When it comes to donuts, they are usually better when they are fresher. I know a great shop that makes them fresh 24 hours a day and is only a short drive away, and I will head over to pick up a few if I’m having a craving. I was a bit skeptical when I noticed Trader Joe’s Donut Bites in the freezer section on a recent trip to TJ’s, but the brightly colored packaging – and the fact that I can almost always make room for a donut – reeled me in to give them a try.
The Donut Bites are small round donuts that are filled with a fruity raspberry filling. The yeasted donuts come frozen and need to be heated in the oven for a few minutes before serving. They are a bit bigger than your average donut hole, yet smaller than a traditional donut, so I feel like they fall into their own category when it comes to donut-sizing. The donuts heated up evenly (the packaging recommended turning them halfway through the bake, but I found that did not make much of a difference) and were ready in less than 15 minutes. The exterior was crisp, while the filling was soft and warm.
The filling itself is not a jam, but a mixture of raspberries and apples, with carrot and black currant juice added for color. Sugar is also present in the filling, of course, but it is not overly sweet. It is thicker than a jam and has no seeds, so it is very smooth. It is not only very tasty, but it really holds up well inside of the donut without creating too much moisture to soak into the pastry. I would eat more fruit-filled donuts if the fillings tasted like this one!
In the end, donuts baked up well and offered a nice balance of pastry and filling. I liked the fruitiness of the filling quite a bit, especially compared to the overly sweet fruit fillings you find on commercial donuts. The only downside to these is that they weren’t as fluffy as freshly fried donuts. The pastry felt a bit more like fried brioche – which is not a bad thing, mind you – than a cloud-like yeast donut. I almost like them better as a dessert – where they could be paired with whipped cream, ice cream and fresh berries – than with coffee as a breakfast snack. Considering these were frozen, I was very impressed with how they turned out and would eat them again.
The donuts pictured on the box appear to have been rolled in sugar before serving. While it doesn’t mention this step anywhere on the packaging, I found that the donuts were not very sweet on their own and really benefited from a quick roll in sugar when they were hot. They would also be good with a drizzle of glaze or cream cheese icing, to add a bit of extra sweetness.
If you’re tired of going crazy watching and stirring and you are ready for a hands-free solution – you’ll go crazy for the Gourmia Stirrific!
If you have better things to do with your time and culinary skills then constantly steering your food, get ready to put the Stirrific, Hands-Free Auto Stirrer to work for you! Designed to easily mount on pots and saucepans, the Stirrific will automatically stirr anything from delicate sauces to thick cereals – and even stews, so there’s no worries about burning. More than convenience, the Stirrific is also smart. Its custom engineered, dishwasher-safe “StirPeller” blades are inspired by the propeller designs of naval ships and submarines and deliver maximum power and efficiency from the units ultra-quiet motor. The result? Velvety smooth sauces, remarkable risottos, super soups and stews – without burning through hours of your valuable time. Plus, the StirPeller’s nylon composite construction gives the perfect amount flexibility to ensure optimal contact with virtually the entire cooking interior.
|Erica Peters, Marelene Sorosky Gray, Jacqueline Mallorca and John Phillip Carroll|
|Illustration of James Beard by Jacqueline Mallorca|
When you hear the name “chess pie,” you might think that it has something to do with a classic chess board. A chess pie is a classic – but it doesn’t have anything to do with the board game. Chess pie is a Southern custard pie made with sugar, eggs, milk and cornmeal. The cornmeal is a relatively unique addition to the pie and helps to create a slightly crispy top over a sweet, tender custard.
Chess pies can be made in a wide variety of flavors and this Pumpkin Spice Chess Pie is a great choice for fall baking. It is a twist on the basic recipe, but with a generous amount of pumpkin spice added. To bring in the spice element, I used a blend of the spices that normally make up a pumpkin pie spice mix: cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. I added all of these spices individually, but you can substitute 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice for all of the other spices if you happen to have some on hand. Make sure that your spices are fresh for best results, as your pie won’t have as much flavor if that pumpkin pie spice has been sitting in the back of your pantry for the past few Halloweens!
I recommend using a homemade pastry crust for this recipe because store-bought crusts tend to be a little on the smaller side and you might not be able to fit all the filling into the crust. That said, I do like the flavor of a shortbread or graham cracker crust with this filling, so using a pre-made crust is not necessarily a bad idea. When filling your pie crust, fill it almost to the top of the pan and reserve whatever doesn’t fit. It’s not worth overflowing the pie shell (any pie shell) to try to squeeze in a bit of extra filling because it can throw off the bake on the whole pie. While you probably won’t have any extra with a slightly deeper pie pan, any leftover filling can be baked in individual ramekins until just set.
This pie should be chilled before serving to help it set up completely and make it easier to slice. It has a dense custard filling with a nice vanilla and buttermilk flavor. There is a visible layer of spice on the top of the pie, along with a crisp sugar and cornmeal topping over the whole thing. It tastes almost like a fall coffee cake – but feels much more indulgent. Serve it as-is or top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Pumpkin Spice Chess Pie
dough for 9-inch pie crust or baked crumb crust
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tbsp yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
5 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 350F.
Roll out pie dough on a lightly floured surface and fit crust to a 9-inch pie plate. Chill rolled crust in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cornmeal, salt and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the buttermilk, spices and vanilla, followed by the cooled, melted butter until batter is smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until pie is set.
Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate until cold before slicing.
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Since 2009, millions of people have transformed their lives with the Whole30. Now, co-creator Melissa Hartwig is making it even easier to achieve Whole30 success with delicious slow cooker recipes that turn ingredients into delicious, hearty meals while you’re out and about. This follow-up to the best-selling The Whole30 Cookbook is packed with 150 recipes designed to get you out of the kitchen fast, so you can enjoy all the benefits of your Whole30-inspired lifestyle. The Whole30 Slow Cooker features delicious, no-fuss dinners that cook while you work; roasts that transform into tacos, salads, and soups, for easy meals throughout the week; and satisfying one-pot meals that make prep and cleanup a breeze. These creative meals use whole-food ingredients found in any supermarket, and as an added bonus, feature recipes and directions for making your meals Instant Pot-friendly!
Perfecting the art of food preparation. With a brushed stainless finish that adds a touch of elegance to any modern kitchen, the Cuisinart Prep Plus Food Processor is the ideal prep tool for any task. It’s compact build allows it to fit comfortably on any countertop and the large work bowl makes it easy to create an entire meal from scratch. After all, it’s a Cuisinart!.
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