Pumpkin Recipe Round Up!

It’s officially pumpkin season, and we need to observe it accordingly. I’ve tried enough pumpkin recipes over the past few years, that I’m not really looking to reinvent the wheel this year. I’ve honed the options down to three main standbys.

First, we have pumpkin spice bread. It’s a classic.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Makes 2 9 x 5 loaves (or about 5 mini loaves), recipe from Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare two 9 x 5 loaf pans with parchment and nonstick spray.
  2. Combine flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. (you can substitute the multiple spices for pumpkin pie spice if you have it.)
  3. Wisk together oil and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, then the pumpkin.
  4. Add dry ingredients in slowly.  Add in chopped walnuts if you want.
  5. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the tester comes out clean. (about 45 min for mini loaves)

done

Next, oatmeal pumpkin cookies. I have a lot of different cookies in my repertoire that are just different combinations of oatmeal cookies with various “mix-ins.” These would be the pumpkin version of that. They have great flavor and great texture!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Yeilds about 40 depending on size, adapted from My Baking Addiction

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter; softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside: flour, spices, oats, salt, and baking soda.
  3. Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla.  Mix until well combined.
  4. Gradually encorporate dry mixture into wet being careful not to over mix.  Fold in chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
  5. Drop cookies onto parchment lined cookie sheet in generous teaspoon size. Bake 12-14 minutes.

oven time

Best for last: pumpkin chocolate chip bars. Every time I make them, they get raves! They are great out of the oven, or even better cold out of the freezer. You need to make them asap!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Make one 9 x 13 pan, about 20 bars depending on size, from Martha

Ingredients

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 Tbs pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a 9 x 13 brownie pan with parchment (it will make it much easier to get them out).
  2. Combine the flour, spice, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Cream butter, then add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla.
  4. Alternate adding batches of the pumkin and dry ingredients.  Mix to combine, but try not to overmix the dough.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Pour batter into parchment lined pan.  Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.  Allow to cool completely, then cut and serve!

yum!

Lastly, if you don’t want to actually make something, may I just say that the pumpkin munchkins (cake donut style) from Dunkin are to die for. It’s making me want to find a pumpkin donut recipe…

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies head to head

A couple weeks ago my best friend asked me if I had a recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I thought about it for a few minutes and realized that I haven’t made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in long time, so I had nothing to recommend.

As luck would have it, I browsed through the cookie recipes that I’ve pinned on Pinterest and I had several oatmeal cookie recipes on my “to-do” recipe board. I decided to give this one a try because it looked unbelievably simple. And then two weeks later I needed another cookie recipe so I tried this one.

The first ones were a little on the crumbly side, but they have really good flavor. I would definitely recommend giving these a try! I felt the need to add pecans to this recipe, but you can certainly keep it to just chocolate chips!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest, yields 2-3 dozen cookies depending on size

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 c old fashioned oats
  • 2 c AP flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (you might want to start with 1 cup and add if needed)
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans (a little more if desired)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Add all ingredients except chocolate chips and pecans in mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans. Batter will be kind of loose and crumbly.

batter up3. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to portion batter onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. As you portion out approximately 1.5 inch balls or mounds, the dough might not stick together very will, but it should all be resolved in the oven.

ready for the oven

4. Bake 10-12 minutes until cookies are just golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

ready to eat

The second recipe was a little more involved because it added coconut. So they were more like an everything cookie between the oats, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips. This batter was more moist than the previous recipe, and I think letting it rest overnight gave it really good flavor (note to self: start these the night before you want to bake them!). Both recipes got raves, but I think I’m leaning towards this one if I need to make oatmeal cookies again soon.

Chunky Lola Cookies

Adapted from Ink Lemonade, yields about 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 3/8 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 2/3 c granulated sugar
  • 2/3 c light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 9 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 2/3rds of a bag)
  • 1 1/4 c pecan halves, toasted and chopped
  • 1 c sweetened shredded coconut

Method

1. Cream together butter and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.

2. In a separate bowl combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Mix with a wisk or wooden spoon.

3. Add wet mixture to dry and fold by hand with wisk or wooden spoon. Fold in coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips.

photogenic batter

4. Allow batter to chill in refrigerator overnight (or at least a few hours).

5. Preheat oven to 350. Portion cookie dough with a tablespoon or ice cream scoop. Flatten the dough balls into thick disks on the parchment lined cookie sheet to encourage the desired shape.

ready for the oven

6. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely on wire rack.

(I’m sorry I forgot to take a pic of the final product)

Almond Joy Brownies: A Hershey Inspired Dessert

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This month, I made a trip to Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey, PA on the way back from visiting my alma mater.  One of my memories as a child is going to Hershey Park in the summer to ride all the thrilling amusement rides and to visit Chocolate World.  The best part of Chocolate World was the ride inside that detailed the process of making Hershey’s chocolate.  As you walk into Chocolate World, you are blown away by the smell of chocolate emanating from the building.  The aroma is overwhelming and you become immersed into a magical world where nothing matters except all the chocolate treats that you can purchase there.  Needless to say, I went home with a goodie bag.

When i returned home, I felt the need to whip up my very own chocolate creation inspired by Milton Hershey himself.  I put a Hershey twist on brownies.  I used Pillsbury Dark Chocolate brownie mix and doctored it up to make Almond Joy Brownies.  I made the batter as stated on the box, then added 1/2 tsp of coconut extract, 1 tsp of almond extract, and 3/4 cup sliced almonds to the batter.

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I poured the batter in a 13×9 inch pan and then topped the batter with coconut flakes.  I used Toasted Coconut Chips from Creative Snacks Co.  This sample bag was given to me by one of my sales reps this summer.  If you use regular coconut, be sure to toast it in the oven before you top off the brownies.

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Bake the brownies as directed on the box.  The result is a twist on a classic and your dinner guests won’t be able to pass on dessert.  Top a brownie with the ice cream of your choice and hot fudge sauce to make an even more irresistible dessert.

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