Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pumpkin Beignets

I like doughnuts, and I like them not only very warm, but frosted with plenty of powdered sugar. Maybe it's because I simply like sugar, and when I have coffee with my doughnuts, I don't have to sweeten my coffee, it's sweet enough after taking a big bite from the doughnut.

What I love about this recipe, are the pumpkin, the spices, and the brandy all together combine to make this recipe fantastic. It was a perfect afternoon to make these. After I dissolved the yeast and covered the bowl, I set it out right by my kitchen window, with the warmth from the sun shining through it. If you are like me, it was hard for me to be patient, and wait for the dough to rise, but these Pumpkin beignets are well worth the wait.

1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) dry yeast,
1 tsp. sugar
Pinch salt
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon brandy
1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1. First, proof the yeast to make sure it is active. After you proof the yeast, then add to it, a 1/4 cup more, very warm water, with the salt. Combine the dissolved yeast with 1 cup of the flour and mix until smooth. Form the yeast-flour mixture into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with a dishcloth and set in a warm place for 1 hour, until the yeast-flour mixture has doubled in size.
2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the remaining flour and the oil. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Let stand while the yeast-flour mixture rises.

3. When the yeast-flour mixture has doubled in size, combine it with the egg-flour mixture. Stir in the pumpkin puree and the brandy. Beat with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth. Let stand for 1 hour. The dough should be elastic.

4. Heat the oil to 360 degrees. Be extremely careful, when using a soupspoon or a tablespoon, to drop spoonfuls of dough into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Drain the beignets on paper towels. While they are still warm, roll them in the powdered sugar.

Makes: About 18 beignets.