Pumpkin Biscuits with Candied Ginger

You know the saying where you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone? That is exactly what I am going through right now with food blogging. My time to do anything has been zapped away by seemingly endless amounts of rehearsals and practices and I have neglected giving you guys any recipes for the holidays coming up this Thursday (Thanksgiving and Hannukah, of course!). I barely have any time to finish my homework by the time I get home (around 9) on a daily basis, and my free period at school is used to finish homework so I’m not up until all hours of the night.

As someone who avidly follows food blogs, has a mom that’s a chef, and (occasionally) posts on her own blog, you would think that I love Thanksgiving. News flash: I really don’t. There is not much about the holiday that appeals to me: I have to have a long dragged out dinner with food that I don’t really like, and I have to pretend that I like it all while trying not to explode from the amount of food I was forced to take. The only good thing about Thanksgiving as far as I’m concerned is not having school, because everyone likes a day to sleep in.

The only thing about Thanksgiving that I like is the extensive amount of bread and baked goods, mostly because I get to make most of them. The pumpkin in these isn’t overpowering, which is nice because you know that you’ll be eating pumpkin pie later. Instead, it is the sweet and tangy candied ginger that provides a flavor pop in these otherwise mellow biscuits. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Biscuits with Candied Ginger: Adapted from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 T. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 1/3 c. buttermilk
  • 3/4 c. canned pumpkin puree (not pre-spiced pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 T. honey
  • 2 T. chopped candied ginger

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Chill for 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
  3. Combine buttermilk, pumpkin, and honey in a medium bowl. Whisk until well blended and then add to the chilled flour mixture. Stir just until moist.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly just a few times. Roll dough into a 1/2” thick 9” x 5” rectangle and dust top of dough with flour. Fold the dough crosswise into thirds, as if folding a piece of paper to fit into an envelope. Roll the dough again into a 1/2” thick 9” x 5” rectangle and dust the top with flour. Fold dough crosswise into thirds again and gently roll or pat to a 3/4” thickness. This process helps to make your biscuits tall, with a layered textured. Using a 2-1/2” biscuit cutter, cut dough into 10 rounds. Place dough rounds 1” apart on your prepared baking sheet. Lightly press some candied ginger into the top of each round. Bake for 14 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack for a couple minutes. Serve warm.

Happy Holidays!

-Rayna 🙂

 

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Pomegranate Coconut Pumpkin Butter

Wow, is it nice to be back! I seriously missed blogging when I was insanely busy doing college applications, schoolwork, signing up for (one too many) extracurricular, and other high school stuff. While it’s all far from over, yesterday, I was able to record my tapes for pre-screening (the step before auditions), so now I can finally submit all of my applications and have that part of the process done with!

One of the crazier things that I’m doing this year is playing in 5 separate chamber ensembles. If you’re a musician, you can realize how much I actually signed myself up for, but even if you aren’t, that means that I’m rehearsing 7 hours a week without counting any orchestra or solo practice. What’s fun about it is that they are all different groups (as in the structure of the group), so it’s not like I’m playing 5 pieces all within the same category. For example, I’m in a flute quartet at MSM, which is the first time I’ve played chamber with a flute player. Not to mention, all of the music I’m playing is just spectacular, which can never get boring.

But that’s enough about me. It’s time to get to the real deal stuff- this pumpkin butter. I love fall baking (although by the amount I’ve been posting recently you can’t tell), but I didn’t want to have to worry about the mess that I tend to create when I bake. And, since the rule in my house is I have to clean up everything after I bake, I wanted to make something that would be delicious but at the same time save a lot of clean up time. So, I found this pumpkin butter over on Smitten Kitchen that I knew would fit the bill exactly. It’s a nice blend of spices that create the warm, fuzzy feeling that we all love about pumpkin baking, but I wanted to have more than just pumpkin puree heated up with some spices, so I added coconut milk and pomegranate juice. The pomegranate gives it enough of a bite that you get flavor as soon as you taste it, but the coconut milk makes it creamy, so as not to make the entire thing too acid. Really, you can add whatever flavors you want, but I like this variation.

rayna's pumpkin butterPomegranate Coconut Pumpkin Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree, approx. 3 1/2 cups
  • 3/8 cup pomegranate juice
  • 3/8 cup coconut milk (I used Blue Diamond)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup vanilla coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Juice of half a lemon

Directions

  1. Combine pumpkin, pomegranate juice, coconut milk,  spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to taste. Stir in lemon juice, or more to taste. Once cool, pumpkin butter can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

Sometimes a simple homemade butter can brighten up your early school mornings. More recipes coming soon!

-Rayna 🙂

 

 

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Dulce de Leche

Happy Thursday everyone! These past few weeks have been filled to the brim with school, gymnastics, and music, but I’m glad I can finally share another recipe with you!

I have to confess, I have not been doing too much baking lately, but I was able to whip up this delicious recipe for Thanksgiving. I had compiled a whole list of things I wanted to make, but instead of spending my day slaving away in the kitchen for dessert (the best course, but not too good for you I’m afraid), I ended up just spending some time sleeping and hanging out with my family. It was great, but now I have the holiday season ahead of me to look forward too!

Pumpkin is one of my favorite things to bake with because of it’s versatility. I’ve made things ranging from buttercream to granola to whoopie pies with this wonderful fall ingredient, but now I got to experience another way that pumpkin could be used in a delicious and moist bread pudding. My dulce de leche wasn’t too pretty so it’s not in the picture, but it truly brings the entire dish together with it’s creamy, caramel like qualities. I hope to be back soon!

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Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Dulce de Leche- from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 10 ounces day old bread (I would use an egg-based bread, such as a brioche or challah)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 recipe dulce de leche 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 2-quart baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, milk, cream, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Arrange bread in dish. Pour custard over bread and top with pecans. Bake until custard is set, 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature, drizzled with dulce de leche.

And the holiday baking begins!

-Rayna 🙂

 

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

It’s been a long week. Gymnastics competition season is in full flight right now, second semester is now well under way, and I’ve had not 1, not 2, but 3 orchestra concerts within the past 2 weeks. To answer your question, I am MORE than ready to just lay down and eat cookies and sleep all day.

One of my favorite things to do is to bake things with friends. Whether it be another fellow baker of mine or just a friend who loves to eat cookies so that would be everyone, baking is just such a cool thing to do. Besides, you get to eat it at the end, which is what we all want anyway, right? One day, I had my wonderful friend Anna spending the night, so clearly we had to bake. I’d had my eye on these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling for awhile, and with a brand new can of pumpkin in our house, I knew these would be what we would make.

Ohhhhh boy. The pumpkin cake itself was SO moist and full of spices, and the coolness of the cream cheese combined with the sweetness of the maple syrup was an irresistible combination- not a single drop was left behind because I licked the bowl until it was squeaky clean! I know that red velvet is all the rage around Valentine’s Day, but I promise, these babies do not disappoint. Now, if you’ll just leave me with a plate of these while I sleep all day. Have a nice weekend!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

From Brown Eyed Baker

Makes 2 dozen assembled pies

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I left this out)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Maple Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used low-fat but I wouldn’t use fat free)
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking trays with a baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, and nutmeg.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and canola oil. Add the pumpkin puree until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Using a small cookie scoop or a large spoon, scoop the batter onto the baking trays and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. While the cake is baking, prepare the filling: Beat the butter and the cream cheese in a stand mixer for about 3-5 minutes, or until there are no lumps. Add in the powdered sugar (slowly) until just combined. Add the vanilla extract.
  7. To assemble the whoopie pies: Take about 1 tablespoon of the filling and place it on the flat end (an upside-down) of one of the cakes. Take another cake and make a sandwich with it.

Now if someone will make these for me while I’m sleeping… 🙂

-Rayna 🙂

 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip and Pecan Granola Bars

First off, Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving! I hope you had a wonderful holiday full of delicious foods 🙂

Once in a blue moon, having tons of cookies and brownies and other sugar-filled treats around the house can get very monotonous. Sometimes, my family isn’t as willing to have cake for breakfast (and every other meal of the day) as I am, which leaves me with a great big plate of delicious calorie-laden treats. However, being smack in the heart of pumpkin season and with Thanksgiving close enough to touch, these granola bars will be a great way to get into that Thanksgiving spirit without overdosing on pumpkin before you eat the entire pie.

Typically before school in the mornings, I don’t have enough time to have a “real” breakfast, so granola bars tend to be my breakfast of choice. Once I made these, school mornings got so much easier! The crunch of the pecans is a great contrast to the sweetness of the cinnamon chips, and the pumpkin granola with the aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg are like a party in my mouth. Not only do these smell and taste amazing, but they’re a nice way to get into the Thanksgiving spirit without eating turkey every day this week. 🙂

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip and Pecan Granola Bars- From Brown Eyed Baker

Makes 10-12 Bars

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups rolled oats (Regular, not instant or quick-cooking)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (Fresh grated is better!)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 8×8 baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, pumpkin, honey, applesauce, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until the oats are fully coated. Add in the cinnamon chips and pecans.
  3. Scoop into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool and cut into bars and serve!

Don’t be surprised the morning after when only crumbs are left!

– Rayna 🙂

(Sorry for the not-so-fantastic pictures, it was dark when I took photos :/)

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream

I’m generally not the biggest cupcake eater, but once this idea popped into my head I simply couldn’t get it out! At my school, we were having a bake sale for Unified Sports, and being a member of the club, I wanted to bake something. It was slightly Halloween themed, hence the black and orange, but I would have made these anyway. For me, cupcakes tend to be over-the-top sweet with the frosting, and the cupcakes a little bit dry (maybe that’s why I like muffins so much!), but these cupcakes are a clear exception.

They were wonderfully chocolatey and moist, and the pumpkin buttercream wasn’t too too sweet, rather it was the perfect balance between the powdered sugar and the warmth of the pumpkin. These would be a great twist to have on your Thanksgiving table (maybe a chocolate cake with pumpkin buttercream? Yum!) and a nice change from the classic pumpkin pie. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream

Adapted From Martha Stewart and Petit Chef– Makes 18 Cupcakes

Ingredients- For the Cupcake

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 18 muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder until combined.
  3. Add in the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  4. Divide the batter evenly and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Buttercream

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg (maybe 1/8 teaspoon?)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar (more or less)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter, pumpkin and the spices. Slowly add the sugar until the pumpkin is no longer separated by the pumpkin.

How could you pass up something that is so easy to make and is so gosh darn delicious? I know I couldn’t 😉

-Rayna 🙂

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, schoolwork has really caught up to me, and my time to do much of anything else has been very limited. But once these cookies came popping out of the oven, they made my stressful week oh so much better. They weren’t your crispy dainty little cookies, these pumpkin cookies are very cake-like, and I made a few tweaks to the originial recipe just to make that pumpkiny-fally flavor that much more amazing.

Fall is my favorite time of year. The temperature is just right (Me and Goldilocks are on the same page) and all the leaves make for the best looking trees around in the northeast. And fall=pumpkin, to me and many other food bloggers out there. What’s not to love about it? If you’re looking for a great recipe to add to your fall recipe collection, you have to make these. Now. 😉

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies- From My Baking Addiction

Makes 16 large cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (make sure it’s puree, not pie filling)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease 2 cookie trays.
  2. Combine the pumpkin, sugar, egg, milk, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda.
  4. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and add in the chocolate chips. Make sure not to overmix!
  5. Scoop the dough onto the cookie trays and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Seriously, go make these cookies. Your mind will thank me. Your pants? Not so much. 😉

-Rayna 🙂

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

Gymnastics is the best sport, to me. How could you not want to flip upside down and twist and turn and tumble? As much as I love gymnastics, it’s by no means an easy sport. My hands are made of steel from all of the rubbing on the uneven bars, and I’ve landed on every body part possible. When I get back from gymnastics, I’m ready to lay down on my bed and be a blob and never move again. But then, I remember these donut holes. I’ve tried making donuts in the past, and they didn’t work (they were more like a muffin that someone put a hole in at the bottom) and I wanted to give donuts a shot again. Sadly, by the time I finished my homework that night at midnight, it was a little too late to start baking, but the next day, the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg and pumpkin was filling the house before 9:30 at night!

I think we can all agree that donuts make everything better, even if they’re not “real” donuts. But anything coated in butter and cinnamon sugar has to be good, right? Like most people in the food blogger world, the pumpkin craze has taken me over and I bring you these little bites of heaven. They’re made in a mini-muffin pan, and are some of the best cake donuts I’ve had in awhile. 🙂

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes: From The Craving Chronicles

Makes 30 mini-muffins

Ingredients for the Donuts

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup milk

Ingredients for the Coating

  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a mini-muffin tin.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the vegetable oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla extract, pumpkin and milk.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Only mix until just combined, be careful not to over mix!
  5. Divide the batter evenly and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. While they bake, melt the butter and combine the granulated sugar and the cinnamon in a small dish.
  7. Remove the muffins from the pan once cool enough to handle, and then roll them in the melted butter and then coat them with the cinnamon sugar.

Go make some for yourself, I already ate all of mine 😉

-Rayna 🙂