Stephen "Mr. Doughnut" Collucci appeals to the "inner child in everybody" when shaping the dessert menu at Top Chef host Tom Colicchio's Manhattan restaurant, Colicchio & Sons. "What I do in the restaurant - and in this book - is inspired by those memorable flavors and experiences from when I was a kid," he says.
Pumpkin Spice Drop Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Frosting
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/3 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Vegetable oil, for frying
Cream Cheese Frosting
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pie spice and mix well. Add the pumpkin, buttermilk, egg and egg yolk and mix until just barely combined. Add the melted, cooled butter and mix until just combined. Put the dough in the refrigerator and chill for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat at least 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot fitted with a deep-fry thermometer until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with paper towels.
Using a 3/4-ounce (1 1/4 inches in diameter) ice cream scoop, gently drop balls of batter into the oil, taking care not to crowd the pot. (Note: dipping your ice cream scoop or spoon into the fryer oil from time to time helps lubricate the scoop so that the dough pops neatly and easily into the fryer.) Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown all over. The balls tend to bob in the oil and rotate on their own, but it doesn't hurt to nudge here and there so that they cook evenly on all sides. Drain on the paper-towel-lined baking sheet.
Spread each doughnut ball with a smear of the cream cheese frosting while still warm and serve them immediately.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 3/4 cup
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tsps. vanilla extract
Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix well. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Reprinted from Glazed, Filled, Sugared & Dipped by Stephen Collucci. Copyright © 2013. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House LLC. Recipe photo: Renee Comet for USA WEEKEND. Food Styling by Lisa Cherkasky.