Pumpkin Pound Cake

Well, in my never-ending attempt to waste less food, of course I had to do a pumpkin recipe to use up my 1 cup of leftover pumpkin. I came across this recipe earlier in the year on Slashfood and just hadn't gotten around to make it.

Despite how it may seem, we are trying to lose weight. (More of my baked goods get eaten by other folks *waves to my beloved guinea pigs* than ourselves. Which is good.) I love pound cake, but it's not so loving the waistline in the long run. So when I spotted this recipe, I knew it'd be a winner.

Instead of plain yogurt, I use vanilla. In the end, you don't really taste it all, so I'd use vanilla again. It's more fun to eat the rest out of the container when you like the flavor. :)

I'm really pleased with this. It'd be good for breakfast, snack, or dessert. Or as a Christmas present... housewarming gift... teacher's gift... You get my point. :D

1½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 large egg white
½ cup vanilla nonfat yogurt
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8x4-inch loaf pan.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar, brown sugar, egg and egg white until combined. Beat in the yogurt, pumpkin and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, stirring only until no streaks of flour remain. Do not overmix. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350F for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes, then gently turn the cake out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack before slicing. Serves 10-12, depending on slice size.


Pumpkin Curry Cupcakes

Sure, it was 71 degrees outside today. Not exactly autumnal, despite the leaves to shushel through. But I wanted pumpkin, gosh darnit, and nothing else would do. (Well, maybe gingerbread. Or something with 'home'-y spices. But you know what I mean.) I perused my usual recipe outlets with nothing catching my eye.

And then I decided to look over at Bake Space, where I hit the jackpot. Jackpot, as in, "Oh my god, I won MegaBucks!" kind of jackpot, in my opinion.

Even though I've had little to no experience with curry powder (I'm not one for spicy foods usually), just the thought of it flavored with the pumpkin called to my very soul. I searched around a bit more, but nope, it hooked me in with its sweet siren song.

I had my concerns, as I found myself to be a bit sneezy and sniffley while being in its presence. (The curry powder, that is.) I tried the batter, wasn't unhappy. Was very happy with the fact that I had very little batter left over afterwards. (Don't you hate recipes that leave you with a ton?)

The original recipe made 24, but just in case I didn't like it, I halfed it and just did 12. Also made a chocolate ganache from the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World book, instead of the one on there. And I gotta say, I'm not impressed with the ganache. I had a very hard time working with it, despite its ease of making. Next time (and, oh, yes, there will be a next time. I don't care if I wind up being the only one who adores these babies.), I think I'll go with more traditional frosting.

Oh, the end result? Even with the not-as-pretty-as-I-imagined frosting? Divine. :)

1 cup flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1¼ tsp. curry powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
7½ oz. pureed pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices; set aside.

Cream butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add eggs. Gradually mix in dry ingredients. Add pumpkin. Fill muffin cups about halfway full.

Bake at 350F for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack.


Cinnamon Chai-Spiced Coffee Cake

Knowing that we were going up to Half Moon Bay's Pumpkin Festival today, I decided not to overwhelm Dave with the pumpkin-ness. It was a good trip - traffic was a bit much on Route 92, but I sang along with the Spamalot soundtrack and therefore didn't care so much. :) Sadly, there was no pumpkin fudge this year, which has been a highlight for me every time that I've gone. Even sadder, since we're moving next May/June, I won't be going to the Pumpkin Festival again for a while. I'll either have to make my own or find someplace in New England that makes it.

Also, unfortunately, I can't remember where I found this recipe. I copied it out when the printer was being moody, and failed to write down its source. Oops.

It turned out well. I loved the batter, so light and smooth. I almost feel like there was too much. The edge pieces are a bit big and definitely more than a biteful! If I made this again, I'd add some cinnamon to the batter was well. In contrast to the topping, it seems almost plain. *shrug*

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. cardamom
½ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. salt
1½ cups flour
½ cup butter, melted

1-3/4 cups flour
½ tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.

Whisk together all crumb toppings except for butter. Gradually add butter. Once incorporated, squeeze small clumps together, varying in size. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Alternately add flour mix and sour cream, until well mixed. Pour into prepared pan. Top with crumbles.

Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Cut into squares.


Making Strides Against Breast Cancert

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a noncompetitive walk that takes place in 120 communities across the country. From Arizona to Maine and Washington to Florida, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walkers unite to honor breast cancer survivors and to educate women about early detection and prevention. And of course, by raising money to support the American Cancer Society's fight against breast cancer, we help fund groundbreaking research, public awareness campaigns, efforts to ensure all women have access to mammograms, and free programs and services that improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

Dave and I will be walking five miles on October 20th, up in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. We're hoping to raise $400.

My grandmother, Mildred, had breast cancer. My childhood best friend's mom, Sue, had breast cancer. I'm walking for them. Because not a day goes by where I don't think of them. There've been advancements made in cancer research since then, but one major thing is still lacking: a cure.

I do hope you'll consider sponsoring us. Any amount is muchly appreciated and WILL make a difference. Our webpage for donations is: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/kandd.

Thank you so very much! :)


Pumpkin Pie Bars

California doesn't really get autumn. Sure, there are some trees that change color, and sometimes there's that nip in the wind that just has that "autumn" scent to it. But then the next day it's 75 again.

My favorite childhood memory of autumn is shushelling through the fallen leaves. That resounding crunch, the splash of colors... and then getting yelled at for traipsing through the leaf pile that your dad recently raked. ("It wasn't me, it was the dog!") (As a side note, don't try that one when the dog is inside the house) ;)

I'm not sure what it is, but this time of year just screams out comforting, home-y scents and tastes. Apple, cinnamon, pumpkin, etc. They just make things seem warmer. The biting wind gets smaller teeth, for lack of a better way of putting it. :)

I made these a few years ago, when visiting at home, and I believe half the pan was gone in less than three hours. They're pretty easy to make and come together quickly. Next time, I think I'll add a bit more spice.

Oh, and they have to be something good. Dave doesn't like pumpkin pie, but he had two of the bars tonight. :)

1-1/3 cups flour
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
3/4 cup (1½ sticks) cold butter
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
½ cup chopped pecans
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil; grease foil lining.

Mix flour, brown sugar and ¼ cup of the granulated sugar in medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and pecans. Reserve 1 cup of the oat mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Beat cream cheese, remaining ½ cup sugar, eggs, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in small bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake at 350F for 25 min. Lift from pan using foil handles; cool completely. Cut into 24 bars. Store leftover bars in tightly covered container in refrigerator.