Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

What could be better than a slice of cheesecake?  A mini cheesecake that is the size of a cupcake. These cheesecakes can be made with gluten free cookies for a 100% gluten free dessert. Or use regular cookies, I have made them both ways. The cheesecakes can be made several days ahead and top with whip cream right before serving.


Ingredients:

12 cupcake liners*

12 cookies*, I used gingersnap, I found gluten free gingersnaps at my local grocery store

1 8 ounce package cream cheese, room

temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons pumpkin purée, not pie filling

1/2 cup sour cream

1 Tablespoon of cornstarch

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Whip cream for garnish, optional

Nutmeg for garnish on whip cream, optional

Nutmeg, chopped pecans for garnish, optional

 The cookie is the perfect crust for the mini cheesecakes.  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 tins with cupcake liners. Place gingersnap cookies in cupcake liners flat side down.  Mix cream cheese and sugar, blend well. Add egg, pumpkin, sour cream, cornstarch, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Mix well. Divide batter evenly into the 12 liners. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until done. Let cool. Cool completely before topping with whip cream and garnishes. Serve guests without cupcake liners on the mini cheesecakes.


*Recipe yields 12 – 14 mini cheesecakes

You will have leftover pumpkin purée.  I suggest you add it to your pancake/waffle batter for delicious pancakes or waffles. Or use it in a smoothie.

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Pumpkin Spice Cookies


I would like to say, run, don’t walk and buy these pumpkin spice chips! I bought 3 bags and I am going back for more. It’s no secret that I am not a huge pumpkin fan. I happen to know and love many people that do. These cookies made me a pumpkin lover. I admit it! I baked two batches of these cookies, one with regular all purpose flour and one batch with gluten free flour. Hard for me to tell the difference. Both batches were perfect and delicious!
 Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup all purpose or gluten free (I used Pillsbury’s Gluten Free)*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup of vegetable shortening, I used Crisco, the white kind
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, I used extra large
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 10 ounce package of pumpkin spice chips, I bought mine at Walmart in the holiday baking isle


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. In a mixing bowl, beat sugars and shortening until creamy. Add vanilla and add eggs one at a time. Add flour mixture gradually. Mix well. Stir in pumpkin spice chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonful on an ungreased cookie/baking sheet. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes and remove to finish cooling on a wire rack. Once cool, store in an airtight container.
 *If you are using Pilsbury’s Gluten Free Flour, follow the recipe and measure cup for cup per the directions.
 

 

It’s A Snappy Pumpkin Pie

It’s that time of year when everything is pumpkin, pumpkin and pumpkin!  Last year I created an Egg Nog Pie with a gingersnap crust so this year it was time for a pumpkin pie with a gingersnap crust. 

  
Crust:

I box of gingersnap cookies, I used store brand, crushed into crumbs

2 Tablespoons sugar

3 Tablespoons of butter, melted
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix gingersnap crumbs, sugar and melted butter together. Press into a 9″ deep dish pie pan. Set aside. 
Pie:

1 15 ounce can of pumpkin purée, not pie filling

1 12 ounce can of evaporated milk

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs, I used extra large

1 Tablespoon cornstarch 

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 salt

Whip cream, nutmeg or sprinkles for garnish. 

  
Pie:

Combine pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt. On medium speed, mix well until combined. Pour into the pie crust. Bake for one hour or until the pie is set and lightly brown on top.  Cool completely before serving. Garnish with whip cream, nutmeg or sprinkles. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Harvest Chili

I have never tried pumpkin chili until I created this recipe. The idea came from Melodie Johnson, a friend on Tampa Cake Girl.  Thank you Melodie for suggesting I create a pumpkin chili.  Pumpkin is very healthy, full of vitamins and fiber. It’s not just for pies!

  
Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef (turkey or chicken works too)

1/2-3/4 cup chopped onion

Season to taste with salt and pepper (I used garlic salt)

2 cans of pumpkin purée (15 ounce cans) not pie filling

2 cans of your favorite bean (I used kidney), do not drain

1 can of beef stock (chicken or vegetable stock maybe substituted)

3 cans of diced tomatoes (I used 3-14 ounce cans with roasted garlic)

4 Tablespoons of chili powder, or more or less to taste

Garnish with your favorite chili toppings. I used sour cream sprinkled with nutmeg, cheese and scallions. 

  
Add meat and onion to your pan and season.  Cook meat and drain off the fat. Continue adding your ingredients, beans, stock, tomatoes and pumpkin. Add chili powder to your liking. Simmer on low for an hour or more. Top off with your favorite garnish and enjoy.  

  

Recipe Update:

If you thing the chili does not have enough pumpkin for you, add pumpkin spice by the teaspoonful, tasting after each addition of the spice. 

  
I had leftover chili so I microwaved a spaghetti squash in an inch of water, cut side down for 10 minutes per side. Don’t forget to remove the seeds before cooking it in the microwave. Let cool for a few minutes until you can handle it and scrape the insides. Pour some warm leftover chili over the spaghetti squash and garnish with Parmesan cheese. It is delicious and very healthy. I love it when the leftovers are as good or better than the original recipe. 

  

Pumpkin Pie Cake and Cupcakes


I am not a huge Pumpkin fan but I do like pumpkin cake, cupcakes and pumpkin lattes. I do have friends and clients that love pumpkin and so I make pumpkin cakes and cupcakes for them.

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 can of pumpkin purée, not pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 eight inch cake pans or line cupcake tins with liners.

In a bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice.

In a mixing bowl, combine brown and granulated sugars, oil and eggs. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add pumpkin purée.

Divide batter into 2 cake pans or equally into cupcake liners that are filled half way full. Bake for 20-24 minutes for cupcakes. For cake bake 24-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely on a cooling racks.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick of butter
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 pound of powdered sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese until combined and smooth. Add vanilla. Slowly add in powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Double this recipe for cupcakes.

**The cake pictured was made in a pumpkin mold cake pan.

Adapted from Martha Stewart.

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Perfect Pumpkin Mousse

It’s officially fall and it’s time for my contribution to pumpkin recipes. This light and creamy mousse is a perfect for dessert after dinner or lunch. Great pumpkin flavor and not a heavy dessert. Perfectly pumpkin in every way.

Ingredients:
1 8 ounce block of cream cheese
1 can of pumpkin purée, not pie filling
2 teaspoons of cornstarch
8 ounces of heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
3 cups of powdered sugar
Whip cream for garnish
Nutmeg for garnish
Gingerbread cookies for garnish, I used Pepperidge Farm

In a chilled mixing bowl that has been refrigerated a minimum of 20 minutes (attachment too) blend chilled cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin purée, and cornstarch and combine. Pour in whipping cream and add pumpkin pie spice and whip into stiff peaks. Add powdered sugar. Taste after 3 cups, if it’s not sweet enough for your liking, add a little more. Garnish with whip cream, nutmeg and a gingerbread cookie. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Toffee Cinnamon Chip Cookies


I already know what you are thinking. Why are you making pumpkin cookies when you don’t like pumpkin?! I do like pumpkin, just not crazy about it. But I do love cookies. I know a lot of people that love pumpkin. These cookies might just convert me! They were awesome.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 dark brown sugar, packed
1 small package of pumpkin spice instant pudding mix*
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cup flour
1 bag of cinnamon chips*
1 bag of toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add pudding mix and continue to blend until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Add flour and baking soda and blend until combined. Stir in chips and toffee bits.

I used a small 1 inch scooper to drop cookie dough on a GREASED cookie sheet. I used Bakers Joy each time I baked cookies on my cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove cookies immediately to cool on a wire rack. Store in a airtight container.

**Pudding mix is seasonal. I used a box I purchased last year. It can be found at grocery stores, K-Marts, Target and on Amazon. For some of us, the cinnamon chips are also seasonal. I picked up several bags last year for a dollar and kept them in my freezer. I am sure Amazon also carries these but your grocery store will too during the holiday season if they don’t carry them year round.

Recipe adapted from Chef In Training.

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