Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Munchies...Pumpkin

I guess it's fair to say that fall is in the house!  And with that comes all sorts of pumpkin love!  
But to be honest, I'm not really a pumpkin fan.  However, I do have two awesome pumpkin recipes to share with you.  

A few weeks back, what feels like eternity ago, but was really only 5ish weeks ago, for the Jewish holidays I made mini pumpkin pies at the request of my littles.  My kids must have had a huntch that my father loves pumpkin pie.  He has gone gluten free in recent years, so combined that with Hannah's allergies, I did a lot of bakin' from scratch!  At first it was consuming and way too stressful, but the end result was so worth it-it was the best pumpkin pie I've ever had.  It was so good that I'm actually so excited to be making this again for our upcoming Thanksgiving pot luck at work Monday afternoon!  

I didn't make my own crust, but the filling was to die for!

2 fresh small pumpkins 
1.2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
fresh ground nutmeg
fresh ground cinnamon
kosher salt 

At first I was really intimidated by this-I hate baking squash, potatoes, or any vegetable really because it doesn't usually come out down correctly.  This magically worked!  

Preheat your oven to 375.  Cut the tops off of the pumpkin and then cut the remaining pumpkin into quarters cleaning out the seeds and "guts" as they call them. 

Cover the pumpkin "meat" with butter and then sprinkle with the salt, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon (I used regular dried spices). 

Bake for 30 minutes or long enough that you can easily stab the "meat" with a fork. 

Let it cool, and then scoop out the "meat" from the skin.  You can mash or puree the pumpkin until you reach the desired consistency.  I pureed and then did a quick hand strain to get rid of the hard stringy parts.  

Recently I had the good fortune to make a pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting for a 22nd birthday!  Of course I couldn't leave out royal icing cookies, so I added them in for a touch of decoration.

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This cake was so delicious.  I had leftovers so my husband took it to work and he gave me the message that this was the best one yet!  The frosting is also amazingly delicious because it's not your typical frosting-it's a heavier and does not have  a greasy texture.  It tastes more real, substantial.  

Pumpkin Sheet Cake  (I used a different frosting recipe which I'll share below)
1 15oz can of pumpkin puree
2 cups white sugar 
1 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/4 cup oil and 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce since the comments said the cake was too oily with the full amount of oil)
4 eggs
2 cups flour 
2 teaspoons baking soda 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Beat the pumpkin, sugar, oil (and apple sauce).  Add in the eggs and mix well.
Add in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and beat until well blended.  
Pour the batter into a greased 15x10 baking pan (I used a regular 9x13 pan to give it more height)
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes-it will be longer since the cake is thicker.  

1 cup butter
1/2 cup Crisco
16 oz. cream cheese 
31/2 lbs. powdered sugar 
1 tablespoon vanilla 
1/2 teaspoons salt 

Mix it all together!  This recipe was incredible, but you might have to water it down a bit depending on what you're using it for.  Different consistency is needed for icing a cake vs making roses.  

I highly recommend using these recipes this fall season! Enjoy!!
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