Saturday, September 7, 2013

Recipe: Chewy Pumpkin Cookies from Sally's Baking Addiction

Over at Sally's Baking Addiction, she did some experimentation on how to get a pumpkin cookie that is both soft and chewy, BUT not cake-like.  But, what's wrong with cake-like?  I personally love the recipe from Mrs. Field's that is soft and cake-like.  They're almost like little muffin tops.  But, yes, they aren't very cookie-like.  I do think they are delicious, though!  Here is that recipe:  MRS. FIELD'S PUMPKIN COOKIES.

Sally's solution?  No eggs!  That's right, folks, it's that simple...  The pumpkin does the job that the eggs usually do.  What's also awesome about that is that you can eat some of the cookie batter guilt-free!

Here is the recipe: .  It is so delicious and I love it a lot.  I will definitely be making it again sometime!  She states that you should get 2 dozen cookies if you make cookies using two tablespoons.  I would have only gotten a dozen if I used two full tablespoons.  I scaled back to about one tablespoon and still only got about 18 cookies.  If you try them, let me know what you think!

Here are some process photos:

Weighing out our ingredients.

Whisk, whisk, whisk.

Wet ingredients all ready to go.

Flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda

Pouring the wet into the dry

Mixing it all up

Folding in our chips

Trying the batter.  Love her!

Time to chill for a little bit

My new favorite vanilla!  Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon.

Ready for the oven. 
Pressed some chocolate chips into the top.  Yum!

Thanks for reading!  And thank you to Sally for an awesome recipe:

Monday, October 15, 2012

How to Measure Flour

This isn't about pumpkin, but about how to properly measure flour.

Measuring flour properly will really improve your baking.  We are all taught to scoop and level, but this usually amounts about 25% more flour than is truly needed.  This will make your recipes dense and sometimes floury or chalky.

Instead, I learned from my research that you should spoon your flour into your cups.  Don't compact it down.  Just lightly spoon in and then level off.

But an even better way to measure flour is by weight.  Some recipes, such as on the, call for a certain weight.  But I have found that using the spooning method works very well.

For even more information see this link:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

When I saw these pumpkin chocolate chip bars on the Girl Who Ate Everything blog, I just knew that I had to try them.  She takes the most enticing pictures, so it was impossible not to be interested!  I posted the link on the Facebook page just in case I didn't get around to it.

But I did!

And the result were very delicious, very addictive pumpkin bars!  A lot like pumpkin bread, but better!  My mom agreed with me.  My cousin made her own version and even replaced some of the granulated sugar with brown sugar.  Sounds delicious!  I brought half to a get-together and the rest stayed at home.  They didn't last very long!  So, without further ado, here is the recipe!

By the way, this is another winning Martha Stewart recipe.  That Martha ...


2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (I used extra)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
12 ounces chocolate chips

STEP ONE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a  13 x 9" pan with foil.  Grease with butter or solid vegetable shortening and set aside.

STEP TWO: Whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda and salt.
Chopping your butter makes it easier to mix.

Don't forget to do a baker's scrape after each step!  Scrape after the butter and sugar are beaten, then add the vanilla and the egg.

Mix in the pumpkin.

It's okay if it looks grainy.

STEP THREE:  Beat butter and sugar on medium speed.  Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined.  Beat in pumpkin puree.  The mixture will look curdled, but that is fine!

STEP FOUR: Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.  Remember, you never want to overmix.  Then fold in your chocolate chips.

STEP FIVE: Spread the mixture evenly into your prepared pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let the bars cool completely in the pan.  When they are completely cooled, gently lift them out of the pan for cutting.  Cut into 24 squares and separate from the foil.  This part was a lot easier than it sounds!

Then, eat and enjoy!  They are so yummy!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Let's talk about beer again...

Sometimes I get blog "donations"  or gifts for stuff for me to try this time of year.  This time, my cousin brought some Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale for me to try.

There's not too much to say about this beer.  It's good, but it tastes like, well, Blue Moon.  I thought maybe I didn't know what I was talking about, but others also agreed with me.  We all think that, overall, it just tastes like a slightly spicier Blue Moon.  That's not to say that it's not good!  It is!  Blue Moon is definitely a nice beer, and there aren't a lot of beers that I like.  It sat a little heavy in my belly, so I didn't finish mine all the way.  I was full!

And, I have to add that I love the label.  Orange, blue and those beautiful pumpkin line drawings.  All contrasted against the dark bottle.  Beautiful!

So far, of all the pumpkin beers I have tried, Weyerbacher hit the mark the closest.  It's light and spicy and you don't wonder if it's supposed to be a pumpkin beverage because it is very apparent:

And there is also Sam Adams Harvest Collection, which is a popular assortment of beers:

Til next time,

Monday, October 1, 2012

Martha Stewart Pumpkin Cheesecake

I have been meaning to get around to make a pumpkin cheesecake for years now!  When I bake, I try to make things for get-togethers, otherwise I eat most of it.  So a very special occasion came up and I decided to give it a whirl.

There are many pumpkin cheesecake recipes on the internet.  Some require multiple steps that results ina lovely layered-type of cheesecake.  Some require pulsing cookies in the food processor.  I just wanted something simple - New York style cheesecake.

I finally found this Martha Stewart recipe:  Leave it to Martha to create a simple and easy recipe that is also delicious!  I'm sure those other recipes are very good, too.  Maybe next year!

The cake is delicious and tastes a lot like cool, creamy pumpkin pie. I definitely recommend it!  And the batter comes together very quickly. I write more about this later, but try not to over-mix.  And don't open your oven.

My notes are in italics (as usual).


1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 graham crackers or buy the pre-made crumbs)
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (30 seconds int he microwave should do it)

4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (Libby's!)
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, room temperature (makes for easier and smoother mixing)

Crust ingredients
Filling ingredients
STEP ONE: Make your crust
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and place your springform pan on a cookie sheet.

Melt your butter and combine it with your sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Press into the embossed side of your springform pan.  If this is your first time making a cheesecake, here is something obvious just in case: make sure you pan is completely put together and locked.

Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes.  I did ten.

Baby helping me mix
Pretty sand-like mixture
Press firmly into bottom of pan
STEP TWO: Make the filling

With your electric mixer, beat the cream cheese (it should be very soft and room temperature!) until smooth. Mix in your flour.  Try not to over-mix.  Stop when everything seems incorporated.

Add pumpkin puree, pie spice, vanilla and salt.  Mix until just smooth.

Add eggs one at a time.  Mix each until just mixed.  Don't overmix.


If you haven't already, put your springform pan on a baking sheet.  Pour the filling into the pan and smooth the top.  Place the cheesecake in the middle of the oven.  Lower temperature to 300 degrees F.

IMPORTANT, read completely: Bake for 45 minutes.  Then, TURN OVEN OFF.  Do not open your oven.  Do not pass go or collect $200.  Leave the cheesecake in oven for two hours.  Letting it cool slowly in the warm oven helps the cake not to crack.  Not over-mixing also helps the cake not to crack.

Remove from oven.  Immediately slide a knife around the edges, but do not un-mold yet (see below). Cover with plastic wrap.  Let chill in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight.  I always do overnight.  Undo the spring to unmold and enjoy!

My pan from the Pampered Chef came with this handy knife, but you can use any knife.

Source:  Retrieved September 2012.