Category Archives: pumpkin

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Every week in my classroom we have Baking Fridays, when some tiny helpers and I whip up a baked good concoction for us to have for snack. Sometimes we bake bread, other times it’s muffins, and on special Fridays we make chocolate chip cookies. You wouldn’t believe what excellent chefs these four-year-olds can be when you give them a job. “Chocolate chip taste-tester”? Done.  “Cinnamon-smeller”? You betcha. “Flour and/or floor sweeper”? Gotcha. “The one who gets the garbage can so we can throw eggshells away”? Handled.

If there’s leftover goodies, we prance them around the school to share and everyone wants to be our best friend. Then, we have a dance party. Just another day at the ol’ j-o-b.

Most Fridays, we have baking successes. But sometimes? Sometimes, we have baking fails.

Last year we attempted to make a loaf of pumpkin quick bread from scratch and it ended up as the saddest baking fail of all sad baking fails. After getting the kids SUPER pumped up about how delicious the bread smelled and would taste, we went to the oven and discovered a charred brick of pumpkin goo. Not one to disappoint, I decided to salvage a couple pieces to give the kids for snack, because really, would they even know the difference?

Big. Mistake. Some kiddos took one look at the burned pumpkin goo disaster and promptly threw it in the trash. A couple kids laughed, like, AS. IF. Others attempted a bite and then looked at me with the saddest eyes all, “WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME???” Those poor munchkins.

I vowed never to make pumpkin bread from scratch again. I owed it to my students not to.

That is, until, Mike’s coworker shared the easiest (most successful!!!) pumpkin quick bread recipe with me. Glory hallelujah!!

Thank you, Lisa, for helping me redeem my status as “favorite teacher that bakes”. That IS what they call me…

…right??

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread (recipe adapted from Lisa Z.)

yield: one loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1- 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat an 8×4 loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix pumpkin puree, sugars, and oil on medium-low. Add the flour mixture and 1/2 cup chocolate chips; mix on low or fold in with a rubber spatula until just combined. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top. Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for about an hour in the pan, then turn onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Cut into slices to serve, or store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

I LOVE FALL: New Hampshire Edition

Have I ever mentioned that I love taking pictures of foliage/pumpkins/gourds/leaves/trees/sunrises/fall things? Ever? No?

Well then YOU’RE in for a surprise!

Last weekend I got to tag along on Mike’s firm’s fall outing in Meredith, NH. We had the cutest room with the cutest little balcony for watching the sunrise over the lake, found a lunch place with deeeelicious butternut squash-apple-bacon bisque, and spent Saturday afternoon driving around looking for all the best fall photo ops (covered bridge and pumpkin farm included). We also managed to snag some cider donuts straight from the fryer and make friends with a giant pig named Munchkin. All in all another perfect fall weekend!

 

*Guest Post* Fall Food Lovin’ by Emily

Today’s post (and awesome photos) come from my sister Emily, who was recently home from college on fall break and on a mission to eat and photograph every fall food imaginable (we MUST be related ;)). Take it away, Emily!

Fall Break means a few things.  It means family time, it means Reese’s peanut butter cup pumpkins (and lots of ‘em!), it means being cozy on the couch while stuffing my face with hand-fulls of candy corn, and it means ALL THINGS pumpkin and squash.  Here’s a little glimpse into what I did (but mostly ate) over my time home from college this past week: homemade Pumpkin and Candy Corn Rice Krispies Treats, homemade Pumpkin-Maple-Cranberry Granola, pumpkin donuts and homemade Butternut Squash Pizza, Pumpkin 7-layer Bars* (homemade and way too delicious to not exist all year round), a trip to Cooperstown with lots of apples, Pumpkin soup (again, homemade-thanks mom!) with soft garlic bread, homemade Butternut Squash and Apple Muffins, walks around the neighborhood to take in the beautiful fall views, and pumpkin soft serve with chocolate sprinkles!  But most importantly, is the Fall Trail Mix that I concocted, which is really just a mash of snack-y foods with a fall twist. Enjoy!

*Note: these are pictured TWICE because they are just. THAT. DELICIOUS.

Ingredients:

  • Chex
  • Pretzel nuggets
  • Chocolate chips
  • Candy corn (I used regular, Indian, Blackberry Cobbler, and Tangerine flavors)
  • Chocolate-covered Cookie Dough Pieces (or chocolate-covered anything!)
  • Raisins
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews

Mix together in a large bowl and EAT!

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies: Pumpkin Remix

Do you know what happens when you combine your (my) favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe with the flavors of fall? Choco-chip-cookie-punkin-chunkin-REEEE-MIIIIIIX.

I’ve got remixes on the brain ever since I watched the finale of So You Think You Can Dance and heard this Circle of Life remix. DARE YOU NOT TO LISTEN AND LOVE AND DANCE ALONG IN YOUR LIVING ROOM. Dare ya.

I love this pumpkin remix cookie because:

  1. Some of the fat is replaced with pumpkin puree, so it’s healthy.
  2. Some of the white flour is replaced with whole wheat flour, so it’s healthy.
  3. You can dance around your living room like Simba to the Circle of Life remix and burn off all the cals consumed from the punkin cookie remix, so it’s healthy.

Chocolate chip pumpkin remix cookie. Health.

(Plus it’s chewy and gooey and makes your kitchen smell like the best fall smell you could ever imagine smelling.)

NAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNTSSS INGONYAMAAAAA (Did you have any idea that’s how it’s spelled? Me neiths.)

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Pumpkin Remix (adapted from my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1  cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

*I got my pumpkin pie spice from Trader Joe’s, but you can make your own using this recipe, or if you’re feeling REALLY daring, just throw together some combination of cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger/allspice/cloves.

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat brown sugar, sugar, butter, shortening, and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; blend well.
  2. In a seperate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until fully combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Pumpkin Spice Crispy Treats

HAPPY FRIDAY, friends!!

Remember last year when I was all high & mighty and refused to celebrate fall until the actual first day of fall? Who am I? Why am I so annoying?

More importantly, WHY would I EVER resist putting pumpkin into things A.S.A.P???

If you do one thing this weekend, you should make these crispy treats, for the following reasons:

1. Browned butter.

2. Pumpkin spice.

3. Easy peasy.

4. Scrumdiddlyumptious.

5. Browned butter.

6. No oven needed!

*Please pay extra attention to numbers 1 and 5. Brooooooowwwnnned buuuutttttterrrrr is my friiiieeeennnndddd.

These bars are SO easy. You can whip them up in 10 minutes and bask in their pumpkin spice glory for however long it takes you to down the entire pan. For me, it was 35 minutes. *Insert thumbs-up sign here*

Pumpkin Spice Crispy Treats (adapted from the traditional Krispie Treats recipe)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter, browned
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 6 cups puffed rice cereal

*I bought pumpkin pie spice from Trader Joe’s, but you can make you own by combining these spices)

Directions

  1. In a large pot, melt and brown the butter over medium heat. Swirl the butter around in the pan until it starts to brown (it will deepen in color and smell slightly nutty, but watch it closely so that it doesn’t burn!). Turn the heat down to low and add the marshmallows, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice. Allow to melt completely, stirring occasionally to combine.
  2. Add the cereal and stir until fully coated. Press the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan using a rubber spatula. Allow to cool, then cut into squares.

 

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Hi friends!  I survived the totally non-dramatic drama of last week, and I’m happy to say that things are looking up! Computer is fixed, brand-spanking-new camera is in my possession, and Peanut Butter Cheerios are on sale at CVS.  Oh, and we’re leaving for Paris in 2 days.

Count it: t-w-o.  I might actually die.  But not actually because obv I’m already panicked about my flight and getting hit by a scooter and getting mugged by gypsies and any other bad things that happen to tourists abroad.  I take it back, okay???

So, um, these donuts?

These donuts make me do a happy dance.  They make me say “hoohoo!” like the Pillsbury Doughboy.  They make me do two Jillian Michaels workouts in a row so that I can eat five of them.  They make it okay that in order to fix my computer, my good friends at Apple had to wipe my hard drive.  It’s fine, life is good!  We have donuts.

Tell me you don’t want to nuzzle your face in that cinnamon sugar.  TELL ME.  You can’t.

I know, I know…it’s totally not pumpkin season.  But if you happened to buy 85 cans of pumpkin in October and happen to have 72 of those cans still kicking around in the back of your cabinet…this is the recipe for you.  Because you can really NEVER go wrong with pumpkin and cinnamon sugar and butter, no matter what the time of year.

Baked Pumpkin Donuts (adapted very slightly from Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins)

yield: 18 donuts

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
Cinnamon-sugar coating
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a donut pan with cooking spray (you could also make these in muffin form, in which case you should coat a muffin tin with cooking spray).  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  In a small bowl, stir to combine buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on medium high until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  With the mixer on low, add flour in three batches, alternating with the pumpkin mixture.  Beat for 30 seconds to fully combine.
  3. Spoon the batter into the donut pan, filling each well about 2/3 full (~1/4 cup batter).  For a six-donut pan, you will need to bake in three batches.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until the donut springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Allow the donuts to cool in the pan for 7-10 minutes, then remove one donut at a time to brush with melted butter and toss in the cinnamon sugar coating.  Allow to cool fully on a wire rack. Repeat until all donuts are coated.

Mini Pumpkin Cakes

When I was at home a few weekends ago, my dad got up at like four AM to go to a flea market. I asked him to keep an eye out for retro kitchen things, and he returned with some cool/weird/GREAT stuff, including this old scale

for which I have no use other than to weigh 8kg of grapes and/or 21lbs of steak. But it sure is fun to look at.

And, this stack of mini Jello molds,

to which I said: Do I LOOK like a 1950s housewife named Bitsy to you??

Who uses Jello molds anymore???

Luckily my mom pointed out that these could be used as mini bundt cake pans, which is an adorable idea and proves that my parents are wiser than me.

Something else I realized?

Fill these babies with pumpkin cake batter, flip ‘em over, and you’ve got mini pumpkin cakes!

The only thing left to do…

Is glaze.

Mini Pumpkin Cakes (adapted from Joy of Baking)

(yield 12-15 mini cakes or cupcakes)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your mini cakes pans OR line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spices.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla and pumpkin puree. Mix until incorporated.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter+sugar mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk. Begin and end with flour. Stir until just combined.
  5. Fill cake pans 2/3 of the way. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely before topping with glaze.
Pumpkin Spice Glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2-3 teaspoons milk
Whisk ingredients until smooth and runny, adding more milk if needed.

Pumpkin Cake Balls

Did you ever play “Momma had a baby and her head popped off“? You know, that totally weird and random game where you decapitate dandelions and sing a little song about it?

I invented that. Except I originally called it “Barbie had a baby and her head popped off”.

Seriously! Google it. You won’t find my name (or anyone else’s), but that’s because this is the first time I’m coming forward as “anonymous inventor of Momma had a baby and her head popped off”.

I invented it when I was playing Barbies with my bestie one day and my {faulty} Barbie was in labor and her head fell off. Clever, eh?

Mike (and my mom, and pretty much anyone I tell this story to) thinks I *might* be remembering this event a bit incorrectly and it’s *possible* that I heard “Momma had a baby and her head popped off” from someone else and simply incorporated it into my play.  But to them I say, pooh pooh!

Similar to my innovative dandelion decapitation song, I’m also 99.99% sure I am the first person to invent pumpkin cake balls and they will soon overtake the world. I haven’t bothered to Google-check this fact as I feel that discovering someone else had the idea of combining pumpkin and cake balls first would be a pretty serious blow to my ego.

Regardless of origin, these are the nummiest cake balls I’ve ever encountered. The only thing better than mixing cake and frosting is mixing cake and PUMPKIN and frosting. SoooooooooooO good.

You can even make these if you are on a diet because pumpkin replaces half the usual amount of frosting in the recipe, so technically these are a health food.

Pumpkin Cake Balls (yield: ~30 cake balls)

Ingredients

  • 1 box white or yellow cake mix
  • 3 tablespoons + 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup canned vanilla frosting
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • candy corn

Directions

  1. Mix cake according to directions on box (with eggs, water, and oil), but replace one egg with 3 tablespoons of pumpkin and a teaspoon of baking powder. Stir in pumpkin pie spice. Bake as directed.
  2. Allow the cake to cool completely, then crumble until there are no large pieces of cake left. Stir in 3/4 cup frosting and 1/2 cup pumpkin until incorporated.
  3. Form the mix into small balls, then dip in white chocolate candy melts.
  4. Decorate with candy corn. Store in refrigerator.

Pumpkin Muffins

Guys, I might have to start Baby Mondays.

Just kidding. I would inevitably post 129482 baby pictures of myself because I believe I was obvi the cutest baby ever to grace the baby world, even though its common knowledge that most babies are only cute to their parents.

But there is ONE more Squishy McSquish I need to share. And a recipe too!

Meet Skylar, who belongs to Tracey at my school.

Here is Skylar sitting in the Stanley Cup because she is a baller.

Here is Skylar with a party on her head in an attempt to distract us all from THOSE. CHEEKS.

Nice try, Sky.

Moral of the story is Miss Skylar can’t eat dairy or soy, which means Miss Tracey can’t eat dairy or soy, which means I have to get creative in my baking.

But not too creative, because luckily I found this super simple recipe for pumpkin muffins, without…you guessed it!.. dairy or soy.

This recipe is so easy and makes light, fluffy, perfectly-pumpkin-spicy muffins. Only 10 ingredients!

Pumpkin Muffins (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (you could substitute applesauce for the oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 12 liners in a muffin tin. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, sugars, baking soda, and salt until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add the flour to the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overmix!
  3. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.
PS- While we’re talking babies, can you guess who this nugget is??

Cinnamon Pumpkin Macarons

If at first you don’t succeed,

{Sad, stumpy, lumpy macaron attempt #1}

Try, try again!

{Happy, smooth, perfect macaron attempt #2}

I’m going to blame the residual effects of Pete the Cat on my choice to not have a minor breakdown when my macarons came out of the oven looking like (for lack of a better word) poo, and instead chose to dust myself off, separate some more egg whites, and try again.

And it’s a good thing I did! Macarons are so darn temperamental. Some still ended up looking like volcanos:

But for the most part, batch number two was pretty adorable. I followed this recipe from Eat, Live, Run (new fave blog!), but swapped the raspberry and rose for 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice in the macaron batter and pumpkin for the filling.

Some were filled with a mixture of chocolate and pumpkin puree (uh, YUM).

And others, Trader Joe’s pumpkin cream cheese (which should definitely become a staple in your household – thanks Miss Tracey!).

Macaroon, french macaroon, macaron – whatever you want to call it, these little guys are SO cute and SOO tasty.

And if at first your macarons don’t succeed – try, try again! It will be worth it – bon appetit!