December 22, 2009

Pumpkin Extravaganza Continued

I know it has been a while since I posted about pumpkin or posted anything for that matter, but that doesn't mean I haven't been using it (it just means I'm really busy). I still need to use up the rest of my pumpkin but it may have to wait until after the holidays.

I have a recipe for pumpkin cookies that I really like a lot. They are easy to make (I haven't tried it with fresh pumpkin yet) and taste like little pumpkin cakes. Amazingly, they get better over time. I wanted to pack some up and send them far across the sea to my brother in law for Christmas but I didn't know if they would make it a week in the mail. (I sent fudge and candied pecans instead!) The original recipe came from Allrecipes and I have managed to edit it to my liking. They were originally supposed to be glazed, but this reminds me of the pumpkin scone at Starbucks - drenched in frosting and sickeningly sweet, eew. I like sweet but sweet overload in a two bite cookie is a little much. Anyways, these are always favorites among friends so I invite you to try them! And apparently I've never taken a photo of these so try and picture the the cutest little puff of pumpkin cookie you can imagine....

The other pumpkin journey I traveled on was Pumpkin Butter - think Apple Butter - not creamy butter spread. It is a very simple combination of ingredients you probably have on hand (and you can use canned or fresh pumpkin) and stores for about a week. This would make a lovely present for holiday hosts, or you can keep it for yourself in a pretty little jar. I've been secretly dreaming of owning some canning jars by WECK for a while now. I want to try canning sometime and I'd like to as who wouldn't with these pretty little products.

I made some bread too. I meant to make some Italian Feather Bread (Beard's bread book) but ran out of time. Instead, I tried it on some nice white bread-machine bread. A huge slice perfect for toasting. I coated it generously with butter, and topped with a thick layer of Pumpkin Butter. This would make a nice light breakfast, or a great snack with coffee or tea (or hot cocoa). I will admit I tried it while waiting for M to get home from work. I was hungry, what can I say. If only there was a toaster at work, I think my co-workers would enjoy this treat.

Pumpkin Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350˚. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt. 

In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet with a cookie scoop or tablespoon. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool on parchment or waxed paper and store in an airtight container. 

Pumpkin Butter
adapted from Pioneer Woman

1 C fresh pumpkin puree (or canned)
1 C plain yogurt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 heaping C powdered sugar (more to taste)

Mix ingredients together and add more sugar to taste. Let sit for at least 3 hours or overnight in an air-tight container. Use liberally! Stores for about a week in the fridge.

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