Clown, ninja, pirate, blue m&m, clown again, colonial man, and matador. Those were some of my Halloween costumes over the years, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve taken it more seriously. I’ve always been a big fan of Halloween ever since I was a kid going door to door with my mamma and sisters asking strangers for candy. It was the highlight of my year. We’d then go home and mom would check all of the candy before we were allowed to eat any, because that’s what mothers do. Then she’d torment us and hide our loot, and only allow us to pick and eat one candy a day after that. Talk about torture. That was until my middle sister got smart and found out where she hid the candy and we’d sneak in a few extra pieces a day. (Sorry mamma). Free candy aside though, it’s a great holiday. It marks the beginning of all of the great holidays at the end of the year; Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, and of course everything else in between. Halloween marks the start of all that though, and nothing screams autumn quite like October 31st does. Autumn is definitely my favorite season, despite the fact that we don’t have seasons at all here in Los Angeles. We do in spirit and that’s all that counts…or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.
(P.S. Mini me from the vault!!) If you’ve visited my site before, you’ll know that when it comes to doughnuts I don’t mess around. I take them very seriously, and although I eat doughnuts all-year-round (like for real, all year round), I for some unknown reason really crave doughnuts in autumn. Is that weird? I’ve teamed up with Urban Outfitters to bring you these Death By Chocolate Doughnuts to help us all celebrate Halloween a little early this year. To get us in the Halloween spirit. They’re chocolate yeast doughnuts filled with strawberry jam and then because that isn’t enough, they’re also dipped in dark chocolate ganache and decorated with white chocolate to look like a spider web because it’s Halloween and things should be spooky and our desserts should be fun. They’re the perfect treat to make and eat all month long.
In order to get started with the dough, we need to proof the yeast. In a small bowl, combine the water, a bit of sugar and the active dry yeast. Let rest in a warm spot for about 10 minutes.
**Note: Proofing yeast is just a fancy technical term for waking up that dry yeast. Yeast is just like me and you, it needs food and water to grow.**
**Note: If the yeast doesn’t foam up after 10 minutes, during this process, toss it out and start over. This is a crucial step. You want to make sure your dough rises properly.**
In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the flour and cocoa powder. I used an unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder, but regular dutch-processed cocoa powder if that’s what you have on hand.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast mixture, milk, melted butter, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, sugar and salt. Then add the dry ingredients little by little.
Mix everything together with the dough hook attachment, and continue to stir until all of the flour mixture has been added. Knead on high until the dough pulls away from the sides and is soft and somewhat elastic.
**Note: The dough will be a little sticky, but that’s okay. Don’t worry. If the dough hasn’t pulled away and is still very sticky, add a bit more flour until it does.**
Transfer to a well oiled bowl and turn over to coat both sides of the dough.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.
**Tip: I think the best spot for this is in an oven that has been turned off. I like to prepare the oven by turning it on for a few seconds and once it feels a bit humid in there, I turn it off, place the bowl in and then close the door.**
Once the dough has doubled, transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead once or twice. Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Cut into 3 or 4-inch rounds using a metal round doughnut cutter. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
**Note: Since these doughnuts will be filled with jam, you want to make sure you don’t punch out a hole in the center like with most doughnuts.**
Cover the baking sheet loosely with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a heavy-bottomed pot with about 2-inches of vegetable or canola oil. Heat to 360ºF and then fry the doughnuts in batches for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Make sure to flip over half way.
**Note: Use a candy or deep-fry thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil so that the doughnuts cook evenly.**
Transfer the doughnuts to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and once cool enough to handle, fill them with jam. Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a star or round tip with seedless jam.
**Note: You can use whatever flavor jam you like. Strawberry or raspberry are best with chocolate but also because when you bite into one of the doughnuts, you want it to look like it’s oozing out blood.**
Once all the doughnuts are filled with jam, dip them into chocolate ganache. And then pipe out a swirl of white chocolate on top. Using a toothpick or sharp knife, create a web design by dragging the toothpick from the center outward in straight lines, through the white chocolate swirl.
**Note: If you want to learn how to make a basic ganache, check out these Mini Pistachio Boston Cream Pies to find out how!**
Continue decorating each doughnut until they all have a spooky “web” on top. If you get frustrated because it isn’t coming out right, don’t worry. I was there myself. Just take a step back. Relax. Breathe. Continue doing it even though you’re not sure. The more that you keep doing it, the better you’ll become at it. The last couple doughnuts will be the best you do.
I know that this step can be a little tedious, but I promise the design is totally well worth it.
**Note: If you don’t want to go through the entire process of making spooky webs, you can stop at the chocolate ganache.**
Serve the doughnuts immediately or cover them loosely with plastic wrap and store at room temperature until ready to eat, up to 2 days in advance. These doughnuts aren’t good longer than 3 days, so I recommend eating them right away. Although I can guarantee that if you make these they’ll definitely be gone right away.
If you really want to take these doughnuts even more over the edge and just really go for that chocolate attack, you can fill them with chocolate ganache instead of the jam. That would be a chocolate dream come true for a lot of people. You might need a nap after that.
At the same time, if you’re not a filled doughnut type of person, you can totally just omit the jam and leave them plain. They’d still be just as tasty thanks to the ganache and white chocolate. I’m giving you all sorts of options just in case, that way you can try them whichever way you prefer.
I wish our food/desserts were spooky (or just themed in general) more often throughout the year, not just on holidays. Like, let’s make festive cookies just because it’s Wednesday. Or let’s make a Christmas cake (whatever that is) on a Friday in July because we feel like it. I think we should all play with our food more. we’d have a lot more fun in the kitchen for sure.
Since Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, I know we’re all gearing up for all of those parties we’re going to on Friday and Saturday. Whether you’re the one throwing the party or you’re heading over to a friend’s, don’t be caught empty handed. Show your friends and family how much you care about them by making them these doughnuts. And if you’re not big fans of your friends or family, show how much you love yourself by making a batch all for you and you alone. You’ll be glad you did.
I want to apologize for the fact that this is one of those sneaky posts where you have to click to another site to get the recipe. I only do a few of them every once in a while, to keep you on your toes, so I hope you’ll forgive me. You can find the actual recipe for these doughnuts on the Urban Outfitters Blog! Click here to head on over and get the full recipe for yourself! Don’t let Halloween go by without trying these doughnuts out.