Posts Tagged ‘spice’

Pumpkin Bars, A Sweet Halloween Treat

In Dessert on October 31, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Happy Halloween Foodies!

This brisk, fall, holiday made me want to get in the kitchen and make a festive treat today! The question was what to make. I seriously considered indulging in some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies again, but thought that a new recipe would be more fun. In my search, I stumbled upon a recipe for Pumpkin Bars on The Food Network. I used the recipe for cream cheese icing from this recipe last week and thought I would see if the bars were as delicious as the icing was!

Ingredients

This was a super easy treat to make and could be accomplished in the same amount of time it takes me to make brownies from a box (yes, I do occasionally cheat, but shhhhhhh). I started by heating the oven to 350°F. Then I combined the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin in a medium bowl, I should have used a large bowl, since there was quite a bit of ingredient sprayed all over my kitchen, when I used the hand mixer on it.

Pumpkin Mixture

Instead of mixing the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, I decided to add them slowly to the mixture I already had. I added the baking powder, ground cinnamon, salt, and baking soda at once, and used the hand mixer to beat the mixture until it was fluffy again. Then I added the flour 1/2 a cup at a time, while mixing. In the end I had a light, still semi-fluffy mixture, about the consistency of, well a cake mix to pour into a baking pan.

Ready for the Oven

I used a larger pan, 11 in. x 15 in. This didn’t effect the amount of time they were in the oven, I checked them after 20 minutes, then again after 25 minutes, and after 30 minutes…THEY WERE DONE!!

Ready!

Since they were called bars, I expected them to be, well, heavier. These bars were light and fluffy, almost like a cake would be. I’m not complaining though, they are delicious. I didn’t ice them, because the icing makes food difficult to transport and I want my classmates to be able to enjoy them this week. If you do plan on icing them, wait until they are cool to ice them. You should also wait until they are cool to cut them into smaller squares. The nice part about this treat is you can cut them into whatever size squares you want, I chose smaller ones. I’d love to tell you how many this actually yielded, but I started munching as I was cutting…oops.

Pumpkin Bars

There are more than a few though. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Have a Happy Halloween, and stay posted for a light, fall, entree coming later this week!

In the meantime…

Bon Appetit!

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Spice Cookies

In Dessert on October 26, 2010 at 6:00 am

These AMAZING cookies are based on a recipe from the Food Network. To be specific their Screaming Spice Cookies. Can you tell Halloween is coming?

So other than their very FUN name, and the fact that the Food Network classified them as ‘difficult’ I really don’t need another reason to make this delightful treat. But, I found one anyway, the fact that they have some of my favorite ingredients in them. Now that’s an EXCELLENT reason. I took them in a different direction than their original one, using Halloween cookie cutters rather than make the ghost-like pops suggested.

I started the same way the recipe advised, I combined the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt) in a medium sized bowl.

Dry Ingredients

Then I melted the butter in the microwave, added the sugars, and beat the mixture until it was fluffy in a large bowl. I then added the vanilla extract and an egg, and beat the mixture until it was smooth.

Sugar Mixture

Next, I added the dry ingredients slowly, using the hand mixer to make sure the dough remained smooth.

DOUGH

Then into the refrigerator went the dough until it cooled (about 3 hours). This caused the dough to get hard and was a little difficult to get out of the bowl, but then I should have wrapped the dough in saran-wrap before I put it in the refrigerator, instead of leaving it in the mixing bowl. Next time, well, next time I’ll remember to get some at the grocery store..oops.

Now in my opinion, it was time for the fun part, cookie cutters! I have a box of a little over a hundred different shapes, numbers, letters, holiday and seasonal cookies cutters; you name it I more than likely have it. I LOVE making cookies! So I broke out the rolling pin, put some flour on the table and started rolling. I made mine about 1/4th of an inch thick, the trick is to get the sheet of dough even. Once you’ve done that, you press in the cookie cutters.

Cookie Cutters

More Cookie Cutters

As you can see there are pumpkins, a haunted house, a witch, a cat, a ghost, a bat, and a moon. Once you have the shapes cut out, place them on a cookie tray, and bake at 350°F, for about 7 minutes. I say about 7 minutes, because how long you bake them is based on how thick the cookies are.

Ready for the Oven

Right Out of the Oven

As you can see from the pictures the dough became a lighter brown and rose in the oven. In the end I had a table full of VERY yummy, undecorated cookies.

In Need of Decorations

Of course there are cookie decorating rules, and the most important is to make sure the cookies are completely cooled all the way through, before you add icing. I ran out of time, so I didn’t ice them tonight. I saved the icing for tomorrow night!

SUPER EXCITED!!

In the meantime….

Bon Appetit!