Monday, October 31, 2011


Toasted Spicy Pumpkin Seeds w/ Worcestershire and Chili Sauce (left) and Kettle-Style Seeds, carmalized in brown sugar, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne pepper (right)

Every Halloween I save the seeds from our pumpkins and bake them.  It never occured to me that pumpkin seeds could be a venue for serious, delicious flavor until recently a co-worker told me about a recipe his mom had to carmelize her seeds.  I did some research and came up with two seriously good recipes.  Please try and let me know what you think!

Toasted Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
2 cups pumpkin seeds
1 teaspon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Chili Sauce
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspon Paprika

Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.  Rinse pumpkin seeds until all the pulp and strings are washed off. 

In a medium bowl, combine Worcestershire sauce, Chili sauce, melted butter, salt and paprika.  Add the seeds and stir until coated.  

Spread out on a baking sheet and bake 1 to 2 hours (mine took about 1hr 45 min), until crisp, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.

Kettle-Style Pumpkin Seeds
1 medium pumpkin (5 to 7 pound size), reserve seeds
5 tablespoons, firmly pressed, light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Heat oven to 250 degrees F.  Rinse pumpkin seeds until all the pulp and strings are washed off.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread seeds on parchment in an even layer.  Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1-1 1/2 hours.  

While seeds are baking, combine 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne.  

When seeds are done, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.  Add pumpkin seeds and 2 tablespoons sugar.  Cook until sugar melts and the pumpkin seeds begin to carmalize (about 1 minute).  

Transfer to bowl with spices and stir well to coat.  Let cool.  These may be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 

Bring them to work and share with co-workers, or use for a healthy snack while watching tv!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Cake

A lot like pumpkin pie, but the crust comes from Vanilla Cake Mix, Walnuts and Butter.  Thanks to Megan Onstott, for this delicious recipe!

1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree or pre-seasoned pie mix (omit below added seasonings if using mix)
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
4 eggs
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 cup butter
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

I have some nutmeg pieces from Penzey's that I like to grind fresh for added flavor.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper.

I'm still getting the hang of cutting the parchment evenly

In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.  Mix until smooth and pour into a 9x13 inch pan.

Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture, then sprinkle chopped nuts and pat down gently.  Melt butter and drizzle over cake.  

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 45 to 60 minutes.  (Be sure to check the cake after 45 minutes because oven temperatures vary.)

After cake cools, turn it upside down so the top of the cake will be the crust.  Remove the parchment paper.  Top with dessert topping (optional) before serving.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I absolutely hate throwing away leftover ingredients.  After making Devil's Food Cupcakes,  I had leftover sour cream and buttermilk.  I knew that I would use the buttermilk for a Fried Chicken recipe, but what to do with the sour cream.  I googled recipes for desserts using sourcream (no, putting it on a baked potatoe seemed just too easy) and found this one for Coffee Cake.  The only hitch was that I didn't have a bundt pan.  So, in order to be frugal and use up my sour cream, I spent $15 on a bundt pan.  The good news is that the cake turned out really good, so now I can make it again!  Way to be spendy!

(For the Cake:)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(For the Filling:)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (*optional: substitute with 1 tsp Penzey's Baking Spice)

(For the Glaze:)
2-4 tablespoons milk
1 cup confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and greas and flour a large Bundt pan.  

In a medium-large bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

In a large bowl, combine butter, white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar; using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together ingredients until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated before adding the next.  Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined.  Add the dry ingredients a small amount at a time beating until just incorporporated.

To make the filling combine the cinnamon and 1/4 brown sugar in a small bowl.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan (it's a bit sticky, so it helps to smooth with a spatula).   Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix on top of the batter in the pan, and cover with the remaining batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.  Cool.  Turn cake onto a serving dish.

While cake is cooling, make a thick glaze by mixing together confectioners sugar with 2-3 tablespoons milk until smooth.  Pour over cooked cake.

Whala, your done!  Now, dish it up and serve with coffee!