One summer during my teenage years while we were still hosting foreign students, I made a deal. If Rodney paid for the ingredients, I would prepare whatever he wanted. Now the level of cooking at the time amongst the students was open can of cooked vegetables, drain, combine with can of cooked spaghetti, heat. He was immediately game.
Well the time came, I cooked all day and he ate all night. That is until he decided lying down might help the stomach pain. It didn’t. My father suggested the only way to ease what was happening inside was to lessen the load. Rodney struggled to the bathroom and shared all my cooking with the toilet. He rinsed out his mouth, rested for 10 minutes and then being young, resilient and hungry again came back to the table for round two.
Lesson learned. When the banquet table is full, eyes can be bigger than stomachs. These days I try to help by making smaller servings. These pumpkin doughnut holes are one example. You can always come back for seconds…if there are any left.
Pumpkins were a very important means of surviving the long cold winters. There are accounts and poems for that matter of the “joys” of eating pumpkin for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the early years of the European arrival to North America. Already a staple to Native Americans, they were eaten a number of ways, ground into flour. Some suggest they were even dried and woven into mats!
You will need:
1 cup minus 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, ginger, anise
3 Tbsp. apple sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. rum flavouring or rum or vanilla if you prefer
6 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter for melting
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Gather yourself, let go of the niggly bits and breathe. Put aside what takes your focus and breath. You can always pick it back up later if you really need to, breath. Welcome the compassionate spirits and begin.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 24 mini muffin pan.
Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl, flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Please feel free to change up any of the spices you would like. Cloves, allspice and mace would be more traditional. I always try to pop in something a little out of the ordinary but if it is not already in your pantry, it is not worth buying a whole container of anise for 1/4 tsp. ( Unless you want it available for the Anise Biscotti planned for next month.)
In a measuring cup mix all the wet ingredients with the sugar, egg, milk, applesauce, rum and pumpkin. Mix well so it is smooth and all the lumps of pumpkin are broken down.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just enough to moisten. Do not over stir.
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until firm but not too brown and crisp.
While the doughnut holes are baking, melt the butter and mix the sugar and cinnamon together. I put the melted butter in the washed out measuring cup and the spiced sugar in a plastic bag.
When the doughnut holes come out of the oven, remove several at a time directly to the melted butter and using a spoon coat each doughnut hole. Drain and drop into plastic bag, hold closed and shake to cover. Remove to a plate and repeat.
The shaking part is something easily done by little hands and if this Hallowe’en party is for them, it a great way to have them help out.
They will shed a little more sugar so best to grab a clean plate for serving. Easy finger food and you can use this technique with any cake batter style recipe. Easier than getting out the deep fat fryer, less fat and quicker from start to finish. Best served warm.
Baked Spiced Pumpkin Doughnut Holes from My Kitchen Wand