I just love fall, I love watching the leaves change colour, enjoy seeing the reds, rustics and oranges against a blue sky backdrop.
I love the sound of the leaves crunching under my feet and the smell of the cold coming in.
But more than any of those things, I love fall for PUMPKINS!!!
I grew up in England, where I truly believed that Pumpkins were just a Halloween decoration.
Not that we decorated much for Halloween, lets face it back there if you had a carved pumpkin outside your door, you had decorated big for the holiday!
~ But honestly I had never experienced the Pumpkin high that I get today.
If someone had suggested any pumpkin dish I would have thought they were crazy!!!!
Then I moved to America, at first I was still a little pumpkin shy.
In fact wondered what all the crazy fuss was about.
It was just a pumpkin right???
Well a couple of year’s back a friend was gifted a huge pumpkin roll from a renowned bakery, we had just had dinner at her house when she offered me a slice.
Oh now what do I do, the thought of pumpkin horrified me but of course I could not offend her.
I looked across the table at my husband saw the same horror cross his face.
We were communicating silently with our eyes “Oh my god, did she just say pumpkin? ~ Help, what do we do now”.
I gave him that look back “Leave it to me”.
So I spoke to our host “Dinner was gorgeous, in fact I have eaten so much I don’t think I could manage another bite, but I’m sure Chris will try a slice”.
Oh yes. I’d just thrown Hubby under the bus!!!!
Well, I thought it would not sound plausible if I made excuses for the two of us.
So the slice was cut and I sat there watching triumphantly, while hubby was about to take his first bite.
I sat there telling myself not to smile, pretend I could not see that “wait till you get home” look, he was giving me.
Well the first fork full had hit his mouth and he was making all the right noises.
So of course I’m thinking what a great actor he is, he should think of taking it up professionally. Well he starts shoveling the cake for England, like he is going on a hunger strike from tomorrow.
Strange, I told myself He seems to be enjoying this.
Well with that our host puts a small slice in front of me and tells me “just try it”.
I guess my acting skills weren’t up to much (everyone knows I always eat dessert, I have a huge sweet tooth). Oh boy so I tried it.
I will never forget my first decadent taste, I felt like I was in heaven.
The pumpkin mixed with the cream cheese, felt like all my dreams rolled into one…Oh my goodness where had this been hiding all my life.
Why had my parents not introduced me to the delights of Pumpkin as a small child???
Well of course I was like a woman processed, if just one slice of cake could taste this good what else was I missing out on.
That was it, my mission for that first fall was to try anything pumpkin I could get my hands on.
And sure enough I did.
So Now I am a Pumpkin Nut, I’m addicted to Pumpkin Smoothies, Pumpkin Lattes, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Biscotti oh in fact everything Pumpkin.
The one thing I struggled to find a recipe for was Pumpkin Biscotti.
So I came up with my own recipe, it took a little time to get the right pumpkin and spice mix but I finally think I’ve got it perfected, hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
- 1/3 cup Butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
- 3/4 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 Tablespoon ground cloves
- 1 Tablespoon pumpkin spice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (so much easier than greased baking sheets).
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth (I use my kitchenaid). Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then add the pumpkin puree and Molasses. Combine the flour, baking powder and spices.
Stir into the creamed mixture until mixed well. The mixture should be quite stiff when ready.
- Divide the dough equally into 2. Shape into 9x2x1 inch loaves. Place onto the parchment lined baking sheet, 4 inches apart. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven until firm.
- Remove the loaves along with the parchment paper and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. (Do not let it cool for longer, as this is often one of the problems why people have crumbling Biscotti.)
- Remove the loaves from the parchment and cut each of the loaves into 15 slices using a sharp serrated knife. Return the slices to the baking tray (no need to use the parchment paper) and bake on each side for a
further 15 minutes until dry, taking extra care to make sure they don’t burn.
- Leave to completely cool on the wire rack, once cool drizzle with melted chocolate and pecans.
PUMPKINLICIOUS DOG TREAT BITES
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (DO NOT use white flour)
- 1/2 cup 100% pure pumpkin (DO NOT use pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup natural smooth peanut butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with baking spray. (I used my large Pampered chef stoneware bar pan).
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder and allspice.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir the oil, pumpkin and peanut butter together until smooth.
- Make a well in the flour and pour in the peanut butter mixture. Mix on low speed to combine the wet and dry ingredients.
- Slowly pour in the water and mix together on a medium speed until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and kneed for approximately one minute until its no longer sticky.
- Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut into mini size shapes with your favorite cookie cutter.
- Bake for 12 minutes at full heat, then turn the oven off and leave the cookies in the oven for a further 30 minutes.
- Leave cookies in the baking tray for 10 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.
- Store in an airtight container once completely cooled for up to 2 weeks.
So from one Pumpkin nut to another ~ have a pumpkin blessed day!!!