Roasted Pumpkin Muffins

I prefer making pumpkin recipes from pie pumpkins versus canned pumpkin. I think that the flavor is more intense and brings a lot of depth to the recipe. Every year I try to roast quite a few pie pumpkins, puree them and put the roasted pumpkin pulp in freezer bags and store them for future use. I made roasted pumpkin muffins tonight. I was in the mood to bake that has not happened in a while. I decided to be a little bad today. I did some research on the internet and came across one recipe but did quite a bit of tweaking because I like a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg in my pumpkin desserts. Enjoy!

Roasted Pumpkin Muffins, created on 9/29/ 2012

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2 cups of roasted pumpkin (1 pie pumpkin makes about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon of ground ginger
1-1/2 cups of light brown sugar
2 eggs
½ cup of sunflower seed oil
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of kosher salt
1 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
½ cup of pumpkin (Pepita) seeds

In a glass bowl, combine with a whisk the roasted pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar well. Add the eggs and oil. Mix well. In a different bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt together with a fork and then combine with the wet ingredients until mixed. Mix in the chocolate chips. With a large scoop, place the batter in muffin tins lined with cupcake liners. Sprinkle some pumpkin (Pepita) seeds on top. Bake at 425 degrees for about 9 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat can serve warm or cold. These muffins are most excellent with a cold glass of milk.

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Old-Fashioned Apple Pie Squares

This recipe is an easy and faster way to enjoy a semi-healthy dessert without going through the whole apple pie preparation. I changed some things from the original version in the Pampered Chef cookbook to suit my tastes. I often make this with an olive oil crust or if pressed for time, I buy the Pillsbury Pie Crust already made from the store. Homemade pie crust is the best but this dessert does meet my expectations of the “quickie apple pie”. One of my cousins just loves this recipe and has asked me to make it for her when she was in college. Seems like she could not focus on her studies unless she had Apple Pie Squares. Enjoy!

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie Squares
Created on 12/24/07 but made again on 11/29/11

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1 package of Pillsbury Pie Crust (will use both in the box)
1 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I have tested several types of apples and these are the best ones to use for this recipe)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon of sugar

For the Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
5-6 teaspoons milk or use lemon juice

Spread the pie crust in a stoneware bar pan or a baking sheet that is at least 12″ x 15″. Stoneware is the best. The 2nd pie crust will be used to cover the apples.

Peel slice and core the apples. In a large glass bowl, mix the sliced apples, cinnamon, flour, brown sugar, salt well. Wait for about 2 minutes the sugar will disolve from the juice of the apples. Lay the sliced apples on the pie crust single layer close together.

Cover the apples with 2nd pie crust (might have to roll it out some to fit the pan).

Brush pie crust with egg /water mixture. Cut slits in the pie crust for steam to escape and prevents nice messy surprises in your oven. Sprinkle sugar on top of crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until pie crust is golden brown.

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For Glaze: mix powdered sugar and milk together and drizzle over apple pie. Cut into 18 squares.

I bet you don’t have any left!

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Brownie Dessert Pizza

I think that one of the best things I have ever did was to be a Pampered Chef Consultant. Being a consultant really motivated me to increase my culinary skills and inspired me not to be afraid to experiment by trying new recipes. This recipe was tweaked from one of the recipes Pampered Chef published in one of their cookbooks. I cheated on the recipe using a store-bought brownie mix as the base with made a cream cheese filling and fresh strawberries I had on hand. I loved the look and the dessert was a hit for a party I had on Memorial weekend.

Brownie Dessert Pizza, created 05/30/2010

1 box of Ghirardelli Brownie Mix plus the ingredients as listed on the prepared mix box
Parchment Paper
1 Large Round 15” pizza stone or a round pizza sheet
8 ounces of Philadelphia Cream Cheese softened
¼ cup powdered sugar
Handfuls of fresh strawberries, sliced – or use any fruit that you like with chocolate
Melted Semi-Sweet Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips

Prepare the brownie mix as per the instructions on the box. Cut the parchment paper to the shape of the pizza stone. Line the stone with the cut paper. Spread the brownie mixture on the parchment paper within 1” of the edges. It is important to use the parchment paper because it will help prevent the brownie mixture from seeping over the stone while in the oven cooking. Cook the brownies until center comes out clean on a toothpick about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely. Flip the brownie crust over onto a cooling stone and carefully remove the parchment paper, then flip it the round brownie crust back onto the stone or a nice plate to prepare for serving.

Mix the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar well and spread on the brownie pizza base within 1” of the edge. Layer cut strawberries evenly around the crust and then drizzle with melted chocolate. Enjoy!

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Warm Apple-Almond Pastry

I made this recipe a lot for many of my Pampered Chef shows. This recipe was taken from one of the season’s best cookbooks that Pampered Chef sells. The warm apple-almond pastry is a light open-faced tart that brings a perfect sweet ending to a brunch or dinner. I made this today for a brunch and everyone loved it.

Warm Apple-Almond Pastry
Created recipe on 03/13/2010

1 cup sliced almonds, divided
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
2 firm, red baking apples such as Jonathan
¼ cup apricot jam, warmed
Powdered sugar (optional)
Vanilla ice cream, frozen whipped topping (optional)

Warm Apple-Almond Pastry

Preheat oven to 400F.  Grate ¾ cup of the almonds using Deluxe Cheese Grater.  In Classic Batter Bowl, combine almonds, granulated sugar, flour, whole egg, egg yolk and almond extract; mix well and set aside. Unfold one pastry sheet onto lightly floured Large Round Stone. Roll to a 10-1/2” square using Baker’s Roller.  (Corners of pastry will touch edge of baking stone). Prick pastry with pastry tool.  Spread almond mixture evenly over pastry to within 1” of edge. Cut apples lengthwise in half; remove stems and seeds using Cook’s Corer.  Slice apple halves crosswise into ¼” thick slices using Utility Knife. Arrange slices in an overlapping pattern over almond mixture.  Using Pizza Cutter cut remaining pastry into nine 1” strips.  Moisten outer edges of dough with water. Arrange five of the strips diagonally over apples, twisting dough and pressing edges to seal; trim off extra dough. Arrange and press remaining four strips of dough around edge of pastry, forming an even border.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden brown.  Cool at least 10 minutes. Spread warm jam over apples and pastry.  Place remaining almonds in Small Oval Baker; microwave on HIGH 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, stirring after each 30-second interval.  Coarsely chop almonds using Food Chopper; sprinkle over pastry. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired; cut pastry into squares. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped topping, if desired.
Yield: 12 servings.

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