Pumpkin Molasses Pumpkin Chip Cookies

Well, I’m 23 years old and just experienced my first snow day. Yes I’m from California, and cannot wait to go back, but my grad school experience up here in Seattle is definitely giving me a taste of what winter would be like if I lived in a place with seasons. I woke up this morning to a few inches of snow blanketing the ground, and everything looked pristine and sparkling white. It was quite beautiful. I walked down the street to a park and saw lots of families sledding and building snowmen and enjoying their day off of school/work. Here’s a little taste of the winter wonderland that is Seattle right now!

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Anyway, onto the cookies! I actually made these last year, when there were sales on pumpkin-related items after Thanksgiving, but haven’t gotten around to posting it till now. I got pumpkin chips for half off at QFC in the clearance section, and was inspired to make cookies! So I looked up some cookie recipes, and found this one at My Baking Addiction, increased the spices and added the chips, and these cookies were born! Sorry for the blurry pictures, I took them in low light and didn’t really look at them before the cookies were demolished, but the cookies were wonderful! The pumpkin and molasses keep this cookies soft and chewy, and the pumpkin chips at little bursts of melty pumpkin spice sweetness. Perfect for a snowy day like today, but alas, I used up the chips long ago. Perhaps I’ll just have to make something else. But in any case, here’s the recipe!

Pumpkin Molasses Pumpkin Chip Cookies

adapted from My Baking Addiction

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses (not blackstrap)

2/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup pumpkin spice chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, then beat in the molasses, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined.

Use a small cookie scoop, or scoop about 1 tbsp balls of cookie dough onto the baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just set. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the baking sheets. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Happy Sunday! It’s raining and a little gloomy here in LA, but never fear, this coffee cake is the perfect rainy day treat for a day like today! Shelby and I made this over winter break, adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod, and we loved it. The cake part is soft, fluffy, and moist, and the streusel is sweet, crispy, and delicious.

We decided to take the chocolate chips out of the cake, but leave them in the streusel, but it really could go either way. We agreed that we made the right choice leaving the chocolate chips out of the cake itself, since it would have overwhelmed the pumpkin flavor. I may make this again and leave the chocolate chips out altogether, since the cake was so delicious! There was just the right amount of pumpkin and spice (as usual, we upped the spices), and the textures of the soft cake and the crispy streusel made for a delicious combination in every bite. The chocolate chips added a little extra pop of flavor, but if you’re not one who likes combining pumpkin and chocolate, then feel free to leave them out. I personally love pumpkin and chocolate (hence my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and more pumpkin chocolate chip cookies), but even I admit that this cake would be amazing without the chocolate.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ginger

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

Half a 15oz can pumpkin puree (about a heaping 3/4 cup)

Topping:

For the streusel:

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

6 tbsp unsalted butter, cold

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and grease a 9×13 pan.

Sift together the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour and sugars. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, knives, or your fingers (I find this the easiest), until soft crumbs form. Sprinkle evenly over the batter, then sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the streusel.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool, then cut into bars. Enjoy!

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Warm pan of pumpkin chocolate goodness!

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Mmmm, look at that lovely soft cake crumb!

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Complete with crispy streusel topping and melty chocolate chips 🙂

Candy Cane Peppermint Chocolate Cake

Happy Holidays everyone! Hope every is having a good winter break, or at least a good couple weeks of winter holidays. It’s a little colder here in the bay than in LA, which is surprisingly a welcome break from the monotony of the warm SoCal weather. Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to wear shorts year round, but it is a little nice to break out those cozy winter sweaters that have been crammed into my bottom drawer all year. Although I’m sure in a week I’ll be ready to go back to sunny SoCal, but I’ll enjoy the chilliness while I’m here.

Anyway, I was in charge of making Christmas dinner this year, which was quite fun. I made sweet potato gnocchi, cheddar cheese bread, and a dish with brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and caramelized onions with goat cheese that one of my roommates made for Thanksgiving. It was delicious, so I tried to replicate it for this dinner, and it turned out pretty well. However, what’s a Christmas dinner without dessert? Not much of one, obviously. My family loves chocolate, and winter holidays scream mint chocolate to me, so I decided to make this candy cane cake from Eat Live Run, with a few small modifications.

The result was a dense, fudgey cake, which a luscious chocolate ganache coating with crisp peppermint shards for garnish, and a lovely mint flavor throughout the cake and the ganache. I even made this in the toaster oven, to minimize energy usage, so that was a nice bonus, since it’s made in a loaf pan. I will say this was not the most moist cake I’ve ever made, but it was pretty delicious, and I love anything with chocolate mint, so I was pretty jazzed about it. It’s also possible I baked it a few minutes too long, which is why it was a little more dried out than I would like. Anyway, you can try it for yourself, here’s the recipe!

Candy Cane Peppermint Chocolate Cake

adapted from Eat Live Run

Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 tsp peppermint extract

1 cup reduced-fat buttermilk

Ganache

1 cup bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate chips, but non-chip form will give you a smoother ganache)

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tsp peppermint extract

2 candy canes, crushed

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325˚F and grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a larger bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in the egg and peppermint extract until light and fluffy. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet alternately with the buttermilk and mix with a spatula until just combined. Do not overmix!

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, turning halfway through. Once a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 15-20 minutes. Loosen with a spatula then invert the cake out of the pan and place it on a plate or rack to cool completely, an hour or so.

Once the cake is cooled, prepare the ganache by bringing the cream to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat and immediately add the chocolate, then stir until smooth. Add the peppermint extract and stir until well combined. Pour the ganache over the cake and spread into a smooth layer over the top and sides.

Crush the candy canes in a plastic bag with a meat mallet or with a rolling pin, then sprinkle over the cake. Allow to cool, so the ganache hardens into a thicker consistency. Slice and enjoy!

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Lentil Walnut Loaf

I made this recipe a long time ago, but it’s not Thursday, so I can’t say Throwback Thursday. Luckily, I have a friend who’s clever with words and she came up with Way Back Wednesday, so that’s what today is going to be. Way Back Wednesday.

It’s hot here in LA (surprise, surprise), so I’m just going to post this recipe I made in the winter and pretend like that’ll bring cool weather back. Wishful thinking, I know, but whatever, I have to try anyway. What’s a vegetarian to do when meatloaf is all the rage, and all you want is a warm, filling meal for the winter? Make this lentil walnut loaf, of course! I found this recipe over at Oh She Glows and decided to use it for my first attempt at a vegetarian meatloaf. I don’t keep oat flour or breadcrumbs on hand, so I just used oats and flour. As for the rest, it’s pretty much the same. The crisp apple add a touch of sweetness to this hearty loaf, and the carrots and celery add flavor and texture, while the lentils make up the “meat,” so to speak, of the dish. This isn’t a particularly quick dish to make, as it takes a bit of prep and lots of baking time, but it is quite tasty. If you ever have a couple hours to spare, I would suggest trying it. This might also be a nice vegetarian option for a Thanksgiving dinner or another winter holiday meal. It’s quite filling, flavorful, and full of healthy ingredients. Here’s the recipe!

Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf

Adapted from Oh She Glows

Makes 2 8×4 loaves

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked lentils

1 cup walnuts, chopped

3 tbsp flax seed + 6 tbsp warm water

1 tsp olive oil

3 tbsp crushed garlic

1 onion, diced

1 cup carrots, diced

1 cup celery, diced

2 small apples, diced (I left the peel on)

1/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

Herbs and seasonings, to taste

Balsamic Glaze

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tbsp agave nectar

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions

Cook the lentils according to package directions. Slightly overcook them, so they are easier to mash. This can be done beforehand.

Toast the walnuts at 350˚F for 7-10 minutes, until fragrant.

Pour the warm water over the flax seed and allow to sit while you combine the other ingredients. This is making a flax egg.

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for a minute or so, until fragrant. Add the carrots and celery and cook for about five more minutes, until the vegetables are slightly tender. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mash the lentils slightly, then add the onions, carrots, celery, apple, and raisins. Stir to combine. Add the oats, flour, and flax egg, and stir until thoroughly combined.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 2 loaf pans (8×4 for taller loaves, 9×5 for flatter loaves) with parchment paper. Press half the mixture into each loaf pan.

To make the glaze, whisk together all glaze ingredients. Spread evenly over the top of each loaf.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until edges are slightly brown. Remove from oven and allow the loaves to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing. Allow loaves to cool completely, then cut into slices. Serve with greens and cornbread, or your favorite sides. Enjoy!

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Such a colorful loaf!

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I made it a meal with some sauteed kale, sweet potato fries, and cornbread. Yum!