Doughnut Hole Monster Eyeballs

Don’t look at me like that. Haven’t you ever seen eyeball-shaped doughnut holes arrayed on a fur pelt before? Live a little, darlings.

Doughnut Hole Monster Eyeballs | SugarHero.com

See, what happened was that my doughnut holes were larger than expected after frying. (Story of my doughnut life.) So I decided that they weren’t just doughnut hole eyeballs, they were doughnut hole monster eyeballs. And from there it was just a short mental hop, skip, and jump to placing them on appropriately creepy monster fur. Mmm, synthetic hair…it’s what’s for dessert.

Doughnut Hole Monster Eyeballs | SugarHero.com

I don’t make doughnuts very often, and it’s a good thing I don’t. I’ve discovered that I love homemade doughnuts a little too much, if you know what I mean. I can’t remember the last time I bought a doughnut from a shop, but somehow when they were in my kitchen, fresh from the fryer and giving off those flirty doughnut smells, yeasty with just a bit of cinnamon, they were irresistible. Let’s just say my personal food pyramid had doughnut holes as the very bottom layer that day.

Doughnut Hole Monster Eyeballs | SugarHero.com

Full disclosure: this recipe makes a crazy amount of doughnut holes. Please, if you make this, I beg you to turn some into regular-sized doughnuts, otherwise you will have doughnut holes coming out of your ears. And we all know that doughnuts are meant to go into mouths, not out of ears. Get it right. On the plus side, it allowed me to make a mini doughnut mountain:

Doughnut Hole Monster Eyeballs | SugarHero.comI want to go to there

Once the doughnuts were glazed and decorated, Jason and I had some fun shooting his hands in monstrous, eyeball-cradling poses. He would like you to know that he can do some really cool/gross tricks with his finger joints and he was holding back for the sake of art. In the end, I told him not to hold back any more and to let his inner monster out…

Doughnut Hole Monster Eyeballs | SugarHero.comHulk smaaaaaash!Doughnut Hole Monster Eyeballs | SugarHero.com

Oh yes, did I mention the doughnuts are filled? They’re filled! I used cherry pie filling (blended to the texture of chunky jam) because it has such a bright red color, but any sort of berry jam should work nicely.

The only real “specialty” ingredient you might need for these is white food coloring. It’s not necessary, taste-wise, but it’s what gives the doughnut glaze an actual white color, instead of just a translucent sheen. Americolor and Wilton’s both make white coloring, so between those, you should be able to find it at most cake/candy/craft stores. Your other option would be to use white candy coating, to give it more of a cake pop look. But I wanted mine to look like glazed doughnuts, dang it, so glazed doughnuts they were.

Doughnut Hole Monster Eyeballs | SugarHero.com

Happy Halloween, friends! May your doughnuts be filled, your eyeballs remain intact, and your monsters be hairy.

Recipe Notes: This recipe makes a lot of doughnut holes. Like, a crazy amount. You probably don’t need 100 doughnut holes. But halving it didn’t make sense with the ingredients—do you really want to measure out half of an egg? So you may want to make some doughnut holes and some regular doughnuts, so you’re not frying all morning long.

More ways to speed up this process: Instead of cutting out the circles, use a knife to cut the dough into strips and then squares. When they’re fried, they will puff up enough to be fairly round. They won’t be perfect, but my painstakingly cut circles didn’t turn out perfect either! Another idea is to omit the cherry  filling step.

Finally, you can make these doughnuts in two parts, by making the dough in the evening, then refrigerating it overnight. It will rise in the refrigerator, and in the morning you can roll it out, cut it, and proceed from the second rise.

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Doughnut Hole Monster Eyeballs
yield: 100 large doughnut holes

For the Doughnut Holes:
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon shortening
1.5 tablespoons butter
1 package (3/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1 egg, lightly beaten, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
11.5 ounces (about 2-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 gallon vegetable or peanut oil, for frying

To Fill and Assemble:
1 large can cherry pie filling (can substitute 2 cups raspberry or strawberry jam)
8 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp White food coloring (very important for getting a white color!)
2 7-oz packages Life Savers Gummies
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
Red food coloring
Deep fry thermometer

To Make the Doughnut Holes:
Warm the milk in a small saucepan on the stove just until it start to simmer. Place the shortening and butter in the bowl of a large stand mixer and pour the warm milk over them, letting the milk melt the shortening and butter.

In a small bowl, combine the warm water (you’re looking for 95-105 degrees F, so it should be warmer than body temperature) and the packet of yeast, and mix briefly. Let it set for about 5 minutes, so the yeast can bloom.

Once the milk has cooled to lukewarm and the yeast has bloomed, add the yeast to the large mixing bowl that contains the milk and butter/shortening. Then add the beaten egg, the sugar, the salt, the cinnamon, and half of the flour. (This will be 5-3/4 ounces, or about 1-1/4 cup). Use the paddle attachment and beat the mixture on medium speed for five minutes, until it’s very smooth.

Now add the rest of the flour and, using the paddle again, beat for an additional 2 minutes until thick and smooth. Switch to the dough hook and beat the dough on medium speed for 5 minutes, until the dough forms a soft, smooth ball around the hook and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If it seems a little sticky while it’s mixing, add a touch more flour, but only another tablespoon or two. Let the mixing do most of the work and resist the temptation to add too much flour, or else you will have tough doughnuts. When the dough is smooth, supple, and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, turn off the mixer.

Generously oil a large bowl and turn the doughnut dough into the oiled bowl. Cover with a cloth and set it in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, until doubled in size.

After an hour, dust your work surface with flour, punch down the dough, and turn it out onto your work surface. Roll it into a thin layer about 1/2-inch thick. Use a small round cookie cutter, about 1 inch wide, to cut circles out of the dough. Space the holes 2 inches apart on several baking sheets covered with parchment and lightly dusted with flour. Once you have cut out all the shapes you can, re-roll the dough and cut out more.

Cover the sheets of doughnuts with a light cloth and let them rise for 30 minutes, until doubled in size.

Heat the oil in a heavy pot or a deep fryer until it reaches 265 degrees Fahrenheit. You will definitely want to use a deep fry thermometer to monitor the temperature and make sure that it stays within the range of 260-270 F, so your doughnuts don’t cook too quickly or too slowly.

Once the doughnuts have risen and the oil is the right temperature, gently place 6-7 doughnut holes at a time in the oil and fry them for 50-60 seconds per side, until they are puffed and golden brown. Once cooked, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon or frying tool, and place them on a paper-towel lined baking sheet to cool. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts. If the oil gets too hot, turn the heat down, and if it gets too cool, pause your frying until it has a chance to heat up again. Let the doughnuts cool at room temperature for 30 minutes before filling them.

To Fill and Assemble:

Blend the cherry pie filling in a blender or food processor, pulsing briefly, until it’s the texture of chunky jam.

To fill the doughnuts, use a skewer or dowel to poke a hole in one end of the doughnuts, but don’t poke all the way through to the other side! Instead, wiggle the dowel around the center of the doughnut to make space for the filling. (If you have a Bismarck tip, the kind used for filling cupcakes, you can forget the dowel entirely and use that instead.)

Fit a piping bag with a 1/4-inch round tip and fill it with your cherry pie mixture. Stick the tip in the hole that you’ve made and squeeze to fill the doughnuts. Stop squeezing when you start to encounter resistance, and remove the tip. If some filling leaks out, clean off the outside of the doughnuts before glazing and decorating them.

Prepare the gummies: this sounds crazy, but I cut them in half sideways, so they wouldn’t be so tall and stick up obtrusively on the doughnuts. If you want to follow my insanity, use kitchen shears to cut the gummies in half.

To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and white food coloring. (You may find it easiest to make several smaller batches instead of one big batch.) Whisk until no lumps of powdered sugar remain. It will be thicker than most doughnut glazes, but that’s necessary to get a white coating on the doughnuts. Use a fork to push a doughnut into the glaze until it’s submerged, then lift it from the glaze and let the excess drip back into the bowl.  Set the dipped doughnut on a wide cooling rack set over waxed paper or parchment, to catch excess drips.

Dip 4 or 5 more doughnuts, then, while the glaze is still wet, top each one with a gummy and push a miniature chocolate chip into the hole in the center of each gummy. Repeat this process until all of the doughnut holes are dipped and have eyeballs. Let set for at least 30 minutes to firm up the glaze. Cover remaining glaze with cling wrap pressed right on top to use later.

When the glaze on the doughnuts has set to the touch, gently lift them from the rack and place them on a parchment or waxed paper-lined surface. Add red food coloring to the remaining glaze, and pour some of it into a paper cone or pastry bag fitted with a small #1 tip. (While you technically can use a plastic bag with a hole snipped in the corner, this is a job for precision and you will find it easier to pipe the red veins if you use a pastry bag or paper cone.) Pipe red blood veins on the sides of the eyeballs. Wait for the red to dry before moving and serving the eyeballs.

Doughnut Eyeballs are best enjoyed fresh, the day they are made.

 

       

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24 Responses to Doughnut Hole Monster Eyeballs
  1. I want to go to there also. Because my personal food pyramid is actually just a doughnut mountain.
    Sarah | The Sugar Hit recently posted…Chocolate Matcha Fondants

    • Elizabeth says:

      That makes perfect sense! Here I was feeling bad about my doughnut consumption, when really I was following food pyramid guidelines. Genius!

  2. What a super fun breakfast for Halloween morning! I want doughnut holes coming out of my ears :-) Fun shots of the eyes in the hand too!!!
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life recently posted…Mocha Pumpkin Spice Cookies

    • Elizabeth says:

      Haha, after I wrote that, I thought, “Wait, doughnuts out of the ears is BAD?” I might have to rethink my position on that one. ;)

  3. Haha – how’d you know I was looking at the first eyeball picture saying to myself, “is that fur?! Hair?!” – lol. Love it and I would’ve totally enjoyed helping with the mountain of doughnuts!
    Sarah @ Miss Candiquik recently posted…10 Easiest Treats Ever

  4. So I will gladly take doughnut holes coming out of my ears! These look so delicious!! I love the festiveness of the eye balls and Jason was a wonderful hand model!!
    Emily {Pink Tiger in the Kitchen} recently posted…candy corn magic bars

    • Elizabeth says:

      Jason is the BEST hand model! He’s fastidious about his nails (which I constantly mock him for) but it sure comes in handy when I need a last-minute stand-in! Thanks Emily. :)

  5. That doughnut mountain would defintiely make my life x13267368423 times better, yep.
    I love how spooky these look. That cherry pie filling is such a genius idea!
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs recently posted…Healthy “Nutella” Truffles

  6. To be honest, I have no problem with 100 hundred doughnut holes. Give them to me!
    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry recently posted…GIVEAWAY! Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

  7. These are too cute, and I love that they’re filled with jelly for a bloody eyeball effect. I’m kind of terrified of hot oil, but this really makes me want to invest in a deep fryer!
    Natasha @ The Cake Merchant recently posted…Dark Chocolate Speculoos Truffle Cake

    • Elizabeth says:

      Don’t be scurred! I don’t even have a deep fryer and manage to make fried things occasionally. :) The big downside is that the kitchen smells like frying afterward…but a little cross-ventilation solves that. And yes, bloody eyeballs are a Halloween must!

  8. Danguole says:

    I wouldn’t even have noticed the fur pelt until you pointed it out… Too focused on other things. Do you ever get the feeling you’re being stared at?

    P.S. That last photo is so especially lovely. I can see the flawless, yeasty doughnuty texture! Heaven.
    Danguole recently posted…Brownies with Ricotta, Orange, and Poppy Seed Swirl

    • Elizabeth says:

      Not noticing the fur just means that you have your priorities in order! And yes, I def know the feeling of being stared at–you should have seen the accusatory doughnut hole eyeballs glare at me from the trash when I threw some remnants away. Chills down my spine, I tell ya.

  9. I LOL’d at this post – hilarious! And those creepy eyeball donut holes?…well, they look dang delicious to me! And if it DOES make 100 of them – I could take ‘em – yep, all 100 in my tummy!
    Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen recently posted…Peanut Butter & Banana Pumpkin Smoothie

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Kristi! There is a certain satisfaction in popping a bloody eyeball in your mouth, that’s for sure.*

      *This is a sentence I never imagined writing until I became a food blogger…

  10. Lol, no, I’ve never seen a donut hole monster eye. But if it involves a donut then I’m in! Awesome idea. :)

  11. I love these so much! I hope you had a Pan’s Labyrinth moment and walked around with doughnut eyeball hands (I would totally do that).

    Let’s go to doughnut mountain Charlie <—hope that reference was not lost XD

    -Aya
    http://healthy-appetite.blogspot.de/
    Aya @ The Healthy Appetite Blog recently posted…For a little inspiration today ♡

  12. I can’t decide which is more awesome about these – how delicious they look pre-frosting and pre-monster squish, or how disturbing the picture of the smooshed eyeball with ooze in the middle is. . . . Oh, and the fur? It was my very first thought when I saw the pic! Love it.
    Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are} recently posted…Healthy Oven Beef Jerky {Paleo, Whole30}

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Sara! It was actually really fun smashing the doughnut, and made me think that maybe I should do more smashed desserts more often. :)

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