Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Come Join the Great Pumpkin Cook Off!

photo credit
October is a terrific month to eat! The crisp weather gets me thinking about soup and warm kitchens, the grocery store display stands are laden with canned pumpkin and spices, and I haven't come close to my annual I cannot eat one more bite of fudge or another holiday cookie for the rest of my life sugar overload that happens sometime between Halloween and New Years. Usually it's closer to New Years.

Every year in October when I see the stacks of canned pumpkin in the grocery store something inside of me goes haywire. I load ten cans into my cart and rush home, frantically thumbing through my recipe box until I have retrieved every single pumpkin recipe that I love. And when we've finished those I move to the internet, searching for the latest and greatest pumpkin sensation. Soups! Pasta sauce! Breads! Cookies! Salads! Smoothies! October is arguably the very best month to eat!

So, this year I'd like to invite my readers to be part of the mania. I'm sponsoring my first annual Great Pumpkin Cook Off! Send an email to orafrying@hotmail.com with your favorite, tried and true pumpkin recipe(s) no later than October 31st. Please limit your recipe submissions to no more than two per person. I will try the recipes during the weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving, and then declare the winner on my blog the Friday after Thanksgiving. The only recipe criteria is that it must contain pumpkin and it must be delicious. Sweet, savory...I like it all. I will post the winning recipe on my blog and then send the winner a new cookbook along with a Starbucks gift card since their Pumpkin Spice Cocoa is among my seasonal favorites.

Good luck and let the pumpkin madness begin!


  1. You already have my best pumpkin recipe and I think you've already made it this Fall, but you know me and recipe contests -- I can't resist!

  2. And because I know the true way to your heart. ..

    Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate
    3 cups whole milk
    1 cup canned pumpkin puree
    2 cinnamon sticks, broken
    12 whole cloves, crushed slightly
    12 whole allspice berries, crushed slightly
    2 tblsp. Chopped candied ginger
    2 tblsp.Chopped orange pee (I just use my potato
    peeler and peel a whole orange)
    1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
    4-­‐6 ounces high quality white chocolate
    pinch of salt
    1. In a saucepan over med-­‐low heat, bring the
    milk to a bare simmer.
    2. Add all the ingredients
    3. Stir and simmer for a few minutes
    4. Remove from heat and let mellow as long as
    possible (in the fridge overnight is the best..but try to get at least an hour out
    of it!)
    5. Strain all—this is the most time consuming
    part. I run a mini-­‐strainer through it once to
    get big chunks out, and again through my larger
    6. Garnish with heavy cream, sweetened
    and whipped, with a dash of cinnamon or
    chocolate curls.
    7. Prepare to have your life changed.

    (I got this from my friend Reyna)

  3. Sorry, I couldn't resist one more I just found. Haven't tried it, but it's Mel's so it has at least a 97% chance of being delicious. http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2012/10/pumpkin-cheesecake-crumble-bars.html

  4. The only reason that Michelle has the floor is because I'm not home with my recipes. Just wait...

  5. Salted Caramel Pumpkin Bars

    Yield: 9 bars


    1 C white whole wheat flour
    1 C all-purpose flour
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp cloves
    1 egg
    3/4 C brown sugar
    1/2 C granulated sugar substitute or sugar
    1/2 C 0% plain Greek yogurt
    2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 C canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
    **For the Salted Caramel
    6 tbsp brown sugar
    2 tbsp non-fat half & half
    2 tbsp butter
    1/2 tsp coarse sea salt


    Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
    In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together egg, brown sugar, and sugar substitute. Add in yogurt, butter, and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Slowly add in dry ingredients and beat until combined.
    Add in pumpkin and beat until combined.
    Spread about half of the batter into the bottom of a prepared baking dish.
    Bake for 10 minutes.
    In a medium saucepan, stir together brown sugar and half & half. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil. Stirring constantly, allow sugar mixture to boil until sugar has dissolved and mixture has turned dark brown. This will take about 3 minutes. Stir in butter and salt. Remove from heat and continue stirring for another two minutes to cool the mixture.
    Drizzle about 1/4 C of the salted caramel mixture over the top of the pumpkin bars and spread with a spoon. Spread remaining pumpkin batter over the top. Drizzle remaining two tablespoons of salted caramel mixture over top.
    Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes over clean.
    Allow bars to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into slices.
    Store leftovers in an airtight container.

    **If you want extra to drizzle more salted caramel over bars when serving, halve the ingredients for the salted caramel and make right before serving.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...