Pumpkin Cheesecake! Pumpkins, Squash and Autumn Corn! The Flavors of the Season!

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It’s that time of year and nothing says Autumn like pumpkins!

Pumpkin is great in soup, cheesecake, cookies, pies, breads, curries and more.

Cooking with Fresh Pumpkin

There’s no shame in using canned pumpkin. Even professional bakers do it. But if you’re using fresh, choose small, flavorful sugar pie pumpkins–and save the big ones for carving. A four-pound pumpkin should yield about 1½ cups of puree.

To make pumpkin puree:

1. Cut the pumpkin in half and bake cut-side down, covered with foil, in a 375 degree F oven for about 90 minutes or until flesh is tender.

2. Allow to cool, scoop out the flesh, and puree.

3. Strain the puree for extra-silky smooth soups and custards.

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A trip to a local farm introduced me to all kinds of squash and corn varieties.

The possibilities are vast and are not limited to baked goods.

Pumpkins are great in savory dishes and lend themselves to spicy flavors; think curry and roasted pepper.

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Over the next few weeks I want to explore all things pumpkin, squash and corn!

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Pumpkin Cheesecake
Ingredients

1 1/2 cups graham cracker cookie crumbs
3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
3 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
4 eggs

Method

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan.

2.Using a fork, combine gingersnaps, hazelnuts, 3 tablespoons brown sugar and melted butter. Press mixture onto the bottom and two inches up the sides of the pan to form the crust.

3.With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the pumpkin. Mix in the cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth.

4.Pour batter into prepared crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 90 minutes, or until center of cheesecake is set. Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.

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I have no idea what these are but I am willing to give them a try!

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Perfectly Pumpkin, Cookies

pantry diaries pumpkin cookies

It’s that pumpkin time of year and the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg fill the house.
These moist and flavorful cookies have a texture which is a lot like cake and they are filling. My bff M loves them; he gave me the recipe.

The batter is really wet and I always use parchment paper on the cookie sheet. I plop them on with a large spoon. I think that these are best when they are on the larger side, like the size of the top of a cupcake.

The recipe says the yield will be 5 dozen but I have never managed to get that many. My daughter thinks that there should be more pecans and I agree. They really make the cookie, especially with the penuche. This is one of the best holiday cookie recipes that I have.

Be prepared to be popular!

Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cup all purpose or unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Penuche Frosting

3 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2-4 cup powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, beat sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 cup butter until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, vanilla and egg; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Stir in nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2″ apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Immediately remove from cookie sheets; cool.

In medium saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar; bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat 1 minute or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Cool 10 minutes. Add milk; beat until smooth. Beat in enough powdered sugar until desired spreading consistency. Frost cooled cookies. Allow frosting to set before storing. 5 dozen cookies.

  

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