Last weekend I took the opportunity to turn my pie pumpkins into pumpkin puree, ready to add into a myriad of pumpkin recipes. And then I got down to business and started cooking.
First, since I had to clean out the pie pumpkins, I saved the seeds. My hubby came across a recipe for pumpkin seeds lightly sweetened with honey and cinnamon. It sounded good, so I enlisted my daughter's help to clean the seeds. She often asks for pumpkin seeds to snack on, so I figured she should be part of the process of preparing them.
Unfiltered truth: she mostly played with the seeds while I did a lot of the washing and cleaning.
The seeds turned out fine, though small in size due to the pumpkins they came from.
Once I had the pumpkin puree ready to go, I started by making three ingredient pumpkin cookies; you know, the ones with only spice cake mix, pumpkin puree, and chocolate chips. Hard to mess up, right?
Unfiltered truth: wrong. For me, at least. They say to cook for 8-10 minutes. I'd like to say they were under-cooked at 8 minutes because of the fresh pumpkin, but honestly, I think I've under-cooked them before using canned pumpkin. I just need to remember that they need extra time to cook when I use my small cookie scoop to measure them. My hubby came to the rescue by making a whole new batch. His cooked perfectly; mostly because we didn't hear the timer go off and they got a couple of extra minutes in the oven. My first batch went in the garbage.
My grand finale was to be shared with our neighbors at an organized outdoor gathering. Although I also planned on sharing the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, I wanted something that made a number of treats, was small and easily eaten, and looked delicious. It wasn't hard to come up with Pumpkin Pie Bites, adapted from one of my favorite pumpkin pie recipes by Kraft. (See their recipe at https://www.myfoodandfamily.com/recipe/054636/double-layer-pumpkin-pie).
Our adaptation used mini cupcake liners, mini vanilla wafers (a sanity saver for the crust!), and the fillings as listed in the recipe, with the pumpkin filling piped on top. Delicious, easy to share, and pretty!
Unfiltered truth: A cold snap in weather necessitated canceling the gathering. We went ahead and shared a couple of platefuls of our treats with friends, and happily kept the rest for ourselves. Enjoy the season of pumpkin everything!