This month has been very full and very busy. It’s easy at times like this to get focused on all the happenings, on my fatigue, or the hardships, and overlook all the wonders of my God. When I stopped to consider what He has done, I came up with quite a list!
With the splendor of fall’s colors at every turn, I’ve certainly seen His beauty, His Creative hand, and His majesty!
I’ve also seen God’s providence. After being with my parents for seven days, I came home and my heart wanted to stay there. But in God’s providence, He had my husband scheduled to speak at the Senior Adult Conference at The Wilds of North Carolina. More than wanting to be home, I wanted to be there to support Dale in the ministry that God has called him to. So, we happily packed our bags and headed south on Tuesday. God knew exactly what I really needed. If you’ve ever had the blessing of attending camp at The Wilds, you know what refreshment it brings to your heart and life. When we arrived, we had already been “Ooo-ing” and “Ahhh-ing” over the fall colors, but the campsite was breathtaking.
Before the first meal, we were invited to take a selfie at this cute display.
Last Monday I shared a savory pumpkin recipe, so I thought we’d go sweet today. These pumpkin sugar cookies are perfect this time of year!
These Pumpkin Sugar Cookies caught my eye on Pinterest. They whipped up really fast. Even with adding the icing, a half batch took me less than an hour from start to finish. These are called Sugar Cookies, but they’re fluffier than a traditional recipe, so keep that in mind when you pull the little clouds from the oven. They are fluffy in the middle and have a little crispiness on the edges. Yum.
This weekend I had the blessing of speaking at the ladies’ retreat at The Wilds of New England. I’ll share more of that later, but today I want to share (again) the recipe for the dessert we had Friday night – Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. I’ve posted this recipe before, but thought it deserved double honor since its now pumpkin season! You won’t be disappointed with these yummy little treasures!
Yesterday, the first day of fall found me riding the highways of New England where we spotted trees topped with hues of reds and yellows. The brisk temps, hovering in the low 60’s for the high, were both invigorating and welcomed.
When I was a child, we would make trips to a cider mill near us. The highlight for me was getting to enjoy a doughnut and a little cup of cider while there. Maybe this is where my love for a cake doughnuts began. Oh my! It was such a treat! I recently made a Cider Donut recipe that took me back to that childhood memory!
These Cider Donuts from Sally’s Baking Addiction have a lovely apple flavor that is enhanced by the addition of the cider, of course, but also the apple pie spices in the dough and in the sugar topping. These are baked, so they’re more healthy than the fried versions. Okay, the butter they’re dipped in might add some calories and fat, but every fall needs an occasional treat, right?!
Here’s the simple recipe with my additional notes and improvisions.
Apple Cider Donuts – These make about 18
1 and 1/2 cups apple cider
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoonapple pie spice*
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoonapple pie spice*
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Reduce the apple cider: Stirring occasionally, simmer the apple cider in a small saucepan over low heat until you’re left with about 1/2 cup. Start checking at every five minutes, etc until you have 1/2 cup. (Mine took about 30 minutes.) If there are any spices or solids on top of your reduced apple cider, leave them. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Whisk the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together. Pour into the dry ingredients, add the reduced apple cider, and whisk everything together until smooth and combined. Batter will be slightly thick.
Spoon the batter into the donut pan—I highly used a large zipped-top bag and cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and piped the batter into each donut cup, filling about halfway.
Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of the donut. If the donut bounces back, they’re done. Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.
Coat the donuts: Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together in a medium bowl. Once cool enough to handle, dunk both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the apple spice topping.
Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I only baked up one dozen, then put the bag with the batter into the fridge overnight. The next day I baked off the next pan of six, and they did great! Then I froze them uncoated. A couple days later I pulled them out and dipped them in the butter and sugar coating. Yum! This was a great way to have a homemade donut at a moment’s notice!
If you don’t have apple pie spice (like me!), you can mix up your own using this recipe:
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom – I didn’t have this and left it out. It was still great!
All these need is a cold glass of milk, a cup of coffee…or of course a glass of cider to make the perfect fall treat!
If you’re a cake donut fan, you’re going to love these!
Some other donut suggestions – Have you tried these light donuts I posted a while back? Also if you don’t have a donut pan, you could bake up these muffins that have a very similar taste as the Cider donuts!