Sunday, November 11

Brace Yourselves...Pumpkin Flavored Everything is Coming!

Brace yourself - Brace yourself Pumpkin flavored everything is coming
photo from

I know, I’m late to the pumpkin party.

I’m chronically late for everything. I joke about how I’ll end up being late to my own funeral. haha

Despite not having blogged about anything pumpkin at all, it sure has been present in my kitchen since I first saw the pie pumpkins in the grocery back in September. We’ve been making pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin bread – LOTS of pumpkin bread.

We’ve bought so many pie pumpkins (and had some given to us) that I lost count of how many I’ve peeled, chopped and steamed. Then the day before Halloween, I took the girls to get our pumpkins for carving. While I was at the stand, I saw such a multitude of tan pumpkins all around that I bought one. I figured, at the time, that it was a good size and I should get a fair amount of pumpkin puree from it. I sorely underestimated this pumpkin.
This sucker was HUGE! It took me about an hour and a half to peel and chop it all. Then, as I had to steam it in batches, it took a few more hours to get it all steamed and then pureed. *whew* After it was all said and done, I ended up with 6 cups in the fridge and 6 ¼ cups frozen (in ¾ cup increments). Just over 12 cups of puree from one pumpkin! And then I’ve got 15 or so bags of pumpkin already frozen most of which are ¾ cup, with some being ½ cup.

Needless to say, we’ll be having baked goods with not-canned pumpkin throughout the year next year. J

Anyway, now that we’ve acknowledged my crazy pumpkin spree, let’s move on to our latest pumpkin endeavor.

We thought it would be fun to make a pumpkin spice cookie. So we did.
My helpers....they sure are getting big.
However, I’m not too inclined to share the recipe yet since it still needs some work. But we did use the usual suspects: flour, salt, sugar, butter, baking soda, spices, all that jazz. We used some of the pureed pumpkin and also added some real-deal true-blue Canadian maple syrup. Mmmmmmmm (This is the only kind of syrup that I use on pancakes and waffles and everything...everyone else under this roof prefers the fake stuff. blech)
Somebody snuck a finger as the picture was snapped. :)
They held their shape ok enough on the baking sheet. And they did turn out edible (always a plus) and cookie shaped (also a good thing) but I just don’t think of this as a true success.
Photo-bombed again by somebody's finger. :)
They were thin and really chewy. L I’ll just have to try again. J
If I can perfect this recipe, I’d love to add it to the upcoming ’25 Days of Christmas in Cookies’. I’ve already started planning out my days and Kyleigh and I are so excited! So far I’m planning on doing classics along with new cookies that I’ve never done before but do have recipes. It’s going to be so much fun! J

So you’ve got a pumpkin. But how do you get it ready for baking?

First thing you’ve got to do is peel it. Now, I’ve never had a whole lot of luck using a veggie peeler – the skin is just too tough. First, I’ll cut the pumpkin in half and then cut into large slices. Then I cut out the gooey insides on each slice and then cut off the peel.

Next, after the whole pumpkin has the peel and insides cut off, chop it up into cubes that are fairly close in size. (The uniformity will ensure even cooking.)

Then toss all your cubes into a steamer basket. Or, if you are like me and want to steam up large batches at once, create a large make-shift steamer. Use a really large pot and fill the bottom inch with water. Place a metal colander inside much larger pot so that the handles of the colander can rest on the rim of the pot so that it isn’t sitting directly on the bottom of the pot. Toss in your pumpkin and cover it with the lid of the pot (mine actually fits nicely on top of the colander) or if that isn’t going to work for you, cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil. Get the water to boiling and then turn it down so that it is simmering.

The amount of time it will take for the pumpkin to steam depends on how large your cubes are. I have to admit, I’ve never once set a timer for steaming the pumpkin. It’s done when you can easily stick a fork in one of the larger cubes. (If it takes awhile, you may need to add more water to the pot. This is where have a glass pot comes in handy as it makes it easy to see the water level.)

Transfer the pumpkin to a large bowl and let it cool a bit. If you have an immersion blender, this is a great time to break it out. J With the immersion blender you can puree it all at once this way. If not, though, puree it in batches in a food processor or in a blender.

And voila! Pureed pumpkin ready for any baking or cooking project! J

Back when I first started this lil blog o'mine, I did a few posts on pumpkin.
One post I did was about the different ways of preparing fresh pumpkin. (I prefer steaming, but that isn't the only way.)
Another post looked into the nutritional information of pumpkins...and what to do with the seeds.
Then there are the Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins that are absolutely wonderful.
Pumpkin also got added in to a Fall Soup I made back then too.
We also made then (and countless times since) Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes.
And let's not forget about the 3 Cheese Pumpkin Mac & Cheese!
That was the first year I made what was to become my Thanksgiving dessert: Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake.
That was also the first year I made Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Butter Icing. Soooo good. It's still a favorite!
And then, the best for last. The only recipe you'll ever need for the best Pumpkin Bread ever! This is still the exact same recipe I use now and share with family and friends (who then ask for more haha) and bring to the family Thanksgiving dinner. Oh yea, it's that good.

I hope y'all find something to inspire you to try fresh pumpkin for yourself! :)

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