Japanese Yuzu Doughnuts

The shape of these dumplings are similiar to the shape of the Yuzu doughnuts

Many have tried the Chinese dumplings. However, this version of doughnuts, similar in shape to the Chinese dumplings, is nothing like them. These doughnuts are like have a yeasty pie crust rolled out and pinched into 8 5-inch half crescent moon shapes, stuffed with lemon-flavored cream and deep fried for two minutes, covered with sugar.

When I tried out this recipe, I passed the doughnuts out to friends. I got the feedback that I should open a bakery because of the doughnuts and how good they were. They were warm and freshly fried less than an hour before.

The real secret to these doughnuts is that I got a candy/fry thermometer for less than $7 at my grocery store. When you heat the oil to 365 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature for the doughnuts, the doughnuts stay heated in a Ziploc bag for a very long time.

If you want to reheat them, you can reheat them in the microwave the next day.

If you only have the flours as salt ready at hand, make the mix below. If you do not have the Yuzu fruit, use a lemon instead or reduce milk in filling to 1/2 cup and use 2 tablespoons bottled yuzu juice, which is available at Asian markets.

Yuzu Doughnuts Mix

Makes: 1 (8-doughnuts) mix

1 ¼ cups bread flour

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. Kosher salt

Mix in a medium-sized bowl. Store for later or give away with a label (with the name and date written) and the recipe below.

Yuzu Doughnuts

Hands-On: 25 mins, Total: 3 hrs 20 mins, Servings: 8, Yield: 8 cream-filled doughnuts

Bottled Yuzu Juice: If you can’t find fresh yuzu, substitute Meyer lemon or reduce milk in filling to 1/2 cup and use 2 tablespoons bottled yuzu juice, which is available at Asian markets.

¾ cup plus 2 tbsps. Sugar, divided

½ cup warm milk (105°F to 115°F)

1 tsp. Active dry yeast

1 Yuzu Doughnuts

1 tsp. Butter, cubed and softened

2 egg yolks

2 tbsps. cornstarch

⅔ cup milk

2 yuzu, zested (2 tsp.)

Vegetable oil for deep-frying

For dough: In a small bowl combine 2 tbsps. sugar, the warm milk, and yeast. Let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl add milk mixture, butter and dry mix. Stir until a soft dough forms. Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead 2 minutes or until the dough feels elastic and comes together into a ball. Cover; let rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, for filling: In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks with a mixer on medium, slowly adding 1/4 cup sugar. Beat 1 to 2 minutes more until color lightens. Sift cornstarch into egg mixture. Beat on low just until combined.

In a small saucepan, heat milk until steam forms. (Do not boil.) Remove from heat. Gradually whisk half the hot milk into egg mixture. Return egg and milk mixture to saucepan. Turn heat to medium-low. Whisk 1 minute more or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in zest. Transfer to a medium bowl. Lay plastic wrap on filling to cover. Chill 1 hour.

On the floured surface, divide dough into eight equal pieces. Shape each into a ball. Cover. Let it rest for 15 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 5-inch circle. For each doughnut: Add 1 tablespoon filling to the center of dough. Moisten edges with water; bring edges up and over filling, pinching and folding to seal. Place the seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cover; let rise 45 to 60 minutes or until nearly doubled in size.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 365°F. Place remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow dish. Cook doughnuts, two at a time, in hot oil 2 minutes or until golden, turning once. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. While warm, roll in sugar to coat. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and sugar. Makes 8 doughnuts.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 291 calories; 11 g total fat; 3 g saturated fat; 5 g polyunsaturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat; 53 mg cholesterol; 171 mg sodium. 87 mg potassium; 45 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 24 g sugar; 5 g protein; 0 g trans fatty acid; 174 IU vitamin a; 1 mg Vitamin C; 0 mg thiamin; 0 mg riboflavin; 2 mg niacin equivalents; 0 mg vitamin b6; 66 mcg folate; 0 mcg vitamin b12; 54 mg calcium; 1 mg iron;

*This recipe, adapted and tested by Karen Phillips, based upon the YUZU DOUGHNUTS recipe from the Better Homes And Garden December 2019, page 76.*



Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

I adapted this recipe from another recipe on the internet.

CHOCOLATE PUFF PUFF MIX Makes: 1 mix for about 21 balls

4 cups Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour

1 cup Cacao Powder

1 1/2 cups Coconut Sugar

1 tsp Baking Powder

⅛ tsp Nutmeg

¼ tsp Sea Salt

Place the flour in a gigantic bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder. Mix in the rest of the ingredients with a fork until it incorporates all the ingredients. 

Place in a storage container for later or place in a jar, labeled with the jar contents and the date you made the mix. Then give the jar away.

CHOCOLATE PUFF PUFF RECIPE Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 12 Minutes, Yield: about 21 balls Category: Dessert, Method: Deep Fry Cuisine: Nigerian

DESCRIPTION: A twist on a classic Nigerian street food, this Chocolate Puff Puff has a crispy exterior combined with a rich & fluffy chocolate inside! Gluten-Free & Vegan.

For the Batter:


½ cup Full Fat Coconut Milk (from a can)

1 ½ cup Filtered Water

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

For Cooking and Serving:

Sunflower Oil for Deep Frying  

2 tbsp Coconut Sugar

3 tbsp Maple Syrup

¼ cup Shredded Coconut, toasted

Fill a large, deep pot with oil until it’s between 3-5 inch deep. Heat the oil over medium-high heat while you prepare the Puff Puff batter; you want it to get to around 300F. In the meantime, place the mix in a gigantic bowl. Form a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the remaining wet ingredients. Mix the batter together until everything combines and uniformed. Once the oil heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, use a small cookie or ice cream scooper to drop 3 tbsp balls of dough into the hot oil. Depending on the size of your pot, you will need to do this in 2-3 batches. Raise the heat to high and then fry the Puff Puff for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure that the dough balls cook evenly and do not stick together. The balls will have a crisp exterior and will make a “hollow” sound to them when you tap them–that’s when you know they’re done! Use a slotted spoon to transfer the Puff Puff to a plate lined with a paper towel or clean dish cloth. Immediately sprinkle the balls with Coconut Sugar and top with toasted Coconut. Drizzle with Maple Syrup and then serve them while warm.

NOTES: You can substitute the Coconut Sugar with another granulated sweetener. We only used the gluten-free all-purpose flour during the testing of this recipe.


Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins with Muffin Mix

Photo by alleksana on Pexels.com

I adapted and tested this recipe from another recipe found in the most unusual places, the back of a murder mystery book titled “MING TEA MURDER” written by Laura Childs. The book itself is A TEA SHOP MYSTERY book with recipes and tea time suggestions at the back of the book.

If you want to prepare ahead of time for afternoon tea or just want to give away a homemade muffin mix, with the Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins as a gift, then this recipe is for you.

Muffin Mix 1 Makes: 1 (12 muffin) mix

2 cups flour

½ tsp. Salt

½ tsp. Baking soda

Mix all ingredients in a gigantic bowl. Put the mix in a storage container to use later or label a mason jar and give it away with the below recipe.

If giving as a gift, be sure to label the jar with the recipe title and the date of the day you made the mix.

Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins Preheat oven to 400℉, Bake: 20 minutes, Makes: 12 muffins

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

½ tsp. Vanilla extract*

1 Muffin Mix 1

1 cup sour cream

1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400℉. Beat eggs, gradually adding sugar, in an enormous bowl. Continue beating and pour in the oil and vanilla. Incorporate the mix into the egg mixture. Stir the dry ingredients into egg mixture, gradually incorporating the sour cream. Gently fold in the blueberries. Scoop the batter into a greased muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes.

*vanilla extract is available as a dry ingredient. One brand of Organic Vanilla Extract Powder is COOK’S, which is available on Amazon.com and walmart.com. I also find it is also at cooksvanilla.com.


Classic Homemade Holiday Mixes and Accompanying Recipes

Edited and Tested by Emily Phillips

You can use the following recipes all year round. Some of these recipes are children friendly to make. The sugar cookies, for example, have sprinkles as an option to add that will appeal to children.

All of these mixes can be stored in an airtight container and mad later. Each mix recipe comes with another recipe that uses the mixes. All recipes can be used to give gifts either by giving a cellophane bag of the mix accompanied by the recipe that uses it or by creating and wrapping the final product that the mix is used in.

All of these mixes were inspired by and based on the cookbook “MERRY AND BRIGHT” published by HEARST Publishers who also publish Country Living.


Homemade Pumpkin Bread

Homemade Pumpkin Bread made from Homemade Pumpkin Bread Mix

This homemade pumpkin bread mix is based and inspired by a recipe I found in a magazine called “THE GOOD OLD DAYS” November/December 2019 Issue.

HOMEMADE PUMPKIN BREAD MIX This moist quick bread is ideal for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving. This mix can be stored or given. Makes: enough for 2 large loaves or 8 mini loaves


3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsps. Baking Soda

2 tsps. cinnamon

2 tsps. grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. allspice

Whisk everything in a large mixing bowl.

This following recipe uses the HOMEMADE PUMPKIN BREAD MIX as an ingredient.

HOMEMADE PUMPKIN BREAD Preheat: 350 degrees farheinheit, Baking time: 50-60 minutes, Yields: 2 9x5x3 in loaves or 8 mini loaves


1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

4 large eggs

1 cup salted butter, melted and cooled*

2/3 cup water

2 cups white sugar

1 cup light brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farheinheit. Grease 2 9x5x3-inch loaf pans or 8 mini loave pans with cooking (Pam baking) spray or grease and then flour. (With Pam baking spray there is no need to flour as it already contains flour.)

In a medium bowl, place the mix. set aside.

In a large bowl, place the pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, water and both sugars. Using an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add dry mix, mixing just until combined. do not overmix.

Divide the batter evenly between all of the prepared pans. bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge to remove from the pans. This bread freezes well.

*If Salted Butter is not available, use 1 1/2 tsps. salt.

Place bread in clear cellophane bags. Use the enclosed cellophane bag twist ties.

Now you are ready to give gifts.


Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer Craft Glass Ornaments

When I saw a picture of glass ball ornaments of the words Rudolph and the other reindeer names, I had to make these.

Supplies needed for 1 Rudolph ornament:

1 clear glass ball

2 googlie eyes

1 red pom-pom

1 brown or gold pipe cleaner

Shredded brown construction paper (shredded with a regular paper shredder)

Glue (Sobo is a better craft glue. It dries clear and never yellow with age)


paper plate or newspaper


1.) Set up your workspace area with the supplies above.

2.) Place some glue on the paper plate or newspaper.

3.) Take the metal pieces of the ornament and stuff the ornament with enough shredded construction paper, but do not overcrowd the paper (we mean it to show). Place the metal pieces back on the ornament.

4.) Dip the paintbrush in the glue and paint the back of each eye. Place both eyes onto the glass ball.

5.) Dip the red pom-pom into the glue and place below (right between) the eyes. This becomes the nose.

6.) Dip the paintbrush back into the glue and paint the metal cover (not the hanger) and the immediate surrounding area with the glue. Find the middle of the pipe cleaner and place it dead center against the metal, touch the glass and the metal at the same time. Wrap the pipe cleaner around the metal piece one time and twist the pipe cleaner in the back. The pipe cleaner is the antlers.

Hope you all enjoy the Holiday season!



by, Karen Loraine

Teal pumpkin project

Foodallergy.org is a website that promotes the TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT, a safer way for parents with children, who have food allergies, to know that a particular house is a safe place for their child to trick-or-treat on Halloween.

For all the rules of the TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT, go to foodallergy.org.

The Teal pumpkin on your front stoop, seen from the street, signifies that the only items available to the tricker-treaters at your house are non-food items.

The following project will show you one way of painting a pumpkin teal.

Supplies needed:

1 pumpkin, large enough to view from the street

1 paint brush

blue acrylic paint

green acrylic paint

white acrylic paint

1 palette


paper towels

1 cup of water


  1. Setup your workspace area to your liking.
  2. Mix 5 parts blue paint and 5 parts green paint to create the teal color. Mix in a little white paint at a time to create the teal shade of your choice.
  3. Use the paintbrush to brush strokes of paint all over the pumpkin except where the pumpkin touches the newspaper.
  4. Let the paint on the pumpkin dry before dabbing wet paint on the areas of thin paint.
  5. Depending on the size of the pumpkin, words could be painted as well. For example: we are allergy friendly or non-food treats here.
  6. Let the pumpkin dry completely.
  7. Set the pumpkin out on the front stoop in a place where the pumpkin could be viewed from the street.
  8. Get ready for trick-or-treaters.

Getting ready for Trick-or-Treaters:

There are many items to choose from that could be handed out at Halloween. Here are just a few ideas of items that could be handed out to all trick-or-treaters:

unsharpened pencils,


glow sticks,

glow bracelets,

or little trinket goodie bags.

All of these items could become “treats” for Halloween. What other non-food items could you think of handing out?

Have a happy and safe Halloween!



My name is Karen Loraine, owner of craftsasgifts.com. The purpose of Crafts As Gifts is to help promote and encourage new ideas of how to make gifts with what is already at home. This includes: gardening, crafts, and food recipes.

Why do this?

Here are some reasons why this blog is here:

1.) Teach the young and the elderly alike that, whatever your skill sets or expertise may be, gifts could be made in the home and not have to spend money on gas in addition to buying gifts.

2.) Quality control of ingredients and craft supplies will be controlled by the person who makes the homemade gifts. For example: having a garden means that the quality and quantity of herbs, fruits, vegetables and flowers are under your control. What you put in your garden is what comes out of your garden. If you have an organic garden plants that grew from heirloom seeds, then organic heirloom garden plants are going to come out of that garden.

3.) Awareness of just how versatile of the kitchen and garden items is not what it used to be. For example: many know that lavender could be used in some crafts like wreaths, scent homemade carpet fresheners, and homemade air fresheners. However, awareness of the food items the lavender flowers could be used as an ingredient in has gone down (Lavender Cookies).

I hope to connect with crafters and non-crafters alike, regardless of age. This includes the home cook (who does not mind doing the work and save money at the same time), the crafter (who likes to try out new skills) and the gardener (who knows that the plants can be more than just pretty, however, does not realize just how versatile the usage of the plants are.)

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