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Mini Cinnamon Pumpkin Donuts in a Box and Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Posted Dec 20 2011 9:14pm

Oh, hello there. Remember me?

Apologies the lack of posts, but the holiday season is a busy time, and a girl only has so many hours in the day. If it makes you feel better, I haven’t even had time to watch the crappy quality television that I discuss every now and then on the blog. I’m also writing a lot for the day job, and my little brain can only handle so many brilliant(ish) thoughts. In the spirit of “absence makes the heart grow fonder” can you forgive me?

I’m busy…but I’m not complaining…

As long as I have time to make adorable treats like this.

Little boxed donuts? From the donut shop? I think not!

I made these delectable little donuts for my family’s Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago, and before I baked them, my mother was both perplexed and annoyed that I would want to serve donuts at our fancy holiday dinner.

After she saw the finished product, she was literally eating her words…and drooling over my donuts. If you’re thinking, I’m a little over-due for a Thanksgiving post, I’ve got great news: they make a lovely last-minutes Christmas/Hanukkah gift. You’re welcome. Now let’s talk donuts…

Donuts in a Box

When some people think of donuts, they think of Dunkin, Kripy Kreme or even the local coffee shop. But, not me. When I think of the donuts that I looked forward to the most on Donut Day in homeroom (yes we had donuts most Fridays at homeroom back in my Nebraska high school…I’m tellin’ ya, it really is the good life ), I picture the predictable, yet always unbelievably tasty and perfect boxed Entenmann’s Mini Donuts (and regular donuts).

Doesn't get any better than this.

Never under-estimate the power of mass produced baked goods. These little gems put an extra spark in my step every Friday morning back in the day. Over the years, I ate them less and less because I moved to cool cities like New York and Chicago, where there is a bakery on every corner. But, the very thought of a little donut out of those cute boxes brings a smile to my face. I’d try to recreate the recipe, but I have no idea where to begin to reach such levels of perfection.

Nevertheless, in the spirit of homage to the boxed donuts from my high school days , I decided to whip up some mini donuts of my own and put em’ in a holiday themed box.

Guess what? I didn’t even go semi-homemade this time around…these were from scratch! Yep, I went all out for the holidays with my homemade Mini Cinnamon Pumpkin Donuts. Just when you thought you’d see in it all with the donut pan, I hit ya with the mini. Boom!

muahahah the possibilities are endless.

Once I “scheduled” my kitchen time around Brother Bear and Julie’s busy cooking schedule , here’s what the recipe looked like:

Mini Cinnamon Pumpkin Donuts (adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes )

Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve or simply the Dog Days of Summer, these mini delights never go out of style. Whether served in a box or on a plate next to a big glass of milk, they’re sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients: (Yields 24 – 30 mini donuts)

For Donuts
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup egg beaters
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup low-fat milk

For Coating
1 cup Brummel and Brown Butter melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2-4 tablespoons cinnamon

Wait until you see how it went down in the crowded kitchen. I felt like a “real baker”

While Eric and Julie hustled around baking up a gourmet meal, I was in donut zen.

El Chefs working hard.

First, I whisked the wet and dry ingredients separately.

Whisking away!

Then, I mixed the dry and wet together. Like magic, my mini donuts were coming together!

There were no mixing bowls left so I used tupperware. Bottom of the food chain. What can I say?

Next, it was time to fill the donut pan…carefully (ish).

Masterpiece in the making...batter all over the edges, Sometimes Healthy style.

Once, out of the oven. The fun began. The dipping process. I went to town on the butter. Why not? It’s the holidays!

Ohhh yeah, here we go baby.

Dip in butter, dip in cinnamon/sugar. “Sample” mini donut. Repeat.

I wish I could bathe in butter, cinnamon and sugar too!

I let em’ dry for a little bit…

The prettiest picture in the world!

And then I boxed them and waited for the compliments to fly around. Oh and I heated up some dipping chocolate to kick it up a notch!

Chocolate makes a great donut superb.

All-in-all the donuts were a hit! Although we had quite the variety for dessert, I think everyone enjoyed the nostalgia of eating a donut out of a box!

Plenty of desserts to go around...but the donuts stole the show!

But, let’s be honest, all I did was make some little ol’ donuts. Eric and Julie did the real work with one of the best Thanksgiving meals I’ve ever eaten in my life.

And this is only part of the action!

So, there you have it…my Thanksgiving donuts, just in time for your Christmas meal! I swear, I planned it this way.

And before I leave, a little congratulatory shout-out to my best friend Emily , who sent me an email today asking why I haven’t blogged in a while. She and her husband found out today that they’ll be having a baby girl in May!

I wish I could bake these for you, Emmy!

Congratulations to Emily and Nick! You most definitely will be the coolest parents on the playground! This post was for you :-) .

Oh and something sweet might be coming your way…

Well, everyone, parting is such sweet sorrow, but I do hope that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I promise – I’ll be back soon after I’ve closed out the year for work and enjoyed the holiday season.

Merry Chrismukkah to all, and to all a good night!

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