October means pumpkins

Katie Blackburnat home with Mangia0 Comments

Even if you wanted to, it is impossible to escape the cascade of pumpkin that descends on our lives once the calendar turns to October. From our coffee to our bread to our ice cream, pumpkin spice has found it’s fall home in our hearts – and on our menus. And while many of us welcome that hint of burnt orange in our recipes, if you are one of those people that has been trying to escape it, perhaps we can change your minds with these three gourmet-made-easy, sweet and savory, pumpkin recipes.

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts

Think making donuts is only for the professional bakers, who own and deep fryer and wake up at 3:00am every day? Think again. Friends, these little goodies could not have been easier – the kids even got in on the fun.

To start, mix together:
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup milk or almond milk

Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, and let them cool slightly on a wire rack. When the donut holes are cool enough to be handled, roll them in the melted butter and the coat with cinnamon + sugar mixture:

1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
⅔ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

And that’s it. From start to eating, these were done (and being devoured) in under 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

For the pumpkin cookies, mix together:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using a cookie scoop, scoop the same size (1-2 inch) mounds of dough and drop on to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, then let cool completely.

While the cookies are baking and cooling, make the filling:

3 cups powdered sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

If you have a piping bag, fill it with the frosting. If you don’t, I used a plastic sandwich bag and cut the corner off and it worked just as well. Pipe the frosting on to one cookie, and then cover with another. These are soft and rich and the perfect decadent treat to leave on friends’ doorsteps!

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Without a doubt, this is the easiest soup recipe I’ve made in a long time. It took 15 minutes, has very little prep, and tastes amazing! You will need:

2 teaspoons coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste OR 1 Tablespoon of curry powder (if you don’t have paste)
2 cups vegetable broth
2 15-ounce cans pumpkin puree
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup chopped scallions

Salute the garlic in the coconut oil until fragrant, then add the curry paste or powder. Quickly add the broth, pumpkin, coconut milk, syrup, lime juice and salt, and let it all simmer together about 10 minutes. To serve, top with scallions. We added a spoonful of sour cream, too, and that was delicious.

There is really no end to the versatility of this lovable vegetable. Let your creativity go crazy this fall with all things pumpkin!

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