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October 07, 2008

I'm the Host for Sugar High Friday! Time to Spice Up Your Life


I'm very excited this month, and not just because it's finally, fully autumn and there's all the wonderful cold-weather baking I'm going to do, plus the holidays lurking in the turning of fall leaves (is it me, or do Christmas displays in the stores go up sooner and sooner every year?)

I'm thrilled to finally be hosting Sugar High Friday, the grande dame of online events for sweet-minded bloggers. When I e-mailed Jennifer, The Domestic Goddess and founder of this event, I expressed surprise that I'd been running a dessert blog for two and half years and had yet to play host, and she concurred.

For my inaugural turn as Sugar High Friday host, I'm choosing Spices as the theme. I think it's fabulously appropriate, as fall is the perfect time for filling your kitchen with the alluring and cozy aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and all those other spices that put one in the holiday frame of mind.

It's also a chance, if you like, to experiment with some spices that you may not be as familiar with and perhaps may not associate with baking: star anise, rosemary, wattleseed, to name a few?

The rules for this Sugar High Friday are simple: make something using one or as many spices as you like.
If you need some inspiration for spices to use, there are some great lists here and here. It should still a sweet dish and not a savory dish, of course! Here are some spice-inspired recipes from Dessert First to get you going:

Apple Spice Cakes

Maple Star Anise Mousse

Spiced Chocolate Mousses

Roasted Cinnamon Ice Cream



I've also taken this opportunity to make Claudia Fleming's Sugar-and-Spice Doughnuts from The Last Course. I seldom make doughnuts, fearing their effect on my waistline, but these fluffy, yeasty little pillows of happiness are worth it. The dough is a breeze to make and the finished golden fritters boast a distinctly exotic tone with the inclusion of orange flower water and mace. Rolled in sugar, cinnamon, and cardamon, they are delightful way to start the day - or end a meal.

So this month, I hope to see you all adding a little spice to your lives! How can you participate and show me your spice?

1. Make your dish and post about it on your blog before Monday, October 27th.

2. Send me an e-mail with SHF in the subject line. Include in your e-mail:

The name of your dish

The link to your post

The link to your blog

A photo of your creation (250 px by 250 px)

Your name, of course, so I can properly credit your creation in the round-up!

3. Come back on Friday, October 31st (otherwise known as Halloween) for a sweet-and-spicy roundup!

Happy Baking, and I look forward to seeing all your entries!

Sugar and Spice Doughnuts

adapted from Claudia Fleming's The Last Course

makes about a dozen doughnuts


1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon mace

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 tablespoon orange flower water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Vegetable oil for frying

Sugar and Spice Topping

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon

Warm milk in a saucepan or in microwave until just warm, not hot (you will kill the yeast). Combine milk in a small bowl with the 1/2 tablespoon sugar and the yeast and let sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture has expanded and bubbled.

Combine flour, remaining sugar, mace, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Mix the egg, orange flower water, and 3 tablespoons of water together in another small bowl.

With the mixture running on low speed, slowly add in the yeast mixture, egg mixture, and melted butter, mixing just until it starts to come together.

Switch to the dough hook and mix the dough together for another 10-15 minutes, until the dough has formed a ball around the hook and making slapping noises around the bowl.

Scrape dough together, place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Roll the dough out to about a 3/16" thickness on a lightly floured surface or silicone baking mat. Chill for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough into rings and holes with a donut cutter, or if don't have one, just cut into 1-inch squares. Place on a baking sheet lined with lightly greased parchment paper, cover with another piece of lightly greased parchment paper, and let proof in a warm area for about 30 minutes, until the doughnuts have risen.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the sugar and spice topping in a bowl.

When you are ready to fry the doughnuts, fill a medium heavy-duty saucepan about half full with the oil and heat on medium-high heat to 375 degrees.

Carefully drop in a few doughnuts at a time, taking care not to overcrowd them - they won't be able to cook properly and you'll have more difficulty pulling them out at the right time.

Fry for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side until they are evenly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain.

When they have cooled enough to touch but are not totally cool, toss them in the sugar and spice topping to coat. Serve immediately.


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Sugar & Spice, what a great combination ! I like the idea...

OMG, those doughnuts look perfect! Really beautiful and tempting!



Such perfect looking donuts :) I look forward to trying something spicy on for size..hehe

This so reminded me of my childhood. Sigh. Big smile :)

Oooh, I haven't done a SHF in a while. I'm thrilled with your choice of theme, Anita, so I'll try and come up with an entry this month!

What a perfect theme!!

What a great choice for SHF!!! Your doughnuts look so tasty! I think I would have to stop myself from eating every one of them!

wow, these look fantastic. I bet they smell great too.

These look really delicious!

I absolutely love this theme, Anita!

Oh these sound so appealing, and I have been yearning for...something....

Fantastic!!! I try to do a receip!!!

I've never done this kind of thing, but I have the perfect cookie dough in my fridge right now. I guess all I have to do is bake and photograph.

These look scrumptious!

Haha! I love your tic-tac-toe design.

glorious doughnuts anita!! and such a perfect theme for this time of year. i love a little spice to warm me in the chilly autumn. i really want to participate, but without my camera...i'll see what i can do!

I love the idea of SHF and spice is a great challenge and inspiration. Your donuts look fantastic!!!

These look incredible. I just love a good donut. I like the addition of the spices, livens up this simple donut.

Wonderful theme with loads of potential.

Yum--those donuts look amazing!

I love the links to the spice-lists too.

I'm vicariously joining the SHF...

Wow, these doughnuts looks so yummy... Sugar and cinnamon is always a wonderful combination... Simply love the fragrance of cinnamon... I really miss the cinnamon twists from Taco Bell and this indeed reminds me of those mouth-watering desserts...

Anita what a great choice! I'm sure you're going to be a wonderful host! I'm allready thinking of spicy things! ;) Donuts look so cute, I love the last picture!!!

Anita, this will be my first entry of any blog event ever. Thanks for hosting and giving me something general enough to work with that I can actually come up with something to submit! And your doughnuts look like they came from some high-end doughnut shop: very pretty!

Those donuts look SO good. Those are my husband's favorite treat so I'll have to try it!

Hi, my name is Glaucia, from São Paulo, Brazil. Just wanted to say that I loved your blog, even though I’ve been having a hard time translating all the recipes!

Kisses, Glaucia

Nice Theme with spices. Hopefully, I can join your event. How about banana bread with cinnamon? or....something else :). I love doughnuts, yours look amazing!

Delicious looking donuts, Anita! And I love this month theme!

I promised Josh that we would make doughnuts soon! Thanks for the great recipe! They look fabulous!

Mmm...these put me in the mood for Fall. I'd have trouble eating only one. Scary.

My very first SHF and with a spiced up theme to match! I've just recently launched my own food blog (with a decadently sweet focus, of course!)and have been dying to participate in one of these events. Interestingly enough, I just posted a recipe for a New Mexican bread and butter pudding laced with sweet cinnamon syrup and cheddar which would have been a perfect contender. But, I think I'm going to take up the challenge and find something new... Wish me luck!

wondeful Anita! now, i hope i could remember to make something this month :D

Just sent you my submission for SHF

Almost done with my post! :)

Just sent in my entry:)

i haven't done SHF in a couple of months, and i think i already know exactly what i want to do. great theme!

Yay! I am looking forward to participating for the first time! Hopefully I can find time this weekend to do some baking.
Can't wait for the smells in my kitchen....

Doughnuts are my favorite food.. and these look incredible!!! I would do anything for these doughnuts rite now!!!!


Hi, I am visiting you for the first time. I saw the event at Deeba's and I liked the theme so I have prepared a recipe just for your event. I shall be sending it soon.


Anita, I´ve submitted my entry for SHF

just sent you my entry Anita, hope you get it in time!:)

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