Monday, October 31, 2011

Too Late for Halloween, These Recipes Are Perfect Through Thanksgiving; A Can of Pumpkin Puree Goes A Long Way

Today is Halloween, at least we think so here on the east coast. On Saturday, Mother Nature decided to dump 2 to 15 inches of the white stuff on our lawns, sidewalks and fall foliaged (is that a word?) trees. So as the trick or treaters make their way down the block later this afternoon, piles of now melting snow and downed tree limbs will make the going a bit difficult and we all hope for a safe (and yes, bountiful) holiday for all.

But though it's probably too late for Halloween, today's recipes are perfect through Thanksgiving. They're kind of a two-for-one: one 15 oz can of pumpkin will do for both recipes. Easy to make and easy on the wallet, the recipes are appealing to a wide range of cookie affectionados: those who enjoy a chewy biscuit and those who like a harder variety that 'dunks' well. As I detailed earlier this month, pumpkin is a fantastic, nutritious fruit with so many delicious ways to enjoy it's taste. Give these two a try and rest assured, more pumpkin recipes will follow as we slip and slide toward Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin-Walnut Biscotti
Makes 15-20 cookies

Ingredients2 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
Pinch of ginger
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup of pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and spices into a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Roughly stir to mix the ingredients until the dough is crumbly.
  • Fold in chopped walnuts.
  • Flour your hands and lightly knead the dough. Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Form the dough into a large log, roughly about 15-20 inches by 6-7 inches. The loaves should be relatively flat, only about 1/2 inch high. Bake for 22-30 minutes at 350 F, until the center is firm to the touch. 
  • Let biscotti cool for 15 minutes and then using a serrated knife cut into 1 inch wide pieces. Turn the oven to 300 F and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.
  • To crisp the biscotti, let them sit uncovered overnight in a dry space.

Iced Pumpkin, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
Use rest of pumpkin puree from above recipe (about 1/2 cup)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cop oatmeal
1/2 cup chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, oatmeal and salt; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. 
  • Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. 
  • Cool cookies, then ice with white chocolate. Add sprinkles before chocolate hardens.

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