November 18th, 2008
I’ve always wanted to do this, and actually I have done it once but it didn’t turn out so good. This time is different though — it turned out GREAT! I used a whole (small) ambercup squash to make this delicious treat taste homemade and, well, delicious! Even after having a couple of things go wrong the pie still turned out to be good and it looked good to boot. This process takes (…read more and get the recipe)
April 9th, 2008
This last weekend was my sister-in-law’s wedding. The wedding was beautiful and my wife especially looked hot! I wasn’t part of the wedding party, but I did have the pleasure of cooking breakfast for the “day of.” She didn’t want to put me out or have me do any major cooking in the morning, so we decided on muffins and fresh fruit. After going to Costco and looking for muffins I decided they looked WAY too unhealthy (sugary and such) for a bridal party and to last them throughout the morning. I definitely didn’t want anyone having a sugar high and subsequent crash.
My solution was to bust out the muffin tins, whole wheat and go light on the sugar! The result was about 100 delicious small muffins. I made both pumpkin and banana muffins with hazelnuts in each and raisins in the pumpkin variety. Everything turned out good, except I wish I would have had riper bananas and I might add a little more oil, butter or milk next time to the banana muffins.
My wife and I also had a discussion about the whole wheat flour. We noticed that the flavor of these and other things I’ve made has been turning out weird with this brand of flour I have. I usually buy King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour which makes for great bread making too (I know I owe you this recipe sometime!). I think, even though the prices of wheat keep going up, I am going to have to keep buying this brand due to the quality. Of course, I used my wife’s Stahlbush Island Farm Organic Pumpkin again with great success!
I’m going to share the Pumpkin Raisin Hazelnut Muffin recipe. Here’s what I did:
- 1 cup regular flour (mix and match to your taste)
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup of raisins
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup of roughly chopped hazelnuts (walnuts work too) — try Hazelnut Hill!
- 1 can Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin (15-oz)
- 1/3 cup canola oil (or unsalted butter for a slightly richer flavor)
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 cup of sugar (down from 1 and 1/4 in the recipe I modified!!)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of fine sea salt
- cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top right before baking
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f.
- Pour about 2 cups of boiling water over the 1 cup of raisins to plump them for about 5 minutes, drain well before using.
- Place muffin liners in your muffin tin (this will make about 20 average sized muffins or about 12 large ones)
- In a small glass bowl mix flours and baking powder, set aside
- Mix together remaining ingredients until combined well to create a pumpkin mixture
- Add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix only until just combined
- Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of batter
- Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on size) or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Remove from oven and let cool
I hope you enjoy them!
October 14th, 2007
Have I got your attention now? My mouth has FULL attention on these cupcakes! These cupcakes are so moist and melt-in-your-mouth! And the frosting, it’s the best frosting I’ve ever made (which I guess isn’t saying that much) but it’s up there on the best I’ve tasted list.
The pumpkin and spices in the cupcake blend so well with the ginger-infused whipped cream. You probably wouldn’t believe that this whipped cream frosting is good, and to be honest, by itself it’s pretty bad. My wife’s face did a 360 when she licked the spoon. I told her, “You have to try it WITH the cupcakes!” Here’s how it should be done:
A year ago I read an article in the Oregonian about flavor-infused whipped cream. I just tucked it away in my memory banks for a rainy day. Today was that day. I whipped out the recipe and got to work. The article/recipe lists a bunch of different flavors you can use, which makes this fun! I decided that the ginger would go really well with the pumpkin and other spices.
I boiled the cream and added the flavorings. I cut up a few thin slices of ginger and also threw in two cinnamon sticks for good measure. Next I let it steep for 45 minutes. Then, because I didn’t have enough time, I put the cream on an ice bath and put it in the refrigerator while I worked on the cupcakes. This REALLY cut down the cooling time called for in the recipe so if you’re in a hurry, it’ll do!
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 & 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk (I used whipping cream + skim to make whole)
- 1 – 15 oz can pumpkin (I used Stahlbush Island Farm “Farmer’s Market” brand Organic Pumpkin)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger together and mix in a bowl
- Beat the butter until “fluffy”
- Add the sugar and mix
- Add half of the dry mixture, then half the milk, repeat while mixing
- Mix in the pumpkin, stirring the sides with a spatula (if you are using an electric mixer).
Now fill about 24 cupcake tins (lined — and I did 12 at a time twice) half-way and bake for about 15 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).
Back to the frosting…
Now take the completely cooled flavor-infused whipping cream out of the fridge and place it in a clean mixer. Add about 4 oz of cream cheese and 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar per cup of whipping cream. Whip the cream until it is fairly thick, so that you can ice the cupcakes with it. Now you’re ready to put it all together.
I had a lot of fun with this part. I handed my wife the camera and got to icing. I had to hand-make a piping/icing bag, for the first time ever. I made it way too short and got icing all over my hands, it was really fun though!
Take a cupcake, fill an icing bag and have fun. That’s my advice. I even made a little R + K in the cupcakes for my wife (I gotta keep her happy)!
I hope you enjoy it!
October 10th, 2007
It’s another 350 degree day here in the Prickett house. I’m talking about the oven of course. I found a pumpkin biscotti recipe a while ago on another food blog and thought it sounded DELICIOUS. My wife works at a local farm that produces a lot of produce, including organic pumpkin puree (the kind I needed for this recipe!). It just so happens that she brought home some sample cans a week ago that I have been itching to use.
So today we both got the craving for the biscotti. I’d like to follow Garret’s advice of getting some chai, but it was really too late for us to go out tonight so maybe tomorrow we’ll have to make some!
They are just finishing up in the oven now, but I have all the photos I’m going to get for this one, so I’ll post them below. I pretty much followed the recipe verbatim except, as usual, I didn’t put the salt in. I’m on a use-less-salt kick and don’t put it in my baking much. These things smell SOOO good and I can’t wait to get them in my belly!!