Pumpkin deliciousness

Prepare yourself for a double whammy of baking joy!

First, and foremost, I need to introduce you to my new best friend.

JD and I argued over the gender of my new best friend.

I swear its a woman – efficient in the kitchen and she’s preeeetty.

He says its a man: “useful and sturdy”.  Then he went on to make some sexist remark along the lines of “if it was flaky and liked to get its nails done, it would be a woman.”

To which I responded: “Stop trying to give me content to use in my blog”.

I know him SO well. He was totally trying to give me a one-liner to use here.

Obviously, it worked.

Well, it’s MY friend so not only do I decide if its a he or a she,  I get to name her.

Her name is Lola.

I call her this because she is sexy and gets the job done.  Seem like attributes that fit with the name, no?

Anyway, I love her. She makes all my baking dreams come true.

She has been key in my journey to becoming domesticated and she is also the star in these next two recipes!

I went pumpkin crazy.

The plan was to make pumpkin cookies but I had SO many leftover ingredients I decided to also make a pumpkin spice cake too. Ambitious of me, I know.

Don't mind the Christmas plate

The cookies turned out OK. They were “roll out” cookies so they weren’t quite as cakey as I wanted but the frosting was AWESOME.

Ignore the Christmas plates I used but they had to be transported to work and I was out of regular paper plates.

For some reason these cookies tasted better refrigerated. And I have to say, I wish they tasted a little more pumpkin-y.

Here’s the recipe for the cookies:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup solid pack pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and orange zest. Stir in the pumpkin. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt; stir into the pumpkin mixture. Chill dough for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place onto an unprepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Decorate with frosting or candy.

The cake was WONDERFUL!! I was so proud of it. (Don’t mind the no makeup and PJ’s in the photo!)

Here’s the recipe for the Pumpkin Spice Cake:

(Note, I made one 9-inch cake because I didn’t have an 8-inch pan, as directed. I also didn’t have ground cloves so I used nutmeg instead)

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups (270 grams) light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup (240 ml) fresh or canned pure pumpkin (about 1/2 of a 15 ounce can)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups (200 grams) sifted cake flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk, room temperature

Note:  To make your own buttermilk combine 1/2 cup (120 ml) of milk with 1/2 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice.  Stir and let stand for 10 minutes before using.

1. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.  Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Divide the batter in half and then pour the batter into the prepared pans.  Bake for approximately 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert and remove the cakes from their pans.  Cool completely before frosting.

Assemble: Place one of the cake layers, top side down, on a serving plate. Frost with a layer of icing.  Place the second cake, top side down, onto the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with chopped nuts, if desired.  Refrigerate but bring to room temperature before serving.

Read more: http://www.joyofbaking.com/PumpkinSpiceCake.html#ixzz1aQx489rT

Here’s the recipe for the Maple Frosting from All Recipes:

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple flavored extract

Directions

Cream together the cheese and butter or margarine. Stir in the confectioner’s sugar and flavorings. Mix well.
HAPPY BAKING!!
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