Pumpkin Biscotti

Pumpkin Biscotti

 

Pumpkin Biscotti
Pumpkin Biscotti

Pumpkin seems to be the flavour of Fall here in Canada.  The combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove combine beautifully to flavour pies, cupcakes and, of course, the ever popular Pumpkin Spice Latte.

If you love PSL’s and biscotti then you will love this crisp, Fall flavoured treat which can be eaten as is or dipped in your PSL.   And if you don’t bake maybe a little subtle hinting to your friends who do will result in you being their taste tester!

A couple of years ago I tested out several pumpkin biscotti recipes and after a little trial and error this has become my go-to recipe.  This biscotti has pumpkin pie spice for the flavour and NO pumpkin puree.  I found the spice gives the biscotti the flavour required but leaving out puree allows the cookie to crisp up nicely.  I save the pumpkin puree for things like muffins and cakes (check out other pumpkin recipes on my blog).

Like all biscotti these will last in an airtight container for a couple of weeks and freeze well.  Keep these in mind for holiday and Christmas gifts.  They travel well and look pretty in festive cello bags.

No pumpkin pie spice in your cupboard?  Just combine 4 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground cloves and 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg.  Make sure your spices are fresh for the best flavour.

Pumpkin Biscotti

Preheat oven to 325F.  Parchment line a large cookie sheet or 2 small cookie sheets.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts

Method:

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.

In a large bowl beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs one at a time beating after each until incorporated and beat in vanilla.

Stir in flour in 3 additions on low or by hand until mixed in.  Add in nuts and mix well.  You may find using your hands to combine the nuts into the batter works well.

Divide batter into 2 equal portions and shape each into a 2-inch by 3/4-inch log.  Place on baking sheets.  If using one sheet space about 3-inches apart to allow for spreading.

Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes until golden brown around edges (top will still look fairly light in colour).  Remove from oven and let cool 15-20 minutes until cool and easy to handle.

TURN OVEN DOWN TO 275F WHILE BISCOTTI COOLS.

perfect-pumpkin-biscotti-bakingUse a serrated or bread knife and cut into 1/2-inch slices.  Lay slices on cookie sheets and bake for approximately 8 minutes and then turn and lay on other side and bake for another 8 minutes until firm and golden brown.  Remove and cool completely.

For an extra hit of sweet, melt a little white chocolate (over low heat, of course, so you don’t burn it!) and drizzle over cooled biscotti.

Whether you dip or not is up to you but I think you’ll have to agree store bought biscotti cannot compare with these!

 

 

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

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Perfect Pumpkin Cupcake – Sweetenufblog.ca

Continuing where I sort of left off on last weeks blog (Spiced Pumpkin Loaf) , as I’m not one to use up my calories on pumpkin flavoured beverages, here is another scrumptious, simple and sweetenuf recipe containing the flavour of Fall…pumpkin.

If you didn’t see this weeks Instagram (sweet_enuf) here is how to make your own pumpkin puree if you prefer fresh to canned.  Cut 2 small or 1 medium Pie Pumpkin in half and clean out the seeds and membrane.  Place cut side down in a baking pan and fill with 1-inch of water.  Bake in preheated 375F oven for 30-40 minutes.  Cool completely and scoop out cooked pumpkin.  Puree slightly in a food processor.  This pumpkin will look more yellow that the canned version and any unused pumpkin can be frozen.  I yielded about 1-cup of puree from a small pie pumpkin.

Now back to these light, moist and mildly spiced cupcakes.  This recipe is virtually made in one mixing bowl so there is no excuse not to whip these up the next time you have a hankering for some sweet pumpkin flavour. Frost these cupcakes with the tradition Cream Cheese Frosting or any of your favourites.  I made an icing with butter, icing sugar, vanilla and whipping cream, which I know is a hit in my house.  Add a little pumpkin pie spice or some cinnamon for more Fall flavour.

For Cream Cheese Frosting:  Using an electric mixer, combine 3 tbsps of softened butter with 2 1/3 cups of icing sugar and mix well.  Add in 4 ounces of softened cream cheese and beat until incorporated.  Turn up mixer to medium speed and mix until frosting is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Yeilds 12.  Preheat oven to 325F.  Paper line a 12-cup muffin tin.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

3 tbsp butter, room temperature

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

Method:

In the bowl of an electric mixer put flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and butter and mix on low until mixture has a sandy consistency.

Add 1/2 of the milk and beat until well mixed then add remainder of milk and mix well.

Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each.  Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.  Stir in pumpkin puree by hand until evenly distributed.

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full and bake in preheated oven for aproximatley 20 minutes until tops spring back lightly when touched or a tooth pick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Cool for about 10 minutes then remove cupcakes to cool completely before icing.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Pumpkin Cupcakes a la Sweetenuf – Sweetenufblog.ca

 

 

 

Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins

Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins

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Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins – recipe on sweetenuf.ca

It seems everywhere I go people are gearing up for Fall.  The Labour Day weekend hasn’t even passed yet and I’m seeing snow suits in stores and magazines full of ‘Fall’ recipes.

Although I’m definitely not ready for cooler weather and I will hang on to summer until 11:59 pm on Labour Day a pumpkin muffin anytime of the year is moist and delicious.

Add in some small sweet Canadian wild blueberries and they are even better.  Take them up one level higher with a streusel topping and it is win/win/win for everyone.

Bake up a double batch to enjoy on the upcoming last weekend of the summer and freeze a few for those hectic days after Labour Day when everyone is getting back to their ‘normal’ routines.

These moist muffins full of sweet blueberries hint at their pumpkin flavour and if you wish to skip the streusel no one needs to know.

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Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins with Almond-Oat Streusel

The recipe lists all-purpose flour and I used 1/2 half whole wheat and 1/2 all-purpose.  As well, I used frozen blueberries as they are readily available in the grocery stores throughout the year.  Use right from frozen to cut down on colouring the batter purple but you will need to add another couple of minutes to your baking time.

Any leftover pumpkin can be frozen in ziplock bags for the next pumpkin recipe that comes your way.

(This recipe is from 2016 100 Best Pumpkin Recipes, Better Homes and Gardens magazine.)

Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins with Almond-Oat Streusel

Preheat oven to 350F.  Paper line 15 muffin cups with liners.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Almond-Oat Streusel (recipe follows)

Method:

In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

In a small bowl, combine pumpkin buttermilk and vanilla.

In a large bowl beat the butter and white and brown sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Scrape down bowl and beaters.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alernately, beating on low after each addition.  MIX UNTIL JUST COMBINED.  DO NOT OVER MIX.  OVER MIXING PRODUCES A TOUGHER FINISHED PRODUCT.  (Batter will be stiff.)  Fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.  Fill approximately 2/3 full and top with streusel.

Almond-Oat Streusel – In a small bowl stir together 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 2 tbsp rolled oats and 2 tbsp sliced almonds, 4 tsp all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp salt.  Stir in 3 tbsp melted butter and combine.

Bake 18 -21 minutes.  Muffins will spring back when lightly touched, or toothpick will come out clean when inserted into the middle of a muffin.

 

Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Combine the flavours of coffee, oats, caramel, brown sugar and top them off with a coffee glaze and you have a winner!  Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars to be exact.

You could leave off the glaze but it is so simple to make and adds another layer of flavour without being overwhelmingly sweet so just go for it.  Whip these up this weekend and enjoy with a hot beverage.  No need to go out of the house to visit a bakery or coffee shop with a tray of Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars cooling on your counter.  You won’t even miss the hour of sleep due to the clocks turning back since you’ll be eager to enjoy another square with your Sunday coffee.

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Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars – Sweetenufblog.com

 

Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Lightly grease a 13 x 9-inch pan.

Ingredients:

3 cups regular rolled oats

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tbsp instant espresso powder (or instant coffee crystals)

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

3/4 cup Caramel Sauce (any brand or homemade caramel sauce)

1/2 cup chopped pecans (for adding at end)

Coffee Glaze (optional) – combine 2 tablespoons hot milk and 1 tsp coffee until dissolved.  Stir in 1 cup of icing sugar until smooth.

Method:

In a medium bowl combine the oats, flour, 1 cup pecans, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter for about 30 seconds.  Add in the brown sugar and beat until combined and well mixed.  Scrape down beaters and bowl.  Add in eggs, coffee and vanilla and beat until combined.  On low, beat in the oat mixture.

Reserve 2 cups of the mixture and with floured hands press the remaining oat mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan.

Spread the caramel sauce over top of the mixture and then using your hands, crumble the reserved 2 cups of mixture, randomly over top.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cups of pecans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes and set.  You DO NOT want to overbake.

Cool and drizzle with the coffee glaze.  Cut into bars.

 

 

Perfect Pumpkin Biscotti

Perfect Pumpkin Biscotti

pumpkinIf you’ve been following along for a while you know I’ve been testing pumpkin biscotti recipes.  They abound!

My issue with most of them is with the addition of pumpkin puree the cookies become too cakey and loose the ‘crispness’ of a true biscotti.  Pumpkin adds so much moisture and really not a whole lot of flavour, in my opinion anyway.

I decided to experiment using pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and no puree with my basic biscotti recipe.  I was ecstatic with the results. Crisp, light and delicious these are a great addition to your Fall baking lineup or to add to your ‘bake for Christmas’ list.

Play around with the amounts of pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon to suit your tastes.

No Pumpkin Pie Spice, you can quickly and easily mix up your own.  Combine 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon cloves.  You can easily double or triple this to have on hand for your next few batches of biscotti.

Important…if your spices have been open and collecting dust in your cupboard for 6 months or more you most likely need to toss them out and replace!  Spices lose their potency after being opened and for the most flavourful end product make sure yours are fresh.

perfect-pumpkin-biscotti

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Preheat oven to 325F.  Parchment line a large cookie sheet or 2 small cookie sheets.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts

Method:

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.

In a large bowl beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs one at a time beating after each until incorporated and beat in vanilla.

Stir in flour in 3 additions on low or by hand until mixed in.  Add in nuts and mix well.  You may find using your hands to combine the nuts into the batter works well.

Divide batter into 2 equal portions and shape each into a 2-inch by 3/4-inch log.  Place on baking sheets.  If using one sheet space about 3-inches apart to allow for spreading.

Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes until golden brown around edges (top will still look fairly light in colour).  Remove from oven and let cool 15-20 minutes until cool and easy to handle.

TURN OVEN DOWN TO 275F WHILE BISCOTTI COOLS.

perfect-pumpkin-biscotti-bakingUse a serrated or bread knife and cut into 1/2-inch slices.  Lay slices on cookie sheets and bake for approximately 8 minutes and then turn and lay on other side and bake for another 8 minutes until firm and golden brown.

If you prefer a softer biscotti bake for a few minutes less on each side.  These delicious pumpkin spice biscotti taste delicious and freeze great.  They will keep in an airtight container for a couple of weeks!

 

 

CHOCOHOLICS UNITE -TOFFEE BROWNIES

CHOCOHOLICS UNITE -TOFFEE BROWNIES

heath-brownies-extraordinareheath-brownies

Dark and delicious this fabulous combination of bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, toffee bits and semisweet chocolate come together in these brownies for an indulgent treat.

I found these ‘babies’ under the heading “Chocoholics Anonymous” in an old magazine (For some reason the recipe just seemed to jump out at me!!) and modified the recipe slightly.  I did have a stash of Heath Bits, both plain and the chocolate/toffee combination, which friends had brought me back from shopping trips to the U.S.  No Heath Bits here in Canada so use the equivalent Skor bits and for the topping just add some mini or regular chocolate chips.

For a moist brownie make sure not to overbake.  They should still be a few crumbs sticking to the toothpick when checking for doneness.

I’d make doubles of this as believe me they are a huge hit!  They are as tasty when cold as when still slightly warm from the oven.

Toffee Brownies

Preheat oven to 350F and parchment line a 13×9-inch baking pan.

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp boiling water

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate

4 tbsp butter

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups toffee bits

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For topping:  approximately 1 cup toffee bits and 1/2-1 cup chocolate chips or 1 1/2 cups Heath chocolate/toffee bits

Method:

Combine the boiling water and the cocoa powder and stir until smooth.  Let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl over a double boiler or in the microwave melt the butter and the 2 ounces of chocolate (careful don’t burn the chocolate) and stir until smooth.  Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa mixture.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture.

heath-brownies-flour-and-salt-to-chocolate-mixtureAdd in the flour and salt and stir to combine.  Fold in the toffee bits and the chocolate chips.

Spread evenly in the prepared pan and top with the Heath Chocolate Toffee bits or a combination of 1 cup of toffee bits and chocolate chips if desired.

Bake approximately 30-40 minutes until brownies are cooked through but a few crumbs stick to a toothpick inserted in the centre.  FOR BEST RESULTS ROTATE PAN HALF WAY THROUGH BAKING AND CHECK AFTER 30 MINUTES.

Cool and cut into generous portions.

 

heath-brownies

 

Pumpkin Pecan Blondies with Cream Cheese Swirl

Pumpkin Pecan Blondies with Cream Cheese Swirl

leaning-tower-of-pumpkin-pecan-blondies

The Fall pumpkin obsession hasn’t died down any since last week so I’ve jumped on the bandwagon with this weeks moist and delicious Pumpkin Pecan Blondies with a tasty cream cheese swirl.

Incredibly delicious warm from the oven and still moist, dense and as delicious the next day, these are sure to be a hit.

For this recipe you’ll need a large can of pumpkin since you need 2 cups of puree for the blondies.

Pumpkin Pecan Blondies with Cream Cheese Swirl

Makes approx. 24 bars.  Grease a 9 x 12-inch pan. Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream Cheese Swirl

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

3 tbsp granulated sugar

1 egg, room temperature

In a small bowl beat together the cream cheese, sugar and egg and well combined and set aside.

Blondies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups pumpkin puree

3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking powder.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar.  Add the eggs and vanilla, and then beat well.  Add the pumpkin puree and beat to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, folding with a rubber spatula until flour is mixed in completely.  Fold n nuts.

Pour half of the batter into prepared pan and spread.  Spoon on half of the creamed cheese mixture and swirl through batter with the tip of a knife or a skewer.  Top with the remaining batter spreading gently to make another layer and spoon on remaining cream cheese mixture, again swirling with a knife or skewer.

Bake about 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool and cut into bars.

Enjoy warm from the oven and again later when cool!

pumpkin-pecan-blondies-w-cream-cheese-swirl-no-1