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

 

 

 

Spiced Pumpkin Loaf – Let the Holiday Baking Begin!

Spiced Pumpkin Loaf – Let the Holiday Baking Begin!

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Spiced Pumpkin Loaf

True confessions…I believe I may be one of the few people who don’t go over the moon when the PSL hits Starbucks.  I’d much rather have my pumpkin in a moist, sweetly spiced muffin or cake or loaf or scone and I don’t waste my ‘indulgence’ calories on beverages.  And a grande Pumpkin Spice Latte made with whole milk and whip has over 400 calories…so one more reason to enjoy a nice slice of this Spiced Pumpkin Loaf.

This delicious pumpkin loaf is slightly spiced with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and sweetened with brown sugar and maple syrup. Maple drizzle adds some flare and a little more sweetness and can be omitted as this loaf is great as is but I’d go for the flare and sweetness!  I just saved 420 calories not drinking the PSL remember!!

Daphna Rabinovitch shares this recipe in her baking book, “The Baker In Me”, and I’m going to share it with you today.  Any leftover pumpkin can be saved in a zip lock bag for use in either the pumpkin muffin or pumpkin scone recipes you can check out in my earlier blogs.  Make sure to buy pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling and check to make sure the container is 100% pure pumpkin.

I used 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all-purpose flour in my recipe and I used a combination of pecans and toffee bits instead of walnuts.  This loaf would work without nuts or with the addition of a few butterscotch chips or some pumpkin seeds sprinkled on the glaze.  Wrap a slice of this sweetenuf yumminess to pack in your bag for a quick breakfast at your desk or in the car or for a mid-afternoon snack to tide you over to dinner.  A slice after dinner for a simple dessert with a scoop of frozen yogurt or ice cream would hit the spot as well.  Whatever you do, if you enjoy pumpkin in your baked goods, bake up Daphna’s wonderful recipe.  You won’t be disappointed.

Spiced Pumpkin Loaf with Maple Drizzle

Preheat oven to 325F.  Grease or parchment line a 9-x5-inch loaf pan.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 1/3 cups packed cooked canned pumpkin

1/2 chopped walnuts

Glaze – Combine 1/3 cup icing sugar with 2 tbsp maple syrup

Method:

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute.  Add the brown sugar and beat until very light in colour and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, and scraping down sides and bottom of mixing bowl.  Beat in the maple syrup.  The mixture will look curdled at this point!  As you add the flour mixture it will come together.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and using a wooden spoon stir in half of the flour mixture until combined.  Add in the pumpkin and stir until combined then add in the remaining flour mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain.  Fold in the nuts.

Turn out the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top with an offset spatula or knife.

To prevent the bottom from overbaking place the loaf pan on 2 stacked cookie sheets and bake for 60-70 minutes until top springs back lightly when touched.  Let cool 30 minutes on rack then remove from pan.

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Maple Glazed Spiced Pumpkin Loaf – recipe on sweetenufblog

Once completely cool drizzle with the maple glaze and enjoy!

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.

 

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!

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sour Cream Pumpkin Muffins – Fall Already?!?

Sour Cream Pumpkin Muffins – Fall Already?!?

Although I have been fighting it tooth and nail and cannot understand the fascination with wearing booties instead of sandals and long pants instead of shorts, today with the overcast skies I too have pulled out the pumpkin.

It seems pumpkin in any form signifies the passing of summer.  No matter it is humid as all get out today and Fall has not officially begun, pumpkin reigns supreme. Lattes, biscotti and muffins, especially the SPL or is it PSL (you know, Starbucks!)…pumpkin and the spices accompanying it are aromatic and flavourful and popular.

 

Today’s moist, simple, delicious muffin is my contribution to the pumpkin craze. This Sour Cream Pumpkin Delight, well Muffin really, is superb!  The addition of sour cream, pumpkin and spices makes these muffins a recipe you’ll go back to again and again.

Just a reminder to be sure to check the ingredient label on your can of pumpkin to make sure it is 100% pumpkin.  Some brands say ‘Pumpkin’ but have a combination of squash and pumpkin puree.  Also, you want pure pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling.

Freeze any leftover pumpkin in a ziploc bag for when you whip up one of my other recipes, like pumpkin biscotti!

Sour Cream Pumpkin Muffins

(Adapted from Pumpkin Spice Handbook 2015)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners or spray with Pam.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (you could use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all-purpose)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup sour cream

Method:

In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugars until well combined.  Add in the eggs one at a time and mix in until combined.  Scrape down bowl and beaters.  Add in vanilla and stir until combined.

Add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and using a wooden spoon mix until partially combined.  Add in the pumpkin and sour cream and continue to mix just until no traces of flour are visible.

(You could add in some chopped toasted nuts or pumpkin seeds for a little crunch.)

Fill prepared tins 3/4 full and bake for approximately 25 minutes.  Tops should spring back lightly when touched or a toothpick should come out clean when inserted in centre.  Cool slightly and enjoy!

Too ensure even baking turn your tin around about 12-15 minutes into your baking time.

sour-cream-pumpkin-muffins