Yep, it’s another pumpkin recipe! But it’s pumpkin season and these amazing Pumpkin Upside Down Muffins are just too good not to share! As if I would ever hold out on you…. Not a chance! Another bonus of these moist, but tender-crumbed, perfectly pumpkin-spiced, pecan-caramel bedecked muffins is that they are lightly and more healthfully sweetened with unrefined sugar. Making them that much more awesome!
I usually try to sweeten all of the desserts I bring you with either maple syrup or maple sugar, and I will continue to incorporate them into my recipes, but I’ve been experimenting with using Sucanat, as well. If you aren’t familiar with it, Sucanat is natural, unprocessed cane sugar. As much as I love maple syrup, there are some recipes that it doesn’t work well in, and maple sugar, while very versatile, isn’t super easy to source, so I thought it would be nice to bring you an alternative. I’ll also be trying some recipes with coconut sugar because it’s unrefined too and has a mild flavour profile that will work well with a lot of different recipes.
I hope you’ll check in to see the new treats and try the recipes I come up with as I continue on this amazing dessert blogging adventure.
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or brown sugar)
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup Sucanat (finely ground*) or brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cups pumpkin purée
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Bring butter and maple syrup to a low simmer over medium-high heat. Stir caramel until it turns a medium golden brown. Remove from heat and whisk in whipping cream and pinch of salt. Divide chopped pecans into the bottom of the individual tins of a greased 12-cup muffin tin. Top each with about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon caramel sauce. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin, Sucanat, eggs, oil, and vanilla until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and all of the spices. Gently fold flour mixture into liquid mixture, stirring until just combined.
- Divide muffin batter evenly between muffin cups, spooning batter over nuts and caramel. Bake muffins at 425ºF for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 375ºF and continue baking 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a couple of crumbs showing.
- Cool muffins in pan for about 10 minutes. Run a knife around muffins, inverting onto a cooling rack.
And just like that, it’s Autumn! Here in the northern Rockies, it’s like someone just flipped a switch and said, “OK, change of seasons”! I do love the beautiful fall colours and the crispness in the air, and the irresistible aroma of apples, pumpkin, and wonderful fall spices in my kitchen. These Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies are a crispy-exterior-chewy-in-the-middle kind of cookie with a perfect blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves-a delicious way to begin your fall baking. I topped these cookies with a store-bought caramel sauce (yep, I totally cheated, and yes, it has regular white sugar in it! Gasp!), then sprinkled the caramel with a pinch of medium-grain salt, but you can absolutely leave it off if you prefer a less-sweet cookie, and they’ll still be sooo yummy. I hope you’ll try these little gems and fill your home with the warm and homey scents of the season.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup maple sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup caramel sauce (I used King’s Cupboard brand)
- Medium grain salt for sprinkling (Fleur de Sel is good)
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with maple sugar. Add pumpkin and mix until completely combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing until thoroughly combined.
- Scoop out a generous tablespoon of dough and lightly roll into a ball. Place dough balls onto a parchment paper or silicone sheet-lined cookie sheet, about 2” apart.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes. Remove from oven and, using a pancake spatula, flatten each cookie slightly (so the caramel sauce doesn’t slide off). Cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the drizzle, spoon caramel sauce into a microwaveable container and microwave for 15-25 seconds on high power. Pour sauce into a plastic squeeze bottle and squeeze a little onto the top of each cookie, spreading almost to the edge or just spoon about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of caramel sauce on top of each cookie. When caramel has cooled completely, sprinkle with salt.
Dough will be stiff, but sticky.
Thanksgiving is nearly upon us! How did that even happen?! Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like once we get past September, the year picks up some serious momentum! If you’ve been feeling a sense of urgency about what to prepare for the dessert end of things on the Turkey Day table, I think I have a solution for you with this Pumpkin Creme Brulee. Like all creme brulees, this one is creamy-smooth with that to-die-for crackly sugar topping that creme brulee fans love, but it’s the maple pumpkin deliciousness that brings this one to a new level of yum! What’s so great about this dessert is that it really is pretty simple to prepare and you can make it ahead of time so it’s one less thing to deal with and take up precious oven time on the big day. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
- 8 egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/3 vanilla bean, split
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup maple sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- In a large bowl, mix egg yolks with a hand mixer until frothy.
- Heat about 6 cups of water to boiling. (This will be poured into the pan that will hold the creme-filled ramekins).
- Add cream to a medium pan and scrape vanilla bean seeds into the cream. Stir in maple syrup and 1/4 c. maple sugar, and turn on heat to med-high. Stir constantly, bring cream to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Very slowly whisk some (a few tablespoons at a time) of the hot cream into the egg (until the mixture is lukewarm), then whisk in the remainder of the cream.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the 2 tablespoons maple sugar) and whisk until combined. Place ramekins into a large pan (a 13 x 19 cake pan should be fine) and pour mixture into your ramekins. Carefully fill the pan half full with hot water. This will maintain a good moisture level inside the oven while the custard is baking.
- Bake until the custards set, 55-60 min. Test the custards for doneness by shaking them lightly; if they don’t jiggle in the middle, they’re done. Place them in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill.
- To brûler your custards, sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon maple sugar on the tops of each chilled custard and using a cooking torch, carefully and slowly heat the sugar until it hardens. You can also put them under a broiler but watch them very carefully so they don’t burn, turning often.
- Pop them back into the fridge to chill for an hour or so longer.
NOTE: The maple sugar that you sprinkle on top of the custards will burn more easily than regular granulated sugar, so if you’d rather not take the extra time it requires to more slowly brulee the maple sugar, then go ahead and use superfine white sugar in the same quantity.
It’s apple season! Right now my house smells like an apple orchard tinged with cinnamon and it just makes me happy! A friend gave me a huge amount of apples from the crazy productive apple tree in her backyard and I’ve been busy making apple sauce, apple pie filling, and these oh-so-wonderful Apple Dumplings with Maple Cinnamon Sauce. Which aroma do you prefer wafting through your home? Freshly baked bread or apple cinnamon anything? It’s a toss up for me, but at the moment…apple cinnamon is winning the contest. You won’t be even a little bit sorry if you try these Apple Dumplings with Maple Cinnamon Sauce. Happy Fall everyone!
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups unbleached white flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup cold shortening (place in freezer for an hour or so)
- 2/3 cup cold butter, divided
- 1/2 cup milk
- 6 small MacIntosh or Jonathon Apples, peeled and cored
- Maple sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling
- Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes so it thickens slightly.
- Measure the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Cut the shortening and ⅓ cup butter (save remaining butter for the center of the apples) into the flour mixture with a pastry blender (stop blending when the shortening and butter are approximately pea-sized). Add milk and stir until the dough just forms a ball. Place in the refrigerator.
- Peel and core the apples.
- Divide the dough into six equal portions and roll them out, one at a time, on a lightly floured surface.
- Place an apple on a dough round, fill the center with butter, sprinkle approximately 1 tablespoon maple sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon over the top.
- Mold the dough around the apple, sealing it well so the filling doesn’t come out when baking. Continue with the rest of the apples.
- Place the apples in a 13×9 inch baking pan, spacing them about an inch apart. Pour the sauce over the dumplings, then sprinkle with maple sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Spoon the sauce in the bottom of the pan over the apple dumplings when they are removed from the oven.