Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake

It’s National Pumpkin Day.  Woo let’s celebrate!

Ok, I’m really not that excited, but all of a sudden I’m all about food holidays.  What could it be?

So as a result of pumpkin day, I re-examined some of my old pumpkin-y recipes.

I used to be all about the previous pumpkin-y things I’ve made…

Like these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Pumpkin Pizza

Pumpkin Biscuits

And of course who can forget the Fall Cake with a layer of gingerbread cake and another of pumpkin cheese

But I think I found a new pumpkin love… or maybe just the flavor of the minute since it’s the first pumpkin-y thing I’ve eaten all year?  Regardless, this bundt cake is pretty tasty.

I wish I had a cute little pumpkin or plant to stick in the middle of it, but I’m not that festive.  This cake is about as festive as it’s gonna get, let’s concentrate on the taste.

Moist, pumpkin-y and spicy.  What more could you want?

Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake

adapted from Cooks Illustrated’s Pumpkin Bread with Ginger

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mace
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 can pumpkin puree
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp dark molasses
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a bundt pan, set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.

In another large bowl, mix together sugar and vegetable oil.  Beat in egg 1 at a time.  Then beat in sour cream, heavy cream, molasses and pumpkin puree.  Beat in flour mixture until just combined.  Fold in pecans and crystallized ginger.

Pour mixture into prepared bundt pan, bake 50-70 minutes (depending on your oven) or until you insert a knife into it and it comes out clean.

Serve and celebrate pumpkin day!

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

So it’s National Chocolate Cupcake Day.  I don’t want you to miss the boat.  So here are some options to consider…

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Mousse Filling and Peanut Butter Butter Cream

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Filling, Cream Cheese Frosting and Sea Salt Candied Nuts

Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes with Fried Plantains

 

Moral of the story: Eat a cupcake today.

Bourbon Caramel Apple Pie

So today I realized it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post.  I blame it on one thing: The Walking Dead.

I’m about 859395 minutes late to the party, so I spent the last week watching the first two seasons.  It was an enormous race to watch all the episodes before the new episode on Sunday.  Good news: I’m all caught up.

Now I freak out when my lights flicker, but that’s okay.  If fictional tv shows freak you out (like they do me), just think of pie.

Then head into the kitchen to make this…

Bourbon Caramel Apple Pie

Single Pie Crust:

175g All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp Sugar
pinch of Salt
1 stick of Butter, cold
2 tbsp (maybe more) Ice Water

Filling:
6 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3 tbsp bourbon/whiskey

Caramel:

1 cup sugar
3 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp Bourbon
few pinches of salt

Topping:

1/2 cup Flour
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 tbsp White Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
pinch of Salt
3 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp bourbon

Prepare pie crust by combing flour, sugar and salt.  Using your fingers, break the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles very coarse crumbs (even pea sized is fine).  Add ice water and bring it all together into a ball using your hands.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate a few hours.  You can make this up to two days in advance.

Once your dough has rested sufficiently, you can start to assemble your pie.  Roll our dough and place into a 9inch pie dish, trim the edges, make them look pretty if you’d like.

Next make the caramel.  In a deep saucepan, melt sugar over medium heat.  Do not stir.  Once it reaches a golden brown color, remove from heat.  Stir in butter (it will bubble a lot, keep stirring), then stream in cream while stirring then stir in bourbon and salt.  If you get some clumps it’s not a big deal.    Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350F.   Stick the prepared crust in the freezer while you make the filling and topping.  For the filling, I like to throw all the ingredients into a large ziploc bag, close it and toss it around.  A bowl works too.

Set aside while you make the topping. Next make crumble topping.  Combine dry ingredients.  Add butter and using your fingers work it into the mixture.  Drizzle in bourbon and toss to combine.  The mixture should look sort of like crumbs.

Next assemble the pie.  Pour a bit of the caramel into the pie crust and spread.  Next lay in half the apple mixture, pour some more caramel sauce (maybe 1/3 of it? also note if your caramel cooled too much and hardened just warm it up a bit on the stove).  Add the remaining apples and drizzle with some more caramel.  You should have about 1/4 of the caramel left over.  Sprinkle the crumble topping on the apples, then drizzle remaining caramel on top.  Place pie on a baking sheet and bake 45-60 mins or until golden and the fruit is bubbling in the middle.

Remove from oven, allow to cool completely then serve!

I recommend having this with a glass of bourbon while watching The Walking Dead (or maybe Vampire Diaries is more your supernatural style?).

Oven Not-Fried Pickles

A few weeks ago, I moved.  I think I told you about this but in case I didn’t… I moved.  Not far.  Just to the unit downstairs.  You’re probably thinking why go through all the trouble to move all your stuff down stairs?

Answer: For a patio.

You know what patios mean in Southern California? Outdoor space for dinner parties pretty much year round.  When you live in a studio, having people over is awkward.  Oh hey friend, why don’t you sit on my bed while I make you a cocktail and serve you a cheese platter?  Borderline creepy.

Now I have outdoor space where I can have people sit without being a creeper.  My most recent dinner venture was Southern themed.   I’ve never been to the South (well I don’t count Florida as the South.  Do you?) but here’s my south-inspired menu: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Homemade Coleslaw, Baked Beans and Peanut Butter Cream Pie.

But what’s a dinner party without appetizers?

So in keeping with my Southern theme and the fact that my last impulse buy at the grocery store was a huge jar of pickles, I thought fried pickles might be the right choice.  The only issue is I hate frying things.  So crisis averted…

Oven Not-Fried Pickles

adapted from Skinny Taste

1 jar of pickles (I used dill oval cut chips)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 whole wheat flour
1 tsp cajun spice
pinch of salt
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

In a bowl combine breadcrumbs, cornmeal, flour, cajun spice and salt.

In another bowl beat together egg and milk.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 450F.  Pat dry the pickles using a towel/paper towel.  Dip one into the egg mixture then toss in the breadcrumb mixture.  Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Repeat until all pickles are breaded (or you’re tired of doing this).

Bake 8-10 minutes, flip and bake another 5 minutes or until golden.

Serve hot with ketchup for dipping.

These were winners, but trust me on this.  They taste better when they’re hot… and with a cold beer… and preferably on a patio (not your bed… unless you’re into that kind of thing, in which case I’m not judging).

Is your mouth watering yet?  Mine is.

National Homemade Cookie Day: Cookie Roundup

Guys, it’s National Homemade Cookie day.  If this caught you off guard, don’t distress.  I have the answer.

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Butterscotch Cookies

Almond Joy Biscotti

Almond Joy Biscotti

Date Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Date Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Double Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Maple Sandwich Cookies

Molasses Almond Tea Cookies

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Caramel Surprise

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Quinoa Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Samoas Bars

Vegan Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

Since this is a holiday, NOT making cookies clearly would be unpatriotic.  So get on it.

And if you’re catching this a bit too late… Cookies are always a good idea.  So get on it.