Butterscotch and Pecan Pumpkin Cookies

As I promised on Monday, today I have a pumpkin recipe to share! These cookies have been a work in progress in my mind since the summer (when baking with pumpkin felt like wearing white after labor day). I envisioned a soft, cakey cookie with a punch of butterscotch and the warmth of spiced rum soaked pecans. Now that fall is in full swing, the cookie of my dreams has finally come to life!

Every year my mom and her sister make a sweet treat called Bourbon Balls to give away for Christmas. Bourbon Balls are basically nuts that have been soaked in liquor and dipped in chocolate. Inevitably, there is always at least one jar of soaked nuts left after all of the Bourbon Balls have been made. One year I decided to throw the leftover soaked nuts into my favorite pumpkin blondie recipe and I could not believe how amazing they tasted. You couldn’t really distinguish the bourbon, but there was this added warmth that was incredible. That’s what I had in mind when I thought of these cookies.

In order for the flavor to really shine through, I would recommend soaking the pecans at least 24 hours ahead of time. Of course you don’t have to soak your pecans in spiced rum, it’s not like you can go wrong with the pumpkin, butterscotch, pecan combo on it’s own. You could probably even get away with a shorter soak. But if you do take the time to do it, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Pumpkin Praline Cake

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Originally I was thinking that if Jesse wasn’t going to be home for Thanksgiving I would just fly back to Ohio. Unfortunately we found out too late and the cost of airlines tickets was outrageous. How annoying is it that the airlines can get away with charging so much more for tickets during the holidays? So I had to stay in San Diego for Thanksgiving.

Since a few friends were also staying in town, I decided to host a not-Thanksgiving dinner. Going in a completely different direction I planned a Mexican feast, complete with chicken enchiladas, shrimp enchiladas, black beans, and rice.The friends I had over were also at our turkey dinner 2 weeks earlier, so I don’t think they missed the traditional meal too much. And I have to say, I forgot how much I love enchiladas at home.

But when it came to dessert I couldn’t get the traditional pumpkin out of my head. I found this recipe and even though it didn’t really “go” with my theme, it was still awesome. Pumpkin cakes are always super moist, and the crunch from the pecans and the flavor of the caramel was perfect. And don’t even get me started on the cream cheese, whipped cream frosting fusion. Last minute I felt like the frosting needed a little kick so I sprinkled in some cinnamon and it was like heaven on a spoon when I tasted it.

Quick blog announcement: If you follow me on Facebook, then you already know this, but if you don’t (maybe you should :)) then I just want to share that starting Monday I am doing a week long feature on Christmas cookies! Stop by all next week for some Santa- friendly treats!


Pumpkin Praline Cake

Ingredients

Caramel Praline

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
3 Tbsp whipping cream
1 cup pecans chopped, and toasted

Cake
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Frosting 4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 – 1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper.

In a small sauce pan over low heat, stir together the brown sugar, butter and heavy whipping. Keep stirring occasionally until it has all melted together, about 5 minutes. Then divide the mixture between the two cake pans. Sprinkle the pecans into the cake pans, over the brown sugar mixture. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

In another bowl, with a hand held mixer (or standing mixer), beat together the eggs, vegetable oil and sugar until well blended. Slowly add the dry ingredients, and with the mixer on low speed, combine. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top of the cake is spongy and the edges start to pull away from the sides. Let the cakes cool in the pan or 5 minutes, then invert onto cooling racks*. Allow to cool until no longer warm to the touch, at least 1 1/2 hours, before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar until light and creamy. Add the whipping cream 1/4 cup at a time, beating on high speed until smooth, and scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition. After the last addition beat until it has the consistency of whipped cream. Finally stir in the cinnamon.

Frost the top of each cake then stack one on top of the other. Garnish with whole pecans.

Adapted from Beantown Baker

Pumpkin Blondies


** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

If you have followed my blog at all over the last year or so then it probably comes as no surprise to you that I love fall. It’s just absolutely my favorite season for so many reasons. First, many of my favorite people were born in the fall (including my husband, my mom and my sister). I was also married in the fall. On top of that I think that fall has the best sights, smells, and food. How can a row of trees with leaves that have just turned brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red not make you smile? But my favorite part of fall is the pumpkins. Pumpkins for decorations, pumpkin for scented candles and most of all pumpkin for eating! That’s why I knew the moment I saw these that I would be making them and they were everything I thought they would be and more. If you like pumpkin half as much as me then you must try these.

Pumpkin Blondies
(Adapted from Annie’s Eats)

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted nuts, optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350° F. *Grease and flour (or use bakers spray) a 9×13-inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree. With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate chips (and nuts, if using) with a rubber spatula.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.

To serve, cut into 24 squares and transfer to a serving platter.

*Annie’s recipe calls for lining the pan with foil, but I didn’t want to mess with it so I just used my bakers spray. I had no problems cutting the blondies and transferring them to a serving platter. So I don’t necessarily think you have to use foil.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

I love to bake with pumpkin and I am always looking for something new to try. That’s why I was so excited when I stumbled upon this recipe in Peabody’s blog. I’ve made several recipes from her blog before and I have never been disappointed. She is pretty much my baking idol. If you haven’t explored her blog before please, go, you won’t regret it!

This recipe is fantastic. One of my friends even had to go back for more, not because he was hungry, but because he said he couldn’t stop thinking about them. I think that overindulgence of that kind is the highest compliment a baker can get. So needless to say they were a hit. I look forward to making these for Thanksgiving and Christmas.