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Pumpkin Spice Scones

October typically rushes in fall: brightly colored leaves, cool crisp weather, fireplaces and pumpkins.  Our October started out with weather in the 70’s and even 80’s, so I put the pumpkin to the back burner for a bit.  Now, just in time for a cool October morning, comes the pumpkin scone.

This scone is “cakey” not biscuit-y”, but is full of pumpkin and spice flavor ~ perfect with a cup of morning coffee or tea.  This recipe makes 6-8 scones, depending on how you cut them.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients:
2 cups AP Flour
1 Tabl. Baking Powder
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Tabl. Pumpkin Pie Spice
Mix into the dry ingredients with fingers:
5 Tabl. Butter, cut into small cubes
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients:
1/2 cup Pumpkin, solid (not pie mix)
1/3 cup Half and Half
1 Egg, whole

Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and stir to form a dough.  Empty the bowl onto the counter and press into a ball and then down into a disk, approx. 1″ high by 8″ round.


Transfer this disk to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Use a sharp knife to cut through the dough into 6 or 8 wedges.  Brush the top with half and half and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until tests done with a toothpick.  Serve warm.


Pumpkin Praline Dessert

Betty Crocker has a recipe which, while delicious, is confusing because its not quite a cake, a bar, or a pie.  Using canned pumpkin and a cake mix (I know ~ shocking!), it’s actually a combination of those and frankly, I find it better served upside down so that the soft, creamy filling is on top and the praline is on the bottom.  You can serve it any way you’d like, but you will definitely be serving this to your family and guests, preferably with a side of whipped cream!  This recipe serves 12.

For the bottom layer, combine in a bowl and whisk:
15 oz. can Pumpkin, solid (not pie mix)
12 oz. can Evaporated Milk
3 Eggs, whole
3/4 cup Sugar
1 Tabl. Pumpkin Pie Spice (or make your own mix with 1 tsp. each of Cinnamon, cloves and ginger)

Pour this mixture in the bottom of a greased glass 9″ X 13″ pan.  Spread 1 whole box of Yellow Cake Mix (dry) on top of this filling.

3/4 cup Butter

Pour melted butter over the top of the dry cake mix.  Sprinkle the top with 1 cup of Pecans, chopped.  Bake in 325 degree oven for 45-55 minutes.  Cool completely before serving.


Pumpkin Cheesecake

If you’ve ever tried to make a cheesecake, you know that there are a couple of places that it can go wrong:  First up is LUMPS.  No one likes to bite into a solid piece of cream cheese in their dessert.  And the second issue is cracking.  Over-baked cheesecake cracks in the center, leaving a not so presentable dessert.


To solve the lump problem, simply bring your cream cheese to room temperature (soft) before beginning to cream. NEVER ADD LIQUIDS to cream cheese until it is perfectly smooth.  To achieve great results, cream the cream cheese until it it smooth, then add sugar(s) and continue to cream until there are no lumps.  Then gradually add room temperature eggs to the mixture, scraping down the sides.  Then you can add all other ingredients.  If the mixture is smooth going into the pan, it will be smooth when baked.


To prevent cracking, bake your cheesecake in a hot water bath on low temperature.  This is a gentler approach which allows the cake to bake slowly and unless you over-bake, you’ll have no cracks.  To create a hot water bath, place your cheesecake pan in a larger deep pan.  Fill with hot water at least 1/2 way up the sides.


One more thing: It’s not necessary to use a spring form pan, in fact, I NEVER use a spring form pan and have a beautiful cheesecake every time.  Just use parchment circle on the bottom of any 3″ deep cake pan.   After baking and chilling, warm the pan on a burner for a few seconds, run a knife around the edges to release.  Flip the cheesecake over onto a flat plate, remove the parchment paper and flip over onto a serving platter.  Don’t worry, if the cake is cold,  and baked properly, it will flip over easily without breaking or cracking.


I use my gingersnap cookies as the crust, but you can use store -bought cookies or graham crackers.  The ginger in the cookies is a better compliment to the pumpkin, though.  This makes a large 10″ round Cheesecake.


12 Gingersnaps, processed to crumbs
2-3 Tabl. Butter, soft

Beat until creamy:
3# (6-8 oz.pkgs) Cream Cheese

Slowly add and Beat until NO LUMPS REMAIN:
1 cups Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Sugar

Slowly Add:
6 Eggs, whole, room temp.
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Stir in and mix until well incorporated:
1-1/2 cups Pumpkin, solid not pie mix
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger

Prepare a 10″ round, 3″ deep pan with parchment paper.  Press gingersnap crumbs firmly onto the bottom only of the pan.  Pour batter in the pan.  Place this pan in a HOT WATER BATH and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool.  Refrigerate overnight before removing from the pan.   Garnish with fresh whipped cream.

Best Ever Pumpkin Pie

If you love pumpkin pie, you will love this recipe I created years ago and have used in bakeries ever since.  It’s creamier than the traditional, a bit more “spicy” – but so good!!  It’s definitely not low in fat, but hey, it’s once a year, right?
This recipe makes a large 10″ deep dish pie.  If you use a smaller shell, you will have enough left to make small pies or just bake as custard in ramekins.
In a bowl combine and whisk until smooth:
3 cups Pumpkin, (solid pumpkin – not pie mix)
2 cups Brown Sugar
2 cups Heavy Cream
4 Eggs, whole
2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1 tsp. Ground Cloves

Pour into unbaked pie crust.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower oven temp to 350 degrees and continue to bake 1 hour or until set in the center.  Cool completely before serving.

Spicy Pumpkin Bread

A nice breezy, cool autumn day calls for the aromas of spicy pumpkin bread baking. This quick bread will make your home smell like fall, the holidays, warmth and comfort all rolled up into one!  This makes 1 large loaf (enough to share if you can).

Soak in a bowl and set aside:
1/2 cup HOT Water
1/2 cup Golden Raisins
In large bowl, whisk together:
1 cup Pumpkin (solid – not pie mix)
3/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs, whole
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 tsp. Orange Zest
Sift together and add to above mixture:
1-1/2 cups AP Flour
1-1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
3/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Cardamon
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Ginger
1/2 tsp. Cloves

Batter will be very thick.  Add the raisins – water and all – to the batter.  Pour into a parchment lined loaf pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 45-60 min. or until tests done with toothpick.

Orange Glazed Pumpkin Cookies

I do love these pumpkin cookies ~ they are soft and yummy, “plain” but special!

1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar

1 cup Pumpkin
1 Tabl. Orange Zest

Sift together and add to above:
2 cups AP Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1  1/2 tsp.Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Cloves
Stir in: (optional)
1/2 cup Raisins

Scoop into balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.  Cool completely.  Glaze cool cookies.  Store in airtight container.

Whip together:
1/4 cup Butter, soft
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Orange Zest
1 tsp. Orange Extract or 2 Tabl. Orange Juice
2 Tabl. Milk
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