Comfort Desserts

It’s been about a month since I last posted and it’s not for the lack of baking, beading or knitting. I did a bunch of baking for a friend’s birthday earlier this month but stuck to treats that were among his favorite and ones that I have blogged about before- my newly discovered pumpkin doughnuts, mini chocolate-chip cheesecakes and a strawberry shortcake birthday cake. As for knitting, I recently completed two scarves which I plan to post about soon – a ruffle scarf for a friend and a cowl neck for myself. I liked the ruffle scarf so much I am planning on making one for myself. And finally beading, after about a four month hiatus I finally picked up some beading needles and started making jewelry again. But in between all of that I did try out two recipes for what I like to call comfort desserts – a pound cake and a rice pudding. I know rice pudding is not most people’s cup of tea when it comes to desserts, but it has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. Both of these recipes are super easy to follow and turn out some delicious treats.

Grandma’s Pound Cake

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 Minutes

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

6 eggs

Directions:

Heat oven to 350ºF.

Mix flour and baking powder; set aside. Beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each until blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until blended.

Pour into 12-cup fluted tube or 10-inch tube pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 min. Loosen cake from sides of pan with knife. Invert cake onto wire rack; gently remove pan. Cool cake completely.

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Arborio Rice Pudding

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Total Time: 40 Minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 cup water

pinch of salt

1/2 tbsp. butter

1/2 cup Arborio rice

2 cups whole milk

4 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Few dashes ground cinnamon

Whipped cream, for serving

Directions:

Bring water, salt, and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, return to a boil, and then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Shake the pan occasionally and cook until rice has absorbed the water but it still al dente, about 15 minutes.

Bring milk, sugar, vanilla, and a few dashes of cinnamon to a simmer in a separate saucepan. Add the cooked rice and cook at a simmer over medium-low heat until rice absorbs most of the milk and mixture starts to get thick and silky, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer pudding to a large bowl and cool to room temperature. Place in refrigerator until cool and set. Serve with whipped cream and a dash more cinnamon.

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Enjoy!

Pumpkin Doughtnuts

I recently purchased a Wilton Doughnut Pan and had every intention of making cinnamon doughnuts to try it out but then some other recipes got in the way of that and I kept putting the doughnuts on the back-burner. But then last week I made Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce (which was super simple and quite delicious) and I had leftover canned pumpkin and it was only a day or two before that I had come across a recipe for Pumpkin Doughnuts in the recent issue (October 2013) of Real Simple magazine… It was pretty much kismet. I scratched the cinnamon doughnuts and opted for the pumpkin doughnuts instead.

The pan and the leftover canned pumpkin…

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To begin I whisked all of my dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and ground cloves. (The recipe actually called for pumpkin pie spice which I didn’t have on hand, hence me using cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and ground cloves.)

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In another bowl I whisked together pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, egg and vanilla extract.

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Next up I mixed the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture.

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Then it was time to scoop it into my prepared doughnut pan.

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Per the directions I scooped a 1/4 of a cup of the batter into each doughnut crevice.

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I then baked them in a 350 degree preheated oven for 13 minutes.

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After letting them cool in the pan for 15 minutes I prepped my second batch of doughnuts to be baked. I ran a little short on batter so as you can see one of the crevices was barely filled.

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That small doughnut ended up being my tester and I was quite pleased with how they came out. I let the remaining 11 doughnuts cool properly before trying another one.

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The doughnuts were a hit among my friends and I already received requests to make them again!

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Pumpkin Doughnuts*

Makes 12

Ingredients

1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for the pans

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup pure pumpkin puree

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly oil two 6-compartment doughnut pans* (or use 1 pan and bake in batches). Whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not overmix).

3. Spoon ¼ cup batter into each compartment of the prepared pans. Bake until the doughnuts are golden brown and spring back lightly when touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

*The original recipe included a Sour Cream Icing which I opted not to put on the doughnuts.