Crisp air and chilly nights makes me want to have a campfire, and I thought some homemade seasonal goodies to go with it would make an extra cozy touch. Pumpkin doughnuts and mulled wine seemed to fit the bill.
First of all, I started with the mulled wine, as that needs time to cook. You can make it on a stovetop, but I chose to make mine in a crock pot. There are many variations of mulled wine, but basically it comes down to red wine, cinnamon, and cloves.
I used a cabernet that has been sitting in the kitchen for a while, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, orange slices and sugar. After pouring the wine into the crock pot, I squeezed the sliced oranges into the wine, put all the spices into a cheesecloth sachel, added the sugar, and set the crock pot to low and let it sit for at least four hours.
While the mulled wined brewed, I started on the doughnuts. Personally, I always use freshly cooked pumpkin for pies and such, but there's no reason why you couldn't use canned pumpkin.
I always hear people saying that you need cooking pumpkins to cook with, yet my grandma always used common pumpkins to make her pies with and so have I, and I've never had any problems.
First I cut the pumpkin in half and remove all the seeds and pulp. Save, drain, and dry the seeds so you can roast them later! I then slice the pumpkins, place into a baking pan, and bake at 350 for a little over an hour.
After coming out of the oven, let cool, then scoop out the pumpkin meat with a spoon.
I then mash the pumpkin meat in a bowl with a potato masher until smooth.
Now you're ready to make the doughnuts!
The recipe I worked with came from Cooks.com.
1 1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1/4 c. milk
2 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Blend first 7 ingredients well. Combine remaining ingredients and stir into dry ingredients until moistened. Then fry in hot grease (dropped by tablespoon). Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon for topping. Roll
hot doughnuts in topping.
After mixing everything up, I spooned the mixture into a frying pan of hot oil.
When the doughnuts turn golden brown, remove, and drain on paper.
After cooled, you can roll the doughnuts in a topping. I went with cinnamon and sugar, but you can use powdered sugar, glaze, or whatever else you might imagine.
Then wait till dark, throw on a sweater, build a fire, and enjoy!