Thursday, October 23, 2008

Beyond Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkins have always been associated with pies and jack-o-lanterns, but this tasty member of the squash family is more versatile than you might think. I don't know if it's because i always associate pumpkin with Christmas spices, or the moist, tasty flavor, but nearly anything made with pumpkin has always appealed to me, so here are some of my favorites.

One of my long-time pumpkin treats are those tasty cookies you can purchase in the bakery, but living in a small town, my local bakery doesn't always stock them.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
2 stick cold butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin spice (1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, and 1/4 tsp cloves if you don't have the prepared spice on hand. I also like to add a dash of nutmeg and/or allspice.)
1/2 tsp baking soda
10 oz chocolate chips (about 1 1/4 cups)

Bake at 300 degrees for 22 minutes.

This next is one of my brother-in-law's favorites.

Pumpkin pudding cake
1 yellow cake mix (separate 1 cup)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 lg can of pumpkin mix (or plain pumpkin with sugar and spices required for pie, these are usually listed on the can)
2 beaten eggs
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup soft butter

Mix cake mix, melted butter, and egg. Press into greased 9x13 pan. Mix pumpkin pie mix, beaten egg and milk. Pour pumpkin mixture over cake mixture. mix remaining cake mix, sugar, cinnamon and soft butter (not melted butter, this is supposed to make a crumble). Sprinkle over pumpkin as topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.

Pumpkin cake roll

3 eggs--well beaten
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp salt

Spread in a greased 11"x16" pan. Top with chopped walnuts. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn out on towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Starting at the narrow end, roll towel and cake together. Cool and unroll.

6 oz cream cheese
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
Cream together and spread over unrolled cake, roll cake and mixture again and chill.

This is the easiest, moistest treat--with, or without chocolate chips, which is how I like them! And they are practically fat free (not calorie free, unfortunately).

Pumpkin muffins
1 package white cake mix
1 package spice cake mix
1 large cup of pumpkin
1-3 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients and spoon into muffin tins. One egg makes a pumpkin-cookie like texture, while three makes it more muffin like. Bake 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until they just begin to brown around the edges.

And if you have the hankering for pumpkin soup--comfort food for sure--there are tons of interesting recipes out there. I tried one printed in the paper when I lived in Utah County and really enjoyed it, it had the consistency and body of a good tomato soup. Unfortunatley I've misplaced it, but there are lots of soup recipes here.

Most of us have at least heard of roasting pumpkin seeds in the oven (250 degrees for about an hour, seasoned to --onion salt, salt, pepper, season salt, or cayenne are just a few suggestions.) but did you also know you could spread them in a baking dish coated with melted butter and cook for 7-8 minutes, or even slowly roast them in a skillet for about an hour?

And those of you who have chickens or other poultry (a growing segment of the U.S. as well as other countries around the world), chopped dried (not roasted) pumpkin seeds mixed with buttermilk make a great natural wormer (not to be used in acute problems, just for maintenance) and you can continue to eat the eggs, which you can't do with chemical options on the market.

Return to the Neighborhood.


Tristi Pinkston said...

These all sound really delicious!

Cindy Beck said...

Yum! I can't decide which to try first!

Ronda Hinrichsen said...

I love pumpkin treats, too. Thanks for posting these recipes.