Día De Los Muertos Cupcakes

Happy Halloween! This year instead of a Halloween inspired treat I opted to go with a Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) one instead. So, what is Día De Los Muertos you may ask? Well, it’s a three-day Mexican holiday where one remembers and celebrates friends and family members who have died. And while pumpkins and ghosts are symbolic of Halloween, sugar skulls are the symbol associated with this holiday. These are skulls that are colorfully decorated. The biggest difference I would say between the two holidays is how one celebrates death and the other fears death. With Día De Los Muertos people set-up altars to celebrate the dead, bring food and/or beverages, among other gifts, to their loved one’s grave site. While with Halloween, children wear masks and costumes as protection and jack-o-lanterns are meant to ward off evil spirits. So, whichever you choose to celebrate, or if you are among those who did not celebrate at all, I hope you have a wonderful day filled with candy! One of the reasons I decided to go with this theme was because I was giving these cupcakes as part of a birthday gift to a friend who really likes the décor of the holiday and she’s probably a bigger pumpkin spice fan than me.

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I began these cupcakes by making the sugar skull toppers. I melted Wilton White Candy Melts and poured them into skull molds and then placed them in the refrigerator so they could set.

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The following day using an array of sparkle gel…

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I decorated the skulls to mimic sugar skulls and then placed them back in the refrigerator.

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A few days later I made the cupcakes. To make the batter I began by whisking together melted butter, oil and milk. Once that was well combined I added in brown sugar and continued whisking until it was smooth. And then finally I added in vanilla extract and eggs. In another bowl I combined the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt) and then added them to the wet ingredients. Next I folded in pumpkin puree and chocolate chips.

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I then filled Día De Los Muertos themed cupcake liners about 3/4 full and baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

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After letting them cool completely I made a cream cheese frosting to top them off.

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So the sugar skulls would pop a little I opted to stripe the inside of the decorator bag with green before adding the frosting to pipe. And there you have it… Día De Los Muertos Pumpkin Cupcakes.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/4 cup vegetable oil

5 tablespoons milk*, room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ginger

14 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree

3/4 cup chocolate chips

*I used 2%

Cupcake Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F and lined a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl whisk together the butter, oil and milk until smooth. Add in the brown sugar and continue mixing until smooth and finally add in the vanilla and eggs, continuing to whisk until smooth.

In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix it until smooth.

Fold in the pumpkin puree and then the chocolate chips until well combined.

Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full and bake for about 21-23 minutes, until a cake inserted in the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool in the tin for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Ingredients for Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

4 cups Confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 cups vanilla extract

Frosting Directions:

Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl and mix together until smooth.

Add half of the sugar and mix until smooth, then add the vanilla extract and continue mixing. Finally add the remaining sugar and continue mixing until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes.

Recipe from The Cake Blog

Pumpkin Tiramisu

So, here’s one of those pumpkin recipes I wanted to try that I mentioned in my Pumpkin Bread post… A Pumpkin Tiramisu. About a month or so ago I started thinking about different Pumpkin desserts, not just the typical pie or loaf bread or a variation of them but something more outside the box. Hence the Pumpkin Tiramisu. You may not think it’s not too out of the box, but, how many times have you gone to a restaurant or bakery and they had a different type of tiramisu?

I began by making a pumpkin mousse. In a large bowl I whisked together the pumpkin puree along with brown sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon & nutmeg, salt and sugar. Once that was well combined I added in mascarpone cheese and heavy cream and beat it with my hand mixer on medium speed until soft peaks formed. I must say, this pumpkin mousse is delicious on its own. I actually had some leftover after assembling the tiramisu and it’s the perfect fall dessert with not as much guilt.

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Next, it was time to assemble. Prior to making the mousse I brewed coffee (I really didn’t brew it, I just made instant – I’m not a coffee drinker) and whisked in sugar and a few tablespoons of Kahlua. After letting it cool, I soaked ladyfinger cookies in it for a few seconds and arranged them on the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish. I then spread the mousse over the cookies and repeated these two steps one more time.

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And voila… I covered it with wax paper and aluminum foil and refrigerated it overnight.

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The following day I shaved chocolate over it and enjoyed it!

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Pumpkin Tiramisu

Ingredients:

15-ounce can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups mascarpone chees

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 cups brewed coffee, cooled

2 tablespoons Kahlua*

2 7-ounce packages (about 20) dry ladyfingers

Chocolate shavings, for garnish

*Optional

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree with the brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar. Add the mascarpone cheese and the heavy cream. With an electric mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed until soft peaks form. Be sure not to overbeat.

In a medium bowl combine the coffee, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the Kahlua and whisk together until the sugar dissolves. Dip half the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture and arrange them on the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish. Spread a generous amount of the pumpkin mousse over the ladyfingers. Repeat these two steps cover and refrigerate overnight. You will have some mousse leftover.

Prior to serving garnish the tiramisu with the chocolate shavings.

This recipe was slightly modified from Food & Wine

Pumpkin Bread

It’s finally Fall and you know what that means – well, it’s already in full effect – Pumpkin Spice everything! It really is amazing how many different things come in Pumpkin Spice. I actually picked up a box of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios last week while grocery shopping. I haven’t tried them yet though. And while at Target the other day I saw Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn, but, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it. There has to be a line drawn somewhere… LOL!

So, in honor of Fall finally arriving I bring you my first pumpkin treat of the season… Pumpkin Bread. A simple yet delicious treat that I was quite surprised I hadn’t made before. I opted to halve the recipe and use the remaining pumpkin puree to make Pumpkin Pancakes, unfortunately they didn’t come out that great – there wasn’t much pumpkin flavor. Hopefully I’ll attempt them again before the end of the season, if not, there are some other pumpkin recipes that I can’t wait to try and share. But for now back to the… Pumpkin Bread!

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Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

3 (1 1/2) cups sugar

1 (1/2) cup vegetable oil

4 (2) eggs, lightly beaten

16 ounces (1 cup) canned unsweetened pumpkin

3 1/2 (1 3/4) cups flour

2 (1) teaspoons kosher salt

2 (1) teaspoons baking soda

1 (1/2) teaspoon baking powder

1 (1/2) teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 (1/2) teaspoon ground allspice

1 (1/2) teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/2 (1/4) teaspoon ground cloves

2/3 (1/3) cup water

*Please note the amounts in parenthesis are for 1 loaf

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Butter and flour 2 9 x 5 loaf pans (I opted to use baking spray which contains butter and flour.)

Stir together the sugar and oil and then add in the eggs and pumpkin. You could also use a hand or stand mixer on the lowest setting.

In a separate bowl combine all of the dry ingredients, the flour to the ground cloves.

Blend the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture, alternating with the water.

Divide the batter among the loaf pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes and then remove from the pans and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe from Food Network

Pumpkin Spice Molasses Cookies

Here it is… Another pumpkin recipe! I have a dear friend who loves pumpkin flavored items as much – or maybe more – than I do. We actually text each other pictures of the different pumpkin items we purchase during our grocery or Target runs. Imagine if we lived closer to one another; we would probably have pumpkin flavored taste testing get-togethers for all the different things that have hit the shelves over the past couple of years. She let me know about Pumpkin Spice Milanos – if you haven’t tried them, they are a must – and I told her about Chobani’s Pumpkin Harvest Crisp flip yogurt – once again a must try for anyone who is a fan of pumpkin. So, with all this love of pumpkin it should be of no surprise that when I saw Nestle Toll House’s Pumpkin Spice Morsels in a supermarket circular I knew I had to have them. I got ahead of myself before even trying them and bought a package or two (okay, it was three.) Luckily though, those three bags will be put to good use as the morsels are good enough to eat as candy but are even better when baked into a cookie. Specifically the cookie recipe that was included right on the bag. So, in actuality I am now down to two bags. I have had these morsels for a few weeks now but waited until now to use them as I planned (and did) to send some of them to said friend.

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To make the batter for the cookies I began by creaming together butter and sugar in the bowl of my stand mixer. I then added in pumpkin, molasses, an egg and vanilla extract and continued mixing until the ingredients were blended together. In another bowl I combined flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Once the pumpkin mixture was well blended I gradually added in the flour mixture and finally stirred in the pumpkin chocolate chips. I then covered the dough and refrigerated it for at least an hour.

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Next I used a cookie scoop to scoop out the dough. I shaped the dough into a ball and then rolled it in sugar and then placed it on a parchment lined baking sheet.

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After baking them in a 350 F oven for eleven minutes, until the tops began to crack and the edges were set, I let them cool on the baking sheets and then transferred them to a wire rack so they could cool completely.

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I then packed some up to send to my pumpkin-loving friend as part of her birthday gift and of course kept a few for myself. And how do they taste? Delicious! They sort of reminded me of a gingerbread cookie, I am sure that’s due to the addition of molasses. And in case you are wondering, rolling the cookie dough in sugar prior to baking them doesn’t make them overly sweet. I was a little concerned about that while making them.

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Pumpkin Spice Molasses Cookies

  • Servings: 36 cookies
  • Print

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1 1/3 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree

1/4 cup molasses

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 10oz. bag Nestle Toll House Pumpkin Spice Morsels

Directions:

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat 1 cup of the sugar with the butter until creamy. Add in the pumpkin, molasses, egg and vanilla extract, continue beating until well combined. Gradually add in the flour mixture and then stir in the morsels. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease.

Use a cookie scoop (or scoop tablespoonfuls of dough) to scoop out of the dough and then shape them in a ball and roll in the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake 11 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Nestle

Quick & Easy Apple Tarts

Do you sometimes want an apple pie, but, you don’t really want to go through all the trouble to make one? Even if you are using a store-bought crust – I have no qualms in saying that’s usually my go-to way of “making” pie crust – it can still be a bit time and labor consuming. So, if you are ever feeling like that or you are feeling like that right now I have the remedy for you. A pair of Apple Tarts that take just about an hour to make – that includes prep and bake time – and only requires six ingredients!

To begin thaw out a puff pastry sheet for about 20-30 minutes. You don’t want it to become warm and mushy, but, you also don’t want it to be partially frozen. Once you are able to unfold it, it’s ready to be used. Slice it in half – a pizza cutter works best – and place both pieces on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

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While the puff pastry is defrosting make your apple filling. Core three apples…

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Then thinly slice them. It’s important to slice the apples as thin as possible this way they will cook (i.e. soften) during the short baking time.

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Next add in lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Let the apples sit until the puff pastry is ready to be filled.

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Once the puff pastry is ready and you have sliced it in half arrange the apples in a single line.

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Bake in a 415 F preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the pastry has puffed and is lightly golden.

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Remove the tarts from the pan and transfer them to a cutting board to cool.

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Or, immediately cut off a piece and enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. There’s nothing like a warm apple treat with a scoop of ice cream on top of it.

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Overall these were incredibly easy to make and wonderfully delicious, but, there’s one thing I think I would change when I make these again… I’ll peel the apples this way it’ll be easier to take a bit out of them. The peel holds you back a little from taking clean bites… At least it does for me.

Baked Apple Tarts

Ingredients:

1 puff pastry sheet, thawed and cut in half

3 apples, cored and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of lemon juice (approximately juice from half a lemon)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 415 F.

While the puff pastry is thawing prepare the apple filling by coring and slicing the apples then tossing them with the lemon juice, sugar, salt and cinnamon.

Once the puff pastry has thawed slice it half and place it on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

Arrange the apples on the puff pastry in a thin overlapping line.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden and puffed. Transfer the tarts to a cutting board or serving platter immediately.

Recipe slightly modified from The Pioneer Woman

Pumpkin Roll

A few weeks ago I brought you Pumpkin Custards and this week I am bringing you a Pumpkin Roll. I’ve seen recipes for jelly rolls and such but was always intimidated to try them because I just wasn’t sure how the whole rolling and unrolling of the cake would work out for me, but thankfully I gave it a try with this Pumpkin Roll because it was quite delicious – the combination of pumpkin cake and cream cheese frosting is right up there with the combination of peanut butter and chocolate.

I began by making the batter… In a small bowl I whisked together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and kosher salt). In the bowl of my stand mixer I beat sugar and eggs until they were thick and then added in pure pumpkin and finally stirred in the flour mixture. Once it was all combined I spread it onto a parchment lined jelly roll pan; I sprayed the pan itself and the parchment paper with baking spray.

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After baking it in a preheated 375 F oven for about 12 minutes, I immediately removed the cake from the pan and placed it on a clean kitchen towel that I dusted with confectioners’ sugar. I then rolled the cake and towel together starting with the narrow end. It is crucial to dust the towel with the sugar to ensure it won’t stick and will easily unroll. Following that I placed it on a wire rack to cool completely.

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I let it cool for about 2 hours and then unrolled it and spread a cream cheese filling over the cake.

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After rolling it up again I wrapped it in plastic wrap and refrigerated it for about an hour so it could set.

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After unwrapping it I dusted it with confectioners’ sugar and immediately enjoyed a slice.

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Pumpkin Roll

Ingredients:

Cake:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup pure pumpkin

Confectioners’ sugar

Filling:

1 8oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan with baking spray and line it with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with baking spray as well. Alternatively you could also use flour and butter instead of baking spray. Sprinkle a cotton kitchen towel with confectioners’ sugar.

In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and kosher salt. Beat the eggs and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl until thick and then add in the pumpkin. Stir in the flour mixture. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared jelly roll pan.

Bake for 12 – 14 minutes, until the top of the cake springs back when touched. Immediately remove the cake from pan and turn it onto the prepared kitchen towel. If the parchment paper sticks to the cake, carefully remove it. Roll the cake and the towel together starting with the narrower end. Cool on a wire rack.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, butter and vanilla extract with a mixer until smooth.

Once cooled, carefully unroll the cake and spread the cream cheese mixture over the cake. Reroll the cake – without the towel – and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour so the cake can set. When ready to serve, sprinkle the cake with confectioners’ sugar.

Recipe slightly modified from Libby’s Pumpkin Roll

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

While at the supermarket a few weeks ago I came across sugar pumpkins on sale, I thought for a second or two of buying them and making my own pumpkin puree but it was just a fleeting thought at the moment and I stuck with the list of items I had in hand. Once I got home though I was curious as to how difficult it would be to turn those small pumpkins into puree and I was pleasantly surprised at how simple it would be, well, minus the elbow grease and patience. So, a few days later I picked up two pumpkins and got to work.

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I began by slicing the top of the pumpkin off. I should say I sawed it off as I did mention it required some elbow grease.

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Next, I sliced the pumpkin in half. This was by far the most difficult part. Since my knives were sharpened I probably just need some refresher tips on knife skills.

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And then scooped out all of the seeds and pulp.

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Following that I sliced the halves into halves – or simply put I cut the pumpkin into quarters. I then repeated these steps with the second pumpkin and placed all of the quarters on a baking sheet.

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I roasted the pumpkin in a 350 F preheated oven for just shy of an hour until the pieces were fork tender. And I must say the smell of pumpkin in my house was heaven during that hour.

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After letting the pieces cool for a few minutes I was easily able to remove the skin from the pumpkin.

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And then it was time for the simplest part – well besides roasting the pumpkin – to making the puree, the blending.  I put a few pieces at a time in the bowl of my food processor and added a few tablespoons of water to help the process along.

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All in all I ended up with about 8 cups of fresh pumpkin puree.

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I refrigerated half of it and froze the other half in sandwich bags – putting a cup of puree in each of the bags.

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And since I didn’t want that refrigerated puree to go bad I was quick to whip up some delicious treats with it.

There was pumpkin pie, which I must say definitely had a much richer taste with the fresh puree.

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Pumpkin Ravioli using wonton wrappers…

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And my favorite, a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte. I usually get one or two of these during the Fall at Starbucks but the coffee flavor is such a turn off for me since I am not a coffee drinker that being able to make this at home and control the coffee amount was perfect!

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Pumpkin Ravioli – Adapted from here and here

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh (or canned) pumpkin puree

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 shallot minced

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1/3 cup parmesan cheese grated

pinch of nutmeg

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 1 minute.

2. Add the pumpkin and cook until the pumpkin has absorbed the butter.

3. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cream.

4. Remove from the heat and add in the cheese and nutmeg and stir until both are incorporated.

 

Pumpkin Spice Latte – Recipe from October 2014 Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:

3 tbsp. sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

heaping 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

heaping 1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 1/4 cup milk (I used whole milk)

1/4 cup espresso (or strong brewed coffee)

whipped cream, for topping

Directions:

1. Combine the sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a small saucepan.

2. Whisk in milk and espresso and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

3. Pour into 2 mugs and top with whipped cream and more nutmeg.

 

If you would like a more detailed description of how to make you own pumpkin puree check-out the directions I followed here from the Pioneer Woman’s (Ree Drummond) website.

 

Fall Equinox = Pumpkin Treats

My favorite season has arrived…Fall! There are many reasons why I love this time of the year. There’s the foliage, the apple picking, the concord grapes, all the different types of squashes available at the supermarket, the great hair days (the crisp cool air of the Fall is perfect for curly hair), the return of scarves (they are my third favorite accessory behind shoes and handbags) and one of my favorite flavors – Pumpkin – becomes available in just about anything and everything! So, I decided to welcome Fall this year with two pumpkin treats – a new recipe, Pumpkin Rice Pudding and an oldie (but goodie) from last year, Pumpkin Doughnuts.

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I don’t think I know anyone who likes rice pudding as much as I do, or for that matter I am not sure I know anyone who likes it period. I guess it’s like bread pudding, you either like it or you don’t. I actually did try my hand at a Pumpkin Bread Pudding a few years ago but wasn’t all that thrilled with the minimal pumpkin flavor it had. Maybe I’ll have to revisit that recipe one day soon, but, back to the rice pudding. I came across this recipe while flipping through the circulars of my Sunday newspaper. The recipe was specific for Minute Rice, but, since I didn’t have any and honestly didn’t want to buy any I decided to revamp the recipe using Arborio rice which I already had on hand from make rice pudding not too long ago.

I began by cooking the rice until it was al dente, about 15 minutes.

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In another saucepan I combined evaporated milk, pumpkin, dark brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract and brought it to a simmer.

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I then added the rice to pumpkin mixture and cooked it over low heat until the mixture started to thicken. I then transferred the rice pudding to a large bowl and cooled it to room temperature before refrigerating it.

Since I had about 2 cups of pumpkin left I decided to whip up a batch of pumpkin doughnuts so it wouldn’t go to waste. Hopefully I won’t suffer from pumpkin over-load too early in the season!

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So, what’s the most out-of-the-box pumpkin flavor item you have seen on your store shelves?

Pumpkin Arborio Rice Pudding (Adapted from here and here)

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Arborio rice

1 12oz. can evaporated milk

1 cup pure pumpkin

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Bring water and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Add the rice, return to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Stir the rice occasionally and cook until the rice has absorbed the water but is still al dente, about 15 minutes.

2. In another saucepan, bring the evaporated milk, pumpkin, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract to a simmer. Add the cooked rice and cook at a simmer over medium-low heat until the rice absorbs most of the milk mixture and it starts to get thick and silky, about 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Transfer the pudding to a large bowl and cool to room temperature. Place in refrigerator until cool and set.

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 1/4 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.

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apple Doughnuts

There are a few great things about going apple picking… The scenery, the apples (of course) and the freshly made apple cider doughnuts. The doughnuts are amazing but unfortunately they don’t stay fresh very long. By the following day they are quite hard. Hoping to get that yummy goodness at home I decided to bake my own Apple Doughnuts by tweaking the recipe for the Pumpkin Doughnuts that I made last month that.

The scenery…

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To begin I whisked together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda and set it aside.

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I then peeled and cored three apples – I used the Golden Delicious apples I got while picking – and pureed them in a food processor. While the original pumpkin recipe called for 1 cup of pumpkin puree I decided to use only 1/2 cup of the fresh apple puree (it was essentially applesauce) since it wasn’t as thick as the pumpkin puree and I didn’t want my batter to be too watery.

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To continue with the batter I mixed the apples with sugar, brown sugar, oil, an egg and vanilla extract and then added in the dry ingredients.

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It was then time to fill up my doughnut pans. I filled in each doughnut crevice with a 1/4 cup of the batter.

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I baked them for about thirteen minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven and they were done to perfection. I recently bought a second doughnut pan so I wouldn’t have to wait for my first batch of doughnuts to cool in the pan before using it again.

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And finally I melted 3 tbsp. of butter in one bowl and combined 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tsp. of cinnamon in another bowl so I could coat the doughnuts in cinnamon sugar. I dipped each doughnut in the butter and then in the cinnamon sugar.

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Final verdict… They were delicious! Doughnuts have quickly become one of my favorite things to bake!

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Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apple Doughnuts

Ingredients

1/2 cup canola oil

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. fine salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup fresh applesauce

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

3 tbsp. melted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350° F. Spray two 6-compartment doughnut pans with baking spray. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Peel, core & puree three apples. Whisk the pureed apples with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not over mix).

3. Spoon 1/4 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.

4. Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping in a shallow bowl. Dip each doughnut into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place each doughnut on a wire rack to cool completely.

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.