Pumpkin and apple flavors of the season
Seasonal flavors are so celebrated because we often only use them during those special or specific times of year. Pumpkin and apple are some of those flavors that we see more of this time of year, especially in desserts. These are a few of my recipes that have been requested so I thought I would share with you readers.
Carmen’s “Those are really good” Pumpkin Cookies
I made these cookies for the Firemen’s BBQ and Carmen Shane asked that I share the recipe. Here you go Carmen!
1 and 1/2 cups fresh or canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar (I use and recommend dark)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
One key using pumpkin in baked goods is to dry or drain the pumpkin. It makes a huge difference in your final product. The first step is to line a colander with paper towels and then place your pumpkin in the paper towels and let it drain/dry while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment.
Whisk all the dry ingredients (minus the sugar) together in one bow. Then, in a large bowl using a stand or hand mixer cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add in eggs and mix in being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Next add in the maple syrup, vanilla and pumpkin puree mixing until thoroughly combined. The mixture will look grainy.
Mix in the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined and there are no pockets of unmixed flour.
Dough is thick and sticky. Scoop or roll cookie dough, I use the large scoop from pampered chef, almost 1/4 cup placing cookies 3 inches apart.
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until edges appear set. The centers will look soft but should still look cooked. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The longer the cookies cool, the better their flavor. They need to be completely cool for Icing
Salted caramel frosting
This is a fudgy thick frosting that sets up well and dries hard so the cookies are easier to store. It is also really good on corn muffins or to dip apples in. This is not a quick frosting but it is so worth it. Make sure you have a candy thermometer and the time to really watch your caramel step so it doesn’t over cook and “break.”
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 equal pieces
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
5 Tablespoons heavy cream, divided*
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Make the caramel: Combine the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir constantly as the butter melts. Once butter has melted, switch to a whisk to make sure the two are really combined. (Otherwise, you might see an oily layer around the edges where they’re still a bit separated; you do not want that.)
Once melted butter and brown sugar are combined, add 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream and the salt. Whisk to combine, then stop whisking and attach a candy thermometer to your pan, making sure the bulb is not touching the bottom of the pan (as you’ll get an inaccurate reading).
Let the caramel boil, giving it a quick whisk every 30 seconds or so, until the temperature reaches 230°F (110°C).
Remove the saucepan from heat, give it another quick whisk, and let cool for a minute. Carefully transfer the salted caramel to a heat-proof mixing bowl set on a cooling rack and cool for just 20 minutes before continuing. The caramel sauce thickens during this time.
Finish the frosting: Sift in confectioners’ sugar and add remaining 2 Tablespoons (30ml) of heavy cream. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat on medium-low speed until the ingredients are incorporated. Turn mixer up to high speed and beat for 1 minute. If frosting is very thick, beat in 1 more Tablespoon of heavy cream. Avoid over-mixing or the frosting will begin to “break” and separate.
Use it right away as a thin glaze or icing, or let it sit and thicken. It’s going to crust a bit as it sits, which is fine—simply give it a stir when you’re ready to use it. You can pipe this frosting but I just use a knife to spread it.
If frosting the pumpkin cookies from above I also like to give the finished cookies a sprinkling of chopped pecans and flaky sea salt.
Happy Apple Cookies
These are some of my kids’ favorites to stir up. They are fast, easy and delicious. We sometimes top them with a quick glaze or even caramel syrup.
1 1/2 cups oats (1 cup old fashioned and 1/2 cup quick)
1 cup applesauce unsweetened
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 cup almond butter
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F, lightly grease a baking sheet, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
Using your hands, form 12 balls, and place them on the lined sheet, and press each ball into a cookie shape. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm around the edges.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.