October 24th, 2008

pumpkin donuts with pumpkin cream cheese frosting

donut 4

i know you’re still in the mood for pumpkin, so let me give you a recipe that will satisfy your cravings but in no way make you feel healthier (take that, healthy pumpkin muffins that are all the rage right now). my recipe uses a deep fryer, so it has to be delicious. it’s a law of science.

donut dough 1

did you know that i actually own a deep fryer? it was purchased in a moment of weakness when, in my college days, i set out to make the perfect monte cristo sandwich. the model i have is called the “fry daddy.” the larger version of the same model is called the “granpappy” and smaller model is the “fry daddy junior.” it’s one big unhealthy deep fried carnival food family. like most people, i was terrified of deep frying at first, but the draw of frying experimentation spurred me to try just about everything from apples and bananas to candy bars – and for those wondering, yes, deep fried pies are coming soon.

donut dough 2

it’s true: pete usually bakes, but occasionally, pete deep fries. initially i was embarrassed about purchasing a machine whose sole purpose was to make me fat(ter), but i quickly got over it after i realized the joy that comes from homemade tempura and corndogs. i’ve become a proud granpappy of my frydaddy, and the more i tell others about it, the more excitement i get from those people what could possibly be deep fried. let me tell you a secret: anything can be deep fried, and don’t let anyone tell you different.

donut 1

if you don’t think you can handle all the hot oil, there are recipes for baked donuts out there. to be honest i didn’t try to bake with this particular batter so i couldn’t tell you how well they would come out. additionally, don’t worry about actually using a deep fryer – a pan on the stove works just as well. you just need to monitor the temperature with a deep-fry thermometer, and i’ve included the instructions for doing that below. these donuts taste best right after you make them, so you really have no excuse not to spend all morning filling the house with the wonderful smells of deep fried pumpkin and then all afternoon devouring them with generous dollops of some of the most decadent frosting you’ll ever whip up. what are you waiting for?

donut 2

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October 20th, 2008

apple muffins

apple muffins 8

i’ve got something to admit: i’m not a big fan of muffins. i think the concept is great, but in execution, i’ve just been let down too many times by ones that are bland, dry and overwhelmingly huge (with the exception of my mom’s blueberry muffins – those are amazing). these particular ones right here, however, have brought me a new kind of joy and encouraged me to accept muffins back into my life without question.

orchard 2

the girl and i have been meaning to go apple picking all fall and we finally made it out to the countryside this past weekend. we ended up at rock hill orchard, a small farm in mount airy, MD. luckily, they still had plenty of apples to go around, as well as a big pumpkin patch.

orchard 3

we picked about 15 lbs of apples and the girl grabbed a pumpkin that we made into soup that night. it’s a great little farm with amazing hot apple cider (free samples!). this was the first time i had ever picked apples from a tree, and it’s incredible to actually see where your food comes from. it makes you want to only grow your own crops and never visit a supermarket again.

orchard 1

apple muffins 6

it’s a good thing we got so many apples because i plan on making a batch of these every weekend. they are that good. they will keep for a few days (i just kept them on a plate covered with plastic wrap), but will probably disappear sooner. i found myself eating them for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and as snacks) in a psychological game that played out with my taste buds asking my brain after each muffin, “why not have another? they’re so light and moist…and delicious…and yep, here we go, we’re eating another, oh god they are so good, why did we even bother asking you in the first place, brain?” my brain is clearly powerless in this situation.

apple muffins 5

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October 14th, 2008

white chocolate macadamia nut pumpkin cookies

pumpkin cookies 2

no doubt about it – it’s time to start breaking out the pumpkin recipes. there’s no wrong time of year for it, but there’s just something about the chill of the fall and the colors of the trees that makes every pumpkin flavored thing more magical. and while pies are going to be dominating everyone’s lives over the next month, i wanted to try something new.

pumpkin cookie dough 1

these cookies are like taking tiny pumpkin pies with you wherever you go, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that. the combination of white chocolate and pumpkin is surprisingly refreshing – i can’t believe i haven’t seen more recipes featuring both.

pumpkin cookie dough 2

i based this recipe on the never-fail tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe, with the ingredient amounts slightly tweaked to adjust for the moisture of the pumpkin. there are 2 things that happen as a result: the cookies have to bake for almost twice the amount of time, and the texture becomes much more moist and cakey. they’re irresistible with a giant glass of milk.

pumpkin cookies 4

i’ll be honest: these cookies are ridiculously amazing. i cannot stop eating them. if you’ve got weak self control in the presence of delicious sweets, you might want to make these and give them to your best friends as halloween or thanksgiving gifts. and if you’re already overloaded on pumpkin recipes, save this one for later and bring back the flavors of the fall all year round.

pumpkin cookies 3

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