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Archive for November, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

What do you do when you are still feeling sorry for yourself because you aren’t an American and therefore don’t get to celebrate Thanksgiving in November?

You quit being a princess, you suck it up, and you bake yourself a pumpkin cheesecake. Having just done exactly that I’m feeling quite a bit better about myself and about being a Canadian. (Seriously though, I absolutely love my country).

 Quick answer, this cheesecake is delicious and I think that you should make it now, don’t wait until next Thanksgiving, maybe you could even have a pumpkin December? Wait, don’t do that, it’s almost Christmas baking season. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT have a pumpkin December, that would be considered excessive.

I made a pumpkin cheesecake a number of years ago expecting the best dessert in the world. That’s what the afternoon radio host of my favorite country music station said. I got excited, I made the cheesecake, I didn’t like the cheesecake, I got mad. I hate being disappointed. Remember when Titanic came out and it was supposed to be the greatest movie of all time? I was disappointed. Leo just didn’t do it for me at the time.

Anyways, I’ve since fallen in love with cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory (I dare you double dog dare you to try their 30th anniversary cheesecake and not like it) and after giving pumpkin cheesecake a second chance I have realized that it is in fact delicious. The graham cracker crust is really good too. Proof: I spotted someone eating the crumbs off of the counter. Normally that would be gross, but not in this case, I really don’t blame her.

Happy American Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Adapted from The Food Network and The Girl Who Ate Everything

Graham Cracker Crust

2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs    

1/2 cup melted butter

1/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 325F.

Brush a 9 inch pan with some of the melted butter. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, remaining butter and sugar.

Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

Bake 15-20 minutes.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

2 1/4 packages (9 oz) cream cheese     1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla                                        1 cup pumpkin

1/2 tsp cinnamon                                   1/2 tsp all spice

1/4 tsp nutmeg                                      1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 cup sour cream

In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat on low until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and beat.

Add pumpkin, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, ginger and sour cream to the batter and stir until well mixed. Pour the batter into the cooled prepared crust.

Bake at 325F for 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Allow to cool and refrigerate.

Serve with whipping cream.

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Pumpkin Waffles

Oh my goodness, where did November go? I don’t know if I have ever had such a crazy month. Seems like each week threw me something new, challenging, and exciting. So thankful and so blessed. Anyways, the month is almost over and I still have a few more pumpkin recipes to share with you! Without further ado, pumpkin waffles…

“Wiffle waffle, these ain’t awful.”

I have my mother to thank for this gem of a quote (note the sarcasm). I’m hoping that it was a post-surgery, still a bit drugged up, comment as opposed to some “aren’t I witty” comment from her. I’m feeling the need for some reassurance that when I’m older, and a mother, that I won’t have random bizarre sayings like this one.

Regardless of all this, my mother tells the truth. These pumpkin waffles were delicious and personally I like them more than the pumpkin pancakes (which were good too) that I made. Half of the batch was plain and the other half had chocolate chips in them.

Do the right thing. Add the chocolate chips.

Ps. In the description of these waffles the author wrote that we should propose marriage to the waffles because they are that good. I don’t know if I would go to that extent. That being said, I would definitely ask them to come home with me a few times…



Pumpkin Waffles

Adapted from One Lovely Life

2 1/2 cups flour                   1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon                  1 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves                      1/2 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp baking powder     1 tsp baking soda

2 cups buttermilk (2 cups milk + 2 tbsp vinegar)

1 cup pumpkin                     6 tbsp oil

4 eggs, separated               Chocolate chips (optional)

Mix flour, brown sugar, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In a separate bowl combine pumpkin and buttermilk. Add the oil and egg yolks.

Beat egg whites separately with a beater until stiff peaks form.

Stir dry ingredients and chocolate chips into the pumpkin mixture until just combined. Fold in the egg whites. Cook the waffles in a waffle iron. (I cooked mine for 3 minutes)

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Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Hands down Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There’s no pressure to buy the perfect Christmas or Valentines Day gift , no month long (or more in many cases) build up like Halloween or Christmas, and no need to ensure that you make the best plans like New Years Eve. Thanksgiving means good food, good family time, football and not much pressure.

But here’s what I hate about Thanksgiving: the fact that Canada and the States celebrate it at different times. Dumb. Whoever planned this one failed miserably.

I have a jealous personality. I don’t like to admit it but it’s true. And right now it’s coming out full force. Americans, I am 100% jealous of you and your upcoming Thanksgiving. Why do all of my American friends live in the central/easternish USA? Why don’t you live in Seattle so that I could drive down and eat turkey dinner with you? I would even bring something with me. Maybe you’d be lucky enough to get to try this delicious pumpkin bread pudding.

Most people serve this as a dessert, I like to break the rules and eat it for breakfast/brunch. Win. But let’s be honest, this dish is good at any time and, in my opinion, is even better served cold the next day.

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups whole milk     3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup sugar                 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp salt                     1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger                 1/8 tsp all spice

Pinch of ground cloves    1 tbsp vanilla

5 cups cubed crusty French bread   3/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350F.

Whisk together pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs,  egg yolk, salt, spices and vanilla.

Toss bread cubes and melted butter in another bowl. Add the pumpkin mixture and toss until coated. Transfer to an ungreased baking dish and bake until set, 25 to 30 minutes.

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Pumpkin Scones

Fear not my non-pumpkin loving friends. With this recipe we are just over half way done with pumpkin November. Then we can get on with the “normal,” non-pumpkin baked goods. In the mean time bear with me, make sure that you are hydrated and keep reading!

Of course I’ve heard what “they” say…that scones are loaded with carbs and calories galore. But please, who the heck are “they” and let’s be honest, who cares what “they” say anyway? I say that if it’s been made in my house then it must be better for me than any purchased scone. Especially those Starbucks scones that are covered in icing sugar. I’ve never understood that. Scones need jam, honey, cream cheese, etc. on them, not icing sugar. Save the calories and eat these instead!

On one of my days off I decided to pay my 96 year old amazing/awesome Grandma a visit. I whipped up a batch of these pumpkin scones at home and then baked them in her oven. Half of the batch had dried cranberries in them and the other half had raisins. Both were equally delicious.

Grandma was fortunate enough to enjoy the best of both worlds with a scone that had raisins and cranberries in it. I spoil her like that. I feed her scones, she serves me sherry…or some other alcoholic drink that she musters up. We have a giving relationship. It works out quite nicely.

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Scones

Adapted from The Baking Pan

2 1/4 cups flour                              1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder                      1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt                                     3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger                                 1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg                               1/2 cup butter

1 cup dried cranberries or raisins    1 egg

1/2 cup pumpkin                             1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a large bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.

With 2 knives or a pastry blender cut in the butter. Stir in the cranberries or raisins.

In a small bowl combine the pumpkin, egg and milk. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just mixed.

Place the mixture on a lightly floured pastry mat and knead 6 to 7 times. Do not overknead.

Shape the dough into a 7 inch circle about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into triangles or circles. (I like to use a plastic glass to do this)

Place the scones on an ungreased baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes (Mine were done at 18 minutes).

*Note: Depending on how you cut the scones the number that you end up with will vary. I made 13 scones from this recipe.

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Pumpkin Cookies

I’ve titled this entry “Pumpkin Cookies,” but really these aren’t just pumpkin cookies. They are holy-macro why didn’t I know about these earlier delicious pumpkin cookies. Yes I did just go there.

You know how every family has their go-to cookie, or in my family’s case, cookies (the oatmeal chocolate chip, original chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, etc)? This pumpkin cookie has been added to that list and let me tell you, it’s pretty high up there in my books. What’s not to love about these…pumpkin, raisins, pecans, and caramel frosting! These would even be good with just the frosting. I’ve also done a batch with chocolate chips before but found that I prefered the raisins and pecans. You can only imagine how big of a shock that one was…not like chocolate, am I going crazy?

Nothing makes me happier than baking these cookies on a rainy day with one of my favorites while listening to the new T. Swift cd (should we be embarrassed of this?) post Grouse Grind hike. After all:

Excessive exercise (aka Grouse Grind) = Reason to eat numerous cookies.

Just be aware that there will probably be extra frosting left over, that the temptation to dip a finger into the pot, to lick the spoon, heck, to lick the pot, to eat a bowl of vanilla ice cream with frosting on top of it, and to eat at least 2 cookies on the spot will probably be a bit overwhelming. Not that I’d know…

Pumpkin Cookies

Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction

1 cup shortening             1 cup butter, softened

2 cups white sugar          2 cups canned pumpkin

2 eggs                             4 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda           3 tsp cinnamon      

1/2 tsp nutmeg               1 tsp ginger        

1 tsp all spice                  1 tsp salt      

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream the shortening, butter, white sugar and pumpkin. Add eggs and mix well.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, ginger and salt. Add to the pumpkin mixture and stir well.

Drop from spoon to ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes.

Frosting

6 tbsp butter                   8 tbsp milk

1 cup brown sugar          2 cups icing sugar          

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

In a pot melt the butter on medium heat. Add milk and brown sugar, stir until dissolved. Cool.

Add icing sugar and vanilla to the mixture. Spread over cooled cookies.

*Note: Depending on the size of the cookies, this recipe has the potential to make a very large batch of cookies.

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I hope you didn’t think for a second that I might not give you the best ever recipe for pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is probably my #1 favorite thing about Thanksgiving, that and the turkey, stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce and please, please, please don’t forget the apple and yam bake. But I wasn’t always this way, push the rewind button and I was the first person to take the piece of apple pie instead of the pumpkin pie at the Thanksgiving table.

Let me explain. I love my Grama with all my heart, don’t get me wrong. But in my personal opinion, baking pumpkin pie was not her forte. She used to use real pumpkin in her pies, as in she would buy a pumpkin, hollow it out, and then use the innards to make her pie. Talk about some serious effort. Too bad I never liked the end result; a pie that was bitter and not my most favorite thing in the world.

Me, Grama and my baby cousin

Fast forward a few years. I’ve discovered that I love pumpkin pie, my mom’s pumpkin pie that is. Grama was still busy making her “famous” pie and the year that Grampa died and a large portion of the family gathered for Thanksgiving dinner was no different. The pies were dished out to the 20 plus of us, doles of whip cream were applied and we were ready to dig in. What we got was a surprise. Without a doubt the pie was missing something. When someone asked Grama if she had put any sugar in the pie her response was a serious “You don’t put sugar in pumpkin pie!” Oh gosh, you’ve got to be kidding me Grama. What the heck were you thinking!? We all broke into fits of laughter, the tears started to fall and we all dumped teaspoons of sugar on top of our whipping cream to try and mend the damage.  

Grama is gone now and I miss her all the time. I miss the games that we would play, her brutal honesty, her sense of humor, her selflessness, the love that she had for me and the rest of the family, and the way that she lived her life dedicated to serving her Saviour. What I won’t miss: you guessed it, her pumpkin pie.

Long story short, love your grandma no matter what and please just use the canned stuff. It saves time and tastes way better, believe me. Oh, and follow this recipe. I couldn’t love this pumpkin pie any more.

Pumpkin Pie

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin          3/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp flour                                   1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg                             1/4 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp salt                                   1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs well beaten

Preheat oven to 425F.

Heat pumpkin in a saucepan at medium heat for 10 minutes stirring frequently.

Stir the sugar, flour, spices, salt, eggs and milk into the pumpkin.

Beat until smooth and pour into a prepared pie shell.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Let cool and serve with whipping cream.

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Pumpkin Pancakes

I don’t know if I have ever had pancakes for breakfast before. Isn’t that bizarre? Don’t think for a second that I’m not a pancakes, waffles, french toast kind of person. I most certainly am…just not for breakfast. My family has always done things a little differently I guess and those tasty numbers show up at our lunch table. 

Oh man, homemade waffles are the greatest. Yes I might have just had some for dinner tonight. Should I be feeling guilty about that? Probably. Do I actually? Not so much. It’s all about balance…right? I mean, I had an apple and a yogurt at lunch, that’s healthy!

With a little bit of pumpkin left over from baking who knows what, I figured that it would be beneficial to myself, those at home, the fridge (can’t leave it too cluttered!), and the pumpkin, to whip up a batch of pumpkin pancakes. Correction. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes. Aka. Deliciousness. These were amazing, with and even without syrup. Heck, I’d even make these again without the chocolate chips. I can’t believe I just said that.

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 cups flour                   2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp baking powder         1/2 tsp salt

1 egg                                   1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil             1/4 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup pumpkin                  1 tsp cinnamon             

1/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl beat the egg and combine with milk, pumpkin, oil and vanilla.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until combined. (The batter should still be lumpy, do not overbeat).

Melt 3/4 tbsp butter in a pan over medium heat and spoon the batter onto the pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the pancakes. Cook pancakes until they are filled with bubbles, flip once and cook until golden.

Recipe yields 12 pancakes.

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