Very VERY bad idea to be reliving this post from Saturday as I sit here at my desk eating my 100 calorie, whole grain VitaMuffin top.
Dave and I are very different when it comes to breakfast: he lives for it, and myself, I could probably live without it. On a Saturday morning, it’s always a struggle to decide what the first meal of the day is going to be. Dave usually wants to get up and use every pan we own to make a 5-course breakfast, whereas myself, I like to go out, get an iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich from my most favorite breakfast spot in the neighborhood – Magnificent Muffin. It’s a tiny, hole in the wall that I first was drawn to some years ago by the constant line out the door. And besides the fact that you can probably only fit about 5 average size humans in there at a time, the line is legit. Because their breakfast sandwiches are made-to-order, served hot off the griddle, and their muffins are in fact magnificent – it’s not even false advertising. And, the best part, every order comes with a side of sass from the owners – free of charge.
But this past Saturday, I was antsy to try this recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes that I found from Cozy Kitchen. Trader Joe’s has a really great Pumpkin Pancake & Waffle mix that I’ve used in the past to make PCCPcakes. But I tend to agree with the ladies at Magnificent Muffin – fresh ingredients and a side of sass make EVERYTHING taste just a little bit better.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes
*Modified from Cozy Kitchen
*yields about 8 pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 & 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1) In a medium bowl, sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
2) In a small bowl, measure out the buttermilk then add the egg and lightly beat.
3) Mix in the pumpkin puree with the egg and buttermilk and mix until completely blended. Then add the melted butter and mix again.
4) Add half the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix lightly. Then add the other half and mix until the batter is just combined (there will be small-medium lumps). Add chocolate chips.
5) Heat your griddle over low/medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray or butter. Use about 1/4 cup of the batter and place in a round circle on the skillet. Cook until small bubbles form on the surface of the pancake and then flip over. Cook on opposite side for about a minute, or until golden brown.
6) Serve warm with LOTS of maple syrup.
OMG – the pumpkin – the chocolate – the syrup. I would highly recommend serving a nice, salty side with this like sausage or bacon, just to have a good balance of salty and sweetness (if that’s your thing). And, these literally took all of 10 minutes to make, so it was a GREAT Saturday morning breakfast!
Donuts are pretty awesome. I know it takes like 7 days or something crazy like that for them to digest, but the 7 days is so worth it. A big tube of dough, fried to perfection, often covered with fun toppings like frosting, sprinkles or BUTTERCRUNCH (clearly this is my favorite) or even stuffed with creams and jellies. Even the straight up old-fashioned with no frills is like a little piece of heaven.
My friend Ash has a slight obsession with donuts. She’s done all kinds of research to find the best donut shops in the Boston area and beyond – not your ‘cookie cutter’ donut places like Dunkin or Honey Dew, but small, independently run places where the minute you walk in the door, the smell of donuts cooking away in the fryer stops you dead in your tracks. And if you’re lucky enough, the one they pick off the tray for you is still warm. (Linda’s Donuts and Ohlin’s Bakery in Belmont for all you Boston area readers – do it – go – now).
But Ash, being the teeny weeny little thing that she is, has the will power of a saint, and after hours and hours of donut research and spreadsheet compiling, instead of hunkering down on the couch in her drawstring pants with a baker’s dozen of the finest donuts the shop has to offer, she finally goes, selects the perfect donut, tears a crumb size piece of it off, eats it ever so delicately, and boom – she’s done with the donut. It’s witchcraft, I swear.
I myself also feel like a donut is a treat – it’s not a 5-day a week kind of breakfast. It’s a “Ooooh, I could really go for a donut” kind of breakfast. And Apple Cider Donuts, fresh out of the fryer, after a long day of apple picking, are one of fall’s gems. And, you can make them at home!
Apple Cider Donuts
*Modified from Sugar Crafter
For the donuts
1 cup apple cider
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
5 1/2 cups flour, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Vegetable oil, for frying
For the topping:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1) In a small sauce pan, boil the apple cider down until it is reduced to 1/4 cup. Allow to cool. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs.
2) Beat in the buttermilk and reduced apple cider.
3) In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 1/2 cups of the flour, the baking powder and soda, and the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
4) Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until combined. The dough will be very sticky.
5) Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead, adding in the additional flour (you may not need the full 2 cups – I think I used about 1.5), until the dough is no longer sticky.
6) Roll out the dough to a 1/2″ thick rectangle, cutting strips about 1/2″-1″ wide (depending on how large you want your donuts to be). Take each strip and roll it between your palms until it becomes rounded on the edges, and then form into a donut shape.
7) In an electric fryer or a deep pan, add 3″ of vegetable oil. Fry 5 or so donuts at a time, trying not to overcrowd them in the oil. Turn them several times, until they are browned and cooked through. The larger your donut, the longer it will take for the dough to cook through (I think I undercooked 2 batches until I finally got it right – I’d say at least five minutes). As long as you keep turning them in the oil from time to time, they will eventually cook through. They’ll be quite brown on the outside when they’re finally done, but don’t worry! They’re not burned! Just cooked to perfection 🙂
8) Dip them in the cinnamon/sugar mixture immediately.
9) Serve warm
As with most things, these are best fresh out of the oil, but are equally as good the next day! (Just ask Dave, who ate 2 for breakfast – but he doesn’t like sweets – riiiiiiiiight :))
What a BANNER WEEKEND it was!
Here’s my weekend cliffs notes:
1) It was the most perfect fall weather, the kind that you dream about in the throws of winter, when it’s dark at 4:30 and the snow starts to pile up outside your window. Sunny, blue skies, big puffy clouds, and just the right temp to blow the dust off your favorite fleece jacket.
2) An outside beer festival – 3 blocks from our apartment – and a truck with beer taps attached to it. Nuf said.
3) An ENGAGEMENT! Now, it should be said that I get excited for random strangers when they get engaged. Being able to relive that feeling of excitement that you only get to experience once in your entire life, why it might be almost MORE exciting than when it happens to you! And it couldn’t be more true than for Dave and I, and two of our bestest friends, Meghan and Adam, who took a weekend off from home renovations and got engaged on Saturday afternoon, under a willow tree in the public gardens after a quick swan boat ride. Move over William Shakespeare.
4) A brunch with my best friends from High School. We grew up together in a small town, shared the ups and downs of our adolescence together, went off and did our own things through college and post-college, and now, 10+ years later, it’s like picking up where we left off in homeroom. Only people have babies now. Minor detail 🙂
All week, I thought to myself “Ooooh so many amazing fall recipes to make for brunch! Which will I choose?” And after tossing in my sleep trying to nail down the perfect one, I decided on these Pumpkin Donut Holes. I went out and bought all the stuff. I couldn’t WAIT to show up on Natalie’s doorstep with them Saturday morning…
But, I showed up with store-bought muffins instead.
You know those weeks where the days just get away from you? Welp – it was one of those – and the store bought muffins were delish – but not as good as these bad boys. The recipe looked so good that I couldn’t not try them, even if I missed my brunch deadline.
If you don’t have the ingredients for this, run – don’t walk – to get them – because these donut holes are like crack – dipped in butter and coated with cinnamon and sugar.
Pumpkin Donut Holes
From Domestically Speaking
1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 pumpkin puree
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1) Preheat your oven to 350 and spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2) Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and whisk till combined.
3) In another bowl, mix together the oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix till it’s just combined (you don’t want to over mix).
4) Fill your mini tins with about 1/2 tbsp. of batter.
5) Bake for 10-12 minutes.
6) While they’re baking, melt your butter and in a small bowl combine your sugar and cinnamon.
7) Once the donuts have cooled a bit, dunk them in the butter and then the cinnamon/sugar mixture. If you want to make them a little less sugary, you can just dip the top in the butter and cinnamon/sugar.
This recipe AND this weekend – definitely one for the books 🙂
Anyone out there that hates eating at 9pm during the week say “Aye” – AYE!
Dave and I are big supporters of having breakfast for dinner – crack some eggs, fry some bacon (or turkey sausage), toss a couple pieces of toast in the toaster and you have a healthy and fulfilling dinner that you’re not eating for breakfast! (even though it is breakfast – tricky I know)
But as much as we like the BFD routine, it’s still nice to try to shake it up a smidgen. So this Chicken Sausage Fritatta does not disappoint – it has awesome flavor – lots of healthy veggies and Chicken Sausage, which is a nice substitute for bacon or straight up regular sausage. And don’t be scared by the dijon – it gives it a little zip and who doesn’t like a little zip?
Don’t you love the word Fritatta? Makes me want to shake maracas when I say it.
Chicken Sausage Fritatta
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 chicken sausage links, sliced and cooked
1/2 large green pepper, or one whole small, chopped
1/2 large red pepper, or one whole small, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese (1/2 cup – I used Cabot reduced fat cheddar)
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tbsp. shredded parmesean cheese for sprinklage
1) In a saucepan over medium heat, cook your sliced chicken sausage for about 5 minutes, til’ just browned (technically they’re already cooked, but I think it’s a good idea to saute them before putting them in the fritatta)
2) In another saucepan (or same if you want to save on dish duty) saute your chopped onion and garlic over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Then add the chopped red and green pepper and cook for another 5 minutes until all veggies are cooked through. Set aside to let cool a bit.
3) In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, water, dijon mustard, italian seasoning, cumin, and shredded cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Then stir in chicken sausage, peppers and onions.
4) Pour into a greased, shallow 1.5 qt. baking dish (or you could probably do a pie plate too – might just need 2 of them). Sprinkle top with parmesean cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes (test w/a knife/toothpick – when it comes out clean it’s ready!)
5) Slice, serve, and ENJOY!
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s a great base for any fritatta really – you can swap up the veggies and even the meats if you’d like! Keep it zippy 🙂
And it’s pretty good for you too – unless of course you serve it with cinnamon buns – then it’s all over!