Saturday, October 30, 2010

Have I Told You About My Pumpkin Obsession?

Oh it's big. I love pumpkin everything. Once Fall hits, I will buy the mega cans of pumpkin pie filling and absent mindedly scour the internet for pumpkin recipes in my free time. It's even lead to an exploration in other gourds and squashes. I take my cues from marketing on when the actual season begins (I know I should be able to avoid the advertising influence, seeing as I am in the industry, but it hooks me every time). It seems like once the pumpkin spice lattes hit Starbucks or the pumpkin pie flavor is being scooped at 21 Choices, my furor is unleashed and I toy with ways that I could subsist solely of variations of pumpkin.

When I moved in to my new house my mom bought me a mini deep fryer as a housewarming gift…I’m still not sure why. I had big dreams of locking my doors, closing my curtains and having a sinfully gluttonous day of deep frying anything I could get my hands on. It’s yet to happen but I haven’t let go of the dream of turning my kitchen into a county fair and creating deep fried Snickers, macaroni & cheese balls and corn dogs. A friend told me he actually took a piece of ham, wrapped it around cheese and tossed it gingerly into a deep fryer once, “It was like a ham wonton!” he exclaimed. It makes you both cringe and secretly salivate at the same time, admit it!

But I digress, I first christened my mini fryer over last Thanksgiving when I made a pumpkin doughnut hole recipe for dessert. The resulting little flavor bombs were sweet and spicy without being too greasy. The dough was dense and moist, remnants of sugar and cinnamon clung to my lips. The leftovers were good for days and I nibbled my way through the rest of the batch by the end of the weekend. It just so happens that this recipe is Vegan as well – a fact I tend to slip in quietly as I find many assume that vegan cooking will taste like pasty lentils or vegetable pulp. Not the case! Anyway, I thought this recipe would be perfect for a Sunday morning Halloween breakfast – something to stave off the oncoming work week and assuage the Monday blues. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Doughnut Holes
1 Tbs flaxseed meal
2 Tbs warm water
1/4 C soy milk
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tps baking soda
1/2 tps salt
2 Tbs pumpkin pie spice
1/2 C sugar
2 Tbs margarine
2 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C canned pumpkin (not pie filling!)

In a small bowl mix together flaxseed meal with the water, soy milk and vinegar. Set aside.
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
In a third bowl, combine ginger, vanilla and pumpkin.

Beat sugar and margarine together until well combined. Add the flaxseed liquid until creamy and then add the pumpkin mixture. Mix in dry ingredients gradually in shifts until dough is just combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat several inches of oil to 365-370 degrees Fahrenheit. You want the oil to just cover your doughnut holes. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Dust your cutting board with flour and form 1/2-1 inch doughnut holes, they will expand upon frying. Fry 4-5 doughnut holes at a time, dropping them as close to the surface of the oil as possible to avoid splattering. If hot oil scares you, use a slotted spoon to gently place the holes in the oil.  Use the same slotted spoon or wire strainer to roll the doughnuts and ensure even cooking. Remove from oil after 2 minutes or a dark golden brown color. Place holes onto a wire rack or paper towels. Once they have cooled enough to handle, roll the holes in the sugar and cinnamon.

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