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Autumn inspired

By Angie Sutton

www.mothersapronstrings.com

Who doesn’t love pumpkin? The smell of baking pumpkin whether in the form of pie, bread, cheesecake, cookies or cake warms the house like a fuzzy blanket on a cold, rainy day. Top that with an easy homemade light and fluffy whipped topping or a rich cream cheese frosting. Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy!


Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Tbsp. butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 c. powdered sugar
3 to 4 Tbsp. milk

Beat the butter and cream cheese together in a stand mixer. Add the vanilla and mix until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix well. Add the milk a little at a time until you reach spreadable consistency.


Homemade Vanilla Whipped Cream

1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a stand mixer, beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.


Pumpkin Sheet Cake

This cake is moist and tasty and will surely please the crowd at your next office potluck. I like to top it with the Cream Cheese Frosting and often double the frosting recipe! Store this cake in the refrigerator.

1 (15 oz.) can pure pumpkin pack
2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

In a stand mixer, beat the pumpkin, sugar and oil. Add the eggs and mix well. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the pumpkin mixture, beating until well blended. Pour into a greased 10- by 15-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes. Cool the cake completely and then frost with the cream cheese frosting.


Pumpkin Banana Bread

If you love banana bread, then you will find this version to your liking. The moist bread has a subtle balance between the pumpkin flavor and traditional taste of banana bread. Skip the chocolate chips and substitute chopped walnut. Split the recipe into two mini loaf pans or double the recipe and make two regular-sized loaves. This bread freezes well if you let it cool completely and then double wrap it before freezing.

2 ripe bananas
1/2 c. pure pumpkin pack
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mash the bananas, pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla with a potato masher. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread into a greased 8- by 4-inch loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. Top will be golden brown and cracked on top and springy to the touch.


Easy Pumpkin Muffins

It really doesn’t get any easier than this. These are seriously good and seriously simple. Once cooled, I like to dip these in the Cream Cheese Frosting. Be sure you dilute the frosting a bit more for dipping. One recipe of the Cream Cheese Frosting is perfect if you double this muffin recipe. If you use paper liners, give them a quick shot of cooking spray before filling as it will make it easier for your guests to peel it off. These are perfect for the mini muffin tins. Store them in the refrigerator if you don’t eat them right away.

1 (18.5-oz.) box yellow cake mix
1 (15-oz.) can pure pumpkin pack
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or prepare with paper liners. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until smooth. Spoon equal amounts of batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of muffin comes out clean.

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