Busy Season – 1, Danielle – 0
Well, busy season won this week. When I started this blog the goal was to try at least one new dinner recipe per week and this week that did not happen. But there were some new recipes going on, they’re just desserts.
Highlights of the week:
1. Fall started! September 1 brought the beginning of fall. I know that the first day of fall isn’t until later in September, and I know that DC just had over a week straight of temps over 90, but September meals fall decorations and all things pumpkin! Just because the weather doesn’t cooperate does not mean I’m going to cut my nearly 3 months of fall short (in Danielle world fall runs through thanksgiving, btw. Then its Christmas/winter)! So in honor of the beginning of fall I tried out this new pumpkin donut recipe. I have at least 4 different people (not including me) who will tell you how delicious these bad boys were! And my parents are the best and sent us a fall package with some adorable dish towels, a candle, and some seasonal candy. A few pictures of how fall is going in our Apartment:
2. Matt turned 25! To celebrate he and I went to a Thai Restaurant in Georgetown for dinner on Friday. Gosh, I love Georgetown so much, it’s just the cutest historical looking area. We ate outside and had a gift certificate to cover the meal and it was just great. A much needed night out. Matt’s birthday also lead to the second new recipe of the week – peanut butter ice cream pie. That thing could have it’s own highlight. It’s delicious. And for Matt’s birthday we had a few friends over on Saturday, which is always exciting for me to have people over to our place. Nothing special, just me making guac and forcing the pie on other people so we don’t eat all of it, and hanging out and watching football. And finally we finished the bday “celebrations” with brunch after church with another couple from our small group. Anything that involves friends is always a highlight. We’ll use Matt’s main bday gift from me next Sunday when we go to Jeter’s last game in Baltimore.
3. A baby shower! One of our friends from small group is having a baby next month so her neighbor through a baby shower for her. Since moving I haven’t had a ton of just girl moments so a baby shower was very exciting to me! And they’re having a girl so the presents were just freaking adorable. All of the little outfits! Just the cutest.
Like I said, pumpkin doughnuts and peanut butter pie. The mini doughnuts were so fun. I saw this recipe a while ago and then while at Sur la Table buying Emma’s (Matt’s sister) birthday present I snuck away and found the most perfect mini doughnut pan. I then proceeded to smile at Matt, and then it was mine! Love that guy. Anyway, the recipe has a cinnamon-sugar coating, but i experimented with making a glaze and a powdered cinnamon coating too. When doing the regular cinnamon sugar it dawned on me (this is a big “duh” moment) that cinnamon doughnuts are just coated with a mix of powdered sugar and cinnamon. And that I could totally do that on these pumpkin doughnuts and it’d probably be delicious (it was). And oh, the peanut butter pie! This was a day long, make in stages dessert, but it was sooooo worth it! I made it on my work from home day and it was pretty perfect for giving me breaks. Instead of walking to starbucks for coffee, I walked to the kitchen and made brownie pie crust. I also made it more difficult than needed because for the peanut butter ice cream in the recipe, I used the recipe for PB ice cream from a few weeks ago. But like I said, it was all so delicious.
Pumpkin Spice Mini Doughnuts
Makes: 28-36, depending on how big
- 1¾ cups flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon allspice (I used pumpkin pie spice)
- ⅛ teaspoons ground cloves
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup canned pumpkin
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the mini-donut pan.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves in a small bowl.
- Combine oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla extract, pumpkin and milk in a large bowl. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. (Don’t overwork the batter)
- Pour batter into a large ziploc bag and snip a small corner off one end. (You’re essentially making a pastry bag.) Squeeze batter into the mini-donut pan. Bake for 7-9 minutes. If the donuts gently spring back when you touch them, they are ready. Pop them out onto a wire rack to cool.
Notes*If you don’t plan to eat all the donuts right away, place the uncoated donuts in an airtight container until ready to use. Then proceed with the butter/sugar coating when you are ready to serve them.*Option for a powdered cinnamon sugar coating – just mix together some powdered sugar and cinnamon until it looks about right, toss the doughnuts in it (no need to coat in butter) and eat within 30 min (if you don’t the sugar starts to absorb into the doughnuts and looks less powder-y, but still tastes great!)*Option for a glaze: mix milk and powdered sugar until its the consistency you want your glaze to be. Add cinnamon for an extra kick. Dip doughnuts in the glaze and move to a cooling rack with a paper towel underneath until the glaze hardens (it will never fully harden, they’ll always be messy and delicious this way).
- Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.
- Working with a few donuts at a time, brush both sides of donuts with butter using a pastry brush (or dip them right into the butter.)
- Put donuts into bowl and coat with cinnamon-sugar.
Peanut Butter Ice Cream Brownie Pie
For the brownie base:
- 8 tbsp. (4 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4.5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. coarse salt
- 1 tsp. espresso powder
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2½-3 cups peanut butter ice cream, slightly softened
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Chocolate syrup
- Peanut butter sauce
To make the brownie base, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the bottom of a 9″ pie pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the inside edges of the pan and coat with flour, shaking away the excess. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the butter and chocolate. Microwave in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted and smooth. Whisk in the sugar and eggs. Whisk in the vanilla, salt and espresso powder. Stir in the flour just until incorporated and no dry streaks remain.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake, rotating halfway through the baking time, until the center is just set, about 22-24 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Then cover and transfer to the freezer to chill thoroughly.
When you are ready to assemble, remove the chilled brownie layer from the freezer. Add the peanut butter ice cream over the brownie layer and smooth with a spatula. Return to the freezer while you make the whipped cream. Combine the cream and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and whisk or whip with an electric mixer just until stiff peaks form. Blend in the vanilla. If you have one (I don’t), transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe swirls of whipped cream around the edge of the pie. An alternative is to use a ziplock bag and cut the corner off one end (like I did). The swirls won’t look as fancy, but they’ll taste just as great! Return to the freezer.
Just before serving, drizzle chocolate syrup and peanut butter sauce (just melted peanut butter, I don’t know what peanut butter sauce is) over the top of the pie. Slice and serve immediately. Store covered in the freezer.