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Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin’

“Did a bad, bad thing…”

Every single time I think about these pumpkin bars, the chorus from that Chris Isaak song runs through my head.  I’m not kidding.

Don’t make these.

You won’t be able to stop yourself.  One minute you’re pulling them out of the oven, and the next thing you know, you’re left covered in orange crumbs, your fingers sticky with cream cheese icing, wondering what the hell just happened.

Try to eat just one.

Paula Deen gets credit for this recipe, which makes perfect sense when you consider her other devious creations.  I decided to lighten these pumpkin bars up with some yogurt in place of half the oil.  The substitution worked perfectly, and I’m certain you’ll love their moist quick-bread texture.  I tweaked Paula’s recipe, using fresh pumpkin, fresh ginger, and some raw sugar, but feel free to check out the original recipe, too.

Be strong!  (Next up will be a healthy, savory vegetarian main dish to atone for these sins.)

You hedonists can double this recipe and bake it in a 13×9-in. pan.

-2 eggs, room temperature
-1/2 c. granulated sugar
-1/3 c. raw sugar
-1/4 c. vegetable oil
-1/4 c. plain yogurt
-8-oz. homemade pumpkin puree or canned Libby’s pumpkin puree (NOT
pumpkin pie filling)
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 c. all-purpose flour
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
-1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated (or 1/4 tsp. dried ginger)
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. baking soda

Making pumpkin purée is almost as easy as opening a can… (more…)

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Credit: Chow/Amy Wisniewski 

This recipe, a variation on one I originally found on Chow, is a nice change from the traditional pumpkin bread.  The sweet potato gives it a subtle earthy flavor.  And pecans?  Well, what don’t they improve?  This would be awesome with a maple syrup glaze or cream cheese icing.

-1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
-2 tsp. kosher salt
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp.pumpkin pie spice
-1 c. sweet potato flesh scooped from 1 lg. sweet potato, cooked in the microwave
-2/3 c. granulated sugar
-1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
-4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
-1/4 c. plain yogurt
-2 large eggs, at room temperature
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/2 c. whole milk
-1/2 c. whole pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

1.  Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9x5x3 in. loaf pan with butter and flour; tap out excess.

2.  Combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and pie spice in a medium bowl, set aside.

3.  Beat sweet potato flesh, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until well combined. Add butter and yogurt and mix on low speed until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated, then mix in vanilla.

4.  Gradually add 1/2 of the flour mixture, then 1/4 cup of the milk. Continue alternating until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in nuts.

5.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes.

Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.

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Full disclosure: I’m not a big bread pudding fan.  It’s usually so…heavy…bready…and bland (sorry, BP-lovers!).  Give me a chocolate mousse or a strawberry tart any day.  But this recipe, a riff on the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, is the exception to the rule.  It satisfies the part of me that loves pumpkin pie custard and rich, wintery desserts.  It’s also pretty forgiving—I once substituted a lousy cake I’d made for the bread, with great results.  You could even sub in egg nog for the cream, if you still have some lurking in the back of your fridge [blushes guiltily].

-1 1/2 cups whole milk (Or 1 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk)
-3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
-1/2 cup sugar
-2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
-5 cups cubed day-old baguette or crusty bread
-3/4 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350F. Put the butter in your intended baking pan (two 8-in. rounds or a 9×9-in. pan work well, but a 13×9-in. might do in a pinch) and stick in the oven to melt while it preheats. Remove from oven.

1.  Toss the bread cubes with the melted butter, dividing evenly between the two pans if you are using more than one.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients.

3.  Pour liquid evenly over the bread cubes. Toss to coat.

4.  Bake 25-30 min. or until custard is set.

Enjoy!

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