Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Decadence

I love baking this time of year.  I don't know why, but as soon as October hits, all I want to do is revel in the flavors of fall.  Pumpkin, warm spices, ... it's different than Christmas even.  Not so much winter comfort foods, but warm, spicy, ... fallish.

So I've been experimenting the past couple of weeks, with both old and new recipes.  My tummy is loving it, but my waistline is quickly expanding.  Isn't that so true?

In case you're in the same mood I am, here are some fantastic fall recipes:

Pumpkin Latte

  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger brewed espresso
  1. Brew your espresso. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk together the pumpkin, vanilla, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and milk. Warm over medium heat, whisking constantly, until hot and frothy. Do not bring to a boil. Pour the espresso into a mug and pour the pumpkin spiced milk over it.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
(adapted from Pioneer Woman)

  • Muffin Ingredients:
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cups Sugar
  • 1/4 cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup (heaping) Pumpkin Puree
  • ½ cups Milk
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1-½ teaspoon Vanilla
  • ½ cups Dried Cranberries (optional!)
  • _____
  • Topping
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoons Nutmeg
  • _____
  • ¼ cups Softened Butter
  • 4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • ½ pounds Powdered Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease 12 muffin tins.
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender until it is fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Add raisins. Fold gently until mixture is just combined.
Pour into a greased muffin pan—batter hardly ever fills all twelve unless you keep it down to 1/2 full. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg mixture over the top of each unbaked muffin.
Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. Ice with cream cheese frosting.
To make the frosting, mix all ingredients on high until soft and whipped. Spread onto completely cooled muffins, or place into a large pastry bag with a large star tip and go crazy! Store in the fridge, as icing will soften at room temperature.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 t vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
12 ounces chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
Mix together flour, pie spice, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture looks a bit curdled). Reduce speed and mix in dry ingredients just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly in pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until edges pull away from the pan and toothpick comes out clean.

*Linked to Weekend Bloggy Reading

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