But the pièce de résistance was the spacious baker's store, filled with all sorts of pans, utensils and ingredients. One of our favorite purchases was a miniature doughnut pan — basically a muffin tin with little raised nubs in the middle of each hole. Doughnuts aren't exactly the healthiest breakfast choice, but I justified the purchase by telling myself that these ones would be baked instead of fried, kind of like muffins but cuter.
This week we gave the doughnut pan a whirl with a recipe for pumpkin cake doughnuts straight from the King Arthur Flour website. Our doughnut pan only makes 12 small doughnuts, which doesn't go far in our house, so I used a 24-cup mini-muffin pan for the remainder of the batter.
How did the small sweets taste? Theo's doughnut-ringed thumbs up said it all.
Makes three dozen mini-doughnuts or mini-muffins
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (ours were sweet enough with about 1 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease mini-doughnut or mini-muffin pans.
Beat together the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, spices, salt and baking powder until smooth.
Add the flour, stirring just until smooth.
Fill the wells of the doughnut or muffin pans about 3/4 full (It won't take much batter to fill the doughnut wells).
Bake the doughnuts or muffins for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a fork inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
Remove from the oven, and after about 5 minutes, loosen their edges and transfer them to a rack to cool.
Store at room temperature, loosely covered. They should last several days.
Note: The recipe includes the added step of shaking the doughnuts in a bag of cinammon-sugar while they are still warm or, for the muffins, sprinkling the tops with cinammon-sugar. While that would have been tasty, I erred on the side of responsible parenting and skipped this step.