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Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice


Every fall bids us to return to a harvest ripe with its favorite fruit. This season, we welcomed the call and reimagined the classic pie with playful and delicious ways to put pumpkin on the table.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Prep: 30 minutes

Bake: 12 minutes per batch

Makes: 36 whoopie pies

 2 1/2   cups all-purpose flour

 1     teaspoon kosher salt

 1     teaspoon baking powder

 1     teaspoon baking soda

 1 1/2   teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

 1     teaspoon ground cinnamon

 2     cups packed brown sugar

 1     cup canola oil

 1     15-ounce can pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cups)

 2     eggs

 1     teaspoon vanilla

         Vanilla Bean Buttercream

1.   Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl stir together the first six ingredients (through cinnamon).

2.   Beat brown sugar and oil in a large bowl with a mixer on medium until combined. Add pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla; beat until combined. Gradually add flour mixture while beating until well combined.

3.   Drop dough by tablespoons 1 inch apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake about 12 minutes or until puffed and tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

4.   Spread about 1 Tbsp. Vanilla Bean Buttercream on flat sides of half of the cookies. Top with flat sides of remaining cookies. If you like, dust cookies with powdered sugar before serving.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Beat 2/3 cup softened butter in a large bowl with a mixer on medium until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in 2/3 cup powdered sugar. Add 2 Tbsp. heavy cream, 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste, and pinch salt; beat on low until combined. Gradually beat in 2 additional cups powdered sugar just until combined. Beat on medium 5 minutes or until fluffy, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1 Tbsp. heavy cream; beat on high 1 minute more.

To Store: Layer whoopie pies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Pumpkin-Chai Chocolate Chip Blondies

Prep: 20 minutes

Bake: 40 minutes to 45 minutes

Makes 20 servings

 4      cups packed brown sugar

 1      cup (2 sticks) butter

 4      cups all-purpose flour

 2      teaspoons baking powder

 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

 3/4   teaspoon ground cardamom

 3/4   teaspoon ground ginger

 1/2   teaspoon baking soda

 1/2   teaspoon kosher salt

 1      teaspoon ground nutmeg

 1/4   teaspoon black pepper

 3/4   cup pumpkin puree

 2      egg

 1      tablespoon vanilla

 3/4   cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

1.   Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook and stir brown sugar and butter in a large saucepan over medium until melted and smooth. Cool 10 minutes.

2.   Meanwhile, line a 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of pan. Coat foil with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl combine the next nine ingredients (through pepper).

3.   Stir pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla into butter mixture. Stir in flour mixture. Spread in prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips.

4.   Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Use foil to lift uncut blondies out of pan. Cut into bars.

Note: If using fresh pumpkin puree, cooled blondies may have a gooier texture.

Pumpkin Crunch Dump Cake

Prep: 15 minutes

Bake: 45 minutes

Makes 16 servings

 1      15-ounce can pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cups)

 1     12-ounce can evaporated milk (1 1/2 cups)

 1 1/3 cups sugar

 4      eggs

 1      teaspoon ground cardamom

 1/2   teaspoon kosher salt

 1      pkg. (2-layer-size) white cake mix

 3/4   cup chopped pistachio nuts

 1/2   cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

 1      cup toasted flaked coconut

 1      cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into 30 slices

1.   Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2.   Combine the first six ingredients (through salt) together in a medium bowl. Transfer to prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with cake mix Top with pistachios, pepitas, and coconut. Evenly distribute the butter slices over the cake mix.

3.   Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Puree

Prep: 10 minutes

Bake: 45 minutes

Makes: 3½ cups (2 cans’ worth)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking pan with foil. Cut one 3 3/4-lb. pie pumpkin in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and stringy pulp. Arrange halves cut sides down in prepared pan. Bake about 45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. Let cool. Scoop pulp from rind. Mash pulp or process in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 1 week. Or freeze in resealable plastic freezer bags in 1 3/4-cup portions up to 6 months.

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Pumpkin Spice Icebox Dessert

Prep: 30 minutes

Bake: 12 minutes to 14 minutes

Chill: At least 3 hours

Makes: 12 servings

 2     cups finely crushed shortbread cookies

 2/3  cup finely chopped toasted hazelnuts or pecans

 1/2  cup (1 stick) butter, melted

 1     8-ounce pkg. cream cheese, softened

 3/4  cup powdered sugar

         Pumpkin-Spiced Whipped Cream (directional)

 2 1/2   cups milk

 1     15-ounce can pumpkin puree

 3     pkg. (4-serving-size) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix

 1     teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

 1/2  cup chopped toasted hazlenuts or pecans

1.   Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine crushed cookies, finely chopped hazelnuts, and melted butter In a medium bowl. Press mixture into the bottom of a 3-qt. rectangular baking dish. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until crust is light brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.

2.   Beat together cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl with a mixer on medium until creamy. Add 1 cup of the Pumpkin-Spiced Whipped Cream; beat just until combined. Spread over cooled crust.

3.   For pumpkin layer, whisk together milk, pumpkin puree, pudding mix, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. Gently whisk in 1 cup of the Pumpkin-Spice Whipped Cream until smooth. Spread over cream cheese layer.

4.   Top with the remaining Pumpkin-Spiced Whipped Cream and sprinkle with nuts. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.

Pumpkin-Spiced Whipped Cream

In a chilled mixing bowl beat 2 cups heavy cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp. vanilla, and pinch sea salt with a mixer on medium until soft peaks form (tips curl). Use immediately or store in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars

Prep: 20 minutes

Bake: 30 minutes to 35 minutes

Chill: 2 hours to 24 hours

Makes: 15 servings

 2 1/2   cups finely crushed gingersnaps

 2     tablespoons granulated sugar

 1/2  cup (1 stick) butter, melted

 2     8-ounce pkg. cream cheese, softened

 1     15-ounce can pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cups)

 4     eggs

 1     cup packed brown sugar

 2     teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

 1     teaspoon vanilla

 1/4  teaspoon salt

         Pumpkin-Spiced Whipped Cream (directional)

1.   Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 15x10-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of pan. For crust, combine gingersnaps and granulated sugar in a small bowl. Stir in butter until combined. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

2.   Meanwhile, in a food processor process cream cheese until smooth. Add the next six ingredients (through salt). Process until combined, scraping bowl once. Spread evenly over warm

crust.

3.   Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until edges are puffed and filling is just set in center. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. Use the foil to lift uncut bars out of pan. Cut into bars. Top with Pumpkin-Spice Whipped Cream.

story by Alyssa Shultis

photography by Carson Downing

produced by Scott J. Johnson

recipes by Elle Boeke

food styling by Charles Worthington

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