Thursday, October 28, 2010



 Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

Just a quick post to give you a couple of our favorite Halloween doughnut recipes.  I don't know why, but I've always made doughnuts on Halloween!  We live so far in the "boonies" that we don't get trick-or-treaters, but my grandchildren and any close neighbor children always come over for some warm doughnuts!

Printable Recipe

Makes 12
A great Halloween treat!  You will need 2 black, 6-count nonstick doughnut pans (or, if you only have one, make 2 batches) like this:

Liquid Ingredients:
1 1/4 c. soy, hemp or nut milk with 1 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice added
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. thick cooked, mashed and drained pumpkin (or squash), or canned pumpkin puree
(TIP: hang home-cooked mashed pumpkin or squash over the sink in a jelly-bag or in several layers of cheesecloth until it is as thick as canned pumpkin puree)
3 T. oil
Dry Ingredients:
1 c. wholewheat pastry flour (do not use ordinary whole wheat flour, or your doughnuts will be tough!)
3/4 c. unbleached white flour
1/4 c. soy or chickpea flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray the two 6-count nonstick doughnut pans with oil from a pump sprayer and sprinkle each one with a little organic unbleached sugar (this makes the bottoms crispy). Beat the liquid ingredients together in a medium bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients together in another bowl, then add to the liquid ingredients and stir briefly, just to mix. Divide the batter evenly between 10 doughnut molds and smooth it out evenly. Bake 10 minutes. Remove the doughnuts to a rack to cool.

If you like, roll the doughnuts in unbleached sugar which has been ground to a powder in a dry blender (add about 1 tsp. cornstarch to every 1/2 c. of sugar); or coat with  a powdered sugar glaze or White Glaze (below ). The glazed doughnuts can also be dipped in coconut or chopped nuts.

Makes 1/2 c.

This can be used on sweet yeasted breads, tea breads, cupcakes, doughnuts, etc..

1/2 c. good-tasting powdered soy milk (such as a Better than Milk-- do not use bulk soymilk powder!), or powdered rice milk.
1/4 c. Grade A light maple syrup
1/4 tsp. vanilla or other flavor extract

Mix the ingredients together thoroughly in a bowl. For a thin glaze, spread it on the hot doughnuts, bread or cake. For a firmer glaze, spread it on the cooled doughnuts, bread or cake.

This is what Picarones usually look like! My photo didn't turn out, but mine look like any drop doughnut, or kind of like messy "doughnut holes"!

Printable Recipe

Makes 52 drop doughnuts
Traditionally, these are shaped into a ring right in the hot oil, but I just make them as a drop doughnut. It takes some practice to get the dough to fall into the hot oil formed as a ring! (And they are often lopsided!) There are many versions of this treat-- some are made with sweet potato as well as squash. I "veganized" this recipe from an old (1950's) Peruvian cookbook of my mother's. It’s a great Halloween specialty!

1 T. dry active baking yeast (or 2 teaspoons instant yeast)
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 c. warm water
1 T. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. crushed anise seed
3 c. unbleached white flour
1 c. beer, at room temp (can be dealcoholized)
1 c. canned pumpkin puree, or cooked, WELL-drained, pureed winter squash, at room temperature
(TIP: Hang home-cooked mashed pumpkin or squash over the sink in a jelly-bag or in several layers of cheesecloth until it is as thick as canned pumpkin puree)
2 to 4 c. oil for frying (peanut or canola, preferably)

SYRUP: (This is called "miel de chancaca" in Peru because it is made with raw unbleached sugar called "chancaca". It translates roughly to "honey of brown sugar".)
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. water
3 x 1/2” strip of organic orange peel
(some people also add a cinnamon stick and a couple of whole cloves, but that's up to you!)

In a small cup, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. In a large bowl mix the cornmeal, salt, anise seed, 1 c. flour and the beer. Add the dissolved yeast. Mix well. Add pumpkin and remaining flour. Mix to form a soft dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place 2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the fridge 4-12 hours.

To make the syrup, mix the ingredients (including the orange peel) in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and boil gently until a thick syrup forms, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the orange peel.

Heat the oil in a wok, stir-fry pan or deep pot (you use less oil in a wok), to about 375 degrees F. To test for proper oil temperature, drop a small spoonful of dough into hot oil. If it rises quickly to the surface, it’s hot enough.

Drop tablespoons of dough in the hot oil. Fry until golden. (If they are browning too fast and are raw in the middle, lower the heat a little.) Drain on paper towels.

Serve hot with hot syrup poured over them, on a dessert plate with a fork. Tip: Doughnuts can be kept warm in a 200 degree F oven for up to 1 hour.

To reheat pre-made Picarones, place them on baking sheets in a 350 degree F oven for about 5 minutes.

Have a great night!


julie hasson said...

Bryanna, these look fabulous! I find myself craving pumpkin desserts this time of year.

aimee said...

WOW! I want a taste of each right now!!! Also, I just bought your Nonna's Italian Cook book and I love it!

aimee said...

Thanks, Bryanna! These both look amazing. I was just sharing a memory of halloween past with my students today that involved homemade doughnuts. Back in the good old days my mother used to make homemade doughnuts to pass out to trick-or-treaters (she put her name and phone number on the little bags she put them in). I remember everyone loved them! This was, of course before the "razor-blade-in-the-apple" scare that made people so paranoid (and the beginning of the mini candy bar craze!!) Ah, the good old days certainly were!

I Quit Eating Meat said...

yum! I've been looking for a good vegan donut recipe.

daniela said...

Picarones can only be deep fried, right? No way to make them low or no fat? Daniela

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Right, Daniela! But I only make them once a year!

Tiana said...

I just made the baked pumpkin donuts and they came out beautifully. The taste is phenomenal and they are so soft! I really enjoyed them. I had a problem with the glaze though. It seems like the liquid ratio is off- I used Better than Milk Soymilk powder and once I added the maple syrup it just clumped up. I had to add water to get it to more a liquid consistency. I'd say it probably ended up being a total of 1/2 cup of liquid (including the maple syrup).

Thanks for the wonderful recipe!