Monday, October 15, 2012

Pumpkin Season

I love anything made with pumpkin. It makes everything moist and delicious. And it's often paired with cinnamon and ginger and other warm spices that I love.

My passion for pumpkin started with making homemade pumpkin puree for baby food when my first daughter was a baby. It turned into making pumpkin muffins for her as a picky toddler who would eat little else. And it’s continued in the rest of my cooking. In the fall I make homemade pumpkin puree and freeze it. And every time I go to the store, I buy a few cans of pumpkin to stock up for the rest of the year. I had one can left when the holiday baking displays started popping up.

I used to make pumpkin muffins from scratch for my daughter, but when I was expecting my second child, I started making an easier recipe. She likes them just as much and they’re a little healthier, so I’ve kept it up even as I have more time. Here it is, take notes because it’s complicated:

15 oz. can of pumpkin (I’ve tried a few brands and I like Libby’s best)
1 box spice cake mix (any brand will work, but Duncan Hines is recommended)

Combine ingredients. Bake at 350. It will take about 10 minutes for mini muffins and 15 – 20 minutes for regular muffins. Test doneness with a toothpick. You can add chocolate chips if you’d like. Mini chips means you can use less but still have chocolate in every bite.

I’ve seen this method used with chocolate cake mix, but spice cake keeps it more pumpkiny, which I like.

Here are a few of my other favorite pumpkin recipes:

Homemade Pumpkin Puree Tutorial (this is what started it all for me)

Pumpkin Gingersnaps (not just my favorite pumpkin cookie, my favorite cookie period)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (most pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are cakey, these are chewy and reminiscent of a regular chocolate chip cookie)

Pumpkin Alfredo (a savory way to use up that last bit of pumpkin you didn't use in the cookies)

And there are ever more delicious pumpkin recipes to try out. I loved pumpkin breads and pumpkin pancakes, but have yet to try one that stands out above the rest. I made the Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake yesterday, and everyone loved it. To keep track of all the pumpkin recipes I want to eventually try, I have a Pumpkin Board on Pinterest.

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