I’m not sure if the convergence of the Thanksgiving and Chanukah makes me happy or just confused; either way, it is happening this year and won’t again for another 77,798 years.
A group of food bloggers decided to get together and mark this occasion. At the bottom of this post, you’ll find links to all our yummy recipes.
Whether you are Jewish and celebrating “Thanksgivukkah” as some are calling the dual holiday or standing on the Chanukah sidelines, I hope you’ll enjoy this crazy dessert in celebration of both – Pumpkin-Glazed Cronuts – and check out the other bloggers’ recipes for inspiration and perhaps a treat for your own table.
Before the recipe, a short detour to explain pumpkin’s connection to Thanksgiving, the Chanukah story, and why I decided to make pumpkin-glazed cronuts for my Thanksgivukkah dessert post.
Americans, who are generally familiar with the Thanksgiving story, associate pumpkins with that holiday because the Native Americans gave them to the Pilgrims then as gifts. Historians believe that the pilgrims weren’t thrilled with pumpkins then. However, after a long, difficult winter in New England, they began to see the culinary possibilities in this round, bright orange member of the squash family. Within a few decades pumpkin desserts even began to appear in French and English cookbooks.
What is Chanukah, Anyway?
The Jewish holiday of Chanukah, on the other hand, is less well known. Chanukah celebrates the Maccabees victory over the Syrians and the miraculous replenishing of the 1-day supply of oil in the Temple candelabra (menorah) so that it lasted for 8 days. In remembrance of that 8 days worth of oil, the Chanukah holiday lasts 8 day and fried foods are traditional, both potato pancakes (latkes) as a side dish and donuts (sufganyot) for dessert.
I’ve eaten donuts for decades, but always left the frying to others. Last week, I made pumpkin butter for the first time. And while I have seen articles on cronuts, I’ve never sampled the croissant-donut combination, let alone made one. Given that situation, I decided to figure out how to add pumpkin to an easy, not-totally-homemade cronut.
A few notes on this recipe: My ingredients combine a short-cut and a homemade element, either one of which may not be to your liking. If you are intrigued by the concept but dubious about my choices, by all means, make it your way. Offended by my use of store-bought puff pastry? Feel free to make your own. Can’t imagine making homemade pumpkin butter (which is really easy, trust me)? Don’t be shy about substituting store-bought. The puff pastry is buttery and light, but not sweet and the final result is not nearly as sugar-filled as a “real” donut or, I suspect a true cronut. That’s fine by me.
Thanksgivukkah Pumpkin-Glazed Cronuts
Servings – 6 cronuts Cost – $6
- 1 frozen sheet of puff pastry (2 come in a single package/box)
- Canola or other tasteless, high- smoke point oil
- 4-8 tablespoons pumpkin butter
- 2 – 4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 2-6 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon flour (not shown in picture)
- Candy thermometer
- Strainer with handle or slotted spoon
- 2 cookie or biscuit cutters, 1 about 3 ¾ – 4 inches in diameter, the other about 1¼ inches
- 1-6” bamboo skewer or other wooden or metal straight edge & ruler (optional)
- Wax or parchment paper
- Paper towels
- 2 cookie sheets
- Measuring spoons
- Small bowl or ramekin
- Cut a large circle at one corner of the puff pastry sheet, then cut a smaller one inside the large one so that you get a circle with a hole. Place both on the wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Continue doing that until you use up all the sheet.
- Place the cookie sheet with circles and dots in the refrigerator, covered with another sheet of wax paper.
- Place the candy thermometer in the pot so that the tip is almost, but not actually, touching the pot bottom.
- Put 1-inch of oil in the pot. If you aren’t confident estimating, use a wooden skewer marked at the 1 inch point.
- Place a cookie sheet with a doubled piece of paper towel near the stove top, so you can easily move the cooked cronuts to it when they are done.
- Heat the oil to 350 – 360 degrees F. If you do not have a thermometer, test by putting a small scrap of puff pastry in. It should balloon up, cook quickly and brown within just seconds.
- When the oil is hot enough, take the circles and dots out of the refrigerator and add in 1 or 2 to the oil at a time. Watch them carefully – they cook super quickly!!! As the dough bubbles, turn each piece over so that both sides cook. With the dots, that gets a bit tricky; just make sure you roll them around.
- As soon as all are done, turn off the heat under oil.When the oil is completely cool, dispose of it properly. As you can see, I first used a biscuit cutter that was too small, before switching to the larger and better-sized cookie cutter.
- Mix the pumpkin butter, confectioners’ sugar, and milk in the small bowl or ramekin. Start with 2 tablespoons of pumpkin butter, and 1 each of confectioners sugar and milk. Add more milk as necessary to make the glaze shiny and less thick than the pumpkin butter, but not runny.
- Spread on the cronuts and cronut holes and decorate as desired, making more glaze if necessary.
These are best eaten shortly after you make them as they tend to get soft within a few hours.