Pumpkin Extravaganza (Revisited)

Just two days ago… I had my very first Pumpkin Coffee of the season.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh… le sigh.  How I’ve missed you.  Is it me, or are fall-flavored specials coming out earlier and earlier every year?  

In the spirit of the beginning of the fall season, I wanted to re-post two fabulous pumpkin recipes.  They also happen to be my VERY FIRST POST!  YUM!  Enjoy 🙂

 

An ode to pumpkin seemed like the perfect first post on my food blog, as today happens to be the last day in November.  All year, I wait and wait for the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice ads to start popping up all over the place.  This is a very exciting time, as it means it’s finally pumpkin season!  As long as I can remember, I am one of the only (if not the only) person in my family who is excited about this time of year, for this very reason.  This year, I decided that I was going to try to convert everyone else into a pumpkin lover like me.

My first stab at the pumpkin this year was Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread, which I modified from this Cooking Light Recipe.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make!  The recipe makes two loaves which was perfect to show off and share at work the next day.  And in case you were curious, it’s good to be the cook’s Mom- since she was an instant pumpkin fan after trying her first slice warmed and topped with a dab of light butter.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread


Ingredients:

2 cups Sugar
2 cups Pumpkin (canned)
1/2 cup Canola Oil
6 oz Fat Free Greek Yogurt (plain or vanilla)
4 Egg Whites
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 1/4 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Pecan Pieces (broken)
Cooking Spray
2 (8×4 inch) Loaf Pans
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine the first five ingredients into a large bowl (sugar through and including the egg whites),  and stir well using a whisk.  Lightly spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife.  Place the flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda into a medium bowl.  Stir the dry ingredients with a whisk (if you’re using the same one, make sure it’s dry first!!).
Once all the dry ingredients are well incorporated, slowly add it to the wet pumpkin mixture, stirring it only just until moist.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Coat the two loaf pans (I used Pyrex loaf dishes) with cooking spray, then spoon the batter evenly into each pan.  Sprinkle the pecan pieces ontop of the batter.
Bake in the preheated oven at 350° for around 1 hour and 15 minutes.  I set my timer for an hour and checked on it until it looked done.  You will know it’s done when you stick a wooden toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.
Although you’ll want to dig in immediately, cool the bread in their pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.  Then it will be easy to remove the breads from their pans.  I lightly flipped them over on a piece of waxed paper and they slid right out.
It was too hard to resist the warm chocolatey, pumpkiney bread any longer, so my Mom and I decided to slice one loaf and taste test it ourselves.  It was so yummy!  I couldn’t believe how easy it was, and was so excited the recipe made two loaves… that way I still had one loaf to show off the next day!
My next and more ambitious pumpkin recipe was adapted from Sandra Lee’s Pumpkin Cream Pie.  This amazingly light and creamy pie is far different than your typical Thanksgiving pumpkin  pie and will sure turn your pumpkin hater into a pumpkin lover like me!  This Thanksgiving was my first one spent with Dave’s family.  I was so excited, but also nervous about what I was going to bring!  I decided to try this pie and I’m so happy I did- it was a huge hit.  Dave’s Aunt even said it was the best pumpkin pie she ever ate!

Before…

… and After!

Pumpkin Cream Pie with Homemade Brown Sugar-Caramel Whipped Cream

  
Ingredients (Pie):
4 oz Cream Cheese (1/3 reduced fat), at room temperature
15 oz Pumpkin, canned
1/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3 Large Eggs
1 (9-inch) Frozen Pie Crust Shell (I used Sara Lee)
Ingredients (Whipped Cream):
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
3 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
5 drops Caramel Extract (or vanilla, if you don’t have caramel)
Directions:
Take the frozen pie crust shell out of the freezer, out of the foil (carefully!), and into a glass pie dish.  Preheat the oven to 375° and arrange a rack in the bottom third of the oven.
In a bowl, combine the room temperature cream cheese, pumpkin, 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon.  Using a hand mixer, add the eggs one at a time, waiting until the egg is completely incorporated into the batter before adding the next.
Pour the filling into the shell.  Bake on a cookie sheet in the oven, about 50-60 minutes (mine went for 50 minutes), or until the filling is mostly set and the crust has browned.  The center will definitely look slightly loose or giggly- that is ok!  Remove the pie from the oven and cool on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature.
If you really want to impress your guests, serve the pie with this homemade whipped cream!  In a chilled bowl, beat the heavy cream with a hand mixer until it begins to thicken.  Slowly add the brown sugar.  Add the pumpkin pie spice and extract, continuing to beat the mixture until soft peaks form.
The whipped cream can be refrigerated up to 2 hours before serving.  When you are ready to serve the pie, you can choose to spread the whipped cream over the pie, or sprinkle it with cinnamon and serve it in a dish on the side.

3 thoughts on “Pumpkin Extravaganza (Revisited)

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