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.

 

 

Captain Banana Bread

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I’ve always loved bananas and I think they are a great grab-and-go snack or addition to breakfast. But, even though I loved them it seemed like I only ever thought to buy them once every few weeks. I would enjoy them all week until the bunch was gone and then I would forget about them. Since I moved to San Diego my cravings for bananas have actually increased so I have been buying them more frequently. Last week I bought some and they somehow worked their way to the bottom of the fruit bowl and I forgot about them. When I finally came across them they were more than halfway brown and spotty. What a waste, I thought! Then it suddenly popped into my brain that you use older bananas for banana bread. But, I thought, do I like banana bread?

As many of you know, and as I often blogged about, I’ve only recently started testing my fruit-as-an-ingredient boundaries. Historically I’ve not been a fan of fruit containing items. However, last summer I finally broke down and tried zucchini bread for the first time and I discovered I loved it. I thought that maybe if I could find the right recipe with a little cinnamon spice kick, I could like banana bread. And I was right! Not only did I like it I loved it. I guess it’s true what they say about your taste buds changing as you get older. I can’t wait to forget about a bunch of bananas and find the brown spotty ones again!

The recipe that I found was coincidentally called “Jacked Up Banana Bread” and it seemed to have just what I was looking for. However I wanted to take mine up just another level and add another jacked up twist, so I substituted (and slightly increased) the bourbon she had added with Captain Morgans Spiced Rum. A-ma-zing. Below I will list the recipe exactly as I made it.

Captain Banana Bread
(Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen)

3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted salted butter
3/4 to 1 cup light brown sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ounce Spiced Rum (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cup of flour (I slightly increased the flour from the original recipe because I added more liquid with the Rum if you use less liquid you can use less flour)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and spiced rum, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour and walnuts last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.