Halloween Doughnut Recipes

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Trick or Treat! Serve up some unique sweets at your Halloween party. These recipes put an autumn spin on doughnuts.

 

CARAMEL CORN DOUGHNUTS

I’m not sure which is more addictive, doughnuts or caramel corn. Putting them both together means I don’t have to solve this delicious dilemma.

MAKES 8 TO 12 DOUGHNUTS

 

1 tablespoon coconut oil, plus more for greasing

1/3  cup popcorn kernels

1⁄3  cup peanuts (optional)

1⁄3  cup pecans (optional)

1⁄3  cup slivered almonds (optional)

1⁄3  cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon corn syrup or brown rice syrup

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

Flaky sea salt (optional)

Red pepper flakes (optional)

1 batch dough of choice

1 1⁄2 batches Caramel glaze

 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat until melted. Add the popcorn to the pot, cover, and shake the pot occasionally until the popping stops. Transfer to a very large bowl. The bowl should be only about half full so you have plenty of room to toss the popcorn.
  • Spread the nuts and coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add them to the bowl.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. Grease a large spoon and set aside (greasing the spoon will help keep the caramel from sticking to it).
  • In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat, bring the sugar, water, corn syrup, and kosher salt to a boil, stirring constantly and brushing down any errant crystals that form on the side of the pot. Once the sugar is boiling, reduce the heat to low. Stir occasionally until the mixture reaches 310 degrees F on a candy thermometer. This may take up to 20 minutes, so be patient. Rotate the pot every 5 minutes to avoid hot spots, and carefully watch the temperature, as it may change quickly when approaching 300 degrees F. When the sugar reaches 310 degrees F, remove it from the heat and stir in the baking soda. The caramel mixture may foam up.
  • Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and nuts, and use the greased spoon (not your hands, as the mixture will be very, very hot) to stir to coat. Dump the coated popcorn onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with the sea salt and red pepper flakes. Let the caramel cool and harden for at least 15 minutes.
  • Prepare the chosen dough and fry or bake as directed. After the doughnuts have cooled, dip one into the glaze and then into the caramel corn, which should stick to the wet glaze. With your hands, fill any gaps in the caramel corn if needed. When all the doughnuts are topped, drizzle them with the remaining caramel glaze.

 

 

PUFFED RICE TREATS

Puffed rice treats by themselves are a perfectly crazy topping for your doughnuts, but feel free to add in chocolate chips, peanut butter candies, and nuts for an even more over-the-top treat.

 MAKES 8 TO 12 DOUGHNUTS

1 batch dough of choice

2 cups marshmallows

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups puffed rice cereal

1 1⁄2 batches Basic Sugar glaze (page 58)

2 1⁄2 ounces dark or milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

Flaky sea salt for garnish

 

  • Prepare the chosen dough and fry or bake as directed. Allow to cool while preparing the topping.
  • In a medium pot over low heat, cook the marshmallows and butter until melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the kosher salt. Add the cereal and stir to coat.
  • Lay a piece of wax paper on a clean surface.
  • Dip the top of a doughnut in the glaze, and then spoon on about 2 tablespoons of the cereal mixture. Gently push the doughnut, topping side down, onto the wax paper to even out the top. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.
  • In a double boiler over medium heat, or in a bowl over a bowl of hot water, melt the chocolate. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the topping, and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.

 

 

CANDY-FILLED CHOCOLATE DROPS

As the doughnuts cook, the candy melts into a perfect oozy center. Caramel is a great option, but I say try your favorite candies: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey’s Kisses, Snickers, you name it.

 MAKES 15 TO 20 DOUGHNUTS

1 batch Chocolate Cake dough (recipe below)

Your favorite meltable candy, cut into 15 to 20 ( ½ -inch) pieces

1 batch Basic Sugar glaze (page 58) (optional)

Confectioners’ sugar or Dutch processed cocoa powder for dusting (optional)

 

  • Prepare the dough as directed, rolling it out to about ¼ inch thick. Cut out 1-by-2-inch rectangles. Place a candy chunk about ½-inch in from one edge and fold the other edge over the top to enclose the candy. Press the edges lightly to seal, then fry as directed.
  • Glaze or dust the doughnuts with sugar or cocoa powder.

 

CHOCOLATE CAKE

These rich chocolate cake doughnuts are a bit more chocolaty than the doughnuts you find in chain doughnut stores, which, let’s face it, are more brown than chocolate. If you prefer them less chocolaty, you can reduce the amount of cocoa powder to 1⁄4 cup. If you use Dutch processed cocoa powder, use half the amount of baking soda.

 MAKES 8 TO 12 DOUGHNUTS

2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted

1⁄2 cup (120 grams) superfine sugar

1⁄3 cup (27 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder

1⁄2  tablespoon baking powder

1⁄2  teaspoon baking soda

1⁄2  teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegetable shortening, at room temperature

1 egg, at room temperature

1⁄2 cup whole milk, scalded and cooled

2 tablespoons plain yogurt, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vegetable oil for frying

 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and blend on low speed. Add the butter and blend on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
  • In a small bowl, combine the egg, milk, yogurt, and vanilla. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix
    for 30 seconds. The batter should be smooth, thick, and not too wet, similar to sugar cookie dough. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat at least 2 inches of oil until a deep-fat thermometer registers 360 degrees F.
  • Roll out the dough on a generously floured surface to 1⁄2 inch thick. With
    a doughnut or cookie cutter, cut out 3-inch rounds with 1-inch holes. Brush o any excess flour.
  • With a metal spatula, carefully put the doughnuts in the oil. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Let cool just slightly before glazing.

APPLE CIDER BITES

A little bit of graham flour makes these doughnuts a bit nuttier and helps them fry up with a wonderfully crisp, nubby crust. However, feel free to replace the graham flour with all-purpose for a more traditional apple cider doughnut.

 MAKES 10 TO 14 DOUGHNUTS

1 ¾ cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour

¼ cup (30 grams) graham flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegetable shortening, at room temperature

½ cup (120 grams) superfine sugar

2 egg yolks, at room temperature

¼ cup apple cider, at room temperature

¼ cup buttermilk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vegetable oil for frying

 

  • In a small bowl, whisk the flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on low speed. Add the egg yolks and beat on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the cider, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until the mixture comes together to create a soft, slightly sticky dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about ½ inch thick. With a doughnut or cookie cutter, cut out 2 ½-inch rounds with ½-inch holes. You can reroll any scrap dough.
  • In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat at least 2 inches of oil until a deep-fat thermometer registers 360 degrees F. With a metal spatula, carefully put the doughnuts in the oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry until they turn a rich golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining dough. Let cool to the touch before glazing and eating.

 

 

 

Recipes from Doughnuts by Lara Ferroni

Photos by Lara Ferroni

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