If you’re like me, you know the holidays are a great chance to test drive a few more challenging recipes (and dirty a kitchen that’s not technically yours). But what’s the point of a challenge if the result isn’t delicious? These sweet potato-and-pumpkin doughnuts are addicting and will put your other holiday treats to shame.
Prep time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 12-15 doughnuts, depending on the size
3/4 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin
1 cup canned sweet potatoes with light syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon cane sugar
1/4 cup grape juice (or Pisco)
4 cups flour
4 cups vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
For the salted caramel sauce:
1 cup cane sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1. Fill a large pot halfway with water and add cinnamon, star anise and cloves. Heat to a boil.
2. After a few minutes of boiling, lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Add sweet potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Remove sweet potatoes from pot and place into a medium bowl with your pumpkin. Mash into a puree.
Activating your yeast
In order to activate instant yeast, take 1/2 cup of water from the pot and place it in a cup (it should be warm, not hot). Add the yeast and cane sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
4. Crack two eggs into your mixture, then add the activated yeast and 1/4 cup of grape juice (or the traditional Pisco).
5. Mix thoroughly.
6. Gradually add flour while kneading the mixture. If your dough is too sticky after adding 4 cups of flour, add additional 1/2 cups of flour until the dough is smooth and sticky, but manageable.
7. Cover dough and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
8. After your dough has risen, fill a deep pot with vegetable oil and heat to approximately 350 degrees. Wet your hands with salted water (to keep the dough from sticking to them) and form dough rings as large or small as your heart desires. Be cautious placing the dough into the hot oil.
9. Allow the dough to fry for about 30 seconds and then flip it in the oil with the handle of a spoon (or with a spatula, or really any other utensil– just not your hands.) Continue to fry for 30 to 45 seconds to ensure the dough is fully cooked. Remove from oil once the dough has turned golden-brown and place on a paper towel-lined plate to soak away excess oil.
To make the salted caramel sauce:
1. Add 2 tablespoons of water and 1 cup of cane sugar in a small saucepan and mix over medium heat until amber.
2. Stir in butter.
3. Remove from heat and add heavy cream and salt, then mix. Drizzle over your doughnuts or use as a dipping sauce.
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