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Day Eight: Pumpkin Torte

This is Day Eight in an 8 part series featuring yummy pumpkin recipes. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series. DSCN2584

Our big brother Nate asks us girls to make this fluffy pumpkin torte almost as soon as the weather gets cool in September. Of course, we know that is already a few months ago, and by now most of us are searching Pinterest for yummy Christmas cookies and new frosting recipes. But we had to finish our pumpkin series with this dreamy dessert!

It starts with a simple graham cracker crust, which is topped with a smooth mixture of pumpkin, pudding mix, spices, milk, and whipped topping. Then we cover it all with a fluffy layer of whipped topping, and refrigerate it until dessert time.

Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin Torte

Graham cracker crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
Pumpkin Filling:
1 can (15 oz.) solid pack pumpkin (not pie filling)
3 packages (3.4 oz. each) vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2   1/2 cups 2% milk (or 2 cups 1% milk)
1 package (12 oz.) whipped topping, divided

Combine crust ingredients and pat into a 13 x 9″ pan. Beat together pumpkin, pudding mixes, pie spice, and milk. Fold in half the whipped topping. Spoon pumpkin mixture on to crust. Spread with remaining whipped topping. Chill until serving.

 Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle

 

 

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Day Seven: Giant Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

This is Day Seven in a 8 part series featuring amazing pumpkin recipes! Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.

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Remember the very first recipe in this pumpkin series? That’s right, those delicious Pumpkin Biscuits! Today’s recipe starts with that same super easy biscuit dough, but it takes it to a whole new level. We roll the dough into a huge rectangle and slather it with a buttery brown sugar mixture. Then we cut it into narrow strips and roll the strips into large circles in pie plates. It’s really simple, but the result is gorgeous! This recipe actually makes enough dough and filling for two giant cinnamon rolls, so you can have one for yourself and one to share with a friend! (Who am I trying to kid…)

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Step by step:

 

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Melt 1/2 cup butter in a glass measuring cup. Mix in a pile of brown sugar, maybe a cup or so. Just add it until it seems sweet enough. Then stir in a large teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

 

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Yep, just like that.

 

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Here is the dough, all ready to go.

 

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Roll it to about 1/4 inch thickness.

 

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Spread the butter/brown sugar mixture evenly across it. As you can see below, we sprinkled on some extra sugar in a few places, because it was a bit thin.

 

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Using a pizza cutter (or a sharp spatula) cut the dough into narrow strips, approximately 1 inch wide.

 

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Roll the dough into circles. After the first strip, I placed it in a greased 10-inch pie plate and just wound the remaining strips around that.

 

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It looks just a bit like a rose. A really yummy, pumpkin-cinnamon rose. It must be a special fall variety.

 

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It’s growing!! Leave a little bit of space between the cinnamon roll and the pie plate, to allow for it to rise. Then bake at 375 degrees F. for 18-22 minutes, or until it’s no longer doughy.

 

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Let them cool for a while before you add a glaze.

 

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We like to make a delightfully simple glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, a tiny bit of milk, and a few drops of vanilla or maple extract.

 

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Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon rolls. Tear them apart with your hands in a ravenous fit of hunger.

Or cut them into neat, dignified portions and serve with milk or coffee.

 

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Giant Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Filling:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (to 1  1/2) cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pumpkin Dough:
3   1/2 cups flour
4   1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1   1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk (until the consistency is right)
1/2 tsp. vanilla or maple extract

For the cinnamon-sugar filling, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

For the dough, in large bowl combine first four ingredients. In another bowl, combine pumpkin, butter, sugar, and milk; add to flour mixture and mix well. Knead 8-10 times. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Spread cinnamon mixture evenly across the dough. Cut the dough into strips and roll into two large circles (one in each of two 10 inch pie plates). Wrap remaining strips of dough around the circles. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 18-22 minutes or until no longer doughy. Cool on wire rack while mixing the glaze.

For the glaze, whisk together all ingredients. Drizzle across the cinnamon rolls. Serve slightly warm. Yield: 2 giant cinnamon rolls.

 

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle

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Day Six: Best Pumpkin Cupcakes (with Dreamy Cinnamon Frosting)

This is Day Six in a 8 part series featuring yummy pumpkin recipes. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.DSCN1974

We never let an autumn slip past without one of us girls making pumpkin cupcakes. This is a recipe that Kerstin found several years ago. She made them once, and they were immediately voted into our recipe book. The cupcake itself has the perfect amount of sweetness, and a rich balanced spice from the pumpkin pie spice. The frosting is a dream! With cream cheese to make it (you guessed it) creamy, and butter to make it smooth and light (not in the healthy sense of the word, just the fluffy sense), it simply melts in your mouth. Some powdered sugar for sweetness, a big splash of vanilla extract, and a large dose of cinnamon all take it over the top.

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Make them for Thanksgiving! Or make them for the weekend! Make them for your dad’s birthday! Or shucks, just make them for Thursday.

I promise you won’t regret it. Ever.

Here we go:

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Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

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This is gorgeous!

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Add the eggs one at a time, and beat the mixture well after each addition.

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You can see how creamy the butter mixture is! Add the pumpkin.

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And beat it in.

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Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl.

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Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk alternately. I usually do three additions of each, but it doesn’t matter too much. Just be sure to beat in each addition thoroughly.

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Here the batter is perfect!

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Prepare the cupcake pans. I love using miniature cupcake liners! These pumpkin ones are so cute, and they are perfect for pumpkin cupcakes!!

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Fill the cupcake liners three-fourths full with batter. I like to fill a Ziplock bag with batter, cut off one corner, and squeeze the batter into each cup. It keeps the cupcakes even and the pan clean.

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For miniature cupcakes, bake at 350 degrees F. for about 15-18 minutes, or until they test done with a toothpick. Bake standard-sized cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until they test done.

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I also filled some standard-sized cupcake liners. They’re really cute, too!

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For the frosting, beat softened cream cheese and softened butter until it’s smooth and fluffy.

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Add the powdered sugar in two additions, beating the mixture well between additions.

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Yum! You can almost feel how silky smooth it is.

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Add a bunch of cinnamon. This really makes the frosting special!

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Pour in about a teaspoon of vanilla extract. It’s rare that I measure this stuff!

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Mix it together and you are ready to smother some cupcakes!

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Hmm, this is a challenge. 😉

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Pipe it on, spoon it on, or slather it on with a knife.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes:
3/4 cup butter, softened
2   1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin
2   1/3 cups flour
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup buttermilk
Cinnamon Frosting:
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin. Combine dry ingredients; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes for standard-sized cupcakes or 15-18 minutes for miniature cupcakes, or until cupcakes test done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

For frosting, in a large bowl beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon; beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: about 2 dozen standard-size or 6 dozen miniature.

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Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle

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Day Five: Crocheted Pumpkin Bag Pattern

This is Day Five of a 8 part series featuring pumpkins! Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.IMG_6751

Each fall, we like to design seasonal crocheted bags for our Etsy shop. We have made candy corns, ghosts, and a variety of original colorful bags, but these adorable little pumpkins are one of our favorite designs of all. We want to share the pattern for our pumpkin bags. It’s really easy, and fun once you start experimenting with different yarn colors. However, if you don’t feel up to the challenge (but you really want the pumpkins!), we encourage you to check out our selection of bags here at the Country Bluebird.

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I would like to note that we did not create the original pattern that these pumpkin bags are based from; however, we have modified it in several ways to get it “just right.” 

Materials: Small skein of sport-weight cotton yarn in orange, burgandy, or cream color; Small amount of contrasting cotton yarn (green, brown, or tan); Size H-8 (5mm) crochet hook.

Abbreviations: 

Ch = Chain

sl st = slip stitch

sc = single crochet

dc = double crochet

Directions:  

Using orange, burgandy, or cream yarn: Ch 4; join with a slip stitch to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Chain 1, 8 sc in ring; do not join, mark end of each round (rnd). Work in back loops only beginning with Rnd 2.

Rnd 2: [2 sc in next sc] 8 times — 16 sc.

Rnd 3: [2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc] 8 times — 24 sc.

Rnd 4: [2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc] 8 times — 32 sc.

Rnd 5: [2 sc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc] 8 times — 40 sc.

Rnds 6-15: Sc in each sc around.

At the end of Rnd 15, join with a sl st in both loops of next sc. Fasten off.

Rnd 16: Using contrasting yarn: Now work remaining rnds in both loops. Ch 4, skip next sc, [dc in next sc, ch 1 , skip next sc] 19 times; join with a sl st in 3rd ch of ch-4.

Rnd 17: Ch 1, [2 sc in next ch-1 space] 20 times; join to first sc. Fasten off. Weave in ends. Make 2 twisted cords starting with a 3-yard length of yarn for each. Weave each through ch-1 spaces of Rnd 17 in opposite directions. Knot ends of cord together; trim ends.

 

Super easy, right? 🙂 Of course, if you have any trouble with any part of this pattern, feel free to comment below with any questions!

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin

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Day Four: Classy Pumpkin Muffins

This is Day Four of a 8 part series featuring pumpkins! Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.IMG_0984

The weather has turned cold and crisp here, so we are beginning to think about Thanksgiving and all the wonderful things that come with it! We love the festive feeling of preparing pies and stuffing in the week leading up to it. We love hunting season, and the excitement when one of the hunters gets a deer. And we love the food. Oh, yes… we love it! It’s wonderful to start out a cold, dark fall morning with a fresh-baked muffin, and these pumpkin muffins are a favorite! Even Dad, who doesn’t enjoy most pumpkin baked goods, likes these muffins.

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Several years ago we found a pumpkin muffin recipe that made the most moist, tender, and delicious muffins. The only fault we could find with this recipe was that it called for a lot of oil and the topping was not very calorie-conscious. We try to keep our cooking and baking healthy, so we decided to lighten up this recipe! The first thing we did was reduce the oil to half the amount, and substitute unsweetened applesauce for the amount we left out. Then we made the topping much more simple, by just combining brown sugar and oats. Why add butter when it’s not necessary? Here’s a closer look at the recipe!

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Lightly beat four eggs in a large bowl.

 

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Add the sugar and pumpkin…

 

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… the applesauce and oil…

 

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… and the water, and mix it together well.

 

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Lookin’ good!

 

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In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

 

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Add them to the pumpkin mixture.

 

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Whisk it until just combined.

 

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Scrape the sides of the bowl. Prepare a jumbo sized muffin pan by greasing it or placing paper muffin liners in it.

 

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Spoon the batter into the cups until three fourths full.

 

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About like that. This amount of batter easily fills one dozen jumbo muffin cups.

 

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Stir together the topping ingredients. Simply oats and brown sugar! You can add a dash of cinnamon if you like.

 

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Sprinkle the topping evenly over the muffin batter. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes.

 

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I turned the pan in the oven about halfway through the baking time to make sure that they baked evenly. These are perfect! They are delicious served piping hot from the oven, room temperature, or refrigerated. They re-heat nicely for breakfast the next morning, too.

 

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The full recipe:

Classy Pumpkin Muffins

4 eggs, beaten
3 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup oil (we use canola oil)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups all-purpouse flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Topping:
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

In a large bowl, whisk the first six ingredients. In another bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture; mix well.

Fill greased or paper-lined jumbo muffin cups three-fourths full. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes or until muffins test done with a toothpick. Do not over bake. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 1 dozen jumbo-sized muffins.

 For variation, you can add about 1   1/2 cups of chopped pecans to the muffin batter before baking. We leave them out because we don’t feel like they are necessary.

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Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle