An E2E Halloween: Donuts, Donuts, Donuts!

I’ve had donuts on the brain. Which is weird because although I like donuts just as much as the next person, I’ve never particularly craved them or had an obsession with them. Then I stumbled across a recipe for guava-filled and passion fruit-filled malasadas. Malasadas are Portuguese-style donuts and are the donuts of choice in Hawaii. Now I’ve never had a malasada (which is really my loss…) but as I read about the legendary malasadas made and popularized by Leonard’s Bakery in Hawaii, I could just imagine that soft, fluffy crunch…. Add guava and passion fruit filling to the mix and my salivation was complete.

I wasn’t quite ready to attempt malasadas yet, but as is the way of food cravings, donuts just wouldn’t leave my brain. To my dismay, I then started to reminisce about Mister Donut, a global franchise that is especially prevalent in Asia. During a trip to Taiwan last summer, my sister and I visited one in Taipei and after far too much ogling at the display cases, we finally settled on a mango donut and a matcha donut which we made quick work of. If I could have donut flavors like this all the time, I probably would develop a donut obsession….

All of which is to say, when planning time for a Halloween-themed tea time rolled around, I had donuts simmering in my brain and before I knew it, I was mulling over ideas for various spooky donuts. Chocolate spiders? Matcha Frankensteins? Pumpkin pumpkins? In the end, I let my tastebuds guide the decisions which led to the following mission at tea time: turn salted caramel chocolate donuts into spiders and pumpkin pie donuts into pumpkins.

There are two varieties of donuts: yeast and cake. Yeast donuts are so called because they are made with yeast and include rising time before the donuts are fried and devoured. Although no more labor than cake donuts, yeast donuts have a prolonged timeline because of the use of yeast, so for practical reasons, we went the route of cake donuts (also known as baked donuts) for tea time. As these names suggest, you make the batter, pour (or pipe) into a donut pan, bake, and voilà! Donuts!

The salted caramel chocolate donuts were a dream to make and resulted in much laughter and mischief from the mentors as they set about transforming them into spiders. We used the gorgeously photographed recipe from The Flourishing Foodie, omitting the chopped skor bars topping.

After dipping each donut into the salted caramel glaze, we were ready for the spider transformation! We snapped pretzel twists in half for spider legs (a feat that is much harder than it sounds and resulting in much munching along the way…) and used vanilla chips and icing to make the eyes.

The mentors got really into the decorating and we ended up with a menagerie of creatures, some spider-like, some crab-like, and others just… zany.

While the spiders were in progress, we whipped up a batch of pumpkin pie donuts using Shared Appetitie’s recipe. We had a mixing mishap and the oil didn’t quite incorporate as well as it should have so the resulting batter ended being a bit…. shiny. Still, we forged ahead, filled the donut pans, and popped them into the oven, fingers crossed.

The consensus? They turned out pretty well and despite the state of the batter pre-oven, the donuts turned out deliciously! 60+ donuts out of the oven and a spider-decorating session later, we had decided we were too tuckered out to do more decorating so we ate the pumpkin pie donuts as they was, forgoing the maple glaze. They were still very tasty, but we’ll definitely have to give that glaze a try next time. Because after all, part of the fun of donuts is the interplay of the flavors of the glaze and donut. Well, for me at least.

All in all, it was a great first foray into donuts. There was laughter, there was scrumptiousness, and we even had a few costumes floating around. I forsee many donut-making ventures in my future!

– Sylvia


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