All images: EMERYVILLE, CALIF – October 23, 2013 – Thirty domestic and international press outlets participate in a media day, including a mom blogger cooking demo with Pixar Chef Jennifer Johnston, in support of “Monsters University” In-Home release on October 29th at Pixar Animation Studios. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar) All rights reserved.
I recently had the opportunity to take a trip to campus. The campus of Monsters University at Pixar Animation Studios! While there myself and some other amazing bloggers were able to spend some time perfecting our Pixar chef skills in the kitchen with Pixar Chef Jennifer Johnston creating Pumpkin Glazed Doughnut Holes and Mulled Cider. Now, being Monsters University there was nothing scary about this kitchen, except for adding the name “Slug” to the Donut Holes and “Sludge” to the Mulled Cider.
Chef Johnston walked us through creating these delicious donuts, which yes, I admit my children ate the next morning for breakfast. There was no stopping them when I showed it to them that morning as an incentive to get ready. It was supposed to be an afterschool snack, but hey I tried them so I know how difficult it can be to hold back from something homemade and that tastes this good!
So here’s your chance to make it in your home!
- 2¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1½ cup granulated sugar (2/3 cup for dry mix and ¾ cup for final dusting)
- 1½ teaspoon backing powder
- ½ teaspoon backing soda
- 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
- 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lemon zested
- 2 cage free eggs
- 2 ounce butter melted
- ⅔ cup butermilk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups canola, rice bran or peanut oil for frying
- Pumpkin glaze
- 1 box powdered sugar
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Adult supervision required.
- Fit a large heavy duty saucepan with canola oil. Preheat to 350 degrees. Maintain temperature using candy thermometer.
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels, set aside.
- In a medium bowl sift together the flour, ⅔ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, yeast and salt and set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl whisk the melted butter into the eggs, followed by buttermilk, lemon zest and vanilla extract.
- Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet into it. Mix throughly with a spatula or wooden spoon till moisture absorbed. Do not overmix or donuts will be tough.
- Place flour on cutting board and place heaping spoonfuls of dough onto flour. Cover with flower and place it on your hands. Roll it around to make balls.
- To Fry the donuts place balls in the cooking oil and cook several minutes until golden brown. Place on sheet to drain.
- Let donuts cool completely before glazing.
- For the glaze -
- Sift powdered sugar. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisky until smooth.
- To serve - dip donuts into glaze and let sit on cooling rack until glaze sets.
Now that you have a yummy treat to eat, you need one to drink too! This one is perfect for entertaining this fall, especially for Thanksgiving and yes, even at Christmas.
1 gallon farm fresh Apple Juice
8 Cinnamon sticks
6 Whole Allspice
4 Star Anise
4 Whole Cardamon
1 Orange Peel (with as little pith as possible)
1 750 mil. bottle sparkling pear cider
Using a medium pot bring all but the sparkling pear cider to a boil on the stove. Remove from heat and cover. Steep for one hour. Strain and chill for one hour before adding ice and pear cider. Reheat for hot apple pear cider.
A huge thank you to Pixar Animation Studio for permitting us access to their kitchen. How nice was that to have everything I would actually need all in one place! Usually I’m looking for ingredients, bowls, cups and baking dishes at the last minute. A big thank you to Chef Johnston and her staff for providing us with these amazing recipes and delicious sweet treats to share with our families and our readers.
Disclosure: I received an all expenses paid trip to from Pixar to attend the Monsters University press event and to participate in this interview. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.