Well, here we are in my favorite month of the year, October. One of my favorite things about this time of year is my collection of pumpkin recipes. Of course, one doesn’t need to wait until October to make such things, but the season gets me inspired to dig around in my fall recipes. Please do take care to purchase (or grow) the pumpkins that are called cooking or pie pumpkins, as the ones usually used to Jack-o-lanterns are stringy and tough. You can still make a pie out of one, but it won’t be as good as a pie made from the cooking type. I know some people are saying oh yes, I can, you just haven’t tasted one of my pies. I admit I have had a sampling of pumpkin pie made from a Jack-o-lantern pumpkin and I can’t say it was awful, but it wasn’t nearly as good as using puree from a pie pumpkin. This is just my opinion, and the following recipes call for canned pumpkin. I hope you are all looking forward to a cozy October. We sure do have a lot of firewood this year to keep warm with. Would rather have the live trees, though.
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin puree, egg, oil and vinegar. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour the batter onto griddle, using about 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot. Makes 6 servings.
1 can (29-oz.) pumpkin puree
3/4 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes, then reduce heat to a simmer. Let mixture simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes until sauce is thickened to a consistency you like. While it simmers, stir it about every 5 minutes.
2. When the pumpkin butter is thick enough, remove from heat and allow it to completely cool. Divide into jars and store in the refrigerator.
2 ingredient pumpkin brownies
I am seeing this recipe from so many sources I couldn’t begin to tell you where it originated. But in case you don’t already have it, here it is.
1 box (family size, 19.5-oz.) brownie mix
1 can (15-oz.) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9-by-9-inch pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray.
2. In a bowl, combine brownie mix and pumpkin puree. Mix until smooth.
3. Spread batter in prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until batter is set.
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Frost if desired.
5. For frosting: Cream butter and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Turn mixer to low and add in confectioners’ sugar. Turn mixer up to medium and beat until fluffy. Spread on brownies in pan.
Pumpkin gooey butter cake
1 (18 1/4 -ounce) package yellow cake mix
8 tablespoons melted butter
1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 can (15-oz.) pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 box (16-oz.) confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine the cake mix, egg and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13- by 9-inch baking pan.
2. To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat softened cream cheese and pumpkin puree until mixture is smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well.
3. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.
Serve with fresh whipped cream. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Pumpkin dinner rolls
These are good with some honey butter while they are still warm.
3/4 cup whole milk, scalded
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages active dry yeast ( 1/2 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water
5 cups flour
15 to 20 pecan halves, sliced into 3 vertical sections
1/4 cup melted butter, optional
1. Pour hot milk in a mixing bowl, add butter and stir to melt. Add sugars, pumpkin puree, salt to the milk and combine well.
2. In a small bowl, proof yeast in lukewarm water with a teaspoon sugar. When it gets foamy add to the pumpkin mixture, and add the egg, mix well.
3. Add in flour gradually and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. The dough will be sticky. If using electric mixer, attach a dough hook and beat the mixture until the dough itself pulls from the side of the bowl.
4. Turn the dough out on a wooden board dusted with a small amount of flour. Knead by hand for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball shape, place in a greased bowl and cover with a cloth. Let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour.
5. Punch the dough to deflate and knead it for a few seconds on a wooden board. Cut the dough in half. Cut each half into about 15 pieces.
6. Roll each piece into a ball shape with your hand. Flatten the piece with palm of your hand a little. Using a knife, give 8 cuts on the edge to resemble pumpkin ridges but the leave center uncut.
7. Poke the center with a finger to give a deep indentation, and repeat the same procedure to all the other pieces. Place them, 2 inches apart, on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or baking mat, and let them rise again to be doubled, about 45 minutes.
8. While they are rising, preheat oven 350 for about 20 minutes. If the center indentation is not obvious on the rolls, poke them again with your finger.
9. Brush with an egg wash, if you wish, and bake for 9 to 12 minutes until the top gets slightly golden.
10. Brush the rolls with melted butter or a little honey diluted with water to make it shine if you wish. Insert pecan slices on top to mimic pumpkin stem. Makes about 30 rolls.