Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pumpkin Roundup

photo credit: DrBacchus

Here's a blog post I didn't expect to write. But tis the season. I've been busy pinning pumpkin recipes on Pinterest over the last few weeks. I've stocked up on pumpkin because I always read that it can be hard to find (although that's never been the case for me). Here's a list of pumpkin recipes I've made recently or hope to make soon!

When we carved pumpkins this year my husband was adamant that we roast the pumpkin seeds. Scratch that. He was adamant that I roast the pumpkin seeds. The last time I roasted pumpkin seeds was a project in my kindergarten class. No, I am not a teacher. I was a student in kindergarten. Needless to say, the details were fuzzy. I searched Tasty Kitchen, a great resource for recipes, and found Simple Comfort Food's The Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. It looked like a classic recipe, so I gave it a try. Before even eating the roasted seeds, I googled whether you're supposed to eat the "shell." Apparently it's up for debate. After attempting to avoid the shell a few times I gave up and just started tossing the entire seeds in my mouth. They had a salty little burnt cheese meets popcorn flavor that was pretty tasty. We actually have two pumpkins that we painted instead of carved, and I'm considering opening them up just so I can roast some more seeds.

Today my daughter and I made these hearty Pumpkin-Walnut Oatmeal Squares with Cinnamon Glaze from Bake Your Day. Technically I guess mine were Pumpkin-Pecan Oatmeal Squares as that's what I had on hand. They have oats, applesauce, pumpkin, and honey, so I've convinced myself they're totally healthy. I failed on the glaze, however, using three tablespoons of milk instead of teaspoons, which I promptly remedied by dumping in another two cups of powdered sugar. So much for being healthy! I will say as a person who doesn't like the taste of honey, it is noticeable in the finished squares.  But I suspect for most people that wouldn't be a problem.

Before I started baking this morning I considered trying this Pumpkin Bread with Streusel Topping, but then I realized it had canned pumpkin pie filling instead of pureed pumpkin. I'm a sucker for a streusel topping, however, so I'll have to pick up some pumpkin pie filling and give it a try later. I guess I could try making my own substitute if I get ambitious.

This is the other recipe that caught my eye. These Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting from Sweet Pea's Kitchen look delicious. I probably would have made them, but somehow I convinced myself that with all the Halloween candy I've been eating this week the cream cheese frosting wouldn't do me any favors. And remember the Pumpkin-Walnut Oatmeal Squares are healthy! (right?)

I've never made a trifle, nor do I own a trifle bowl, but if I did and I had to make a fall trifle it would probably be this Low-Fat Pumpkin Trifle from Janelle at Comfy In the Kitchen via Women Living Well Ministries. And can I tell you how excited I am to learn you can buy boxed spice cake? I don't know why, but that excites me.

While our squares were baking in the oven, I remembered reading once that a dump cake can be made with almost any canned fruit (or vegetable in this case...I think). That led to some googling and to this recipe for Pumpkin Dump Cake from Cookies and Cups. Note to self: buy evaporated milk ASAP! 

And finally, this list wouldn't be complete without Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter Dessert Squares.  Hands down they are my favorite pumpkin dessert.  You may have been lucky enough to taste these if you've been in a Williams-Sonoma store this time of year.  They sell the Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter called for in the recipe and generously had out free samples of the squares (knowing full well the samples will lead to big sales).  It's one of the few reasons I will venture up to the Mall of America.  Totally worth it, I might add.  I did attempt this recipe one year with pumpkin butter from a local orchard and mixed with crushed pecans.  It was passable, but I recommend the real thing if for no other reason than avoiding having to figure out the correct amount based on different jar sizes.

My daughter would like to add: "What about Pumpkin Pie Pancakes?" That sounds brilliant. Google, don't fail me now!

And for today's trivia: Did you know allspice comes from the allspice plant? It's not some spice mix along the lines of pumpkin pie spice. I didn't know that. My mom didn't know that. My aunt didn't know that. We discovered this last spring in the spice room of the Como Park Conservatory. It kind of blew our minds. But you probably knew that.


  1. Um. Pumpkin pancakes are amazing. I use honey butter instead of maple syrup, but perhaps you should stick with maple.

  2. You are right. I totally agree with you, Traci. Pumpkin pancakes are truly amazing!