Tag Archives: Pumpkin

Pumpkin Praline Pancakes

pumpkin praline pancakes

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, everyone! How’s your Turkey Day prep going? Mine is going surprisingly well, especially considering that this morning I incorporated my alarm clock into my dream for a good twenty minutes and didn’t wake up exactly when I’d planned. It happens!

making pumpkin pancakes

This post won’t be long since I know we’re all up to our ears in pie crust, turkey brine, green beans, and cranberries. Best of luck to y’all for smooth preparations and a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow!! I’m off until Sunday.

pumpkin praline pancakes

Pumpkin praline pancakes

In the meantime, enjoy these wonderful pancakes that were originally planned as waffles, but were so soft and fluffy they started refusing to come off the waffle iron in one piece. Does that mean I need a new one? Who knows. They made for some delicious pancakes! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Pumpkin praline pancakes

{One year ago: Apple Pie}

Source: adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
15 oz. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ cup brown sugar
6 tbs unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing the skillet
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
½ cup chopped, toasted pecans

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, butter, egg yolks, and buttermilk. Add it to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
In a large, clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold the whites into the batter, then gently stir in the pecans.
Heat a skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Let it preheat until nice and hot. Add a pat of butter to the hot skillet and brush it all over. Ladle the batter onto the skillet, ¼ cup at a time. Let cook until bubbles appear on the surface, then flip them once. Let cook on the other side until just cooked through, another minute or two. Test them in the center with a toothpick. You may need to adjust the heat if your pancakes are browning too much or not enough. Repeat until all the batter is used. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.

Pumpkin and Fried Sage Pizza, Plus a Thanksgiving Round-Up

Pumpkin and Fried Sage Pizza

And here we are, once again: the week of Thanksgiving. Is everyone prepared? I’ve blocked out Wednesday to do all my cooking and baking, but things should be pretty low-key this year. I thought I would do a Thanksgiving recipe round-up, in case anyone needs some last-minute ideas the big day.

fried sage leaves

I’m linking one of my favorites, my Stuffing Bruschetta. I shared this on a group board on Pinterest about a month ago, and it kind of blew up! So far almost 200 repins. I was shocked! I mean, the reason I came up with that dish is because I hate Thanksgiving stuffing (sacrilege, I know, I know). But I kind of assumed I was the only one. Are there really many others like me out there? Stuffing haters unite!

Pumpkin and Fried Sage Pizza

Since it’s still before Thanksgiving, I figure I can still share a pumpkin recipe. 🙂 This was incredibly tasty and easy to throw together. Perfect for a busy fall weeknight dinner. And here’s the Thanksgiving recipe round-up. Enjoy!

Pumpkin and Fried Sage Pizza

BREAKFAST/BRUNCH:
Apple Butter Doughnuts
Apple Cheddar Quiche
Apple Pie Bagels
Cornmeal Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Butter
Cranberry Apple Muffins
Cranberry Orange Waffles
Pumpkin French Toast
Pumpkin Muffins
Pumpkin Pecan Souffled Pancake
Pumpkin Scones

APPETIZERS/FIRST COURSES:
Apple Escarole Salad
Butternut Squash Latkes with Pine Nut Yogurt Sauce
Chipotle Pumpkin Chowder
Stuffing Bruschetta

MAIN AND SIDE DISHES:
Duck Fat Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Fried Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Capers
Gin and Orange Juice Braised Endives
Green Bean Casserole
Happy Accident Mashed Potatoes
Indian-Spiced Cranberry Chutney
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples, Onion and Candied Pecans
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Truffle Butter Roast Turkey

DESSERTS:
Apple Pecan Cheesecake Cupcakes
Apple Pie
Apple Pie Ice Cream
Bourbon Pecan Pie
Butternut Squash Pie with Cinnamon-Brandy Whipped Cream
Caramel Apple Layer Cake
Chocolate Meringue Pie
Cranberry Chiffon Pie
Easy Cranberry Apple Cake
My Mom’s Apple Cake
Pumpkin Apple Cake
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Pie Fudge
Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin and fried sage pizza

{One year ago: Barbecue Beef Chili and Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes}

Source: adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients:
1 lb. pizza dough, rested at room temperature for 30 minutes
Canola oil, for frying sage leaves
10 fresh sage leaves
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Grease a pizza pan. Stretch the pizza dough out to fit the pizza pan and use tines of a fork to poke holes all over the dough. Bake the dough for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Meanwhile, fry the sage leaves. Heat 1-inch canola oil in a small pan over medium-high heat until surface is shimmering slightly. Add a few leaves at a time and cook until crisp, but still bright green, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Season with salt.
In a small bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Spread pumpkin mixture evenly over the parbaked pizza dough. Top with the cheese.
Slide back into the oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and starting to brown and the outer crust is golden. Remove from the oven, let rest about 5 minutes, then slice into wedges and serve.

Pumpkin Pie Fudge

Pumpkin Pie Fudge

I saw this gem of a recipe come across my Pinterest newsfeed several months ago, and of course it jumped out at me – way, way out, as they say! I finally got around to making it last week, and let me tell you, it was every bit as good as I thought it could be. Maybe even better. It’s rich, and earthy, and pumpkin-y, with the best fudge texture you can imagine. I was again amazed at how easy it is to make fudge at home. I highly recommend you do not miss out on this one! Whether you’re a fudge pro or a fudge rookie, you’ll be fine with this recipe.

pumpkin pie fudge

It does require a candy thermometer, which can be easily obtained at any kitchen supply store, and probably some large grocery stores too. The original recipe stated to heat the mixture to 234 F. My candy thermometer refused to budge after about 230 F. I let that go for several minutes, but to no avail, so I threw up my hands and continued with the recipe. My fudge turned out terrific. I really don’t know what happened there. It could have been that I didn’t wait long enough; then again, I really hate my candy thermometer (I put a newer, better one on my Christmas list!), so maybe it wasn’t me. Either way, it turned out fine, which proves this recipe isn’t as fussy as you might think.

Pumpkin Pie Fudge

I thought I would conclude this post by sharing some of the delicious-looking recipes I’ve pinned for the Thanksgiving and holiday season. Enjoy!

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Pumpkin Hummus from Pinch of Yum
Brussels Sprout Latkes from Kitchen Tested
Peanut Sweet Potato Soup from Diplomatic Kitchen
Cranberry Glazed Pork Tenderloin from Menu Musings of a Modern American Mom
Butternut Squash Bread from My Baking Addiction
Pumpkin Pie Crepes with Pumpkin Pie Whipped Cream from Juanita’s Cocina
Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts from See Aimee Cook
Pumpkin Mascarpone Cheesecake from Streaming Gourmet
Cranberry Upside Down Cake from Smitten Kitchen
Pecan Cobbler from The Homesick Texan

pumpkin pie fudge

{One year ago: Apple Pecan Cheesecake Cupcakes}

Source: slightly adapted from Pass the Sushi

Ingredients:
1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
First, prep your area. Have your white chocolate chips and pecans ready to be stirred in. Have the marshmallow cream opened and ready to go. Line a 9×9 baking pan with aluminum foil and grease well; set aside.
In a medium saucepan with high sides, stir together the sugar, butter, evaporated milk, pumpkin, corn syrup, and spice mix. Cook over medium heat, sitting constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue stirring for about 12 minutes longer, or until mixture reads 234 F on a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat, and immediately stir in the white chocolate, marshmallow cream, and vanilla. When they have almost completely melted and are evenly combined, fold in the pecans. Quickly pour the mixture into your prepared pan and let set for at least 2 hours in fridge.
Using the aluminum foil, remove the fudge from the pan. Cut into 1″ squares and serve.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkin cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting

So if you’ll recall, yesterday I mentioned being extremely excited for the much-anticipated Baylor/OU game? Well. My friends, it did not disappoint. My Bears blew away the OU Sooners! It was utterly fantastic. My pizzas, on the other hand – not so much. Oh well…

making pumpkin cupcakes

pumpkin cupcakes before baking

And now we should talk pumpkin cupcakes. Because you should make these cupcakes, very soon. They are unbelievably moist, earthy, warm and comforting. Pairing them with chocolate frosting was the right thing to do. Even better, the frosting used cream cheese and sour cream, which of course made it deliciously tangy, a tanginess that served as a perfect counterbalance to the earthy pumpkin flavor. So great!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

My original plan was to make mini cupcakes. However, I only have one mini cupcake pan (for 24 minis), yet there is enough batter for 48 mini cupcakes, thus requiring me to make the two batches separately. Someone, meaning myself, did not have time to make two separate batches on the particular day I made these, so I grabbed one of my standard, 12-cup muffin tins and filled it with the remaining batter. This recipe works beautifully for both regulars and minis, I’m happy to report. Try it either way and enjoy!

pumpkin chocolate mini cupcakes

pumpkin chocolate frosted cupcake, eaten

{One year ago: Chocolate Meringue Pie}

Sources: Cupcakes adapted from Smitten Kitchen; Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting adapted from Weeknights with Giada by Giada de Laurentiis

Ingredients:
CUPCAKES:
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

FROSTING:
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup sour cream
Mini chocolate chips, for sprinkling

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 standard or mini cupcake pans with the appropriate liners.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.
Add the eggs 1 at a time to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla extract and the pumpkin puree. Beat until just combined.
Scoop the batter among the cupcake liners, about 3/4 full. Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes for the standard cupcakes and 12 to 14 minutes for the minis. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. To a medium bowl, add the confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, butter, cocoa powder, and sour cream. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
When the cupcakes are completely cooled, use a butter knife or small offset spatula to spread a generous amount of frosting on each cupcake. Sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips on top of each cupcake.

Pumpkin Scones

pumpkin scones

I actually pinned this scones recipe last year, over the summer, and fully intended to make them last fall. Then Sandy happened, and they didn’t get made. But I promised myself that this year I would make them, and when I said that to myself, I realized that I don’t use the phrase “come hell or high water” anymore…

pumpkin scones, before baking

pumpkin scones fresh out of the oven

This year has been very peaceful, weather-wise, and for that we are incredibly grateful. So the scones were baked, and they were amazing. They were shared, and highly complimented. In short, they were devoured and eyes rolled to the backs of heads due to insane deliciousness.

Pumpkin Scones

And I feel so late in posting this blog! Today really got away from me (I blame the rain), and now I have got to get up and start my pizzas for the big game! And by big game, I mean the most hotly anticipated college football game of the entire season – Baylor Bears vs. OU Sooners. It’s going to be epic; Baylor is ranked #6 (!!!!!!!) and OU is ranked #10, the two highest ranked teams in the Big XII conference.

Pumpkin Scone

I’m so excited! We’re having a green pizza (Brussels sprouts and bacon) and a gold pizza (pumpkin) in honor of Baylor’s school colors. And I need to get started! So I will say adios until tomorrow and you must, must, must try these amazing scones this holiday season.

pumpkin scones

Pumpkin Scone

{One year ago: Chili Dogs and Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze}

Source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients:
SCONES:
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
6 Tablespoons cold butter
½ cup canned pumpkin
3 Tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg

GLAZE:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbs whole milk
Couple pinches of ground cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and use a rubber spatula to combine into a dough. When the dough has mostly come together, use your clean, floured hands to knead the dough a few times just to get the last scraggly bits of flour on the bottom of the bowl.
Form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Lightly flour a sharp knife or bench scraper, and cut the dough into 8 roughly equal shapes. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown.
Meanwhile, make the glaze. Add all glaze ingredients to a small bowl and whisk continually until smooth. When the scones come out of the oven, let them rest a few minutes, then drizzle the glaze over each one. Let the glaze harden, just a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pumpkin Apple Cake

Pumpkin Apple Cake

Happy Monday, y’all! I’m finding Mondays to be a very good television viewing night. Every Monday evening our TV is glued to NBC; and now I actually sort of look forward to the most universally dreaded day of the week. Hey, whatever works, right?

pumpkin apple cake, before baking

pumpkin apple cake, out of the oven

“The Voice” is hopelessly addicting, I always have to watch it. I occasionally sing along if I like the song (be grateful you only know me virtually, your poor ears have been spared!) and of course I have to be catty critique the song choices (for the love, people, lay off the Beyoncé songs already!). Then “The Voice” ends and “The Blacklist” comes on. Have y’all seen that one? OMG. I’ve gotten completely hooked. It’s so friggin’ good! The acting and writing is extremely well-done, so suspenseful with just the right amount of dry humor. And what on EARTH is going on with her husband?? Aaahh! I went and got my mom hooked on it too, aren’t I nice?

Pumpkin Apple Cake

I share this cake today because it’s a perfect TV viewing dessert or snack. Easy to throw together, uncomplicated, seasonal, and uber-delicious. You can’t go wrong, it’s just perfect. One thing I loved about this cake is that there aren’t many spices in the recipe, so the unadulterated pumpkin flavor really shines through. The original recipe called for none of the usual spice suspects, but I couldn’t resist throwing in just a touch of cinnamon. Don’t get me wrong, spiced pumpkin desserts are delicious, but I really enjoyed tasting the pure pumpkin flavor this time around. And the apple lends wonderful moisture and just a hint of background sweet/tart notes.

pumpkin apple cake

Pumpkin apple cake

So, my beloved readers, I really want to know: what TV shows do you watch? What are you completely hooked on? What great television viewing do you recommend? And what snacks or treats have you made to accompany a night on the couch?

Pumpkin Apple Cake

{One year ago: Chipotle Pumpkin Chowder}

Source: slightly adapted from Homemade with Love by Jennie Perillo

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ cup buttermilk
1 large apple, peeled and grated
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×9” square baking pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon to combine.
In a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar, and oil. Whisk vigorously until thick and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the buttermilk, then gently fold in the apple.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, gently spreading it to the edges. Bake until the top is golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and set the cake pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
To serve, dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Muffins

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You read the title of this post, and if you even bothered to click on it after yawning, you’re probably thinking, “Oh please, this is so boring, Julie. Pumpkin muffins? Do you know how many recipes there are out there for pumpkin muffins? Pumpkin muffins are so done, done, overdone (in the words of Ina Garten), so how could you even think of posting them?” Yes, I am aware. Pumpkin muffins are nothing new. I know that. It’s why I hesitated to even blog them.

001

But these particular muffins were so good, I just had to. The thing is, I love muffins, I do! But truth be told, I’d rather have a scone or a biscuit any day of the week. So I figured, if I’m impressed with a boring muffin, then it’s probably worth talking about. And these impressed me.

009

They’re simple and quick to mix together, they bake up perfectly, and they taste amazing. The texture is such a perfect muffin texture, so moist and light. And the pumpkin flavor really shines. They are earthy and sweet but not cloying.

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So I will redub these as classic – not boring! And classics never die, right? This one certainly shouldn’t. Tthe truth is, sometimes we are all in the mood for something familiar, and homey, and no-frills. But we still want it to be high-quality. If that is ever what you’re looking for in a pumpkin muffin, then definitely give these a shot. I think you’ll be happy.

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Source: The Comfort Table, by Katie Lee Joel

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
½ tsp kosher salt
2 cups sugar
½ cup canola oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (15 oz.) can pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Fill a 12-cup standard size muffin tin with muffin/cupcake liners.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
In a medium bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add the pumpkin puree and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined.
Use an ice cream scoop to transfer the batter into the liners in the muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove.
Note: the original recipe says this makes 12 standard-size muffins, but I got 16 muffins out of this batter. No complaints!

Pumpkin French Toast

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I first made this dish about four or five years ago. It made quite an impact. So much so that now I am not allowed to go a holiday season without making it at least once. Every year starting about mid-October, Matt pesters me about it every weekend until I make it. It’s okay. Every time, it’s always beyond worth it.

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I suppose it makes sense that Matt insists on this brunch dish every year, as French toast was his favorite breakfast item growing up. Me, I’m more of a pancake and waffle girl myself. French toast was always fine and I liked it, but I never went crazy for it. But I have now come to the conclusion that’s because, growing up, I never had French toast made with challah bread. Oh. My. Holy. Lord.

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What really makes this dish isn’t even the pumpkin, though that doesn’t hurt at all. It’s the challah bread you simply must use. Challah is an eggy, soft, braided bread that most grocery store bakeries should carry. It’s made with love, people. A whole lotta love. I get a whole loaf, not pre-sliced, and I cut BIG, THICK slices. It makes the most perfect French toast, pumpkin or otherwise. Try it, you’ll see.

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My other favorite part of this dish is the maple allspice butter that you pat on the hot toast slices. It melts and runs all over, and you get a little taste with every single bite. The allspice makes a wonderful complement to the pumpkin, not to mention the maple syrup that of course you’re going to drown them in. It’s a small touch, but really makes a difference.

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Source: adapted from The Mesa Grill Cookbook, by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:

PUMPKIN FRENCH TOAST:
1 heaping cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
6 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp kosher salt
8 (1 inch thick) slices day-old challah bread
4 tbs unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Maple syrup, for serving

MAPLE ALLSPICE BUTTER:
4 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tbs pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

PUMPKIN FRENCH TOAST:
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, milk, cream, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Carefully pour it into a baking dish. Place the bread in the baking dish and turn to coat evenly. Let it sit for 5 minutes. You’ll probably need to do this in batches.
Use 1 tbs butter for every 2 pieces of French toast. How many pieces you can cook at a time will of course depend on the size of your griddle. Preheat your griddle to medium-low heat and melt butter onto it as directed. When it is completely melted, place 2 slices of toast for every 1 tbs butter on your griddle. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip, then cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet. Wipe the pan out and repeat with the remaining butter and toast slices.
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 5 minutes.
Serve 2 slices per person topped with a pat of Maple Allspice Butter and drizzle some maple syrup over top.

MAPLE ALLSPICE BUTTER:
In a small bowl, combine the butter, allspice, syrup, and salt. A fork works best for this, I think. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Pecan Souffled Pancake

During November and December, I just adore making season-appropriate breakfast or brunch dishes on the weekends. They usually involve pumpkin. This one we loved.

A souffléd pancake is sort of like a Dutch baby, only it tends to be thicker and puffier. It’s basically somewhere between a regular giant pancake and a soufflé.  But, it’s NOT an actual soufflé, so do not let that “S” word scare you off. Unlike soufflés, these pancakes are supposed to deflate!

Souffléd pancakes are quite easy to pull off. And I think they’re a terrific alternative to regular pancakes when hosting brunch, because just one dish goes into the oven as opposed to you standing at the stove flipping a bunch of pancakes for everyone and missing your own party.

I may have included too many egg whites in this particular dish. The recipe calls for 4 eggs separated. The yolks go into the batter immediately, and the whites get whipped to stiff peaks and then folded into the batter last minute.

Well, when I was separating my eggs, I managed to break one yolk, but not until at least half the whites from that egg had gone into my bowl of egg whites. So I hastily threw that egg into the sink so as not to get any yolk in the whites. But it left me not completely certain of how many egg whites had gone into their bowl. So I guessed and added only half of the whites from the next egg (yolk left intact, yea!), but I think it was still a little too much. So my pancake was a tad thicker than they ideally should be. No matter, it was still amazing. Definitely try this one, it really is easy (and yours will be even easier than mine because you will not break any egg yolks!). And the presentation is just so attractive.

Source: The Comfort Table, by Katie Lee Joel

Ingredients:
4 tbs unsalted butter
1 tbs dark brown sugar
1/4 cup pecan halves
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Maple syrup, for serving

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Pour 3 tablespoons of the butter into a medium bowl and set aside. Add the brown sugar to the remaining butter in the skillet. Stir until the sugar begins to melt. Add the pecans and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the pecans to a small dish and set aside. Reserve the skillet for the pancake.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
Add the egg yolks, buttermilk, and vanilla to the melted butter in the medium bowl and whisk until blended. Gradually whisk in the flour mixture. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Set aside.
In a very clean bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, whip the egg whites until frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the pumpkin batter. Carefully spoon the batter into the skillet. Sprinkle the top with the reserved pecans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cut into wedges and serve with maple syrup.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I’m trying to get our Thanksgiving menu blogged as much as I can. And by that I mean, what I managed to get pictures of. Which unfortunately, wasn’t everything.  Meet the second of our two desserts!

This was pronounced by more than one person as “the best cheesecake I’ve ever tasted.” The pumpkin flavor was deep and rich, but not at all too sweet or cloying. The texture was what really put it over the top, though. It was just perfect. I do not care for cheesecake that is too thick or too chewy. I don’t like to feel like I’m cutting through mildly softened butter or cream cheese. Cheesecake should have its own unique texture. It should be soft, rich and creamy with a slight crunch of the cookie crust. This one most assuredly lives up to its billing. Thank you for the terrific instructions, Fine Cooking magazine!

It can be tough to determine exactly when cheesecake is done, because ideally you want to pull it out of the oven before it’s completely done and let it finish via carryover cooking. So it can be hard to know exactly when it’s too soon to take it out. I’ve figured out that cheesecake is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 165 F. So take your cheesecake out when the temperature reads 155 F. Only for best results, you don’t actually take the cake out of the oven. You just shut the oven off, then leave the cake in the oven with the door left ajar for one hour. This way, the carryover cooking finishes the cheesecake gently, and this lessens any chances of the dreaded cheesecake cracks.

So go and make this before the holiday season is up! You’ll love it and your guests will go crazy for it.

Source: adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, April/May 2010

Ingredients:
CRUST:
2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
3 tbs granulate sugar
7 tbs unsalted butter, melted
FILLING:
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
2 tbs flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions:
CRUST:
Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 375 F.
In a medium bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs and sugar. Mix in the melted butter with a rubber spatula until the crumbs are evenly moistened and clump together slightly.
Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides. I like to use a flat-bottomed drinking glass for this.
Bake until the crust is fragrant and slightly darkened, 9 to 12 minutes. Let the pan cool on a cooling rack.
FILLING:
Lower the oven temperature to 325 F.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, pumpkin, flour and salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps. Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.
Add the vanilla and all the spices. Beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just blended. Be careful not to overbeat or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.
Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.
Place aluminum foil in the bottom of a baking dish or roasting pan. You want enough foil to cover the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Place the cheesecake pan in the middle of the foil and gather the foil up and around the sides of the pan, but do not actually cover the top of the cheesecake. Trim as necessary. Make sure the foil is tightly fitting the pan.
Carefully pour hot water into the roasting pan so that it comes up barely halfway around the springform pan. Now very cautiously transfer the entire thing into the oven, being very careful not to slosh.
Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the cheesecake reads 155 F. When it’s done baking, shut off the oven, leave the cheesecake in the oven and leave the oven door ajar for 60 minutes. Carefully remove the cake, remove the foil and let cool completely on the counter on a cooling rack or trivet. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
Note: If you are worried about any water having seeped under your foil lining, you can remove the cheesecake from the water bath before letting it sit in the oven for the one hour.