I was recently contacted to develop a recipe for a pistachio company. How exciting! It’s a new up and coming company called Hellas Farms. They’ve produced a naturally sundried Greek pistachio that is slow roasted with a touch of sea salt. I’m always up for a challenge and I like working with people and companies like myself that are up and coming. But what should I make? A while back, I made a pistachio cake with honey cream cheese frosting, but I didn’t want to do the same thing again. It thought of a shortbread cookie, but wanted to be a little more creative. Then I had a “V-8” moment and thought of doughnuts! I love, love, love doughnuts. Whenever I hear of a new shop opening, I’m one of the first in line to sample the little delicious rounds of sweet dough. I decided to make pistachio mini doughnuts with a vanilla glaze.
When the samples arrived, I will fully admit to immediately opening a bag and eating a handful right away. I just happen to love pistachios and looked forward to trying them. They were delicious. Lightly salted and naturally pistachio sweet. Now to turn these little nuts into doughnuts. I settled on making a fried cake doughnut instead of yeast. I thought the nuts would blend better with this type of dough. I also thought about baking them, but if you’re going to have a doughnut, for me, you have to be ok with a little bit of fried goodness.
I’ve never had a pistachio doughnut before, but now that I’ve made them, I don’t know how I’ve lived so long without them! The doughnuts had the perfect light crunch on the outside with a nice cake texture and the delicate flavor of pistachio. I consciously made a light glaze for the doughnuts allowing pistachios to shine. I had so much fun creating this recipe. Thanks Hellas Farms!
Pistachio Mini Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze
for the doughnuts
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter (, at room temperature)
- 1 egg (, at room temperature)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup ground Hellas Farms Greek Pistachios
- ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup whole buttermilk ((low fat is fine too))
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup Hellas Farms Greek Pistachios (, chopped fine)
- Canola oil ((for frying))
for the glaze
- 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar (, sifted, plus more as needed)
- ¾ teaspoons corn syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 cup hot water (, plus more as needed)
make the doughnuts
- Using food processor (or a coffee grinder), pulse pistachios until finely ground, about 40 seconds. (Do not over process, or mixture will become paste.) Add flour, baking powder, and salt and pulse briefly to combine. In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together sugar and butter until mixture is pale and fluffy. Add egg, beating a minute. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
- Pour buttermilk, and vanilla into butter mixture. Mix well (the batter will look a bit curdled) Add flour mixture and combine on low speed just until fully moistened.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and generously flour. Turn dough out and pat gently into 1/2-inch-thickness. Sprinkle dough with additional flour, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up. Remove dough from the freezer; use a lightly floured 2-inch doughnut cutter to cut out about 10 doughnuts with holes. (You may gather the scraps and roll again as needed, but you may need to chill the dough more to firm it up.) Place cut doughnuts on the other baking sheet as you go; then transfer to the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up again.
- Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels and set it nearby. In large pot or deep fryer, heat 3 inches of oil to 370° (test with an instant-read or deep fry thermometer). Drop 3 or 4 doughnuts into the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook until browned on one side, about 1 minute; then flip and cook until browned on the other side, about 1 minute longer. Repeat with the remaining dough.
make the glaze
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth. Immerse each doughnut into the glaze then dip the glaze into the chopped pistachios. Place on a wire rack above a sheet pan to catch any excess glaze. Let sit for 20 minutes until glaze is set. Donuts are best served the day they are made but may be store in an air tight container at room temperature for a few days.