All posts by Cocofancy

A very pumpkiny day

This was the view that greeted me this morning out my kitchen window. Wonderful view while making coffee 😀

I had a completely different recipe planned for today (it will likely appear next week), but I found that we still had a couple of jars of pumpkin puree that were (surprisingly) still good. So I decided to figure out what I could do to use all the puree. I spent most of my day on five pumpkiny recipes. In each of the recipes, I used my puréed pumpkin in place of canned.

Pumpkin Flapjacks

2 cups all-purpose flour
(I used 1/2 wheat flour 1/2 white because I have more wheat flour than I know what to do with)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk (I used soy milk because I had a lot of that to get rid of)
1 cup canned pumpkin
4 large eggs separated
1/4 cup butter, melted

In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, beat milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, and butter to blend. Stir into flour mixture until evenly moistened.In another bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter just until incorporated.

Around 40% of the time I set my mind on a particular recipe, I get in trouble for not reading the whole thing through. Either I’ll be missing some necessary ingredient, a pan or tool, the dough will need to set overnight, or, as in the case of this recipe, it uses a technique I have managed to completely fail to master in previous attempts. I have made two cakes that require whipped egg whites folded into the batter. Each time, the cake has literally fallen flat. I finally figured out that the reason for it is I haven’t started the egg whites whipping at a high enough speed. I tend to do too many things at once, so I was starting the whipping off at a lower speed so I wouldn’t overdo what I was attempting. Underdoing is just as bad as overdoing, it turns out.

Place a nonstick griddle or 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat; when hot, coat lightly with oil and wipe dry with a paper towel. (I tend to use cast-iron skillets for pancakes, because they heat evenly.) Pour batter in 1/2 cup portions on to griddle, spreading slightly with the back of a spoon, and cook until pancakes are browned on the bottom and edges begin to look dry, about 3 minutes; turn with a wide spatula and brown other side, 2-3 minutes longer. Adjust heat as needed to maintain even temperature. (Again, if I had read the directions all the way through, I’d have seen the “spreading slightly with the back of a spoon” bit. As it was, I used a 1/3 cup measure, and the flapjacks were rather poofy.)

Serve immediately or keep warm on baking sheets at 200°F for 15 minutes.

These had a rather light flavor, and great texture, for all the fluffyness. But if you’re going to be like me and not spread them, you do have to cook them at a lower heat a bit longer to make sure they cook all the way through without starting to burn. The batch made 11 1/3 cup flapjacks.



My mother didn’t bake a whole lot when I was younger, I believe mostly because she worked a lot and was getting her PsyD, which really doesn’t leave a lot of time for such things. When we moved up to Washington state and I entered high school, though, the first couple of summers saw Mom doing a lot of baking. I have a very vivid memory of the first time I saw Mom make scones. I was intrigued when she got out a couple of butter knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. And then I was a bit grossed out when she added the rest of the wet ingredients and was working with her hands and the dough was all gooey and sticky… I really don’t like sticky stuff on my hands. The first time I tried making scones myself I tried to do it with a wooden spatula, but it just didn’t work. Over the years I have gradually become more comfortable having various cooking ingredients on my hands, though I still have issues with slimy things like egg white and raw chicken.

This second recipe is the one I had planned to make all along, ever since I bought the pumpkins. Life just kept getting in the way, until I decided to not let it by doing this blog. Once the scones were done, I decided to add a Maple glaze I had seen somewhere, because the tops looked a little on the dry side.

Pumpkin Scones

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (Again, I used 1/2 wheat)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp milk (Again, I used soy milk)
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp granulated sugar

In a bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and salt. Add 1/2 cup butter and, with a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub in until pea-size crumbs form.

In a small bowl, whisk pumpkin and 1/2 cup milk until well-blended. Add to flour mixture and stir just until dough is evenly moistened.

Scrape onto a lightly floured board, turn over to coat, and gently knead just until dough comes together, 5-6 turns. (Really, don’t go more than this. I forgot how much just a little kneading will effect scones >< ) Pat dough into a 6-inch round 1 1/2 inches thick; cut into 6 equal wedges.

Separate wedges and place on a lightly buttered 12×15 inch baking sheet. In a small bowl, beat egg yolk and 1 tbsp milk to blend; brush lightly over tops of scones and discard any remaining egg wash. In another small bowl, mix granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 tsp cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over scones.

Bake at 375°F until scones are golden brown, 25-30mins. Transfer to a rack; serve warm or cool.

Mine needed the full 30mins, but I have yet to invest in a nifty oven thermometer, so my oven temp may be a bit off.



After I did the flapjacks and the scones, I still had -tons- of pumpkin purée left, so I went a bit farther in my search for pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin Chai Pots de CrĂšme

1 cup whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canned cooked pumpkin
1/3 cup chai tea concentrate or strong brewed chai tea
2 tsp grated orange peel or Meyer lemon peel
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a 2-3 quart pan over medium heat, stir cream, milk, and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved, 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, whisk egg yolks until light yellow. Add granulated sugar and whisk until blended. Gradually whisk a fourth of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. Then slowly whisk in remaining cream mixture as well as the pumpkin, chai, orange peel, and vanilla.

Set six ramekins in a 12×16 inch glass pan at least 2 inches deep. Divide mixture among ramekins (I managed eight, but I think most of mine are a bit smaller than the average ramekin). Set pan in oven and pour in boiling water halfway up sides of ramekins.

Bake until custards barely jiggle when gently shaken, 45-50 minutes. Lift ramekins out of water and let cool on racks for 30 minutes, then chill until cold, at least 1hr. Cover when cold.

I have made chocolate pots de crĂšme before, and I have made crĂšme brulĂ©e a few times. This reminded me more of crĂšme brulĂ©e, so I attempted to brulĂ©e. I looked in one of my recently acquired Culinary Institute of America books to see what method they use for brulĂ©eing, and found that they use white sugar. I had previously used brown sugar, which is ok, but it tends to clump when trying to spread it out. So I tried the white sugar…. not as good. It didn’t melt and yummify the way the brown sugar did, but the jury is still out on that. If you have any experience experimenting between the two sugars in brulĂ©eing, let me know. I’d love to hear what other people have done. Additionally, this had a less-smooth texture than I’m used to with crĂšme brulĂ©e or chocolate pots de crĂšme, which seems to be due to the pumpkin purĂ©e? A little unexpected, though understandable once I thought about it.



I was a bit iffy on the next recipe, just because I’ve never really done any bar cookies. I’ve seen my friend Amber make her famous lemon squares, but that’s not quite the same as doing. This recipe was surprisingly easy, though I did have one hiccough when I was reading the directions for the filling (blend all ingredients together), but looking at the ingredient list for the topping… Somehow I was still doing the right ingredients as far as the cream cheese and pumpkin, though I think I added vanilla. It wasn’t until I had spread the filling in the pan and decided to taste a little out of the bowl and realized it wasn’t nearly sweet enough that I looked back at the recipe and completely facepalmed XD Had to take all the filling back off the crust (no easy task, since it was rather warm and meltingish) and add the rest of the ingredients. All that being done, though, they turned out amazing. It’s a toss-up between this and the flapjacks as to which was the most successful experiment.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares

1 cup flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats

8 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger

1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Pulse the first four ingredients in processor until coarse meal forms. Add pecans; pulse until nuts are chopped. Add oats; pulse until mixture is moistened but not clumping. Press 3 1/2 cups crumbs onto bottom of prepared square pan. Transfer remaining crumbs to the lined baking sheet. Bake crumbs on sheet until golden, stirring once, 12-15mins. Cool crumbs. Bake crust until golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven while preparing filling.

For the filling:
Blend all ingredients in same processor until smooth. Spread filling over warm crust; bake until set, dry in center, and beginning to rise at the edges, about 20 minutes. (I had to run to the store really quick, and came back a few minutes after the oven had gone off. It was obvious that the cheesecake was a little overdone, but that really didn’t impact the overall flavor or texture of the squares.)

For the topping:
Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Spread evenly over hot filling. Bake until topping sets and bubbles at edges, about 5 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Sprinkle crumbs over topping; gently press into topping. Cover; chill until cold, about 2hrs.

Keep chilled. Cut into squares.

So seriously good. The crust has a similar flavor to a graham cracker crust, but it’s a bit crunchier. I want to do a raspberry one, because that’s what I kept thinking when I ate it. I mean, it tasted like pumpkin, but apparently my memory of bar cookies of this type is strongest relating to raspberry ones, I just can’t remember actually having raspberry bar cookies…



After all these sweets, I figured a real-food dish would probably be appropriate, especially if I don’t want to have a stomach ache and gain twenty lbs over the next couple of days. I have made a couple of other squash soups that have gone off pretty well… There was a gingery one that was a lot more ginger than I realized, so we ended up using it as a dip for breads rather than a soup. This soup turned out really well – the brown sugar added at the end gives it just the right sweetness to counterpoint the other flavors and bring everything together.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup with Ginger Browned Butter

2 lbs Sugar Pie or other pumpkin (I used 4-4 1/2 cups puréed pumpkin, which may have been a bit on the light side.)
2 lbs butternut or acorn squash
8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
7 tbsp butter, divided
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tsp salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp freshly grated ginger, divided
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut pumpkin and squash in half lengthwise, scoop out strings and seeds. Put flesh-side up in a large roasting pan with 1 cup broth. Cover pan with foil and bake until tender, about 1hr.

Meanwhile, melt 3 tbsp butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and start to look creamy, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low or medium-low and cook onions, stirring every few minutes, until they turn a caramel color and become quite sweet, about 30 minutes. Set aside.

When pumpkin and squash are tender, scoop out flesh and set aside; discard skins. Reserve any liquid from the bottom of pan.

Return pot with onions to medium-high heat. Add garlic and 2 tbsp fresh ginger. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. Cook, stirring, about 1 minutes. Add remaining broth, the carrots, cooked pumpkin and squash, and reserved liquid from roasting pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.

Whirl vegetables in blender (in batches) until completely smooth. (For silky-smooth soup, you can pour the puréed soup through a strainer.) Return to pot and stir in brown sugar. Season with salt to taste. Keep warm over low heat.

Put a small bowl or measuring cup next to the stove. Melt remaining 4 tbsp butter in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tsp fresh ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter starts to foam. Stir mixture constantly until it starts to brown. Pour mixture into waiting bowl or measuring cup. Divide soup among 8 bowls and serve hot, with a swirl of ginger browned butter in each serving.