Friday, October 21, 2011

pin it...

Yep. I did it. I followed the rising trend and got a Pinterest account. Do I love it? Why, yes. Yes I do! And am I actually learning things from it? Why, yes. Surprisingly...I am! See, look what I found: a recipe for Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes (or more like itty bitty muffins)! I decided to make them when I got home from work, and I DID! See?!

Now the reason why I'm so excited about this (and Pinterest as well) is because I have always been a rather non-talented maker of food, whether baking or cooking or even just opening a bag of cereal. I kind of struggle. Seeing all of this stuff on Pinterest has kind of inspired me to try my hand at learning how to do some of this stuff, especially when it comes to cooking. So far I've tried two recipes, and they both turned out really well! And there are other things to "pin" to a "board" as well, like quotes and sayings, photographs, places to travel to, clothes (a particular favorite of mine), and lots of other stuff. It's so much fun! I have so many ideas for things now, I don't even know what to do with them but PIN! Because after that, I can always come back to it later.

So, the donut holes that are really more like mini muffins. These are super easy to make, and they're actually really good. I'll share the recipe with you (I've doctored it up a bit because the first batch had a bit too much cinnamon when it was rolled, so I changed it for the second go around) and you can try it, too!

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes (yes, baked--it's healthier!)
For donuts:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoons allspice
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 cup low fat milk (not that it matters, it's just healthier that way)
For coating:
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin (you don't have to have a 24-cup one, I used two 12-cup tins and greased them with shortening to keep the muffin bites from sticking).

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, egg, vannilla, pumpkin, and milk until smooth (I used an electric beater because I can, haha).

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter (I don't know what that means, so just mix it until it looks right to you! My batter didn't have any clumps or streaks of the dry ingredients. If that's overmixed, well, they still turned out fine!)

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups (about 1/2-2/3 of the way full). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the muffins pass a toothpick test.

While those are cooking:
Make the coating! Melt the stick of butter in a smallish bowl, depending on what you have. In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon.

Now that the muffins are done:
Remove the muffins from the oven and allow to cool until they can be easily handled. Dip only the top of each muffin into the butter, then dip into the cinnamon sugar to coat.

Presto! You're done! Just as a heads up, these are good with milk, hot chocolate, and apple cider. So...yeah! Happy baking! (And pinning. ;) )

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