#Recipe #Pumpkin Patch Cookies

Following up on my previous post with three delicious ways to use this season’s favourite, the pumpkin, here a couple of other recipes in the form of the humble “cookie”. Snickerdoodles are everyone’s favourite. The addition of pumpkin elevates them to another level of seasonal Fall goodness.  Autumn in a cookie! With the oatmeal cookies you a a much more rustic baked treat. These are a handful (literally!) and you’ll be all the better for it! The combination of soft-baked oats, pumpkin and Autumnal spices just begs for a tall glass of milk!

The recipes are ideal for baking with the little ones, however as always leave the oven work to the grown-ups. Get them rolling, scooping, drizzling and in no time at all you’ll have some very happy little tummies.

I hope you have fun baking and wish you and your families a very happy Halloween full of spooky, fun-filled goodness!

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Cookie Dough

Makes 36

  • 3 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (make sure it’s 100%)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Sugar Crust Coating

  • 1/4 cup fine (caster) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method

  • In a bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and mixed spice. Mix until well combined
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (with paddle attachment), cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl
  • Mix in egg yolk, followed by pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.
  • On a low speed,  add in dry ingredients (I usually do it a couple of heaped tablespoons at a time) then mix until combined.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap in cling warp and chill in the refrigerator for 30- 60 minutes
  • After the chilling time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie baking sheets with baking parchment
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
  • Scoop dough out 2 tablespoons at a time and shape into a ball
  • Roll the dough ball in cinnamon sugar mixture to evenly coat then transfer to prepared cookie sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart.
  • Bake in preheated oven 14-16 minutes
  • Remove and leave cool on baking sheet about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

For the cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Quick Oats
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 sticks  unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups pumpkin purée (make sure it’s 100%)

For the glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons Ice-wine syrup (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie baking sheets with baking parchment paper
  2. In a bowl combine the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and nutmeg and mix until well combined
  3. Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until lightened in color and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl
  4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium until incorporated
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour/oats mixture and mix until incorporated. Add half of the pumpkin puree and mix until incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour/oats mixture and pumpkin puree
  6. Using a 1/4 cup, drop scoops per baking sheet (approximately 6-8) spacing them 2 inches apart on the prepared sheets. Reserve the remaining dough until needed
  7. Place both sheets in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back and continue baking until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and around the edges, about 12 minutes more
  8. When baked remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Using a flat spatula, transfer the cookies to the wire racks to cool completely.
  9. Repeat with the remaining dough (you can use the same parchment paper). Leave all the cookies to cool completely before glazing

 

For the glaze:

  1. Place all of the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth
  2. Place all of the cooled cookies on the baking parchment. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies in a pattern of your liking
  3. Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the glaze has set, about 20 minutes
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#Recipe #Pumpkin Three-ways

Let’s get one thing outta the way. I kinda love October…in a BIG way! New food becomes seasonal, leaves turn amazing colours and  the temperatures become a little bit more bearable. Oh and there’s Halloween! If you’re a Halloween-hater or nay-sayer then I’m afraid we can’t be friends. It just ain’t gonna happen. It’s become my family’s steadfast tradition at this point – December belongs to reindeer, candy canes and Father Christmas; October is ghosts, vampires and all things nocturnally unspeakable! The Season of The Witch reduces me to giddy school-kid levels of excitement and anticipation. The opening staccato of John Carpenter’s Halloween theme giving me bats in my tummy (you see what I did there?) In the space of a couple of days I’ll transform our house from a 2.4 family dwelling in to a suburban Gothic haven.

However enough about that- you’d didn’t come here to read of my penchant for ghouls, ghosts and creatures of the night. It’s impossible for me to think of October and Halloween without thinking of pumpkin. Image can be a powerful thing and as soon as the calendar turns to October 1st, scenes of those orange orbs of rustic goodness flood my brain- pumpkin patches; Jack O’Lanterns; pumpkin pies. So it only seems fitting to present to you some recipes as an homage to the humble Cucurbita Pepo. As always I try to give you something a little different not so much in the Pumpkin Pie variety of recipes! All of these recipes use canned pumpkin. I have enough labour what with all the carving and excavating of pumpkins for Jack O’Lanterns  so I try to avoid it in other areas. When using canned pumpkin be sure to use those which are 100% pure pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin Madeleines (2)

Brown Butter & Tonka Bean Pumpkin Madeleines with

Chai Caramel Dipping Sauce

Madeleines
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon mixed spice
  • 1 Tonka bean, grated
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/4 cups cooking cream (35%)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chai spice mixture

Pumpkin Madeleines (1)

To make the madeleines

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 12-shell madeleine pans with baking spray or cake release. (Or brush with melted butter and coat with flour, tapping out the excess flour)
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is a brown color, It will now start to have a “nutty” smell. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool (You’ll notice small brown/black particles. Don’t worry these are all part of brown butter!)
  3. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, mixed spice and tonka bean. Mix to combine and set aside until needed.
  4. In a stand mixer bowl add the eggs and sugar and with the whisk attachment mix on medium-high until the mixture is light in color, thick, and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and mix on slow until combined.
  5. After removing the bowl from the mixer, fold in the flour mixture gently by hand. Once the flour is completely added, gently pour in the cooled melted butter and fold it into the mixture until completely incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure no pockets of unmixed ingredients
  6. Pour the madeleine batter into a large piping bag (fitted with plain circular nozzle, or snip the end of the bag off)
  7. Fill the prepared trays with batter in each mould to 3/4 depth
  8. Bake the madeleines for 10-12 minutes or until puffed and golden
  9. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes and then move to a wire rack

*Keep in an airtight container for up to for 2-3 days. The madeleines can also be frozen for up to 2 months and then reheated in the microwave or in a 350F oven before serving.

To make the dipping caramel

  1. In a heavy-based saucepan combine the brown sugar and water. Heat until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Increase the heat and allow the sugar mixture to deepen in color, approximately 240F (Soft Crack on sugar thermometer)

*excercise care in these next few steps!

  1. Remove the saucepan with the melted sugar from the heat and add in the salted butter. Whisk briskly and carefully so that it melts and becomes incorporated into the sugar mixture. It may hiss and spit so please take care!
  2. Next add the cream in a steady stream and stir to fully incorporate. Again take care at this point.
  3. Stir in the chai spice mixture
  4. Pour into the small ramekins or mini-milk bottles to serve with the pumpkin madeleines

*The final caramel sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator. I find it’s best if removed from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving to allow it the return to full “saucy goodness”. If you prefer it warmed, heat in a microwavable container in 10-15 second bursts until it at desired temperature

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Pumpkin Bread (1)

Cinnamon Cheesecake stuffed Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf

Pumpkin Loaf
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground gloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups (caster) sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Cinnamon Cheesecake Filling
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup (caster) sugar
  • 4oz Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Pumpkin Bread (2)

To make the cheesecake filling

  1. In a bowl beat together the filling ingredients until fully combined and smooth
  2. Transfer to a piping bag and set aside until needed

To make the pumpkin loaf

  1. Preheat your oven to 325F.
  2. Prepare two 1lb loaf tines with cake release or grease with butter
  3. In a bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices
  4. In a stand mixer combine the sugar, butter and eggs and mix for at least 10 mins
  5. Add in the pumpkin puree and mix on slow until just combined
  6. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the flour mixture by heaped tablespoon at a time. Keep  the mixer going until just combined – make sure there are no white flour pockets. Scrape down the sides of the bowl at regular intervals
  7. Remove the bowl and fold in the chocolate chips
  8. Pour the mixture equally between the two prepared tins to 1/2 level
  9. Pipe a stripe of cheesecake mixture from the piping bag into each tine. Ensure that the cheesecake mixture doesn’t touch the sides of the loaf tin
  10. Once all the cheesecake mixture has been used, use the remaining pumpkin batter to fill up the loaf tins. Level the tops of the mixture
  11. Bake in the oven for 60-70mins until a skewer comes out clean
  12. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool in the tins until fully cooled. When cool wrap in clingfilm until needed

*These loaves get better over time- after a couple of days wrapped they develop a fudgy, sticky texture.

Pumpkin Bread (6)


Pumpkin Cookies (3)

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups golden brown sugar
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons ice-wine syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Pumpkin Cookies (4)

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside until needed
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 10 mins)
  3. Add the egg, vanilla, ice-wine syrup, pumpkin puree and continue to mix until well combined
  4. Add the flour mixture a heaped tablespoon at a time until well combined, with your mixer set to low. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Remove the fully mixed cookie dough from the bowl, divide into two and wrap in cling-wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least two hours or preferably overnight
  6. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F, line two cookie trays with baking parchment, and dust a work surface with confectioners (icing) sugar)
  7. Remove one of the batches of dough from the fridge and on the dusted work surface, roll to a thickness of 4-6mm. Cut out shapes using dusted cutter cutters. Lift the cookies with a spatula or palette knife and place on the lined cookie sheets.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking. I find it works best baking them a tray at a time, so that whilst one tray is in the oven you can cut and place the cookies for the second tray
  9. When baked remove the tray from the oven and let cool for 1 or 2 minutes before again using a spatula or palette knife transfer the baked cookies to racks to cool. Be aware that the baked cookies will be soft but they will firm up upon cooling

*The cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week.

Pumpkin Cookies (2)

There you have it- three wonderfully, tasty ways to use the season’s stalwart staple…and not a pumpkin spice latte in sight. Enjoy!

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thankgiving and a sookily fun and safe Halloween from here in The Kitchen.

Old habits and Halloween

Time flies when you’re having fun. Well, actually time just flies. And so we celebrated our youngest child’s fifth birthday. Amid the smell of candle smoke and buttercream it was easy to loose sight of the importance of such an occasion. Now both our children had celebrated birthdays with us. With adopted children events like this can go either way- a wonderful day with a complete smorgasbord of family memories for later years, or a complete and utter trainwreck with tears, tantrums and throwing things (and that’s just the parents!) Thankfully for us it passed without negativity. Somehow I think the visit to the crocodile park helped with that one! Moral of the story? Never  underestimate the attraction of a scaly, biteybitey  creature to a small boy!

Don’t me wrong “Thinking time” was served that day, both to him and his elder sister. It was, however,  more in the name of consistency than any great wrong-doing. We have our established boundaries and rules and no matter what the situation we try to stick to them. Although both DD and DS had celebrated birthdays with us (and let’s not forget last Christmas!) they have still only been part of our lives for less than a year. It feels longer in hindsight- a lot longer. Is that how you know that things are working? When something is so much a part of your life that you can’t remember what filled that space and time before? Like some strange magpie sponge it arrives, soaks habits and ways, and bloated on your idiosyncrasies it becomes a constant. You turn one day to see that it’s expanded to fill every nook and cranny of your world and become as habitual as breathing and sleeping.

Anyway, enough navel gazing! Speaking of biteybitey creatures, Halloween is fast drawing upon us. I do have to say you’d be hard pressed to recognise this what with the ever-growing Christmas merchandise on shop shelves. I’m all for celebrating the festive season (in our house we have already discussed strategic garland placements and color-schemes) but come on retail giants! Give us a chance to draw breath and take stock before you start ramming Heston’s freakishly addictive, pine-coney fresh  mincepies down our open throats.

Paying homage to the Witching season I decided to come up with some cupcake flavour varieties drawing inspiration from  different aspects of the season. I wanted to do something a little more than just a vanilla cupcake with some red frosting and sugarpaste fangs on it. “Come look at our fabulous Halloween cupcakes, they’re so spooky”. No, they’re not. They’re vanilla cupcakes with some red frosting and sugarpaste fangs. Just no. Pardon the ennui but I like to fool around with flavours. Hence the “Wicked Chocolate”. Wasabi isn’t something you often see in sweet things but it does offer a pleasing kick to the sweetness of chocolate. What otherwise might be a cloying trip to Chocy-ville takes a turn into Quirky Peaks. It’s also a plus to see the look on people’s face when you tell them- it is Halloween after all! I’ve taken a more traditional route with my “Spiced Pumpkin”. What wouldn’t the Spook Season be without partaking of those wonderful amber munchkins. “Toffee Apple” draws it’s flavours from fun. Pure and simple. Yes there are ghouls, ghosts and all sorts of ghastly goings on, but let’s not forget that Halloween is also about fun. That giddy rush you get from an unexpected fright, the hilarity of squeezing into an otherwise ungainly costume, or the squeal of delight from a child who only moments ago stood petrified, eyes wide in adrenaline fueled wonder.

I’ve been wracking my brain for a while as to what recipes to put up here. I’ve eventually settled on my Banana Loaf. It’s become somewhat of a staple in our house at this stage. After knocking up a batch of Banoffee Pie cupcakes there’s always a few straggler fruit left behind which this loaf provides a wonderful use for. Also if you’ve got some fragrant but visually maledictive bananas lying about this is the perfectly tasty way to use them up. Since becoming a dad I’ve found myself remembering and revisiting a lot of recipes I first learned at my mothers hip. In the pursuit of twenty-something trendiness and fervour, they not so much got lost as put on my mental shelf in some effort of unconscious archiving.  Now as a parent I find myself dusting them off and some kind of culinary muscle-memory they come into play again.  This is one of them- perfect with a cup of tea or coffee or a quick kids pudding. For something a little more special try toasting it, adding a dollop of mascarpone and finishing with drizzle of honey.

Banana Loaf

Ingredients

350g (over)ripe bananas

180g plain flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

160g sof, light brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

4 tablespoons melted butter

50g walnuts (optional)

Method

1) Preheat your oven to 170 degrees (fan).

2) Spray a 1lb loaf tin with release spray, or give it a coating with oil.

3) Put the bananas into a bowl and mash until smooth (a great thing to occupy the children!).

4) Sift flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.

5) Put the sugar, beaten eggs and melted butter into a large mixing bowl and whisk until pale and increased in volume.

6) Gently fold in the bananas and dry ingredients until you can see no flour. If your adding the walnuts add then in at this folding stage.

7) Spoon into the loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 45 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.

8) Leave to cool in it’s tin for about 10 mins, turn out onto a wire rack, and dust with icing sugar.

* In place of the walnuts you may also substitute the same quantities of pecans, chocolate chips or dried cherries.