Saturday, December 4, 2010

'Tis the Season for all things baked!

There is something about the combination of cold weather and the smell of baked goods that gets me all excited. I usually avoid baking in the warmer months, then try and make up for it once the weather turns chilly. From Thanksgiving through the end of year I give myself a pass for baking whatever I want, regardless of the butter content of it. My excuse is that I'll give my creations away and all that butter won't end up on my hips. Most of it makes it out the door, but it is my duty to taste-test everything first, right?

I'm always looking for new things to try and have a bunch of blogs that I read for inspiration on a daily basis. Sometimes, recipes are found in less conventional spots, like the Today Show. A few weeks ago while at the gym (probably working off some other sugar laden masterpiece) I found myself glued to the Martha Stewart segment on Today. What drew my attention from my US Weekly, was her mention of the word "pumpkin." I LOVE pumpkin and anything that contains it or the flavor. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, pumpkin pancakes (my husband makes THE BEST!!), pumpkin ice cream (run to Whole Foods and get some!), pumpkin pie, and when Martha mentioned that she was making pumpkin donuts (!!!!!!) I was hooked. After watching the segment I realized that these are not your run of the mill donuts. Instead of them being plopped into a vat of hot oil, these are BAKED in muffin tins. No grease, no special equipment. Are you sold?

The other part of this recipe is that we found that they actually tasted better the next day. Thrown in the microwave for 22 seconds they bounced back to a nice donut consistency, and make the house smell delish. Oh, and they look really pretty sitting in a big bowl...maybe a holiday centerpiece??

Martha Stewart's Pumpkin Donut Muffins
makes 12 muffin donuts

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs

3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups.

Make batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions pumpkin mixture, and beat to combine.

Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Working with one at a time, remove muffins from pan, brush all over with butter, then toss to coat in sugar mixture. Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack. (Store in an airtight container...Martha says for up to one day, but we found they did great for a few, just needing a little warm up in the microwave)


  1. Well I'm sure these are good, but I have to say,even without tasting these, that my mother, your grandmother makes the best donuts in the world (or at least New England). And she has perfected Pumpkin Donuts...hmmmmm, hmmmm, nothing like a fresh hot donut with some hot maple syrup to dip it in.

    Thanks for the new twist on donuts,

  2. I tried 23 seconds and burnt the hell out of my mouth!