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Saturday, October 23, 2010

♥ Harvest-Time Pumpkin Bars ♥

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1-2/3 cups sugar
* 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup cooking oil
* 3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans (optional)
* 1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar, pumpkin, eggs, and oil with an electric mixer on medium speed. Beat in the flour mixture until well mixed. If desired, stir in pecans.

2. Spread batter in an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting; spread over top Cut into bars. Top with desired toppings. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes 24 bars.

Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, combine two 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened; 1/2 cup butter, softened; and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add 4 cups sifted powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

♥ Pumpkin-Shrimp Bruschetta ♥

* 20 fresh or frozen peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp in shells
* 1 cup canned pumpkin
* 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese, at room temperature (2 ounces)
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1 cup arugula
* 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
* 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds*
* 1/4 cup bottled Italian vinaigrette salad dressing
* 20 3/4-inch-thick slices baguette-style French bread
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved (optional)

1. Peel and devein shrimp, if desired, leaving tails intact. Rinse shrimp. In a large skillet, cook shrimp in a large amount of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque. Drain well.

2. Preheat broiler. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, goat cheese, lemon juice, and honey; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine shrimp, arugula, onion, pumpkin seeds, and salad dressing; set aside.

4. Brush both sides of baguette slices lightly with olive oil. Arrange on a large baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat about 2 minutes or until toasted, turning bread over once.

5. Spread pumpkin mixture on one side of toasted baguette slices. Top each with a shrimp and some of the arugula mixture. If desired, top each with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Makes 20 appetizers.

*Kitchen Tip: To toast pumpkin seeds: Place pumpkin seeds in a dry large skillet; cover. Heat over medium heat about 5 minutes or until seeds are toasted, shaking skillet occasionally.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

♥ Pumpkin Charlotte ♥

* 2 3-ounce packages (24 total) ladyfingers, split
* 2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
* 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
* 2 cups whipping cream
* 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
* 2 4-serving-size packages instant vanilla pudding mix
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
* 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
* 1 cup milk
* 1/2 cup apricot jam, melted (optional)
* Pumpkin pie spice (optional)

1. Chill a mixing bowl and beaters. For crust, line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with ladyfingers, cutting to fill spaces. Trim bottoms of the remaining ladyfingers slightly to stand in pan. Place ladyfingers, round side out, against pan sides. Set aside.

2. For cream cheese filling, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. In the chilled bowl beat 1-3/4 cups of the whipping cream and the powdered sugar until soft peaks form; set aside 1/2 cup of the whipped cream mixture. Fold remaining whipped cream mixture into cream cheese mixture.

3. For pumpkin filling, stir together pudding mixes, cinnamon, ginger, and pie spice. Add pumpkin and milk; beat until thick. Fold in reserved whipped cream mixture.

4. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly onto the bottom of prepared pan. Carefully spread pumpkin layer over cream cheese layer. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

5. To serve, remove side from pan; place charlotte on a platter. If desired, brush side with melted jam. Beat remaining whipping cream to soft peaks; spoon some atop each serving. If desired, sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice.

Makes 12 servings.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

♥ Pumpkin Pound Cake ♥

* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 3/4 cup shortening
* 2 eggs
* 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
* 1 cup raisins
* 1 cup chopped pecans or other nuts
* 1 cup chopped maraschino cherries
* Orange juice (optional)
* Coarse sugar (optional)
* Maraschino cherries (optional)

1. In a large mixing bowl beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, shortening, and eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Add flour mixture and pumpkin alternately to shortening mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Stir in raisins, nuts, and cherries.

2. Turn batter into a greased and floured 10-inch fluted tube pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Brush with orange juice and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. Garnish with maraschino cherries, if desired.

Makes 14 to 16 servings.

tip: Refrigerate cake, covered, up to 3 days. Or freeze, wrapped in foil, up to 2 months.

Friday, October 15, 2010

♥ Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread ♥

* 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Makes 1-1/2 cups (24, 1-tablespoon servings).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

♥ Pumpkin Marmalade ♥

* 2 cups cooked fresh pumpkin puree or one 15-oz. can pumpkin
* 1 cup orange marmalade
* 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
* 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
* English cheddar cheese, white cheddar cheese, or Parmesan cheese (buy about 2 oz. for each person you'll be serving)
* Assorted hearty breads

1. In a medium saucepan combine cooked fresh pumpkin puree, marmalade, and ginger. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and cool. Serve as a spread with cheese and bread.

Makes about 3 cups or 24 (2-tablespoon) servings.

Tip: Spread will keep in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

Monday, October 11, 2010

♥ Autumn Pear and Pumpkin Soup ♥

* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules
* 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
* 2-1/2 cups half-and-half or light cream
* 1-3/4 cups pear nectar
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
* Pear slices (optional)


1. In a large saucepan combine onion, water, and bouillon granules. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until onion is very tender; cool slightly. Do not drain.

2. Transfer mixture to a blender container or food processor bowl. Add pumpkin. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Return pumpkin mixture to saucepan. Stir in half-and-half or light cream, pear nectar, ginger, and white pepper. Cook and stir until heated through.

3. Ladle into soup bowls. If desired, garnish each serving with pear slices.

Makes 6 servings.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

♥ Autumn Brown Sugar Pear Pound Cake ♥

* 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
* 3 cups packed light brown sugar
* 1 Tbsp. vanilla
* 5 eggs
* 3/4 cup milk
* 1/4 cup brandy, pear brandy, pear liqueur, or orange juice
* 2-1/4 cups firm, ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
* 2 to 3 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
* 1/3 cup granulated sugar
* 1/3 cup brandy, pear brandy, pear liqueur, or orange juice
* For Pear Sauce:
* 4 large Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
* 1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice
* 1/3 cup pear nectar or pear juice
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 500 mg vitamin C tablet (to prevent browning)
* 1/4 tsp. vanilla

1. Butter a 10-inch fluted tube pan. Coat lightly with flour, shaking out excess. Set pan aside.

2. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a very large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and vanilla; beat on high speed until mixture is smooth and light, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until combined.

3. Alternately add milk and the 1/4 cup brandy to flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition and stopping occasionally to scrape the bowl. Fold in pears and orange peel. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly.

4. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 1 hour 10 minutes or until golden brown and a long wooden skewer inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

5. For glaze, combine granulated sugar and the 1/3 cup brandy in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture just boils and sugar is dissolved.

6. Remove cake from pan and place on wire rack. Place a piece of waxed paper under the wire rack. With a pastry brush, brush the warm glaze over the entire surface of the cake. Cool cake completely. Serve with Pear Sauce. Makes 16 servings.

7. Pear Sauce: In a medium saucepan combine pears, lemon juice, pear nectar, sugar, and vitamin C tablet. Bring to boiling over medium heat; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until pears are soft. If mixture seems dry and in danger of scorching, add a bit more nectar to pan.

8. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Puree mixture in a food processor or blender; strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir in vanilla. Taste sauce and adjust sugar if necessary. Cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 72 hours.

Makes about 2 cups.

Make-Ahead Tip: Store cooled cake tightly wrapped at room temperature up to 2 days.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

♥ Light & Luscious Angel Food Cake with Lemon Cream and Berries ♥

* 3 6-ounce cartons lemon yogurt
* 1 4-serving-size package instant vanilla pudding mix
* 1 8-ounce container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
* Fresh blueberries
* 1 8- to 9-inch purchased angel food cake, cubed
* Fresh mint sprigs (optional)

1. In medium bowl, whisk together yogurt and one-fourth of the pudding mix until smooth. Gradually add remaining pudding mix to yogurt, whisking until smooth after each addition. Fold in whipped topping, half at a time. Serve lemon cream and berries over cubed cake. If desired, garnish with mint sprigs.

Makes 16 servings.

Kitchen Tip: Any leftover lemon cream can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Nutrition Facts:
* Calories 172,
* Total Fat (g)2,
* Saturated Fat (g)2,
* Monounsaturated Fat (g)0,
* Polyunsaturated Fat (g)0,
* Cholesterol (mg)2,
* Sodium (mg)269,
* Carbohydrate (g)34,
* Total Sugar (g)23,
* Fiber (g)4,
* Protein (g)3,
* Vitamin A (DV%)0,
* Vitamin C (DV%)12,
* Calcium (DV%)8,
* Iron (DV%)2,
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

♥ Pretty Pear Gingerbread Tart ♥

* 1/2 cup shortening
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 1 egg
* 1 tablespoon vinegar
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 8-ounce tubs cream cheese spread
* 1/3 cup orange marmalade, melted
* 3 ripe medium pears, peeled, cored, and very thinly sliced
* 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 12-inch pizza pan; set aside. For crust: In a large bowl, beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in molasses, egg, and vinegar until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

2. Press dough into the prepared pan, building up edge slightly. Crimp edge as desired. Bake about 12 minutes or until edge is lightly browned and center appears set. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

3. Stir cream cheese to soften. Spread cream cheese over crust. Carefully brush melted marmalade over cream cheese. Brush pear slices with lemon juice. Arrange pear slices in a decorative pattern on top of tart. Cover and chill for 1 to 4 hours.

Makes 12 servings.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

♥ Peanut Butter Chocolate Divine Cupcakes ♥

* 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
* 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 tablespoon 2% milk

* 2 cups sugar
* 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup baking cocoa
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup water
* 1 cup 2% milk
* 1/2 cup canola oil
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

* 1/3 cup butter, softened
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 6 tablespoons baking cocoa
* 3 to 4 tablespoons 2% milk

* In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar and milk until smooth; set aside.
* In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, water, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be thin).
* Fill paper-lined jumbo muffin cups half full with batter. Drop scant tablespoonfuls of peanut butter mixture into center of each; cover with remaining batter.
* Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
* In a large bowl, combine frosting ingredients until smooth; frost cupcakes. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 1 dozen jumbo cupcakes.

~~Taste of Home April/May 2007~~

Friday, October 1, 2010

♥ Snappy Pumpkin Cheesecake ♥

* 1-1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies (about 30 cookies)
* 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
* 1/4 cup butter, melted
* 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
* 3/4 cup sugar, divided
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 cup canned pumpkin
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

* Whipped topping, optional
* Additional gingersnap cookies, cut into wedges, optional

* Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan; set aside.
* In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and pecans; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of prepared pan. Bake at 325° for 9-11 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
* Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.
* Place 1 cup filling in a small bowl; stir in the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining sugar. Remove 3/4 cup pumpkin filling and set aside. Pour remaining pumpkin filling into the crust; top with plain filling. Drop reserved pumpkin filling by spoonfuls over top; cut through filling with a knife to swirl.
* Place pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with whipped topping and cookie wedges if desired.

Yield: 12 servings.

~~Taste of Home August/September 2008~~