Pumpkin Pie Spice

Rice Krispies Treats

October 26: National Pumpkin Day

We had a pumpkin-themed potluck at our culinary book club meeting this month. We brought pumpkin hummus (previous post) but had leftover canned pumpkin puree, so we added it with pumpkin pie spice to rice cereal treats and shaped them into petite pumpkins. These cute confections stood out at the pumpkin potluck and they quickly became a favorite because some club members were nostalgic about their childhood foods. The mixture could be pressed into a pan and cut into squares, but the pumpkin shapes made these more festive for our fall gathering. Pumpkin pie spice rice krispies treats are perfect for National Pumpkin Day and throughout the autumn season.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin puree (see Notes to prevent soggy cereal)
  • 1 bag (10 ounces) marshmallows (use minis instead of jumbo for easier melting)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 cups rice cereal
  • Orange food coloring (we used Wilton brand orange gel paste food color)
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Green fondant
  • Powdered sugar
  • Green tube frosting

Directions

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the marshmallows and pumpkin puree.

Add the pumpkin pie spice. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. When cool, stir the rice cereal into the pumpkin-marshmallow mixture until well coated. If desired, add orange food coloring to enhance the color. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Set aside. Butter your hands well and shape the cereal mixture into rounds. Place onto waxed paper.

Break pretzel sticks in half. Insert into the cereal rounds. On a clean surface lightly dusted with powdered sugar, roll out a little bit of green fondant to 1/16-inch thick. Cut out fondant leaves.

Place fondant leaves on the rice cereal pumpkins (brush a small amount of water on the back of the leaves to make them stick to the treats). Use a small round tip to pipe tendrils from a tube of green frosting. Store in a tightly sealed container until ready to serve.

Notes

  • To prevent cereal treats from being “rice soggy” and make them stay as “rice krispies”, measure out the pumpkin puree and blot out excess moisture by pressing onto paper towels. Then add the puree into the marshmallows. Be sure to cool to room temperature to firm up the marshmallows a little bit more before mixing in the cereal.
  • Instead of rolling and cutting out fondant leaves, try piping them onto the treats by using green tube frosting using a leaf tip.
  • Search our blog for more pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin Hummus

October 26: National Pumpkin Day

We posted a recipe for traditional hummus back on May 13 (National Hummus Day). As fall is in full swing, we added the ubiquitous seasonal squash to this hummus recipe. It is deliciously creamy and healthy and has that hue to match all the other glorious autumnal colors. We sprinkled toasted pumpkin seeds to reinforce the additional flavor and give this dish some contrasting texture. Served as a side dip with vegetables or pita bread/chips, this pumpkin hummus is perfect for National Pumpkin Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Taste of Home)

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (from the can; save the rest for other recipes—see Notes)
  • 1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced (or 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • pumpkin seeds, toasted and shelled

Directions

Drain the chickpeas/garbanzo beans in a colander and rinse them. Measure out 1 cup of pumpkin puree. Place in a food processor with tahini.

Add the olive oil. Squeeze the lemon juice and sesame oil into the mixture. Add ground cumin.

Add minced garlic and salt to taste. Cover and pulse the ingredients in the food processor until creamy. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and garnish with a sprinkle of toasted and shelled pumpkin seeds. Serve with cut vegetables, pita bread or pita chips.

Notes

  • With the remaining pumpkin puree from the can, try these other pumpkin recipes: pumpkin pie spice rice cereal treats and pumpkin latte smoothie.
  • We have a small food processor, so we had to divide the ingredients in half and pulse them in sections before mixing everything together in one bowl.
  • Happy fall, y’all! It still feels like summer in South Texas. But we used to live in New Jersey and Illinois where we enjoyed the change of seasons, especially when the leaves turned to vibrant colors before they fell off the trees.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip Cookies

October 26: National Pumpkin Day

Aaahhh—fall is in full swing and pumpkin epitomizes the season’s flavors. Because the weather (at least here in South Texas) is more pleasant, there are several fall festivals and outdoor social gatherings—and opportunities for us to share the bounty of the harvest with others. For autumnal potlucks, we like to bring something sweet and seasonal, such as pumpkin butterscotch chip cookies. These soft snacks are simple to make and the recipe yields a lot to feed a crowd.

Bake up a bountiful batch of pumpkin butterscotch chips cookies for fall festivities, football tailgating, lunchbox desserts, afterschool snacks and National Pumpkin Day celebrations.

Recipe

(Adapted from Delish)

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar (granulated white)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree (around half a can)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups butterscotch chips

Directions

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Mix well and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl/mixer, cream the butter with the white and brown sugars. Beat in the egg. Stir in the pumpkin puree.

Mix in the vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture to the dough (do not overmix). Fold in the butterscotch chips. Form the cookie dough into a large ball, place in another bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Use a 1-inch round scoop to drop onto greased baking pans (we lined ours with foil) about two inches apart. Press extra butterscotch chips on top of the rounds (optional). Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 10-14 minutes until puffed up and slightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest for five minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container. Yield: Approximately 4 ½ dozen soft cookies.

Notes

  • The original recipe called for chocolate chips but we liked butterscotch chips. Cinnamon chips are a good substitution as well.
  • Save the remaining half can of pumpkin puree for another recipe.
  • Search our blog for other pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Chips Muffins

October 26: National Pumpkin Day

We (and our fall festival friends) enjoyed the pumpkin butterscotch chips cookies recipe that we posted earlier on our blog, so we tried making them into muffins, too. These were devoured at a smaller autumn themed potluck as well. It must have been the intoxicating scent of butterscotch chips and the favorite fall flavor of pumpkin that tempted our friends to eat them all again. For those who love pumpkin, here is another recipe that they can make with this seasonal squash—pumpkin butterscotch chips muffins. They are a festive food during fall, especially on National Pumpkin Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Delish)

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cup butterscotch chips, divided use
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup sour cream

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the flour with sugar. Mix in the baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Mix in the cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Stir in 1 cup of butterscotch chips until well coated. In another bowl, place 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree.

Beat the eggs into the pumpkin. Melt and cool the butter before pouring it into the pumpkin-egg mixture.

Add the vanilla and sour cream. Mix until creamy. Gradually fold in the dry ingredients until the batter is moist.

Scoop into cupcake papers and place in a muffin tin. Top with remaining butterscotch chips. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.

Notes

  • Tossing the butterscotch chips into the flour mixture prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins.
  • Search our blog for more pumpkin recipes.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

 October 26: National Pumpkin Day

Pumpkin pie is popular around this time of the year, with Halloween and Thanksgiving coming soon. Besides putting pumpkin in desserts, we also prepare it in a pot of soup when we want to eat something simple yet spicy to warm us up on a cool fall day. This quick and easy recipe uses fat-free and low-sodium ingredients, making it healthier for harvest-style meals. Savor a spiced pumpkin soup this season and on National Pumpkin Day.

Recipe
(Adapted from Parade newsmagazine via Dash Recipes)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5-6 pods of cardamom (or ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom); discard pods before pureeing soup in the blender
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chicken broth (use fat-free, low sodium broth)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk (use fat-free)
  • plain yogurt (use plain fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • cilantro or parsley leaves (optional garnish)

Directions

Chop the onions and mince the garlic cloves. Set aside. In a stock pot, heat the oil.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Saute the onion and garlic until the onions are soft. Stir in the curry powder, cumin and cardamom.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Pour in the chicken broth.  Add the pumpkin and mix well. Bring to a boil and stir. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in the evaporated milk and adjust the spices.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Transfer in batches to a blender. Puree then return to the pot to reheat. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with plain yogurt and cilantro or parsley leaves  (optional).

Spiced Pumpkin Soup 

Notes

  • Search our blog for more soup recipes and posts containing pumpkin as an ingredient.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

October 21: National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

We always enjoyed fall at the farms when we lived in northern Illinois for five years. During the harvest season, the farmers would host festivals and open houses to showcase their bounty of vegetables. We had fun sampling the ciders and hot cocoa, buying fresh-baked pies and other goodies at the country-style marketplace, watching people get lost in the corn maze and purchasing a pumpkin for Halloween.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Highlander would carve jack-o-lanterns out of it instead of pureeing the pumkin for pies, soups and cakes (although once in a while, he would roast the seeds for a snack). We just use the convenient canned pumpkin in recipes, such as cheesecake. We make them mini-sized to share at social gatherings during the season. Mini pumpkin cheesecakes are perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving and especially on National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from Karo Syrup)

Ingredients

  • 24 gingersnap cookies
  • 1 ½ (12 ounces) blocks of cream cheese
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup (we used Karo brand)
  • whipped cream (we used Cool Whip brand)

Directions

Place a gingersnap cookie on the bottom of 24 cupcake liners. In a large bowl, cream the cheese with the sugar and corn starch until smooth. Mix in the pumpkin pie spice. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the pumpkin.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Blend in the corn syrup. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners. Tap the bottom of the muffin tins to let the batter settle smoothly.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until just set. Remove from the oven. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until firm or for at least an hour. Garnish with whipped cream (optional).

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Notes

  • Illinois is among the top pumpkin-producing states in America. The town of Morton, home to the Nestle brand pumpkin packing plant (and where more than 90% of canned pumpkins eaten in the country are processed), is known as the “Pumpkin Capital of the World.”
  • The pumpkins pictured above are from Randy’s Vegetables. We have also visited Kuiper’s Family Farm and other pumpkin patches in the past while living in Illinois.
  • Search our blog for other pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

December 25: National Pumpkin Pie Day

Although pumpkin pie is a prominent dessert on Thanksgiving, it also is appropriate on Christmas, especially when a tasty traditional turkey is served instead of ham or roast beef. In fact, pumpkie pie is mentioned in at least three Christmas songs, “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays,” “Sleigh Ride” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

We prefer to prepare our pumpkin pie from semi-scratch (the pumpkin puree is canned and the deep-dish crust is frozen) a day or two before the big feast day to minimize any last-minute mania in the kitchen. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy National Pumpkin Pie Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from Libby’s)

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 ounces) canned pure pumpkin (we used Libby’s brand)
  • ¾ cup sugar, granulated white
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie crust

Directions

In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the canned pumpkin. Gradually add the sugar and spice mixture and blend everything well.

Pumpkin Pie

Add the evaporated milk and mix well.  Pour into the pie crust. Put the pie on a baking sheet and line the edge with foil or pie crust shields to prevent overbrowning. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for another 40-50 minutes (use a toothpick in the center to test for doneness). Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate to set. Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream (optional).

Pumpkin Pie

Notes