Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Pumpkin Muffins


1 15 oz can of pure pumpkin
(about 2 cups)*
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350.

In large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Beat until well mixed.

In separate bowl, combined the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and ground cloves.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, beating until smooth.

Bake 30-35 minutes. Makes between 3 ½ to 4 dozens.

*Sometimes I add an individual size (4 oz) applesauce to the muffins.

Taste great with cool whip on top.

You can also make it in a bread pan – just bake it longer.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake

My favorite month of the year is October. My favorite season is fall. Why, you ask? Well, it is my birthday month, my son's birthday month, my husband's birthday month and just about everyone I know is born in October. No, not really. But sometimes it feels that way. We do know lots of Libras and October babies.

Fall is my favorite season because of the crisp, clear weather! I also love the apple cider, especially hot apple cider. I also love to see the Halloween decorations, pumpkins and scarecrows come out for the season. Every year I try to take my son to a corn maze. He may be getting too old for it but we are going this year anyway. His school had a fundraiser at a local corn maze which is always a good cause. He and his buddies want to do the "night maze" this year to make it a little more age appropriate for them. I don't mind. I'll get some hot apple cider or some hot cocoa and maybe an apple fritter and I'll be set!

In keeping with the fall season, my sister sent me a bunch of pumpkin recipes. She doesn't eat pumpkin in any way shape or form but I guess it sounded good to her so she sent them over to me. I also got a pumpkin muffin recipe from a friend and I'm expecting a pumpkin bread recipe from another friend. I think it is going to have to be pumpkin month at my blog with maybe some apples thrown in for good measure. The pumpkin recipes I have even include a casserole that sounds pretty good. I'm going to start pumpkin month with a pumpkin cheesecake recipe that I have been holding onto for a long time. I think it is time to try this cheesecake. It would be super appropriate for any Halloween party, don't you think? You could use low fat cream cheese but why bother!

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake
12 Servings

3 Tbs. unsalted Butter
1 cup gingersnap crumbs, about 20 cookies
2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbs. cornstarch
1 cup sour cream
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 tsp. lemon juice
2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 Tbs. dark-brown sugar
2 Tbs. molasses
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9” springform pan and wrap the pan with a piece of heavy-duty foil.

Melt the 3 Tbs. butter and combine with the crumbs. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and chill. With an electric mixer set at medium-low speed, beat the cream cheese, the granulated sugar and 2 Tbs. of the cornstarch until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, the vanilla and salt. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove 3-1/2 cups of this batter, stir in lemon juice and set aside.

Combine the remaining batter with the pumpkin, brown sugar, molasses, the remaining 1 Tbs. cornstarch and the spices. Set aside 1 cup of the pumpkin batter. Spread half of the remaining pumpkin batter in the prepared pan.

Gently spoon half of the plain batter over the pumpkin batter. Spoon the other half of pumpkin batter over this and then the remaining plain batter over the pumpkin. Dot with spoonfuls of the reserved cup of pumpkin batter. With a chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon, gently swirl the batters.

Put the cheesecake in a large roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with water halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake until the center of the cheesecake jiggles only slightly when the pan it tapped. About 1 hour 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the cake. Let the cake cool 10 minutes in the water bath. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Chill thoroughly before serving. Decorate with candied walnuts if desired.

Work Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes