey, which is what I used because I didn't have maple syrup)
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Teaspoons maple extract, if you are using honey, only
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/2 Cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425.  Spray a couple of cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

The initial recipe called for a couple of different mixing bowls, some whisking of flour, multiple steps, etc., but I skipped every single one of them.  I am a firm believer in the dump and throw method.  What is the dump and throw method you ask?  To quote my beloved Aunt Linda, several years ago, "You dump it all in a bowl, mix it up and throw it in the pan."  She was talking about a cake recipe, but I use that method for most everything.  Here are pictures demonstrating:

Everything dumped in a bowl.

All mixed up.  Smells yummy already!

Now, the original recipe called for doughnut pans, and I would definitely recommend using them, if you have them.  I do not, and I couldn't justify going out and buying a set just for this recipe.  Instead, I used my doughnut dropper.

It was okay, but the pans would be much better.

I plopped a cookie sheet full of doughnuts.

Bake 7-9 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  In my oven, it took 9 minutes.

Let cool on the pan for 3-5 minutes before applying a spiced sugar or maple cream cheese frosting.

For spiced sugar:
1/2 Cup white sugar
1 Teaspoon, each, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon

Mix well.  Melt 3-4 tablespoons butter.  Dip doughnuts in butter, then sugar mixture.

For a maple cream cheese frosting:
1/2 Brick neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1 Tablespoon spiced sugar mixture from above
1 Teaspoon maple extract

Whisk together until smooth & frost doughnuts.