Incredibly ‘yummilicious’ and ridiculously easy to make ! Can you beat that? You can call them whatever name you want – ‘munchkins’ or ‘donut holes’ or ‘cake pops’! But these tiny bits of sweetness and goodness are perfect to satisfy your mid-afternoon sweet cravings (or midnight ones!) and because they are little, you don’t have to feel too guilty! I think I am going to call these babies ‘craving quenchers’. 🙂
I saw the recipe of a quick donut hole recipe in the local newspaper and I immediately thought of adding pumpkin and cinnamon since pumpkin cinnamon donuts are my favorite type of donuts. Plus I also had left over pumpkin puree from Halloween and Thanksgiving. I have made 3 batches of these pops in a matter of two weeks. And I also tried using both home-made and canned pumpkin puree- both work great. This time I also tried making these using 3 additional cooking methods instead of deep frying – I used an ‘unniappam pan’ (or aebleskiver pan) and also tried to bake a few of them in my muffin pan. All 3 methods worked great – the end product looked the best with the deep frying method and the baked one tasted and looked like a ‘biscuit/cookie’ but they were all equally delicious. So if you are looking for a healthier alternative than deep frying than you can choose either of those two methods.
Also this recipe does not require eggs and so great for the pure vegetarians.
OK sorry for yapping too much…without further ado, let’s go to the recipe:
This recipe will make between 16-18 munchkins or donut holes
Ingredients: 3 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted) 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup whole milk 1/4 cup pumpkin puree 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp pumpkin spice 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder Oil, for frying For coating: 2 tbsp Granulated sugar or powdered sugar 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
1. Deep Frying method:
Heat oil in a deep pan for deep frying.
Mix the coating ingredients in a plate and keep it ready to roll the fried donut holes.
Take a medium size mixing bowl and add the melted butter, milk, pumpkin puree and the sugar. Whisk using a hand mixer or by hand.
Mix the dry ingredients separately in a plate or a tray to mix them well. (Use geometric mixing or sieving to blend well.)
Finally, add the dry ingredients mixture slowly (say 1/2 a cup at a time) into the pumpkin butter mixture in the bowl. The mixture will be a little thick and if using a hand mixer, you may find it easier to mix by hand using a wooden spoon.
Now take about 1 tsp of the dough (the dough will be a little sticky) and using your palms gently form a smooth round shape (handle the dough gently) and place on a plate.
When about 4 to 5 such balls are formed, add them slowly one by one into the deep fryer (make sure the oil is really hot first). Fry these on medium heat until deep golden brown on all sides.
Take out using a slotted spoon draining excess oil by placing on a paper towel. Immediately place on the plate with the cinnamon sugar and roll them to coat evenly. Set aside in a separate plate.
Repeat the above steps till all dough is done.
1. If you feel that your dough is a little too sticky, add a little bit more flour so that its good enough to roll. remember that the dough will be a little sticky and you have to just gently roll it.
2. Make sure the pumpkin puree you add does not have any excess water.
3. Before starting to deep fry the donuts, test the oil by adding a tiny piece of dough. If it floats right up, then you know that the oil is hot and ready. Also the oil should not be excessively hot because then the donuts will not cook on the inside and will get burned on the outside. So it is best if you try one donut hole first to ensure the right temperature. it should take about 3-4 minutes to cook.
2. Unni appam pan method:
Make the dough as explained above.
Heat the pan on medium heat and add about 1 tsp oil into each compartment. Let it heat for a couple minutes until the oil is hot.
Now make small balls of dough with your hand and add onto each compartment carefully. Wait for about 2 minutes and then flip them using a skewer or a spoon. cook on the other side too and take out when golden brown on both sides. Coat with cinnamon sugar.
3. Baking method:
Pre-heat oven to 350 deg F.
Make dough as before. Grease a mini muffin or a muffin pan and add about 1 tsp of dough into each slot. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Then take the pan out and flip the cake pops and bake for another 5 minutes.
Coat with cinnamon sugar.