Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ten things to do with pumpkins

There's something about October and pumpkins. The very word October conjures images of the big, orange squash. They are so versatile, healthy and delicious. October is such a crisp, cool and crunchy month outside and that has me yearning for warm bowls of smooth pumpkin soup; toasty, golden, salted pumpkin seeds; cinnamon and clove spiced cakes baking in my oven and creamy pumpkin risotto on the stove. Forget about carving scary faces in your pumpkin, put it in the oven instead!

Here is my top ten list of things I've been making with pumpkins these last few weeks:
1. Roasted pumpkin and goat cheese salad (pictured above)
2. Glazed pumpkin cookies (recipe below)
3. Spiced pumpkin whisky ice cream (pictured above, I made this for Thanksgiving and it was delish!)
4. Pumpkin risotto
5. Creamy pumpkin soup
6. Pumpkin and feta quiche
7. Pumpkin pecan loaf
8. Pumpkin spiced breakfast oatmeal (To die for!)
9. Toasted pumpkin seeds
10. Pumpkin spice squares

I'm not going to give you ten recipes, but here is the recipe for the Glazed Pumpkin Cookies that I got from the new Canadian House and Home. They are so amazing, you have to try them!

Glazed Pumpkin Cookies
adapted from Canadian House and Home, November 2010

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.

Whisk flour with spices and salt. In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter with sugar. Add egg, pumpkin and vanilla. Slowly add flour mixture into butter mixture until just blended. Drop with a tablespoon onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 13 minutes, they should look like they are just cooked in the middle, but not over baked. Cool on a wire rack.

1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup almond milk (or regular milk)

Whisk together in a small bowl adding more almond milk or icing sugar to get the consistency you need. When the cookies are cool, dip the tops in the glaze and put them back onto the rack to drip and dry. Makes about 3-4 dozen cookies depending on how big you make them. I got 3 1/2 dozen. If you're serving these to friends, make sure you keep a stash in your freezer because they will be gone and when your friends go home you will wish you had just one more to get you through the dishes and clean-up (not that I'm speaking from experience or anything)!

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