Currently viewing the tag: "doughnuts"

vanilla doughnuts with pumpkin pastry cream
I must admit I am overwhelmed with all your love and support the last few months, and especially this last week, as my book launch is getting closer. This book wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you, the readers of The Vanilla Bean Blog, and so I just want to say once again a huge THANK YOU! I will have a couple giveaways coming up soon to celebrate, and if you’ve pre-ordered the book, make sure to check out this giveaway as well!

I mentioned before that I may go slightly overload with some pumpkin recipes this season, and here’s another one for you, this chilly October morning. Pumpkin pastry cream is quite tasty, and I honestly can’t stop making it. It’s smooth and rich like any good pastry cream should be, with just enough pumpkin flavor. This recipe is adapted from the pastry cream in my book; I start things in a stand mixer and then move to the stove. I stumbled across this method online a few years ago, and found it to work better for me. The stand mixer is more hands off, and I feel a little more in control of the pastry cream (something I struggled with in methods that required so many bowls and so much whisking). One important tip when making: make sure to cook the corn starch out! Cooking the pastry cream a few extra minutes will insure that it isn’t grainy, and that it won’t separate (an important life lesson I learned from Ms. Zoe Francois).
pumpkin pastry cream

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blood orange donuts

old fashioned doughnuts

old fashioned doughnuts

blood orange doughnuts6A
Yossy Arefi’s (from Apt 2B Baking Co.) new cookbook is out today, and I’d just like to begin by saying it’s so gorgeous. I’ve been a fan of Yossy’s work for quite some time and have been eagerly awaiting this release. The book focuses on all things fruit, and is filled with stunning photographs, unique flavor combinations, and recipes that work.  ‘The recipes in this book range from simple, five-ingredient affairs to more complex and involved baking endeavors like laminated pastry dough and composed tarts. My hope is that you’ll find something that’s just your speed, and that these recipes show the wide range of desserts you can make that highlight fresh, season fruit all year.’ I’m of the opinion that you can never have too many baking books, and highly recommend adding this gem to your collection. Also, you can check out the beautiful book trailer here.
sweeter off the vine

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s'mores doughnuts

It’s National Doughnut Day! Well, one of many National Doughnut Days. I’m happy to celebrate more than once. Here are slightly-ridiculous-yet-terribly-delicious s’mores doughnuts, made out of Bread in 5‘s perfect brioche dough. I’ve got the recipe on their site today, so you can hop over for details.

s'mores doughnuts

s'mores doughnuts

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brioche doughnuts with chocolate glaze | the vanilla bean blog
On December 10, 2007, I was 9 months pregnant with my first child, my daughter Winter. That particular day in December was also her due date, and my 10-year ‘dating’ anniversary with Adam. Ten years ago that very night after walking around for hours talking about how we wanted to be more than just friends, we found ourselves in front of the Winona Middle School and kissed for the first time sitting on the cold, concrete steps. I was wearing my white grandma sweater that came with me everywhere, and Adam had on blue and red: sweater, jeans, hat, and gloves; it was all red and blue. He walked me home, and we were together from that day forward (well, except for the break-up, and the break-up in the break-up. It’s complicated).

So ten years later, we climbed in our car and decided to hit the town to do something special. But I had achy hips, and the strong braxton hicks contractions I had been experiencing all afternoon were terrifying me, so I insisted we stay within 10 minutes of our house. This sort of put a damper on ‘hitting the town,’ and we drove around and around our neighborhood unable to decide where to eat. Finally after a half hour of arguing about restaurants and laughing hysterically, we pulled into an Applebees.

It was not the place I wanted to celebrate our years together. But, all I wanted was a chocolate malt. I wasn’t hungry, really, only tired, as my body was about to produce another body. So we sat down in an over-sized booth, and I drank my chocolate malt while we spent our time remembering so many important details from that night on the middle school steps.

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April has not shown herself to be kind, and we just made our way through another stressful weekend on top of a stressful week. In a moment of weakness I jumped in the car at 8 pm Monday night and bought ice cream and chocolate syrup at the local grocery store. As I loaded the bag in my trunk, I glanced across the parking lot and saw that same Applebees all lit up like a Christmas tree. I hadn’t been in since our anniversary date, and I found myself smiling, remembering that night so long ago. Here I was again, years later, about to sell my birthright for a chocolate malt. I went home to Adam, and put the ice cream and syrup and a huge splash of bourbon in the blender. We drank those cold shakes in silence, smiling and nodding. It may have rained for forty days and nights this week and I have more on my plate than I can chew, but it was quietly forgotten for a brief moment. I sat there, remembering how I looked into Winter’s eyes for the first time. They were dark, murky pools; they had never seen light. I held her close to me, memorizing her. She belonged to us now, and we belonged to her.

old wool sweaters, concrete stairs,
first kisses, hats and mittens,
comfy booths, long talks,
red and blue jeans, winter walks,
a splash of bourbon and chocolate malts,
that’s what little girls are made of.
brioche doughnuts with chocolate bourbon glaze | the vanilla bean blog

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I don’t know if this is the place for it, but I have to come out and say that I am still terribly upset about how this season of Downton Abbey ended. And yes, I had no idea it was coming, and yes, as [A] has pointed out to me several times it is just a TV show, but I’m still moping around. This has caused me to stay  up way too late and do all sorts of reading about the show, where I found interesting articles about why this outcome is better for everyone and why it’s not the writer’s fault and whatnot. And then of course I’ve spent time chiding myself for caring so much about people who aren’t even real in the first place, and analyzing why books and shows have this kind of power over my emotions.

But, of course, I’ll get over it. And all that lamenting and internet-surfing did actually pay off, as I came across a little interview with Julian Fellowes, who single handedly writes every episode of Downton. He was asked that lovely little question what advice can you give new writers? and his answer spoke to me on several levels. I’m not sure I consider myself a writer, although I’ve always loved to write and do so often. But I found his answer, tenacity, so important to my daily struggles in mothering, and eating well, and how I spend my time, and trusting myself, and, of course, writing.

I’m always a bit nervous about speaking as someone who is successful, but I suppose I’m allowed to. Actually, tenacity is the quality that you cannot do without. I’ve known very talented people who do well and I’ve known very talented people who do badly, and I’ve known not very talented people who do well or badly. The one quality that all the ones who do well have is tenacity. They just don’t give in, and they keep plugging away.

There are moments when you do feel very desperate. You just think nobody is ever going to respond to your work, that it’s never going to happen. And somehow you just have to push through that whether you do it with a big whiskey, or taking a day off, or whatever. You have to push through that sense of not being valued…I think the danger for the young is that they lose faith in the quality that their work has. And yet, that nugget – whatever it is – that is the nugget that will make it happen if they are to be successful. I mean, it’s easy to say, and it’s hard to follow through, but again it comes back to having belief in yourself.  -Julian Fellowes

The summer we first moved into our house, my sister and her husband gave us two raspberry bushes. We had no idea about taking care of raspberries, but we eagerly grabbed the plants and found a little home for them along our fence, dreaming of jam, and pie, and afternoon snacks. Now, six years later they are out of control; bushes racing up and down that fence as if they own the place. But we adore them, despite their wild tendencies, and every August as the season starts slipping away a bit too soon, I am comforted by the deep pinks and reds peeking out at every turn. Those late berries extend the summer, there in our backyard. It’s been such a gift.
And there I was, picking those late berries, when I realized I almost let the whole summer slip by without making these little pretties. Ms. Erin from Naturally Ella put out a lovely ecookbook several months ago, titled, appropriately, Summer, and somehow I almost let it all get away: the long days, the warm nights, these lovely recipes. But on this last day of August I bring you sweet berry treats to carry you into what comes next. May summer always peek out at you from some small, wild, corner.

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pumpkin doughnut muffins | the vanilla bean blog
How hard can it be to write a blog post about pumpkin doughnut muffins? I’ve been staring at this screen for too long, trying to conjure up something creative. Words like ‘good’ and ‘tasty’ and ‘delicious’ are all overused. The English major in me warns my professor  read something similar in my last paper. I see bright red ink marks firmly reminding me that I have no concrete ideas; there’s too many descriptive words and no direction.
pumpkin doughnut muffins | the vanilla bean blog
Pretty little doughnut muffins, what is your main objective? What do you symbolize? How do I tell your story? Your flavors bring to mind childhood memories, full of sweetness and laughter. Your little muffin body wrapped in sugar and cinnamon is like cozy snowy afternoons and warm first kisses. When your pumpkin-y insides roam the insides of my mouth and swoop down to my belly, it is Christmas morning, with lights all aglow.  Oh, pumpkin doughnut muffin. I have come to no other conclusion but to make you again and again.
(baked) pumpkin doughnuts | the vanilla bean blog

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