Election season is OVER but pumpkin season is not. It’s a lonely season for a non-pumpkin lover like me, but this year I made an effort to put myself out there. I started to flirt with pumpkin. After several encounters, I finally found a few things that are not only tolerable, but I could see myself having a future with. Honestly, I’m playing hard to get, they were delicious. The first was the Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler, the second, pumpkin and chocolate stuffed donut balls.
Stay with me. Everything is from scratch. Don’t go anywhere. There’s yeast involved. Trust me. I’m here for you. This is NOT hard. AT ALL. You know me, quick and easy, baby. Still here? Good. So here’s what you do.
Combine marscapone, pumpkin, Nutella (use 1/2 cup, eat the rest of the jar with a spoon), spice, and yogurt. Whisk until the lumps are gone and put it in the fridge.
Now is the intimidating part, yeast. You guys, yeast is nothing to worry about. It’s fun. It might take a minute to get the swing of it if you’ve never used it before but it’s simple, promise. In your stand mixer (or big bowl) combine the yeast and warm water. Stir to dissolve. When I say warm, use the baby bath rule. If it’s too hot for your wrist, it’s too hot for the yeast (it kills it). Too cold and it won’t activate the yeast. If it’s good for your baby, it’s good for the yeast. . If it bubbles, you’ve done it right.
Add in the flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar and spice and mix on low until combined. Turn up the speed to medium for a few minutes until the dough is smooth. Throw it onto some flour and knead it into a ball. Transfer the dough to a bowl coated in olive oil, throw a towel on top, and wait for it to rise. Once it’s doubled in size, punch it, and cut it into 1-ounce pieces (the size of a golf ball). Toss the balls onto a floured surface, throw the towel over them, and let them sit for another 15-20 minutes.
In the meantime, fill a pot with canola oil and heat it until the oil is about 375 degrees (start at medium heat then start turning it up). Mix your sugar and cinnamon while you wait for the oil to heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, throw in a grain of rice. When it pops up and starts to cook, you’re ready for frying. Alternatively, throw in a popcorn kernel, when it pops, you’re good. If you have none of the above, dip a wooden spoon in, when if it bubbles around the spoon, it’s ready.
Throw in a few donuts at a time, frying for one minute on each side. Lay them onto a paper towel to remove the excess oil and then immediately roll them in the cinnamon-sugar. Fill your piping bag (line the bag over a cup to minimize the struggle), poke the tip into the donut (or make a hole with a straw if you’re using a sandwich bag), and fill it with cream.
Eat and enjoy. I won’t judge you if you try to see how many you can fit in your mouth at once. I think the record in our house was four.
- 1 pound mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup canned pumpkin
- ½ cup Nutella
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons vanilla yogurt
- 1 envelope (2 ¼ teaspoons) yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ stick softened butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1-quart canola oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
In a bowl mix together the mascarpone, pumpkin, Nutella, spice, and yogurt.
Whisk well to get rid of any lumps. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
In a bowl, combine the yeast and warm water, stir to dissolve.
Add flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar, and spice.
Mix on low until combined.
Turn the speed to medium and mix for about 3-4 minutes until dough is smooth and lump-free.
Toss the dough onto a flour-dusted work surface and knead into a ball.
Transfer to an olive oil-coated bowl. Cover with a clean towel and let it rise until it’s doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and cut into 1-ounce pieces (golf ball).
Place balls onto a floured surface.
Cover again with the towel for 15-20 minutes.
Fill a medium-sized pot with canola oil and heat to 375 degrees F.
Carefully place 3-4 of the donuts into the oil and fry for 1 minute on each side.
Drain on a paper towel and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture while still warm.
Fill a piping bag with cream.
Squeeze the tip of the bag into the donut and fill.
- Eat and enjoy!
Thanks to Cynthia Jaen Photography for the editing!