Tag Archives: pumpkin

Pumpkin Bread

Thanksgiving hasn’t even arrived yet and I’m already falling behind. Why is it that no matter how hard I try to slow down time, it speeds up during my favorite time of year?

We all love banana bread. It’s easy, makes a great breakfast, and is super tasty. But this time of year, it’s time for something else. And you know I am a lover of all things pumpkin (and I recently discovered a dear friend of mine is not a fan of pumpkin. How can that be? I suppose I could forgive her, but ouch, that hurts).  Thus, it is time for Pumpkin Bread.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never actually made pumpkin bread before. And now that I’ve made it, banana bread will never be the same. I really loved this recipe. I don’t even care if others liked it or not (they did, but besides the point) because I liked it so much. In fact, if others didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have to share. Selfish, but I’m ok with that.

It’s incredibly moist, just enough pumpkin flavor, and very easy to make. What more could you want in a quick bread? This is a great change from banana bread and just as easy. The spices can be changed to your liking and it makes two loaves. One to eat  now, and one to eat tomorrow. Or to freeze. Whatever works for you. It does freeze well, which is a bonus. I’m not sure how it would be if you froze it for an extended period of time, but a week worked great.

I searched many recipes and finally settled on this recipe from King Arthur Flour. Their recipes are consistently great and the reviews were fantastic as well. The edges start browning a little soon for the center to finish, so I recommend covering with foil for the last 15 minutes. It’s hard to wait, but let it cool, wrap, and eat the next day.

I did not add the nuts or chocolate. This may surprise you (it surprised me!) but I am not a fan of chocolate and pumpkin together. I love them separately, but for me, they just don’t work together. Feel free to think I’m strange.  I also modified the spices, and you should too depending on your preferences. Enjoy this bread with a nice hot cup of coffee, or use it in a trifle, which will be my next post, coming soon. Three pumpkin posts in a row? It’s November. That’s allowed.

Yield: 2 loaves

One year ago: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

Difficulty: Easy!

Pumpkin Bread

Modified slightly from King Arthur Flour

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups (or one 15-ounce can) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 1/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional (toast first for extra flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, optional
  • coarse white sugar,  for sprinkling on top, optional (recommend!)

Note: I did not add nutmeg because….gasp…I was out! I couldn’t believe it either. I have quickly remedied that issue, but wish I had some for this bread. It would be quite tasty. Add about 1 tsp. Yum.

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pans (if you’re making the plain version of the bread); two 9″ x 5″ loaf pans (if you’re adding chocolate chips and nuts); or one of each, if you’re making one plain loaf, and one loaf with chips and nuts.

2. In a large bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and water.

3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a separate bowl. Add to the wet mixture and mix until just combined!

4. Mix in the chips and nuts, if you’re using them (you can coat with about 1 TB of flour if you don’t want them sinking, but be sure to subtract that from the flour above). To make one loaf with chips/nuts, one loaf without, divide the batter in half. Leave one half plain, and add 3/4 cup chips and 1/2 cup nuts to the other half.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans. Sprinkle the tops of the loaves with coarse sparkling sugar, if desired.

6.  Bake the bread for 60 to 80 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean; and that same tester inserted about 1/2″ into the top of the loaf doesn’t encounter any totally unbaked batter.

7. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack. When it’s completely cool, wrap it well in plastic wrap, and store it overnight before serving.

 

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It’s the Great Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll, Charlie Brown

It’s pumpkin season. Need I say more? This time of year I love to make Pumpkin Brioche. It can be sweet or savory, it makes the best french toast, and it is just darn tasty. And for a long time now I’ve been suspecting that it would also make excellent cinnamon rolls.

I was right. It is so sweet being right. Literally.

These are better than traditional cinnamon rolls. And I’m not just saying that because I made them.  The hint of pumpkin really adds to the whole cinnamon roll experience.  You still get the cinnamon roll flavor and the cream cheese icing. Add in the pumpkin and it is a match made in tummy heaven.

Now for the slightly bad news. Something that tastes this good does not happen quickly. The brioche requires an overnight starter, then a rise for an hour or two, depending on how warm your house is, then the cinnamon rolls need to rise for another hour. Then bake, then eat. So, if you want these for breakfast, make them the day before, which actually means starting two nights before. I know. I know! But after all your hard work will be the best cinnamon roll you have ever tasted. I promise.

You can find the full pumpkin brioche instructions here. I’m just going to do the basic below. You will have enough brioche to make two 10 inch round pans of rolls, and then leftovers. I just shaped mine into rolls. They are tasty like that too.

Yield: 2 10 inch pans of cinnamon rolls plus six plain rolls

Difficulty: Advanced

One year ago: French Four Spiced Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

Pumpkin Brioche

Biga

  • 312 g bread flour
  • 190 g milk
  • pinch of instant yeast

Mix all together and knead until smooth. Let rest for 12 to 24 hours.

Pumpkin Brioche

  • 500 g bread flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 7.5 g instant yeast
  • 25 g milk
  • 11.5 g salt
  • 375 g pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp clove
  • 65 g sugar
  • 50 g honey
  • Biga
  • 125 g butter

Warm liquids to 68F. Cut up your biga into small pieces. Add everything except the butter into the mixer. Mix on speed one for 5 minutes with a dough hook. Scrape the sides if necessary. While it is mixing, make your butter pliable. After the 5 minutes, increase to speed 2 or 3, depending on what your mixer can handle. Add the butter a small amount at a time, fully incorporating before adding more. After all is added, mix until a gluten window is formed. This part will take 10 to 15 minutes.   Let rest in lightly oiled bowl for about 90 minutes. Do one set of stretch and fold after 45 minutes. After doubled, move on to cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Rolls

Filling (enough for two pans of rolls)

  • 6 oz unsalted butter (soft)
  • 4 oz brown sugar
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 1 TB cinnamon

Make sure butter is very soft, but not melted. Mix all ingredients together.

Cream Cheese Icing (enough for two pans)

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 4 oz butter, room temp
  • 7 oz powdered sugar
  • 6 oz water

Cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Slowly add water until a thin, but not watery, consistency is achieved. This may take more or less water. Do this step  a few minutes before the cinnamon rolls are finished.

Making the rolls

Lightly butter your pans, including the sides, so they remove from the pan easier.

Scale out two 20 ounce balls of brioche. Set remaining brioche aside for another use.  Roll out each ball into a rectangle. Spread filling leaving about one inch on the edges.

Gently roll the edge (long way) into a long roll. Cut the ends off to make it neat. Still bake the ends though, they are good.  Cut the roll in half using either a sharp knife, a dough cutter, or floss. Floss takes a long time, but gives you a nice cut. I used a dough cutter. After you cut it in half, cut each half in half, and then repeat. You should have eight rolls. Place into a 10 inch pan (or whatever size you decide to use will work fine) nice side down. Press down lightly.

Cover loosely with either a towel or plastic wrap and let rise about one hour. Repeat with the second dough ball.

Meanwhile, heat your oven to 350F. Once rolls are puffy, bake until golden, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then flip over onto a plate, platter, a sheet pan, whatever will hold the rolls. Pour half the icing on each pan. Let cool long enough so you don’t burn your tongue, grab a cup of coffee or milk, and eat.

These will keep for several days, but may dry out a bit. Just pop in the microwave for about 30 seconds and you are good to go again. Yum. Worth the effort, right?

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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Praline Sauce

Yes, another pumpkin post. This will be my last one for a while, I promise! Three Thanksgivings ago (i.e. two years ago) I was browsing one of my favorite magazine editions of the year: Food & Wine Thanksgiving. In the back of the magazine I came across something I just had to make: Pumpkin Cheesecake. I’m a huge fan of cheesecake, but up until that point I had only made it once and it turned out terrible. Thus, I was a little gun shy about making cheesecake. Thankfully, my BFF, who also happens to be a pastry chef, was visiting and we made it together. She guided me through the process and gave me essential pointers. The cheesecake turned out fabulous, and I made it again after she left for Thanksgiving that year (since we all know the Thanksgiving issue comes out in October. Practice makes perfect!).

Oh, you want the pointers too? First, use real, full fat cream cheese. You are having cheesecake, are you really concerned about those 10 extra calories? Second, your cream cheese must be at room temperature. Think a couple hours at room temp, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. Third, cream your cream cheese thoroughly to avoid lumps. However, once you add the other ingredients, beat at low speed. At this point, you do not want to whip air into the cheesecake. We want creamy, not airy. And finally, perhaps the most important tip of all: scrape the bowl and scrape it often. I repeat, scrape the bowl, and scrape it often.

You have to plan ahead with this recipe. A couple of hours before you plan on making the cheesecake set out your cream cheese, eggs, and heavy cream to come to room temperature. At this point you should also spread your pumpkin puree out on paper towels to drain thoroughly.

This recipe has become a staple at my Thanksgiving table, replacing pumpkin pie. Because, really, this cheesecake tastes exactly like pumpkin pie, only creamier and with a tastier crust.

And, in addition to the delicious praline sauce, I also “make” cinnamon ice cream. Meaning, I buy good vanilla ice cream (I prefer Haagen Daz 5), let it soften, and mix in cinnamon to taste. Sometimes I think people like the cinnamon ice cream more than the cheesecake itself!

I follow the recipe almost exclusively, except I’ve changed the baking process. I never completely followed what is suggested, so for all I know, it comes out better that way. But I’m afraid to change at this point since it tastes so good every year.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Praline Sauce

Modified slightly from Food & Wine

INGREDIENTS

  • One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cups)
  • 8 whole graham crackers, broken
  • 1/2 cup pecans (2 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups cream cheese (14 ounces), at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Set a rack over a baking sheet and line the rack with 2 (several) layers of paper towels. Spread the pumpkin puree over the paper towels and let drain for 2 hours, until the puree is fairly dry.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450F. (The original recipe says 500, but I’ve found the crust burns too easily at that temperature, so I recommend 450). Butter the bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until finely ground. Add the pecans and brown sugar and pulse until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse just until incorporated. Press the crumbs onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for about 8 minutes, just until it is fragrant (it will smell amazing!) and lightly browned. Let the crust cool completely. Lower oven temperature to 325F.
  3. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the cream cheese until it is very smooth. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar with the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. With the machine on, add the spiced sugar to the cream cheese and beat until creamy, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl. Carefully add the drained pumpkin puree and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl between each addition. Beat in the heavy cream, lemon juice and vanilla until the cheesecake mixture is smooth.
  4. Take your cooled springform pan and wrap the outside with heavy duty foil, and then wrap it again. If you have heavy duty plastic wrap, wrap first with plastic and then two layers of heavy duty foil. Then place the pan into a roasting pan, or some other dish that will allow you to pour water halfway up the pan. Pour your cheesecake mixture into the pan and place in preheated oven.  Pour hot water about halfway up the pan (if you have a tea kettle, that will be very helpful. Bake until internal temperature is 150F. The cheesecake will be jiggly, but not runny. It will bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. This picture is pre-baking. 
  5. Let cool completely. Place a slightly damp towel over the cheesecake while it cools to keep it moist. Let rest overnight, then serve.

Pecan Praline Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pecans (8 ounces)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream and salt and bring to a boil. Simmer just until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Let the caramel cool.
  2. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes, until they are lightly browned and fragrant. Transfer the pecans to a work surface and let them cool. Coarsely chop the nuts, stir them into the cooled caramel and serve.

 

 

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Pumpkin Brioche & French Toast

I hope all of you aren’t getting sick of pumpkin. I’m not! I recently made one of my favorite treats – Pumpkin Brioche. There are many things you can do with this dough, but this time I made it into loaves for the Best French Toast Ever. Yup. That’s right. You’ll agree with me when you eat it yourself. The pumpkin and spices, soaked in a custard, cooked until golden and then topped off with some fresh whip cream. Are you drooling yet? 

Now to have this as your delicious Sunday brunch, you’ll have to do a little planning ahead. Never fear though, while it is a little time consuming, there isn’t much hands on. Just a lot of waiting and you can knock off other things on your to-do list while you wait. This recipe is once again from Ciril Hitz, although I’m not sure what book it is from because it is a recipe I picked up in culinary school.

You’ll follow a similar technique to Classic Brioche, except this recipe has a starter called a Biga. The biga is super easy, but you need to plan for it to rest for at least 12 hours, preferrably 24. The biga has very little yeast so it won’t rise much, but it will help enhance the flavor.

Biga

  • 312 g    (11 oz)  Bread Flour
  • 190 g     (6.75 oz) Milk
  • Pinch instant yeast

Mix all ingredients together and then knead by hand until it forms a somewhat smooth, but still dry, dough. It will seem as though something is wrong, but it’s not. As long as it is mixed and kneaded, it will be fine and should look something like this: 

Cover and let rest at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

The next day…..gather all your ingredients and keep the cold stuff cold.

  • 500 g (17.6 oz) Bread flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 8 g (1 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
  • 25 g (0.9 oz) milk
  • 11.5 g (0.5 oz) salt
  • 375 g (almost 1 can) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie!)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 65 g (2.3 oz) sugar
  • 50 g (1.76 oz) honey
  • 125 g (4.4 oz) butter

Place all your ingredients, except for the butter, in your mixing bowl. It helps to put the liquids in first, then your biga (which you can cut into pieces), and then the dry ingredients. Keep your butter aside for later. Mix on speed 1 for five minutes. While the dough is mixing, make your butter pliable.

After the clean up stage, increase to speed 2-4, depending on your mixer. I usually do speed 4. Slowly incorporate your butter adding a little at a time and waiting until fully incorporated before adding more. Remember, this process will take about 15 minutes.

After all the butter is incorporated, mix until a good gluten window has formed and the dough is smooth.

Empty dough into a container sprayed with cooking spray and perform a stretch and fold. Let rest for 45 minutes and perform another stretch and fold. After another 45 minutes, the dough should be ready. But, if it looks like it needs a little more time (perhaps your kitchen is cold?) then let it rise a bit longer until double.

A loaf is the easiest way to do this dough if you are making it for french toast. We will explore other options (such as filling with pastry cream!) another time.

This will make two big loaves of dough. It would probably make three loaves if you like your slices a little on the smaller side. So, depending on your preference, divide your dough up into two or three equal parts. Loosely shape your dough into rectangles and lightly flatten. Then, to shape into loaves, fold half the dough over towards itself and then the other half so they meet in the middle.

One side folded over to the center. Repeat with the other half.

When both sides are in the center, fold one side again so that it completely covers the other side and seal by lightly “hammering” with the side of your hand. Then flip the dough over and cup both ends with your hands and pull gently towards yourself repeatedly until the seam has sealed. Once it is sealed, place the dough in a prepared bread pan (sprayed lightly) and let rest until double. To create a home proofer, put both loaves in the oven and spray the oven with water. If this isn’t possible, just cover with a damp towel.

Before proofing.

After proofing.

After proofing, brush lightly with egg wash. If you made two big loaves, preheat your oven to 325F. I made the mistake of baking at 375 and the very top burned ever so slightly, so I’d recommend baking a lower temperature. Bake until a thermometer in the center (insert thermometer from the side or bottom, not the top) reads 160F. If you made three smaller loaves, then 375F should be fine.

After a few minutes, remove loaves from pan (don’t let sit in pan for more than 10 minutes or bread may become soggy) and let cool completely on a cooling rack. This will be hard to do. You will want to taste it. Resist the urge!

After cooling you can do what you wish. Make toast with cinnamon sugar (yum!) or make French Toast, which as mentioned earlier was my sole purpose for making this bread.

My favorite french toast recipe is from Alton Brown, modified slightly.

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 TB honey, warm
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together. Slice your bread and preheat oven to 250. Set up a cooling rack over a sheet pan. Place another sheet pan in the oven. Preheat a pan and have butter ready. Dip your bread in the custard and let each side soak for about 30 seconds. Move to cooling rack so excess can drip off. Add butter to your pan and brown the bread on each side, then move to oven to keep warm until you are finished with all the bread and custard.

Then, if you so desire, make some whip cream. I used about a cup of heavy cream, a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar, and some grand marnier. Whip until fluffy. This is all done to taste, so just experiment with what you like.

And then…dig in!

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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

I don’t even know where to start with these. “Oh My God, so Good”. “The definition of yumminess”. “Little bites of Heaven”. All of these describe these cookies, yet just don’t seem like the right words. I do know that these are my new second favorite cookie, being second only to The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever. They aren’t even really second. They are more like 1b. I had no idea I would like these so much. I’ve had whoopie pies before, I’ve had pumpkin before, but these just blew me away! I actually had to make two batches and the second batch was even better than the first because the icing was better. And they turned out much prettier the second time.

The second batch with smooth filling.

The first batch I used mascarpone for the filling. I had 8 oz of mascarpone and only 4 oz of cream cheese. So I went with the mascarpone. Now, I’ve learned this painful lesson before but apparently it wasn’t painful enough the first time because I did the same thing again. Do not let mascaparone come to room temperature the same way you would with cream cheese. It becomes grainy and starts to separate. Cream cheese does not do this but I just wasn’t thinking apparently. Thankfully, they still tasted amazing even with the less than pretty icing. See the graininess?

The first batch with the grainy icing.

I also made them too big the first time, which explained the initial confusion over making 2 1/2 dozen verses the 4 dozen the recipe said. Again, my mind just wasn’t clear this day! The next day I made a half batch since the first batch was devoured in a very short period of time by my husband’s students. So the grainy icing didn’t matter too much! The first day I used a scoop that was about 1 1/2 TB. The second day I made them with the 1 TB scoop. This size was much better. The bigger ones were quite big, too big for whoopie pies in my opinion.

I got the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker who got it from a friend, but several commenters said it was the same recipe from Matt Lewis, which is also credited on Martha Stewart’s Whoopie Pies. So this recipe has been around the block, and with good reason. The flavors are very intense and feel as though you have the holidays melting in your mouth. These could even be your Thanksgiving Day dessert, with a bowl of cinnamon ice cream? Oh yeah. Now we’re talking.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

The cookies:

  • 3 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TB cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar (if you don’t have turbinado, just use all granulated)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 cups chilled pumpkin (about 1 1/2 cans)
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

3. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the oil and sugars together until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined. Add the vanilla.

4. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix until combined and fairly smooth.

5. Using a tablespoon scoop, scoop level amounts of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. These won’t spread much, but keep them about 1 inch apart.

6. Bake about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly before moving to a cooling rack.

The icing:

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups powered sugar
  • 3 TB maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1. With a mixer, whip the butter until smooth.

2. Add the cream cheese and mix until smooth.

3. Add the sugar 1 cup at a time and mix until fluffy.

4. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and mix.

To assemble:

Here again a piping bag will be your friend. No fancy tips needed, no coupler, just the bag. It makes filling the cookies much faster. To assemble, flip half the cookies over once they are cool. Pipe about a tablespoon of filling in each.

The cookies halves.

Then simply place the top on the cookie and press lightly so the filling spreads to the edges. And then eat!

Note: Since these have a cream cheese center, make sure you chill them.

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Cranberry Pumpkin Cookies. Ah, the holidays!

Oh, pumpkins and cranberries, how I love thee! Every year I look forward to baking with cranberries and pumpkin. They just scream fall (even though where I live the temperatures are anything but fall!) and get me in the holiday spirit.

I was originally going to make pumpkin whoopie pies (that is still on the agenda, but pushed back), but needed something that was going to take less time. I came across this recipe from Allrecipes.com. It has about a million reviews and most were positive, so I decided to give it a shot. I only tweaked it a bit.

And I’m so glad I did. These were awesome. Still are, since I have some left in my freezer.

Once again, I used part turbinado sugar. I really think that adds the perfect touch. And, fresh, not dried, cranberries are essential here. They add a beautifully vibrant color and a tangy bite. I don’t think dried cranberries would have the same effect, but feel free to try. Cranberries freeze very well, so I stock up this time of year since they are impossible to find other times.

I also wanted some white chocolate in the mix. I love cranberries and white chocolate. I did a few cookies with white chocolate chips and the rest with a white chocolate glaze. Overall, the glazed ones got better reviews. My only issue was the glaze was pretty sticky, but hey, that’s a minor sacrifice for a yummy cookie, right? Also, I used Guittard white chocolate. I love Guittard!

These cookies turned out very moist, and very cake-like, so if that’s not your thing in a cookie, you may not like these. But I doubt it. You will love them.

Cranberry Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate Glaze

modified from AllRecipes

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulate sugar
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 TB orange zest
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, pulsed in the food processor. Don’t puree!

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

2. Cream the butter, sugars, orange zest, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about five minutes.

3. Add the egg. Mix completely.

4. Add the pumpkin puree and mix completely. Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl.

5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl.

6. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Mix until just combined. Don’t overmix!

7. Gently fold in the cranberries.

8. Scoop the cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. These won’t spread much at all.

9. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until slightly golden.

Meanwhile, make the glaze.

Melt 2 ounces of white chocolate with about 3 TB of milk (you may need to add more or less, depending on how you want your glaze). Add enough powered sugar until you get the consistency you want. Again, this will be a personal preference. I wanted my glaze pretty thin, you may want yours thicker.

Dip each cookie into the glaze. Let dry, and devour. These cookies go especially well with a cup of coffee on a cool, fall morning!

 

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Pumpkin Doggie Treats

My dogs love pumpkin, and they love it when I make them treats! However, I often find doggie treats a bit of a pain to roll out and have had trouble baking them to the right texture. I think I finally solved that problem today. I found this recipe from Greenling Local and only modified the baking part. The reason being is I wanted to get extra crispy all over, not just in the middle. Usually in the past when I’ve baked doggie treats at higher temperatures for shorter periods of time I would end up with crispy on the edges and soft in the middle. Not what I want. With this recipe I baked them at 250F for two hours and they turned out perfect. So pleased with them, as are my little furballs. It’s also a very easy recipe to make. Only takes  a few minutes and rolls out quite quickly. Any cookie cutter will do. Hope your little furry kids enjoy these special treats!

 

 

Squash Dog Treats

  • 3/4 cup squash puree (I used pumpkin)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TBS all natural, organic peanut butter
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • Additional flour for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 250F.

2. Mix squash, eggs, and peanut butter. Add flour one cup at a time until well blended.

3. Knead until smooth. Roll to 1/4″ inch thin (dowels help tremendously here). Cut into desired shapes. Note if you cut larger shapes, they will most likely have to bake longer.

4. Bake about two hours, or until hard.

Let the kids enjoy!

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