Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups flour
1 bag of milk chocolate chips (I prefer the Ghirardelli brand for this particular recipe because the chips are a little larger than the standard size chocolate chips and they make the cookies way better)
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-Cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg, pumpkin & vanilla and mix well. Slowly add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour. Stir in milk chocolate chips.

-Drop by large spoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. They do not taste good under baked so make sure they look dry and uniform in color to ensure they are done all the way through.

-This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies for me.

Another variation is to make pumpkin whoopie pies by leaving out the chocolate chips. Spread the dough out a little, so they don't bake up as thick. Bake for the same amount of time. Then sandwich 2 cookies together with homemade cream cheese frosting in between them.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1-2 tsp vanilla
about 4 cups powdered sugar

-With an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency and sweetness.

Pumpkin Stuffed Shells

16-20 jumbo shells
1/4 pound thick sliced bacon

1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of salt

1 can chicken broth
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
4 tbsp butter
1 cup grated Italian cheese blend (I like the Tillamook brand) plus a little extra for the top
2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper to taste

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-Boil pasta shells according to package directions, drain and set aside

-Cook bacon, drain, crumble into big pieces and set aside

-For the filling, blend pumpkin, mascarpone cheese, nutmeg, pepper and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth

-For the sauce, pour chicken broth into large sauce pan and reduce by half over medium/high heat. Add 1/2 & 1/2 and reduce again over medium/low heat. Whisk in butter a tbsp at a time. Then whisk in flour and cheese until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let thicken to desired consistency.

To assemble, use a pastry bag or spoon to fill the shells. Place them in a single layer in a 9x13 pan. Pour the sauce over the top, making sure the noodles are fully covered. Top with crumbled bacon and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Italian cheese blend. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and they're hot all the way through.