Tag Archives: Pumpkin

Pumpkin Spice Granola

28 Aug

Pumpkin Spice Granola

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I love fall. The weather, the changing of the leaves, the flavors. I’ll blame my fondness (read: obsession) with fall on the fact that I grew up in Florida where we had two seasons: hot and hotter. The tastes of fall weren’t so easily appreciated in the 90+ degree, humid days. It doesn’t exactly lend itself to warm, spiced comfort foods. But now I get to enjoy all the wonders of fall, including foods full of spiced pumpkin-y goodness. Unfortunately the weather is still quite warm and fall is a little ways off but I thought a pumpkin spice granola would be just the thing to satiate my food craving while still being a suitable breakfast food for warm days. A little homemade granola and some greek yogurt are the perfect way to start the day!

I found this tasty low-fat pumpkin granola recipe from one of the blogs I frequent, Baking Bites. I liked that it didn’t use any oil and that it added some puffed rice to supplement the rolled oats for a slightly different taste and texture. But, like any recipe I make, I usually end up making some changes to make it my own. The spices are just a guide as I generally never measure them; I just add them “to taste” which is usually twice as much as what is called for in any recipe. So here’s my take on the granola:

Pumpkin Spice Granola
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix (ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom)
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup plain pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or you can use 1/4 cup more pumpkin if you don’t have applesauce)
1/4 cup honey (maple syrup is also good, but I don’t often have it on hand)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup cashews (I prefer salted)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried fruit (I like the Sun Maid “fruit bits” mix which is Raisins, Golden Raisins, Dried Apples, Dried Apricots, Dried Peaches, Dried Plums, Dried Cherries)

Preheat the oven to 325F and line a large baking sheet (or two smaller sheets) with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine oats, puffed rice cereal. In a medium bowl, whisk together spices, salt, sugar, applesauce (if using), pumpkin, honey (or maple syrup) and vanilla. Whisk until very smooth.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir with a spatula or large spoon until mixture is evenly coated. Spread on prepared baking sheet(s) in an even layer.
Bake for 30 minutes, then turn over the granola carefully using a large wide spatula. Sprinkle the nuts/seeds onto the granola, then bake everything for additional 15 minutes, until crisp and golden. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, the center might not be fully dried if your granola layer is thick, so if necessary remove the edges of the cooked granola to a cooling rack and let the rest cook for another 10-15 minutes until done.
Cool on pan or on a fine wire rack.
Break granola up as desired, add dried fruit and store in an airtight container.

Makes about 8-10 servings.

Cinnamon-Sugar Baked Pumpkin Donuts

4 Jun

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What better way to start a rainy Friday morning then with some delicious (and heart shaped) pumpkin donut goodness! I’ve been seeing lots of recipes for donuts floating around food blogs and pinterest, so when I was at Target the other day and saw this heart-shaped donut pan on clearance I knew I just had to buy it. Yes, had to buy it. I mean, everyone needs a donut pan, right? While I love Krispy Kremes as much as the next gal I wanted something I could easily make at home and that was slightly healthier.

Laura showed me this pumpkin donut recipe and I couldn’t resist. Unfortunately, she missed out on the donut baking experiment. She was busily making sure that our high school friends had everything they needed to enjoy a weekend at our favorite Young Life camp, Sharptop Cove.

I took over Sarah’s kitchen and Megan provided the moral support while I whisked away. Maybe the second best thing about this recipe is that you don’t need a fancy mixer to pull it all together. Just a whisk and some good arm muscles. All the dry ingredients get mixed into one bowl and the wet whisked together in another. Then you stir it all together just until combined. The hardest part was getting the batter into the heart-shaped molds… but that’s only because I can be a little spastic and I ended up getting batter everywhere but IN the molds. I probably should have followed the instructions and used a Ziploc or piping bag. The first batch tasted great but didn’t look so pretty. Turns out if you smooth the dough once you get it into the molds they look pretty once you bake them. Getting the cinnamon sugar on them was a little messy but simple enough. Dunk the donut in melted butter and then dip it into a bowl of cinnamon sugar goodness. The flavors were great and donuts were addicting. I could have eaten an entire pan myself!

Cinnamon-Sugared Baked Pumpkin Donuts

The Recipe

Makes: makes 18 donuts

The Ingredients:

For Donuts:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup milk

For Coating:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon (more if you’re a cinnamon lover)

The Method:

  1. Preheat oven 350 F. Butter/spray a donut pan and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and spices together and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Fill each donut cup about 3/4 full with the batter. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until donuts spring back when gently pressed. Turn donuts out onto a wire rack and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  5. While the donuts are cooling, melt butter in one bowl and combine the sugar and cinnamon in another. While donuts are still warm, dip each donut in melted butter then coat in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve immediately.

The Source: http://www.blueeyedbakers.com/home/2011/9/26/petite-pumpkin-spice-donuts.html

What we learned: Fortunately the first baked donut experiment was free of any epic failures or kitchen disasters! The recipe notes that you shouldn’t coat them with the cinnamon-sugar until you are ready to eat them otherwise they may get soggy. Also, if you don’t have a donut pan simply make muffins (or mini muffins) and them dip the tops in the cinnamon sugar mix.
As far as flavors go, I loved the spiced pumpkin batter. The only thing I’d change would be to add some pumpkin pie spice (or nutmeg/cloves/allspice) to the cinnamon sugar coating for some extra spiced goodness. I also think the donuts would be great with a simple powdered sugar glaze drizzled over the top. Either that or a chocolate glaze for a sweet dessert!
A simple, tasy and potentially healthy alternative to store-bought donuts.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

1 Jun

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These might be the best pancake I have ever put in my mouth. In fact, we loved these pancakes so much that they have made several appearances in the last few weeks. And I think all of our friends would agree that they are wonderfully delicious and relatively easy to make!

I’ve seen quite a few variations of the cinnamon roll pancake on different food blogs that I read. I happen to love all things pumpkin and knew that I had to make this version when I stumbled on this recipe by Recipe Girl. I was also inspired by the flavors of this Gingerbread Cinnamon Roll Pancake from Recipe Girl. So Laura and I made some minor flavor adjustments and came up with what we consider the best pancake recipe. Ever. It’s a bold statement for sure but we think you’ll agree.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Makes: 8-10 pancakes (depending on how big you make them)

The Ingredients:

Pancakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

Cinnamon Filling:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted (added slowly until desired consistency; may not use all of it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Method:

1. Prepare the cinnamon filling: In a small bowl- mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Whisk the filling ingredients together and then pour it into a sandwich-sized zip baggie. Zip up the baggie and place it in the fridge while you prepare the pancake batter. You want this to have time to set.

2. Prepare the icing: In a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat butter and cream cheese 30 to 60 seconds, just until butter has melted and cream cheese has softened. Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla and combine until smooth. Set the icing aside.

3. Prepare the pancake batter: In a large bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vinegar. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt and brown sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until all is moistened.

4. Check on your cinnamon filling: Open up the baggie again and give it a good stir to re-incorporate any butter that may have separated. You want the mixture to thicken a bit- it’s best when it’s similar to the squeezing texture of toothpaste. Don’t try to use the filling for the pancake swirl unless it has thickened as it will be too runny! Snip off a small piece of the corner of the baggie.

5. Cook the pancakes: Pre-heat a large skillet or griddle to medium, and spray it with nonstick spray. Use an ice cream scoop (or ladle) to add the batter to the pan. Use the bottom of the scoop or ladle to spread out the batter into a nice, even circle. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Pick up your cinnamon filling baggie and squeeze the filling into the corner. Starting at the center of the pancake squeeze the cinnamon filling on top of the pancake batter in a swirl (just as you see in a cinnamon roll). Cook the pancakes 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it is golden brown on the bottom. Slide a thin spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. When you flip the pancake onto a plate, you will see that the cinnamon filling has created a crater-swirl of cinnamon. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, and repeat with the remaining pancake batter and cinnamon filling. Serve pancakes topped with a drizzle of cream cheese icing.

What we learned:

Well, I will say it again. These pancakes are delicious! When we first made the cinnamon filling it was very runny (melted butter will have that effect). We let it set in the refrigerator while we prepped the other components and it was the perfect consistency when we were ready to use it. The spices are definitely to taste. We happen to like lots of spice so we were generous with those. And the cream cheese icing is pretty quick to mix together but you may not need all the powdered sugar. Just add the sugar until you get a nice drizzle-able consistency.

We hope you enjoy this phenomenal morning treat… and we apologize in advance if you find yourself addicted to these!