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Iâ€™m typically not a jealous person, but on Tuesday morning, after a quick browse through friendsâ€™ Facebook status updates, I was all sorts of green. â€ś45 degrees this morning,â€ť one post said. â€śI grabbed a jacket on my way out the door,â€ť said another. Most of these posts were coming from friends back home in Missouri, where the day-after-Labor-Day air greeted them with morning lows in the 40s. And when I clicked on the Today Show a bit later, there were Matt Lauer and Ann Curry, happily donning knee-length coats. Apparently fall has arrived. Unfortunately for those of us who are still dealing with mid-80s heat, it hasnâ€™t quite made it to the South.
All complaining aside, I do glean much happiness from the promise that fall really is just around the corner. Starbucks welcomed back its pumpkin spice lattes yesterday (itâ€™s like a holiday in our house. Woo hoo!), and other autumn flavors are popping up in the grocery stores again. And as it turns out, even with the crisp fall air still a bit away, a great pumpkin-filled dish is all it takes to get the whole house smelling like fall.
â€˘ 2 sticks unsalted butter
â€˘ 3 cups sugar
â€˘ 3 eggs
â€˘ 2 cups canned pumpkin (16 ounces)
â€˘ 3 cups flour
â€˘ 1 teaspoon baking soda
â€˘ 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
â€˘ 2 teaspoons vanilla
â€˘ 2 teaspoons ginger
â€˘ Â˝ teaspoon cloves
â€˘ 3 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
â€˘ 1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Add pumpkin, and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and salt. Slowly add to wet mixture, and mix until completely combined.
Bake in a greased bundt pan at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check bread with a knife to see if itâ€™s done; the trick is to pull it out of the oven just before the knife comes out completely clean. For muffins, fill lined muffin cups to the brim with batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cinnamon Glazed Pumpkin Cookies
Adapted from The Craving Chronicles
(Photo by Katrina Tauchen)
For the cookies:
â€˘ 2 Â˝ cups all-purpose flour
â€˘ 1 teaspoon baking powder
â€˘ 1 teaspoon baking soda
â€˘ 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
â€˘ Âľ teaspoon ground ginger
â€˘ Â˝ teaspoon ground cloves
â€˘ Â˝ teaspoon salt
â€˘ Â˝ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
â€˘ 1 cup granulated sugar
â€˘Â Â˝ cup light brown sugar, packed
â€˘Â 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
â€˘Â 1 egg
â€˘Â 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the glaze:
â€˘ 2 cups confectionersâ€™ sugar
â€˘ 1 teaspoon cinnamon
â€˘Â 4 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla, and beat until combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients, and beat until just combined.
Drop cookies onto baking sheet using a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a rack.
To make the glaze, mix the confectionersâ€™ sugar, cinnamon and water until thoroughly combined (you donâ€™t want any sugary bumps in the glaze). Dip the cookiesâ€™ tops into the glaze, then set on the rack to dry.
Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal
Adapted slightly from The Essential New York Times Cookbook (Amanda Hesser, p. 673)
(Photo by Katrina Tauchen)
â€˘ ÂĽ teaspoon ground allspice
â€˘ ÂĽ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
â€˘ Â˝ teaspoon cinnamon
â€˘ 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
â€˘ ÂĽ cup brown sugar
â€˘ 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
â€˘ 4 Â˝ cups low-fat milk or water
â€˘ 1 Â˝ cups steel-cut oats or 2 cups rolled oats
â€˘ Âľ teaspoon salt
Toast allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, then add pumpkin, and stir to combine. Add milk or water, and raise the heat to bring mixture to a simmer. Stir in the oats, and simmer over medium heat (low heat for rolled oats) until tender but not mushy (about 25 to 30 minutes for steel-cut oats, about 10 to 15 minutes for rolled oats).
Stir in salt. Serve with warm applesauce, chopped or sliced apples, apple cider syrup if desired.
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