Can you believe that the first full week of October is nearly over? High school football is already in week seven? Halloween is 3 weeks away and Thanksgiving is just under 6…sorry if I just gave you a heart attack, but fall just seems to be flying by and before we know it, we are going to be knee deep in that white fluffy stuff, singing Jingle Bells. Ugh!
By my calculations, autumn seems to be the most popular season. ( my calculations were totally scientific in nature, therefore legit) What do you love about fall? Or do you call it autumn?
I love it because…
1. The oranges, reds, and yellows that blanket the landscape
2. Crisp fall air
4. Apples and Pumpkins
5. Playoff baseball
8. Lazy football Saturdays
9. Rainy days ( I LOVE overcast/rainy days)
It’s also baking season. OK, so it’s baking season year round, but this time of year I don’t mind the oven being on and actually welcome the bit of warmth is provides. So, if you can imagine…I bake more. Yes, that may be hard to believe, but it’s true. The consumption of butter, sugar, and flour definitely increases from September to April…The duration of time spent in sweaters, hoodies, and yoga pants also increases…coincidence? Nah. It’s just cold outside.
Pumpkin bread is a must during this time of year. It’s everywhere. Pumpkin baked goods in general are everywhere. Pumpkin donuts ( or is it doughnuts? hmmm…), pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin lattes (yum!), pumpkin muffins…see, everywhere and in everything. But this gal is not complaining. Nopers. I love pumpkin. Oh! I forgot pumpkin pie…so, pumpkin pie. I feel like Bubba Gump…
A pecan, brown sugar streusel runs through the center … a mapely pecany stream, eh more like a river.
You will need a fork to eat this. And maybe a pat of butter…
And a glass of milk or warm apple cider.
And eat it, wearing a cardigan, with a crisp fall breeze floating through your windows, while playoff baseball is playing on the radio. Ok, fine…watch it on TV, but baseball on the radio…well, its better.
Adapted From Honey and Jam
Makes 1 loaf
1 + 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 + 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp All Spice
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
3/4 Cup Whole Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Pecans, roughly chopped
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bottom and sides of loaf pan, set aside. (Parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan eases removal of loaf when its cooled.)
In a medium bowl, sift together whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, and salt. Set aside.
With an electric mixer or stand mixer (paddle attachment), beat together pumpkin puree and 3/4 Cup light brown sugar until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, butter, and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom. Beat until well mixed.
Add the flour mixture, alternating with milk. (flour, milk, flour, milk) Mix just until combined, do not over mix.
In a small bowl, mix together all filling/topping ingredients with a fork. Reserve 1/4 Cup of mixture.
Pour 1/2 of batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle filling mixture over batter, evenly. Pour remaining batter over filling. Sprinkle reserved filling mixture over the top of the batter and place in preheated oven. ( I topped with a few more whole pecan halves for the heck of it…) Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out kinda clean. ( It will not ever be completely clean because of the filling, so be careful not to overbake!)
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and then let cool completely.
I hate the week after a vacation. For an entire week, you think, well this time last week I was at the beach getting my tan/sunburn on. Or this time last week I was watching seals play just off the shores of the Cape. OR this time last week I was eating my 7th lobster roll and millionth clam cake. Ahh…last week.
What can soothe my post-vacation melancholy? Baking. Ever watch Grey’s Anatomy – the early seasons. I am like Izzy. I bake to think, I bake to remember, I bake to forget, I bake when I need …So today I am baking. Because vacations are like the day after Christmas. Kind of a let down. So, today I am baking because I need a bit of a pick me up.
And yes, the memories from vacation will always be able to transport straight back to where I was, be it a week ago, a month ago, or a year ago. Memories, I am grateful for them.
Let’s talk cookies. Molasses Pumpkin cookies to be exact. These are slightly sweet, full of pumpkin, with a slightly spicey bite from the molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Its like pumpkin pie in cookie form. Awesome. And instead of whipcream…well how about cream cheese frosting!?! Double awesome. Yeah, thats how I roll. Baking molasses pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting, while dreaming of sandy beaches, seals, and sunny afternoons. Ahhh…last week.
Molasses Pumpkin Cookies
Makes about 2 dozzen
Adapted from Petite Kitchenesse
1 Stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature
2 + 1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Nutmgeg
1 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1/4 Cup Molasses
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1/2 Cup White Sugar, plus extra for rolling.
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1 + 1/2 Cup Confectioners Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven 350°F.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add both sugars, pumpkin, molasses, egg, and vanilla until combined.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend until completely combined. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place extra sugar in a bowl. Scoop out golf ball sizes of dough and roll into a ball, roll ball in extra sugar until well coated. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Leave plenty of room between each cookie incase of spreading. Bake for 8-10 minutes. When done, remove from cookie sheet and place on wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing.
While cookies are cooling, make the icing. Beat cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar and vanilla until well combined.
Ice the cookies once they are cooled.
I wanna go back…I need the beach!Read More