Tag Archives: fall

Pumpkin Biscotti

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…So I may have gotten a bit too much pumpkin for Thanksgiving. But how could I not? I love pumpkin! It’s so delicious; it provides that subtle fall taste that I love. But I needed to make something out of these cans of pumpkin puree that I had sitting in my pantry. And as I mentioned in an earlier post, I made little cookie baskets for friends and teacher and such. BAM. Pumpkin Biscotti. I like biscotti because it’s a cookie, but it of course has that classic crunchy texture that’s perfect for morning coffee. Or, you could always just use it as a spoon for ice cream. Which would be pretty awesome, as well. Point is, biscotti is a great treat for whenever, is pretty simple (and fun!) to make, and is way too easy to eat. And pumpkin? Who said pumpkin puree had to be limited exclusively to fall? It’s the first day of winter, and I’m posting this pumpkin recipe and you should all make it because pumpkin is underrated! So there.

Anyways, a note on this biscotti. It is adapted from Simply Recipes, author Garrett McCord. The link is at the bottom. The recipe says it only makes 15 biscotti, but that means it only makes 15 long, 7′ inch biscotti. I made about 40 mini biscotti out of this recipe, so don’t hesitate to make this recipe if you think you won’t get that many cookies out of it. You will…

Ingredients!

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Pinch of ginger
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, melted (for drizzling on top) 

How to: 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and spices into a large bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Mix together the ingredients with a hand mixer on low, until JUST mixed. 

Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Form the dough into 2 log, roughly about 15 inches by 2.5 inches. The loaves should be relatively flat, only about 1/2 inch high. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch (but not too firm! Just not gooey and soft). 

Let biscotti cool for 15 minutes and then using a serrated knife (a bread knife. Trust me. Use a bread knife. You’ll think “Oh, I’ll just use whatever knife I have. WRONG. Bad idea. Bread knife.) cut into 3/4 inch- 1 inch wide pieces. Turn the oven to 300 F and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Cool completely. Drizzle chocolate over biscotti. 

Biscotti may be still a tad moist and chewy, so if you prefer it crisp let it sit uncovered overnight in a dry space. 

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Enjoy! Here’s the link to the original recipe: 

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pumpkin_biscotti/

Healthy Carrot-Pumpkin Cookies

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Here’s a little sneak peak to how my evening went:

1. food gathering (grocery shopping)

2. failed attempt to make carrot chips (dang it)

3. tried to do a portion of SAT practice test

4. got bored of practice test.

5. Made cookies while watching the Broncos v. Giants game (which was awesome; although the Broncos really need to figure out how to not get a penalty on every freaking defense play. Like, seriously?)

The best part of my night by far was making these cookies. Why, you ask? Well. My mom got a whole freaking bag of carrots for that carrot cake last week. We were left with so. Many. Carrots. I took the challenge to use these carrots. And it turned out very, very well.

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I literally threw a bunch of stuff into a bowl, mixed it up, and it worked out REALLY WELL. Like, I was surprised. But my goodness, they are delicious! .The moisture from the shredded carrot and the pumpkin puree works really well with the flour and oats; they are also naturally sweetened with honey, maple syrup, and dates! These cookies are perfect for snacking or a healthier dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups shredded carrot (about 2 1/2 large carrots, 8ish inches in length)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, NOT pie filling
  • 1/4 cup honey*
  • 1/12 cup maple syrup*
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl and mix. Set aside.

Mix the carrot, pumpkin puree, honey, maple syrup, oats, dates, and butter with a hand mixer until thoroughly combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating until well incorporated.

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Lightly butter baking pans and drop tablespoon sized cookies onto the sheets. Flatted slightly with your fingers, but not too much. Just so that they are not huge clumps. On a 11x18ish sheet I was able to fit 25 cookies. Bake about 10 minutes, or until slightly firm in the middle. These are NOT hard, granola-y cookie. These are a soft, moist cookie. Be careful on the baking time.

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Enjoy!

Pumpkin Butter aka The Best Thing Ever

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I love fall. The morning air is brisk and fresh, you wake up curled in blankets because of the cold air outside, and the leaves are changing into the best colors.

And you start transitioning from summer to winter food. And sorry, but winter food is way better. It’s not that I don’t like BBQ or ice cream or things like that. I do. I love it all. But fall brings a bunch of warm, cozy, ancient recipes back into the kitchen. Osso Buco. Puttanesca. Paprikash. Green chili. Dilled veal. Just to name a few of my family’s favorites.

A lot of specific foods are also more acceptable in fall/winter: sweet potatos, pasta, baked veggies, and…..

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PUMPKIN. The best food ever. You will see me posted lots of pumpkin recipes in the fall; I shall bask in it’s glory and awesomeness while it is still socially acceptable to use it. So if you don’t like pumpkin, I am sorry. Learn to love it. Because it range from being super healthy (like this recipe) or just terrible-artery clogging-awesomeness (pumpkin pie, another thing that is just…ugh. I can’t. I want it. Wahhhhh).

But anyways going on. This recipe is from skinnytaste.com. It was the best decision I made all week. It tastes just like pumpkin pie. I am not kidding. It doesn’t have any weird ingredients in it or whatever; it’s all good stuff going in to produce probably the best type of butter on the face of the planet. It’s super low calorie, and super easy. And you can use it a number of ways! You can: put it on toast, use it as a pie filling, eat a spoonful plain, spread it on a cookie or ice cream or froyo, stir it into oatmeal, eat a jarful plain….For all the pumpkin lovers, give this a go!

Note: I actually halved this recipe from the original. The original recipe makes a whopping 3 3/4 cups. I can’t eat that much pumpkin that quickly without fearing it’ll go to waste. Thus, I decided to avoid the situation.

This all is from skinnytaste.com! You will find an endless supply of recipes for every single part of the day that are healthy and delicious! Gina Homolka, the author of many books and of the website does an awesome job of marrying pure ingredients and favorite foods into healthy recipes. Go check that website out.

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling!
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup apple cider or juice
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (to taste)

Directions:
Combine pureed pumpkin, vanilla, apple juice, spices, cinnamon sticks and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to your taste. Makes a little more than 1 1/2 cups.

1 serving (2 tbs) =32 calories

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Enjoy! Here’s the link to the original recipe

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2010/10/pumpkin-butter.html

Confetti Sweet Potatoes

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I love sweet potatoes. They are a miracle food I swear to gosh. It’s like having part of dessert in your dinner, when really sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients, especially Vitamin A (which is very good for vision, bones, teeth, and internal tissues )! So what do you do when you want a spin on classic mashed potatoes?

Confetti sweet potatoes. It’s mashed potatoes, but it’s not bad for you at all! While it isn’t advertised as a healthy thing, when you look at the recipe, you can see there isn’t anything that’s super bad for you. Just lots of veggies, spices, and sweet potato all whipped together in an illusion of mashed potatoes. Omnomnomnomnom.

Okay, so I have no idea where this recipe came from. My mom made it a couple of years ago to bring to a party, and she stuck this recipe in her book of foodiness (which is a book of all the recipes she’s ever printed out. I put it together for her for mother’s day like four years ago). I actually modified this recipe so much that it resembles the original only in ingredients used; way different proportions. But whoever came up with this recipe: THANK YOU!

Ingredients:

  • 5 sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 small carrot, finely diced
  • about 1/2 tsp olive oil, more if needed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbs oregano, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled/grated
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tbs parsley, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Assembly:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place scrubbed potatoes in oven and bake 40-45 minutes, or until they are super soft to the touch. Set aside to cool. Keep oven at 375.

While the potatoes are cooling, place a pan over medium high heat and sauté the onion, carrot, and celery in olive oil until the onion is slightly browned. Add the oregano and garlic and cook an additional minute. Transfer to a bowl and add the chipotle powder, goat cheese, egg whites, and parsley.

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The potatoes should be okay to handle. Peel the potatoes (get rid of all them ears and brown spots and shnazz). Chop them in big chunks into the bowl with all the other ingredients. Whip ingredients together until smooth. Season with pepper to taste. Put in an oven-safe bowl (maybe a casserole bowl?) and cook for an additional 10 minutes before serving.

Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I just ate my weight in carrot cake.

Oh my gosh.

My stomach is about to burst. But it’s all worth it. This carrot cake is so amazing; it’s just a traditional fall cake everyone should learn how to make. There’s something about the secret sweetness of carrots, crunchiness of toasted pecans, and the creamy tartness of cream cheese that just makes it a flawless trio. The trick with carrot cake is finding the right one. Now I don’t know if I just haven’t had carrot cake for a long time or what but this carrot cake SPEAKS TO ME. It says “eat me, the calories are all worth it. eat me. eat me. eat me.” then I do and I feel bad so then I just eat my feelings in more carrot cake.

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You see this vicious cycle.

But you still have to make this cake.

It is from Paula Deen’s Southern Kitchen, which ensures it’s as traditional you can get. And- it’s EASY. It doesn’t take long to put together, bake, and assemble at ALL. It’s the perfect dish to kick off fall.

Ingredients-

  • Butter, for pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, optional

Frosting:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
  • 12 oz powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round pans; Line bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, blend until combined. Add carrots and pecans, if using.
Pour into pans. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, place on waxed paper and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
Add all ingredients  into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer. Spread frosting on top of each cake layer. Stack the cakes on a serving plate and serve.

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Enjoy! Here’s the link for the original recipe below VVV

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/grandma-hiers-carrot-cake-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Pumpkin Pecan Cookies with Maple Whipped Cream Topping

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So one of my all time favorite desserts in the world is pumpkin pie. But making pies are rather difficult on a day-to-day basis. For example, if I have the urge to bake something, I rarely say “oh well why don’t I just bake a pie or a cake.” No. I make something like a cookie, brownie, muffin, etc. Something low labor and relatively easy. But how do you incorporate pumpkin into a cookie…? Here’s how. Pumpkin Walnut Cookies via Magnolia’s Bakery, with my own twist. For one, I changed the walnut component to pecan, and instead of using a brown butter frosting like suggested, I used a whipped cream to lighten everything up. These turned out to be very light, kind of like a mini muffin.

Ingredients:

For Cookies:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 4 tbs (1/2 of a stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For Topping:

  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • pecan halves

how to:

Preheat oven to 375 F. To make cookies: Combine flour,  baking powder, salt, all- spice, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients. Beat again. Make sure no dry ingredients are stuck on the sides! Stir in the pecans. Drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet, about a tablespoon each. Allow room for expansion during baking. While the batter seems softer than most, Magnolia says that it will firm up during baking (and I agree based off of personal experience hahaha.) Bake for 12 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 10-12 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let em cool completely.

For whipped cream: literally all you have to do is combine the brown sugar, syrup, vanilla, and whipping cream in a bowl. Beat on the high setting of a mixer until the whipping cream has firmed up so that when you stick your finger in for a taste test, the gaping hole of whipped cream you just stole sticks. Drop a small amount of whipped cream onto each cookie AFTER THEY HAVE COOLED COMPLETELY. Then garnish each cookie with a pecan half 😀

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