Monday, November 29, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Need a way to use up leftover pumpkin puree? This recipe is quick, easy, and delicious. These are cute served in festive muffin cups. Yum yum!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from this recipe
Makes 16-20 bars

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or honey sucanat)
3 tablespoons melted butter

1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar (or honey sucanat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon (heaping) cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 8X8 baking dish with foil, allowing to come over the sides to form "handles". In a bowl, combine crust ingredients. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Press into bottom of pan. Bake 5 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add brown sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and spices. Add egg and beat well. Add salt. Beat until creamy. Pour mixture evenly over crust.

Bake until lightly browned and slightly jiggly, about 30 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate overnight, or until fully chilled.

Using foil "handles", remove from pan and cut into bars. Enjoy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cranberry Pie

If you have never heard of a cranberry pie you're probably not alone. I, at least, hadn't heard of such a thing, and certainly wouldn't have guessed it would be so yummy. Yeah...I would have guessed wrong. This pie is so delicious! I'm talking "WOW" delicious, as in "go back for thirds" delicious. It is absolutely, positivity, scrumptious. To me, it is more like a cobbler than a pie, but no matter what you call it, it is yummy!

Cranberry Pie
Adapted from the Pioneer Woman
Makes one 8" or 9" pie

2 cups (heaping) cranberries
3/4 cups pecans, chopped (measure, then chop)
2/3 cups sugar (or honey sucanat)
1 cup flour (or 5 oz Soft White wheat flour)
1 cup sugar (or honey sucanat)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar for sprinkling (or honey sucanat)

Preheat oven to 350º.

Butter an 8" or 9" pie or cake pan. Spread cranberries evenly in bottom of pan. Sprinkle chopped pecans and 2/3 cup sugar on top.

Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, butter, eggs, extract, and salt in a bowl. Stir until combined.

Slowly pour batter evenly over top of cranberries. Spread gently over any uncovered areas.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bake additional 5 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Here is a quick and easy recipe for a delicious autumn drink. Feel free to tweak the recipe to suit your tastes.
Its fun to whip up, less expensive then buying one from a coffee shop, and you know exactly what you're drinking. Yummy!

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Adapted from this recipe
Makes one serving

1 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons sugar (or honey sucanat)
3/4 tablespoon vanilla (Yes, tablespoon not teaspoon)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/8 tsp each of cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg)
1/4 cup strong coffee (or more if desired) (can use 1/4 cup milk + 1 tbls instant coffee granules)

Combine milk, pumpkin, and sugar in saucepan. Cook over medium until steaming. Stir in vanilla and spices. Transfer to blender and whirr until foamy, about 20 seconds (or just whisk thoroughly). Stir in coffee. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg, if desired. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole

Yummm.... I love sweet potatoes. I love them baked, roasted, mashed, and pretty much in any shape or form you can think of. I also love them as a casserole, sprinkled with a pecan topping. Delicious!

Our family usually has some sort of sweet potato casserole with our Thanksgiving meal. It may always be slightly different, but I've never met one I didn't like. So, even though you probably have half a dozen recipes for sweet potato casserole, another one couldn't hurt, right? Right.

Sweet Potato Casserole
Adapted from the Pioneer Woman
Serves 8-10

4 whole medium sweet potatoes
1 cup granulated sugar (or honey sucanat)
1 cup milk
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar (or honey sucanat)
1/2 cup flour (or 2.5 oz Soft White wheat flour)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and cubed

Wash potatoes and bake until tender, about 30-35 minutes at 375ºF. Once cooked (and cool enough to handle), scrape out potato flesh into a bowl.

Add granulated sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla and salt. Mish with potato masher until smooth (you can leave some lumps if desired). Spread into 8x8 baking dish.

In a small bowl combine brown sugar, pecans, flour and butter. Combine using a pastry cutter, or fork, until mixture is crumbly.

Sprinkle topping over potatoes. Bake at 400º until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts

These mini "doughnuts" were so fun to make and eat! Great with coffee or tea. Feel free to make these in the larger "doughnut" size if you like.
I particularly liked using sucanat on the tops of these, because it gave them a nice crunch, but feel free to use whatever you have, or whatever you're in the mood for.
Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts
Adapted from
Makes 12 large, or 48 mini doughnuts

3 tablespoons sugar (or honey sucanat)
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour (or 10 oz Soft White wheat flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2/3 cup packed brown sugar (or honey sucanat)
1/2 cup apple butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup apple cider
1/3 cup (nonfat) vanilla yogurt
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 400ºF.

Grease 2 mini bundt-cake pans (for a total of 12 doughnuts), or 2 mini muffin tins (for a total of 48 "mini" doughnuts).

Combine 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl. Stir together. Evenly coat pans with mixture. Shake out excess and reserve for use at end of recipe.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and remaining 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together egg whites, brown sugar, apple butter, maple syrup, apple cider, yogurt, canola oil, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir until just combined.

Dived batter evenly in pans. Sprinkle reserved cinnamon/sugar mixture over the top of the batter.

Bake bundts for 10-12 minutes, (mini doughnuts for 7-9 minutes), or until toothpick comes out clean.

Allow doughnuts to cool for several minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpkin Soufflé first time baking with pumpkin this fall. I thought it might be nice to try a recipe I had never made before. How about a type of dessert I had never made before? Soufflé it is!

I was actually surprised by how quick the recipe came together. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect upon taking the first bite (how could I have never eaten soufflé before?). It was warm and fluffy, but only slightly sweet. I thought it was yummy, and tasted like a fluffy pumpkin pie. That being said, you want to know a secret? I preferred it much more cold.
I know, I know, what makes a soufflé, a soufflé is taking the high-rise out of the oven and serving immediately, but I really did prefer this one refrigerated. I'm curious to try a chocolate soufflé, maybe I will prefer that one warm? We'll see!
Pumpkin Soufflé
Adapted from this recipe
Makes 4-6 large servings

Sugar for dish
6 egg whites, room temperature
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar (or honey sucanat)
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease four 8-oz soufflé ramekins, or one 1 1/2 - 2 quart casserole dish. (Note: if using casserole dish, decrease oven temperature to 350ºF). Coat dish(es) evenly with sugar, shaking out the excess. Arrange souffle dish(es) in 13x9 baking pan. Set aside

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using whisk attachment, on high speed, whip egg whites with cream of tarter until foamy. Add sugar, two tablespoons at a time, while beating constantly. Beat until sugar is dissolved and mixture reaches soft peaks (about 3-4 minutes).

In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks on high until thick and lemon-colored. Fold in the pumpkin and pie spice. Gently fold yolk mixture into whipped egg whites. Continue folding until there are no more white streaks. Distribute mixture evenly into soufflé dish(es).

Place 13x9 pan containing soufflé dish(es) on middle rack of oven. Pour very hot water into 13x9 pan, crating a water bath, to within 1/2 inch of the top of the dish(es). Bake soufflé until puffy and delicately browned (about 15-20 minutes in ramekins, or 30-35 minutes in casserole dish). Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve cold. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meringue "Kisses"

Many people, old and young alike, seem to love meringues. Something about the airy, and almost cloud-like mounds of sweet, crunchy goodness keeps them coming back. They are surprisingly easy to throw together, though they do take a while to "bake".I usually make meringues using the leftover egg whites from making key lime pie, because they take the same number of whites that go unused in the pie (which uses only the yolks). However, that doesn't mean that you can't whip these up just for the sake of wanting meringues, and not as a way to "use up" leftover egg whites. Yummy!

Meringue "Kisses"
Adapted from Food Network
Makes about 3 dozen

3 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar (or honey sucanat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or flavoring of choice)

Preheat oven to 225ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Making sure your mixing utensils are clean and free of grease, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add in cream of tarter and turn speed to high. Beat until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually, beating until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes). Stir in extract.

Spoon meringue into zip-top or pastry bag, fitted with a star tip. Pipe "kisses" onto parchment lined sheets, spacing evenly. Bake until dry and crisp, about 3 hours. Allow meringues to cool completely. Store at room temperature in an airtight container. Enjoy!