Pumpkin Part Two – Pumpkin Molasses Cheesecake Cookies

I don’t really think I have to explain why I decided to try this recipe. The title pretty much says it all. Pumpkin. Molasses. Cheesecake. Cookies. C’mon, how could you not try these?

Turns out the “cheesecake” part of the cookies is a little misleading, the cream cheese really just makes these more moist and cake-y. After they came out of the oven I decided they needed to be dressed up a little more, so I drizzled some cream cheese icing on them. This step should be done RIGHT before serving; I did this the night before and the icing melted a bit and kind of soaked into the cookies.

Here is the recipe:
Pumpkin Molasses Cheesecake Cookies (Found on A Sweet Baker)

Ingredients

IMG_0370  1 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp. vanilla
2 & 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 & 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

IMG_0371In your stand mixer with your paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese and butter.
Add in brown sugar and mix until creamy and smooth.
Add in egg, pumpkin puree, molasses and vanilla and mix well until blended well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
IMG_0372Slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients in the mixer and blend until well.
Remove bowl from mixer and refrigerate for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
After dough has chilled remove from fridge and, using a medium cookie scoop, place balls of dough on prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are set in the middle.
Remove from oven and let cool completely on cookie sheet.
IMG_0374Since these cookies only called for 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree I’ve got some leftover pumpkin waiting to be baked into something else delicious.

So link up in the comments if you have a good pumpkin recipe!

 

Pumpkin Part One – Pumpkin Cornbread

One of the first pumpkin recipes I tried this fall was pumpkin cornbread. I had a big pot of Sweet Potato Chili on the stove and it sounded like the perfect side dish for it. I thought it was a little strange the recipe used olive oil (which later I decided was a mistake), but the recipe also had fantastic fall ingredients like molasses, pumpkin, and cinnamon.

This cornbread did not turn out as sweet as I hoped it would. I ended up serving it with honey and butter to try to sweeten it up a bit. I think I would try to re-make this with vegetable oil and upping the sugar. Maybe even drizzling honey on the bread when it is still hot from the oven.

I thought the recipe was a bit of a disappointment, but I think it would be worth experimenting with another try.

Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin Cornbread (Found on Sweet Pea’s Kitchen)

Ingredients:

IMG_03101 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup cornmeal
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon molasses
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8×8″ cake pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, brown sugar, and cornmeal; set aside.
IMG_0311 In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, lightly beat the eggs, and then stir in the pumpkin, oil, and molasses.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined, and then pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the top.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Recipe Note:
This recipe makes 12 cornbread muffins, reduce baking time to 10 to 12 minutes

IMG_0312Since I bought about 5 cans of pumpkin to bake with the fall deliciousness continued after this one… next up was Pumpkin Molasses Cheesecake Cookies

Sugar Shakin’ and Pumpkin Doughnut Makin’

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Doughnuts (Sources: Milk & Honey, Original Source King Arthur Flour)

Sometimes when you are walking through Target you get crazy ideas. One of my most recent epiphanies was I needed to make homemade doughnuts. With cider mill season in full swing, I was instantly drawn to the apple cider and pumpkin recipes blowing up the food boards on Pinterest.  So naturally when I saw the doughnut pan on an end of aisle display I had to throw one in my cart.

Now, I think a major concern people have over these doughnut pans is if they would just result in making doughnut shaped cakes…after all doughnuts are supposed to be fried in oil. I had this same worry, and usually think it is silly to buy novelty baking pans, but like I said crazy things happen at Target.

I came across this recipe on the Milk & Honey blog, and already had all of the ingredients on hand (which is always a bonus). Now instead of keeping you in suspense while I detail making these bad boys, I’ll tell you fresh out of the oven they were fantastic. Like cider mill flavor explosion, kind of fantastic.

After mixing up the batter, I took one look at my doughnut pan and decided filling it with a spoon was going to create a hot mess. So I filled a plastic bag with the batter, cut off a corner and piped the batter into the pan.This worked spectacularly; the only messy part occurred when I needed to set down the batter bag.

There was some batter bag oozing, BUT hey the batter was in the pan, and even better when the doughnuts baked they actually maintained their doughnut shape.

I let the first batch cool on a wire rack, while I re-filled the pan. FAIL. The doughnuts got too cool so when I tried to sugar them up, it didn’t really stick. I sugared the second batch sooner and it seemed to work. I also didn’t follow the “shake them in a bag” advice and decide to just stick them in a bowl. I wasn’t confident I could shake the doughnuts without them falling apart. Exuberant shaking and somewhat delicate baked goods just doesn’t seem like a good combination.

Then I decided to try the doughnut hole option and pipe the rest of my batter into a mini-muffin pan. I’m never filling a cupcake pan with a spoon again; the pastry bag method works wonders. The little doughnut muffins (they don’t really look like real doughnut holes) came out and I decided they could withstand my sugar shaking.

These doughnuts are super moist, and the next day the cinnamon sugar had kind of soaked in. So they were sticky, still delicious, but I would recommend serving them the same day you make them if you care whether things are pretty and look exactly how they should, or if you have friends who might be scared of a wet doughnut.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus a heaping 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • Cinnamon-sugar, for coating

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the wells of a doughnut pan (or muffin tin) with cooking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients except flour and cinnamon sugar in an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
  3. Fill the wells the doughnut pan about 3/4 of the way full. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Run a knife along the outer edge of each doughnut to loosen and remove to a wire rack to cool.
  4. When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, but still warm, place a zip-top bag with cinnamon-sugar and shake to coat. Cool completely on a wire rack. Makes 15 to 18 doughnuts.

Happy Baking 🙂