Cathie Campbell

Pumpkin treats

I love fall, with the crisper weather, rich colors, scents, and, of course, all the delicious flavors — such as pumpkin-flavored things. I collect pumpkin decor, mainly glass and ceramic ones, and add to my collection every year. Same thing with pumpkin recipes. I would write a pumpkin cookbook, but there are several already out there in Book Land. If you love pumpkins you can cook with, then get that apron on and let’s start a fire under the cauldron. Oops, I mean oven or stove. Oh, by the way, Oct. 26 was National Pumpkin Day.

Mini pumpkin cheesecakes

2 packages (8-oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

2 tablespoons seasonal Coffee Mate Pumpkin Spice liquid flavoring (or other brand)

1. Preheat oven to 300. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with foil liners. Coat liners with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Beat cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, flour, vanilla and salt in large mixing bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. Transfer one-half cup batter to a medium bowl. Add pumpkin and Coffee Mate, stir until blended.

4. Divide white cream cheese batter evenly in the prepared tin, then do the same with the pumpkin batter. Swirl the two batters with a blunt knife.

5. Bake 16 to 18 minutes (or until set) in preheated oven. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

Pumpkin pudding

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 cup cold milk

1 package (3.3-oz.) instant white chocolate pudding mix

1/4 whipped topping

1. In a small bowl, whisk the pumpkin, cinnamon and ginger. Add milk and pudding mix; whisk for 2 minutes. Mixture will be thick.

2. Transfer to individual serving dishes. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish each serving with whipped topping. Makes 2 servings.

Pumpkin pie cake

I like to use pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

1 package (regular size) yellow cake mix

3 eggs

1 cup water

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon, divided

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 1/2 cups vanilla frosting

1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts (or pecans)

1. Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, water, pumpkin, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Beat an additional 2 minutes with mixer on medium speed.

2. Pour batter into two well-greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

3. Combine frosting and remaining cinnamon; spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Press walnuts or pecans lightly against sides. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Spice cookies with pumpkin dip

For a thicker dip, use pumpkin puree instead of the pie filling mixture.

Cookies:

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup molasses

4 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon each ground ginger and cloves

1 teaspoon salt

Additional sugar

Pumpkin dip:

1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened

2 cups pumpkin pie filling

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and molasses. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Chill mixture overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 375. Shape cookie dough into 1/2-inch balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

3. For dip, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in pumpkin pie filling. Add the sugar, cinnamon and ginger and mix well. Serve with cookies. Store any leftover dip in the refrigerator.

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