These were a whim, not even on my radar or schedule for today. Usually if I’m going to make something with yeast, I’ll plan it out because of the resting and rising times. I went with it and ended up with 28 little cream stuffed puffy balls.
They’re like little donut holes but made from balls, if that makes sense. The inspiration came from these other pumpkin donuts on the blog. Rolled in cinnamon sugar when still warm and then pumped full of a cream made from Nutella, mascarpone cheese, yogurt and pumpkin.
Let’s talk about how easy this dough is to make. Just throw all of the ingredients in a stand mixer and you’re set. Let it rise while you make the cream, drink some coffee, throw in some laundry or rush to the store to pick up some oil for frying if you discover you’re all out. Nope, I don’t know anyone who would make that rookie mistake…nobody, not me.
Divide the dough into individual pieces each weighing about one ounce, give or take a smidge. It doesn’t have to be exact.
Now you’ll need to roll these pieces into balls and the best way I can describe for you to do this is to pretend you’re a lion, hang with me here. A lion who’s ready to pounce so make your hand like a claw. Lay it on top of a piece of dough and give it your best Mr Miyagi wax on-wax off moves.
The dough should get caught up in the palm of your hand and turn into a perfect ball!
Lay those balls side by side like soldiers. Cover and let them recover from your lion silliness.
The fun part is of course, eating them, but frying is fun too. A quick minute on each side, then drain the donuts on some absorbent kitchen towel.
This is where I get all professional and fatherly-like but If you cook with hot oil, a thermometer should always be used. Keep the temperature at around 375 degrees, and adjust the heat to keep the oil hot. Don’t overfill the pan, bubbling waves of oil and naked flames are not best friends. My safety talk is now over.
Find something long and thin to poke each donut with a hole. You can use a pastry bag to fill them up with the cream or a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off.
Nobody said these had to be beautiful but don’t skimp on the cream, after the first bite you might end up with some on your chin.
That’s perfectly okay.
- For The Cream!
- 1 pound mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vanilla yogurt
- For The Donuts!
- 1 envelope Platinum Red Star Yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 stick softened butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1- quart canola oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
In a bowl combine the mascarpone, pumpkin, Nutella, spice and yogurt.
Whisk well to get rid of any lumps. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast and warm water, stir to dissolve.
Add the flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar and spice.
Mix on low speed until everything is combined.
Turn the speed to medium and mix for about 3-4 minutes until the dough is smooth and lump free.
Dump the dough onto a flour dusted work surface and knead into a ball shape.
Transfer to a bowl coated with a little olive oil. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until doubled in size.
once the dough has risen, punch it down and cut the dough into 1-ounce pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball and place on another floured tray or surface.
Cover again with the towel for about 15-20 minutes.
Fill a medium sized stock pot with the oil and using a thermometer, heat until it reaches 375 degrees F.
Once the oil is ready, carefully place 4 of the mini donuts into the oil and fry for about 1 minute each side.
Drain on a paper towel and then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Take the cream and fill a piping bag.
Squeeze the tip of the bag into the hole you made and fill with the cream.