Apple Cider Fritters

I love Apple Cider Donuts! I first had them years ago when I went apple picking in upstate NY and now you can find them anywhere and everywhere. The best one’s I’ve had are from Wilklow Orchards in upstate NY and from Wooside Orchards out on the North Fork- their hard cider is good as well. I’ve also had some bad ones, but, we won’t get into that.  I did try to recreate them at home last year, but, it was a fail. I tried again this year, but, instead of donuts I made fritters and they were DELISH! The only problem… It’s easier to mindlessly eat a ridiculous amount of fritters than it is donuts.

Apple Cider Fritters

  • Servings: 24 Fritters
  • Print

Ingredients:

Fritters:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg*

1/8 teaspoon cardamom*

1/8 teaspoon all spice*

3/4 cup apple cider

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled**

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons ground cinnamon

*Instead of all 4 spices, you could sub 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice for them

**Can use salted or unsalted, I used unsalted

Directions:

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and all spice in a large bowl. In another bowl stir together the apple cider, eggs, butter and vanilla. Add the apple cider mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the coating in a shallow bowl.

Pour the oil in a Dutch oven or another heavy bottom deep pot and heat over medium heat to 360 to 370 F. Using a cookie scoop, drop the batter in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

While still warm roll the fritters in the cinnamon sugar and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from My Recipes

Pumpkin Churros

Initially I was planning on making a Pumpkin Spice Latte with some leftover pumpkin puree, but, then I came across a recipe for Baked Pumpkin Churros and I decided that my puree would be put to better use making them.

The batter came together quickly – less than fifteen minutes – and it was easy to pipe it on a parchment lined baking sheet to pop in the oven. While I didn’t try it, I am sure you could fry these if you want a more traditional churro, the downfall of that of course is that frying them means they won’t keep as well as baking them.

Once baked I sprayed them with cooking spray and rolled them in a cinnamon-sugar mixture to give them the traditional churros coating.

And finally I made hot fudge for dipping… YUM!

Baked Pumpkin Churros

Ingredients:

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

6 tablespoons butter, sliced into 1 tablespoon pieces

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sugar

Cooking spray, to spray baked churros

Hot fudge sauce, for serving (optional)

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lay 2 same-sized baking sheets on top of one another and line the top sheet with parchment paper. Using 2 baking sheets will prevent the bottom of the churros from burning.

In a medium saucepan combine the water, pumpkin, butter, brown sugar, 1 tsp. of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until the mixture boils.

Remove from the heat and add in the vanilla extract and flour and stir with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together and forms a smooth dough.

Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer) and let it rest for 2 minutes.

On low speed add in one egg and mix until well combined, increasing the speed if necessary. Repeat with the second egg.

Transfer the dough to a large piping bag with a large star tip (I used a Wilton 6B tip).

Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. I ended up piping churros that were about 4 to 5 inches in length. You could pipe them smaller or larger.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 35 minutes. The length of time will depend on the tip used and the length of your churros.

In a shallow dish combine the sugar and remaining cinnamon.

Once out of the oven, spray the churros with the cooking spray (top and bottom) and roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Transfer to a wire rack. Eat them alone or with hot fudge sauce.

Recipe from Cooking Classy

 

Hot Fudge Sauce*

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1 stick unsalted butter**, cut into pieces

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder.

Whisk in the cream, then turn the heat to medium and continue whisking as the mixture warms up.

Once the mixture is warm add the butter and stir to melt.

Once hot, add the vanilla and stir to combine.

Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a heat-proof container.

Store in the refrigerator. It will become solid as it cools. When using, just spoon out your desired amount and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds, stir and then heat for an additional 10 seconds or until your desired temperature.

*This recipe can easily be halved

**The original recipe called for salted butter

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

Pumpkin Gingersnap Tiramisu

I was on the fence with this dessert when I first tried it and I still am. I liked the custard part, but, I think the gingersnap cookies may have thrown off the flavor a bit, but, if you are a gingersnap cookie and pumpkin fan than this is the dessert for you. If you want more of a traditional tiramisu with a pumpkin flavor, check out the pumpkin tiramisu I posted last year.

After making the pumpkin custard I layered gingersnaps in a single layer in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. I then brushed them with apple brandy that I warmed with sugar and finally I spread a third of the custard over the cookie.

I repeated this layering two more times….

And on the final layer of custard I topped it with crushed gingersnap cookies.

I then covered the dish with wax and aluminum paper and refrigerated it overnight and before slicing it the next day I topped it with more crushed gingersnap cookies.

A few things I should mention. I slightly modified this recipe from the original by omitting gelatin in the custard and refrigerated my tiramisu as opposed to putting it in the freezer. I am sure that the gelatin would have resulted in cleaner slices, but, I just didn’t like the texture I was imagining that would result from the gelatin. And, the reason why I didn’t freeze it is that the directions said to let the tiramisu thaw for 6 hours before slicing. It just didn’t make sense to let it thaw for so long after freezing it to cut it.

 

Pumpkin Gingersnap Tiramisu

Ingredients:

6 large egg yolks

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 quart whole milk

1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 pound (2 cups) mascarpone

3 tablespoons apple brandy

1 1/4 pounds gingersnaps, 1/4 pound finely crushed

 

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk the yolks, cornstarch, salt, and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar together until the sugar is moistened.

In a large saucepan, heat the milk until it just begins to steam. Whisk 1 cup of the milk into the egg mixture to temper the eggs. Pour the mixture into the milk in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until boiling and thick, about 5 minutes. Then whisk in the pumpkin puree and cook, whisking for an additional minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and cinnamon and finally whisk in the mascarpone.

In a small microwave safe bowl, microwave the brandy and 1 tablespoon of sugar at high power for 10 seconds. Just until the sugar is dissolved.

Arrange one-third of the gingersnaps in a single layer in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Lightly brush the cookies with some of the apple brandy and then spread a third of the pumpkin custard over the cookies. Repeat this layering two more times and then top the final layer of custard with half of the crushed gingersnaps. Cover the dish with wax paper and aluminum paper and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Before slicing sprinkle with the remaining crushed gingersnaps.

Recipe modified from Food & Wine

Pumpkin Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting

So, what happens when you bake a cake late at night and then frost it early the next morning? You don’t take pictures! But, that’s okay. I don’t need pictures to tell you how delicious this cake is. I do have this lovely final picture though…

img_0144

With Thanksgiving this week this Pumpkin Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting is my final pumpkin dessert of the season. I can’t say it’s the best as that title goes to the Pumpkin Tiramisu I posted about last month, but, it’s definitely a close second, and I am sure would be a welcome addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table. I actually made it for a Friendsgiving celebration I had with some wonderful friends last weekend. If you’ve never had your own Friendsgiving celebration I strongly advise you to have one next year. There’s absolutely no drama and you get to spend some time with people who are just as important or in some cases more important to you than your own family!

Here are some quick notes about this cake though… Definitely go with the freshly grated nutmeg and don’t try to substitute ground ginger for the freshly grated ginger, trust me, these two things make a huge difference in the flavor. I speak from experience. Make your own buttermilk by combining vinegar (or lemon juice) and milk (for this cake, I used 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar and 1/2 cup 2% milk to make the buttermilk.) And finally, if you’re not a fan of goat cheese go with a simple cream cheese frosting. You can never go wrong with cream cheese frosting.

So, however you’re spending your Thanksgiving I hope it’s one with delicious food, sweet desserts and great company. And remember, no matter what has happened in life there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for!

 

Pumpkin Cake

Ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups light-brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups solid-pack pumpkin

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger

1/2 cup buttermilk*

*To make your own combine 1/2 tablespoon vinegar (or lemon juice) with 1/2 cup milk – I used 2%. Let stand for 5-10 minutes at room temperature. When the milk is ready it will have thickened and you will see small curdled bits.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep two 8-inch round pans, either by spraying them with baking spray (what I did) or brush the pans with butter, line the bottoms with parchment paper, butter the parchment paper then dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

With an electric mixer (or stand mixer) beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Then beat in the pumpkin and finally the vanilla and ginger. Reduce the speed to medium and add the flour in the batches alternating with 2 batches of the buttermilk, beating until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until the cakes are golden brown, the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and a cake tested comes out clean, about 30 -35 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Turn out the cakes onto the racks to cool completely.

Place the bottom layer of the cake on a cake stand (or board) and spread half of your desired frosting evenly over the cake. Top with the second layer and evenly spread the remaining frosting over the cake.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

 

Goat Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

1 pound (2 – 8oz bars) cream cheese, at room temperature

8 ounces soft goat cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Beat cheese until combined, then gradually add sugar and continue beating until smooth and creamy.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

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.

IMG_9390

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

IMG_9386

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.

IMG_9388

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

IMG_9389

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

IMG_9392 IMG_9391

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

IMG_9393

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

IMG_9401

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.

IMG_9454

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.

IMG_9238

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.

IMG_9243

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

IMG_9246

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

IMG_9247

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

IMG_9251

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

Pumpkin Custards

It’s officially Fall and you know what that means… Bring on the Pumpkin treats! Can I just say it really is amazing (and a bit insane) how pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavor can be found in almost everything! Now, don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin spice flavor but, I just don’t think I need to have it in everything. Have you seen these Pumpkin Spice Flavored Candy Corn? I’m totally cool with the traditional flavor of candy corn so I really don’t see the need for it being spruced or spiced up with additional flavoring. If anyone has tried them though please let me know how they taste in the comment section below… LOL! There are a few pumpkin flavored items I couldn’t resist trying though… Chobani Flip Yogurt, M&M’s and Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies. All of which were quite tasty in my book. I also purchased some Pumpkin Spice Morsels from Nestle that I can’t wait to bake into cookies. Which leads me to my first pumpkin baked treat of the season… Pumpkin Custards.

To begin to I whisked together heavy cream along with cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg in a medium saucepan and heated it over medium-low heat and warmed the mixture until it began to bubble along the edges and steam. I then removed it from the heat and let it stand for 15 minutes.

IMG_9188

While the cream mixture was cooling, in a large bowl I blended together egg yolks, vanilla extract, salt, pumpkin puree, granulated sugar and light brown sugar until it was smooth.

IMG_9186

Slowly I poured the cream mixture into the egg mixture, and stirred it until it was blended. You don’t want to put the cream into the eggs too quickly because you don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs!

IMG_9189

After straining the mixture through a fine mesh sieve I divided it among 4 ramekins which I placed in a baking pan and filled the pan with boiling water about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. After covering the pan with aluminum foil I baked it in a preheated 300 F oven for about a half hour – until the edges of the custards began to set.

IMG_9193

Once I removed them from the oven I transferred the custards to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. I had a bit of a mishap in transferring them. My wire rack somehow slipped and I ended up losing two of the custards. Thankfully the ramekins didn’t break, but, I was left with a quite a mess to clean-up since the custards hadn’t completely set and ended up splattering everywhere.

After they had cooled I covered them and placed them in the refrigerator and later that evening it was time to enjoy my first pumpkin treat – well, first pumpkin treat that I personally baked – for the season with a topping of whipped cream!

IMG_9224

Pumpkin Custards

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon ginger

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

5 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

6 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 F and boil a pot of water.

Pour the cream into a small saucepan and whisk in the cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg. Heat over medium-low heat and the warm the mixture until bubbles form around the edges and steam begins to rise. Remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl blend together the egg yolks, vanilla extract, salt, pumpkin puree, granulated sugar and light brown sugar.  Slowly pour in the cream mixture, stirring until blended. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Divide the mixture among four 8 fluid-ounce ramekins and place them in a baking dish. Pour the hot water into the pan about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes, until the custards are just set around the edges.

Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

From Williams-Sonoma