Monday, June 10, 2013

Eat: Pumpkin Spice Beignets

Oddly enough, one of my favorite things about travel is relishing the comfort that comes when I get home. I love our house and have enjoyed getting back into the swing of things. I'm not suggesting that I like heading back to work or tackling our mountain of laundry, but I gladly welcome the peace I feel standing in my kitchen, listening to NPR while chopping some fresh produce. I'd like to note that produce was given to us by my wonderfully thoughtful mother-in-law who stocked the fridge upon our return!

At the top of my list-of-reasons-I'm-happy-to-be-home ? Breakfast, of course! This weekend was a busy one, but not so busy that we couldn't enjoy a big breakfast together. Matt handled the coffee and scrambled eggs – both excellent and far better than when I make either. Meanwhile, I tried a new (modified by me) recipe for Pumpkin Spice Beignets. This was originally a recipe for baked donuts in the traditional shape, which would have been great except I don't have a donut pan. Matthew very smartly suggested we call them beignets, the French version of donuts. This perfectly tied together our recent visit to Montreal (where we actually ate some beignets) and National Donut Day.

The final verdict? Delicious, especially when served warm while the butter glaze is fresh. They are surprisingly dense but also very moist. As expected, pumpkin is most prominent flavor but the vanilla is quite strong too. I would not skip the cinnamon-sugar coating  – not because these aren't tasty when plain, rather it makes them more like true beignets.

Pumpkin Spice Beignets
Yields 12

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk

For the Glaze
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven 350° F. In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and all of the spices.

In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients (excluding the butter/sugar/cinnamon for glazing). Gradually add the dry ingredients into the blend. Stir until everything is combined, taking care not to over mix.

Fill each greased cup with the batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until they spring back when gently pressed. Cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove and place on wire rack. 

While the beignets are cooling, set up your "glazing station". Get two small bowls: one for the melted butter and another for the blended sugar and cinnamon. While the beignets are warm, dip in the melted butter then roll in the sugar/cinnamon blend. If possible, serve warm.


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