Pumpkin


In keeping with a bit of a recent obsession I baked pumpkin chocolate chip cookies yesterday. I found the recipe at allrecipes.com. I discovered that the Villa Market supermarkets chains stock canned pumpkin, so I decided to go about it the easy way and picked up a can on the way home from work.

While making them I decided that I am most definitely spoiling myself with an electric hand mixer once I get this month’s check and proper mixing bowls. This fork and pot business is just not charming enough for me anymore.

You need:

1 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup shortening
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chocolate chips

Make:

Preheat the over to 175C.
Cream the sugar and shortening. Mix in the egg. Add the vanilla essence and pumpkin and stir through until combined. Sift in the dry ingredients, except for the chocolate chips and mix. When all of this is combined well, add the cup of chocolate chips and mix it in.
Scoop spoons (or teaspoons) full of the batter onto cookie sheets and bake for about 15 minutes.

Let it cool and enjoy.

I scooped large spoons full of the batter onto the cookie sheets and they came out looking like Chernobyl cookies. Fantastic!

Suggestions for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies:

– the original recipe called for only white sugar, but for some reason I mix in some brown with everything of late. Both I assume work fine.
– next time I think I will add a little more cinnamon and nutmeg than 1 teaspoon

Since buying our oven we’ve been putting it to very good use. Alexander found a recipe for delightful pumpkin muffins from Martha Stewart the same day we brought the oven home. Soon after I prepared sweet potatoes in it and this week I finally came round to baking beskuit (called rusks in English) and a pumpkin loaf recipe I found at The Scent of Water.

The loaf is awesome, I have a hard time not sitting down and eating it all at once. I want it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and with coffee. It is, without a doubt, one of the most delicious breads I have ever baked. I altered the recipe a little to suit what I had in the kitchen.

Round up:

1 cup pumpkin puree

100g butter

1/2 cup caster sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon fresh ginger- minced

Make:

Preheat the oven to 180C. Cream the butter and sugar together, add the eggs, beat well and then mix in the puree. Sift in the dry ingredients and the ginger and fold it in until combined. Place in a greased bread tin and bake for one hour, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

We had it hot with coffee. Then we had it cold with Milo. Then again cold with more coffee.

Suggestions for Pumpkin Loaf:

– I use puree that I make by cooking some pumpkin and mushing it up in the blender. I once baked some pumpkin in the oven too and then pureed that in the blender.

– the fresh ginger worked well in the bread, but I assume powdered ginger would work just as well.

– the original recipe is here and it looks lovely

Alexander is trying to create an autumnal feel in our apartment even though it is the rainy season in Thailand the chances of experiencing anything resembling fall besides gaudy commercialized Halloween parties is about zero.

But I enjoy the idea of creating an autumn experience and so after he made a very seasonal apple and pork dish spiced with cinnamon last night I tried my hand at this thick pumpkin soup recipe from lindamade.

I halved her recipe for the two of us and served it with a loaf of fresh bread and some cheddar.

I loved the soup. The ingredients blended well into a rich and creamy texture with subtle flavors. It’s a good thing I halved the recipe as the one mug of warm pumpkin soup was filling enough even for me.

Suggestions for Pumpkin Soup:

– I pureed my own pumpkin by cooking 250g of cubed pumpkin in a little stock, pouring off the stock and setting it aside for later use, then pouring the cooked cubes into my blender and puree.

– I only seasoned the soup with some coarse black pepper which worked very well, but I am certain you can add some cayenne pepper if you like your soups hot.