Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Two pumpkin dessert recipes for Tuesday!
One of my fondest memories of being a kid was of my Grandma Hazel's pumpkin pie.
(I am pretty sure it wasn't hers, though...it was the store's and she neither confirmed nor denied creation of said pie.)
And while I still love a good pumpkin pie, my person is not a huge fan. (Mainly because there's no chocolate involved, and he only eats desserts with chocolate.)
About 15 years ago I found a recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and I decided to try them to see if they were people-approved. They were a huge hit with everyone in the household, and so I've made them every October since. Now that there are only two of us, DL takes a dozen or so to work so that we are not tempted to eat them all ourselves. (Of course, when there was a teenage boy in the house I made a double-batch!)
*1 cup shortening (I use butter-flavored Crisco. I prefer butter, but it's too melty.)
*1 cup sugar
*1 cup pumpkin puree
*some milk (around a quarter cup...I'll get to the milk in a minute.)
*2 cups flour
*2 cups chocolate chips (I use a mix of semi-sweet and dark, which are almost the same.)
*1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
*1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
*2 tsp. cinnamon
*1 tsp. nutmeg (or instead of the cinnamon and nutmeg, you can use that pre-prepared pumpkin pie spice mix. You can read about that below.)
*dash of vanilla
*dash of salt
*Preheat your oven to 350. I grease my cookie sheets with either butter or shortening, but feel free to spray them with the non-stick spray.
*Cream the butter in a large bowl, then add the sugar a little at a time and beat until fluffy.
*Add the egg and pumpkin and vanilla, mixing thoroughly. Keep a little milk nearby, just in case.
*In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and powder, and the spices. Add to the wet mixture about a third at a time, mixing well. (This is where you need the milk. If you can see that the mixture is too stiff, add a little at a time. No more than a few tablespoons with each third, though. You don't want this dough to be runny.)
*Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Don't overmix.
*Drop by spoonfuls onto the baking sheet, and bake for approximately 15 minutes. However, you need to keep an eye on these, as they are easy to over- or under-bake. I have found that any variance in oven temps (and you know that ovens can be ornery!) makes a specific baking time impossible to say. So do the 12 or so, then watch to see when the edges start to brown. Then they're done!!
Another recipe that I like to make that has the same feeling as pumpkin pie without having to deal with a crust (because crusts are my nemesis) is pumpkin bread pudding. I make bread pudding whenever I have leftover french bread that has gone stale. I generally have the basic ingredients (eggs, milk, sugar) on hand and always have something or other (pumpkin, Craisins, pecans, bananas, rum) to add. This time, I added some canned pumpkin---but you can add whatever you like.
This recipe is deceptively simple:
*First, I grease the inside of a baking dish with butter or butter-flavored shortening. I preheat the oven to 350.
*The next step is to cut up your stale crusty bread into 1 to 2-inch cubes. Place them in the dish so they're evenly distributed.
*In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs, and 1/2 cup pumpkin puree. I mix it with a fork until it's well-blended. (Sometimes, I add a little liquor at this step.) Then, add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice mix OR a dash each of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Mix thoroughly. Last, add a little over an eighth of a cup (or scant quarter-cup) of white sugar. Blend in the sugar, and pour it over your bread.
*I let this sit for about 10 minutes, and then I turn it with a spatula. The hope is that most of the cubes will be covered with the mixture. If you notice that it's a little dry, you can whip up a little more milk and egg. (Or add a touch of rum or whisky or brandy or whatever. Or you can skip the 'add' part and drink it straight from the bottle instead.)
*I let it sit and soak up the batter for another five minutes or so, and then I cover it with foil and bake about 20 minutes. I then uncover it and let it bake about 10 more. Of course, this depends on how big your baking pan is and how full you've filled it! I'd just say after the first 20 minutes, keep your eye on that sucker!
I hope you enjoy one or both of these treats! For another cookie recipe, click here.
I am also linking here.