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I’m a really big fan of this whole it’s your birthday let me bake you a cake thing that goes on once a year.

I could 100% do without my birthday. It’s not an age thing, I could care less about getting older, it’s more of an I’m bratty and don’t like holidays or special days kind of person. That being said, having someone bake me a cake of my choosing is probably one of the best things ever.

A couple of years ago this German Chocolate Cheesecake Cake made me extremely happy. And now this year, a pumpkin cheesecake cake. Notice a trend? I think I might need a cake + cheesecake intervention. Especially considering the fact that this cake lasted a full week, which means that I’ve had at least 6 pieces of it all to myself. Happy Birthday to me!

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Call me crazy because this recipe doesn’t have anything to do with chocolate, but I am enamoured by this cake. Two amazing layers of pumpkin cake, which honestly would be great on its own slathered in some cream cheese icing but why would we do something as boring as that, sandwiched in the middle with a cheesecake filling and then topped off with a pumpkin cream cheese icing (holy amazing) with sugared pecans. That’s fine right? Not over the top at all.

The only problem was that the inside of the cake was definitely not photogenic. So a picture from the original recipe and one from amateur hour over here. I think we know whose is whose. Regardless, feel free to be awestruck like I was.

And thus begins the hunt for next years birthday cake. Wish me luck…

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake 

Recipe from http://www.recipegirl.com/2012/11/02/pumpkin-cheesecake-cake/

 

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I realize that this post might be a bit out of season but here it is. My favorite month of the year? Easy, September. Hello sunny warm days and cool sweatshirt evenings, the start of football season (go Seahawks), a new school year, fall leaves and everything else good. Yes my favorite season is fall. Close runner up? Summer. Duh. Holidays, the lake, water skiing, camp fires, traveling, there is nothing wrong with this situation.

Foods associated with my favorite seasons: pumpkin, apples, cranberries, and pumpkin (it’s that important that it needs to be repeated) for fall, and berries, fresh fruits and produce, s’mores and bbqs for summer.

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Where I’m going with this is that it was fate for me to make these cupcakes. Pumpkin s’more cupcakes? Hello best of both worlds/seasons.

I have to be honest here, I’m not a cupcake fan. They just don’t make any sense to me. I’m probably the ugliest eater ever so that works out perfectly when I’m handed a cupcake. Can’t I just have a full piece of cake all to myself that I can top with ice cream and eat with a fork like a lady? What a joke. But whenever I’m with the Minnesotan we bake cupcakes. Turns out they are growing on me. Especially thanks to these.

These cupcakes were pretty up there. The pumpkin was delicious, the graham cracker crust was a bit over the top, the hidden chocolate was my favorite, and the marshmallow topping was definitely all right. Again some honesty, next time I’d switch things up a bit, keeping the pumpkin and chocolate combo and topping it all of with a cream cheese icing.

Yes there will be a next time.

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After all, now that we’re entering into winter I’m going to need something to do to keep myself from getting depressed about all of this rain and darkness. 7 more months until summer. But who’s counting.

Pumpkin S’more Cupcakes

Adapted from How Sweet Eats

Graham Crust
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with lines.

Combine the melted butter and graham crumbs together, mixing well until combined.

Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon into each cupcake liner, pressing with the back of a spoon to form a crust.

Cupcakes
1 1/3 cups brown sugar      1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla                       1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup pumpkin                1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda                1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt                         1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup milk

Whisk egg and sugar together in a large bowl until combined and no lumps remain.

Add in vanilla extract and butter, then whisk in pumpkin puree.

Add in flour, baking soda, powder, salt and pumpkin spice, then add in milk and stir until combined and smooth.

Drop about 1/4 cup of batter on top of each graham cracker crust, filling the liners 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until cupcakes are set and spring back at the touch. Let cool completely.

Fudge Ganache filling
4 ounces mini chocolate chips
2 tbsp heavy cream

Combine and heat the heavy cream and chocolate chips in a pot over the stovetop stirring frequently until melted and combined.

Let sit until cupcakes are cool, then fill a pastry bag with the chocolate and insert the top straight down into the cupcake, squeezing the ganache inside.

Marshmallow Frosting

2 large egg whites            1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar     1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heat-proof bowl. Place over top of a double-boiler that contains simmering water and whisk constantly 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are slightly warm.

Remove the bowl and using a beater, initially beat on slow, gradually increasing the speed to high.

Beat 6-7 minutes until glossy and thick, then beat in vanilla until combined.

Frost the cupcakes.

Torch the frosting or place in the oven on grill to create the toasted effect.

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Pumpkin Pie Bars

Today wasn’t a good day. The rain came pouring down, matching exactly how I felt. I needed to take my mind off of things, I needed to bake, but I needed to bake something good. Mission accomplished.

Step 1: Select favourite baking ingredient. Pumpkin? Check.

Step 2: Select second favourite baking ingredient. Cream cheese? Check.

This is looking promising. Thank you Joy the Baker for making Pumpkin Pie bars last year and for twisting my arm to make these. Thank you to another friend for supporting my pumpkin baking addiction. You add, for lack of a better word, joy to my life. If only you lived closer…(ie. these aren’t making their way out east to you in the mail, sorry)

Sometimes recipes give you options regarding toppings. Sometimes I don’t choose, I use both. Such was the case today. Why choose between chocolate chips or butterscotch chips? Why not do half on one side and half on the other? Why am I so smart?

These were really good, a crisp crust, delicious centre and the perfect topping. Just make sure that you store these in the fridge. I love you fall baking!

On a different note, today is Thanksgiving, even though it’s been a tough one I’ve been reminding myself that I have so much to be thankful for…an amazing family, a job at a school that I love, the best co-workers in the world, beautiful friends, good health, and most importantly, a Saviour. So blessed.

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Adapted from Joy the Baker

1 1/3 cups flour             3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar      3/4 cup butter
1 cup oats                      1/2 cup  chopped walnuts
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3 eggs                            2 cups pumpkin
1 tsp  cinnamon             1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp all spice                 1 tsp vanilla
a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips for sprinkling on top (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line a 13×9-inch pan with foil, with ends of the foil extending over sides; grease foil.

Mix flour, 1/4 sugar and brown sugar in a bowl.

Cut in butter with two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and nuts.

Reserve 1 cup oat mixture; press remaining onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min.

Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and pumpkin with mixer until well blended.

Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture and a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips (if desired).

Bake for 25 min.

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I know that it’s still only September, but I really couldn’t resist. The rain and wind came this weekend and with it I decided that some pumpkin baking would remedy my post summer blues. Embrace the crappy weather, drink a few pumpkin spice lattes and chai teas. I’m already much happier just thinking about some of my favourite things.

It was a hard decision trying to figure out what to bake. Last years pumpkin cookies were so delicious but it was time to venture out and make something new. And so after much blog and Pinterest surfing I found these…pumpkin oatmeal cookies.

Normally pumpkin cookies end up tasting just like cake, but these are a bit heartier thanks to the oatmeal. Fresh out of the oven they were nice and crispy but within a day they softened up. No complaints from my end though.

These are the kind of cookies that you can change up. Like nuts? Throw them in there. Raisins, dried cherries, chocolate chips? You name it, it can happen. I decided that half of the batch would have butterscotch chips in it, while the other half would be saved for white chocolate chips and craisins. My favourites are the white chocolate chip cookies, I think it’s a texture thing, loving the craisins!

Ps. Does it sound weird to combine butterscotch chips and pumpkin? Or pumpkin with white chocolate chips and craisins? Just trust me, the pumpkin still shines through and these are both delicious combo’s.

Picture sitting in Starbucks, drinking a pumpkin spiced latte and eating a homemade pumpkin cookie, all the while crushing your competition at a Suduko race. It doesn’t get more perfect than that.

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from My Baking Addiction

Ingredients

2 cups flour             1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda    ½ tsp nutmeg
1 ½ tsp cinnamon   ½ tsp ginger
½ tsp salt                ½ tsp all spice
3/4 cup butter         1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar             1 ½ cups pumpkin
1 egg                      1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried craisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy.

Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well.

Add flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Combine until all ingredients are incorporated.

Fold in white chocolate chips and dried craisins, or whatever additions you choose.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned (I baked mine for 13).

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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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