Tag Archives: pumpkin spice

Cheesecake Swirled Pumpkin Bread

Cheesecake Swirled Pumpkin BreadHas anyone else’s week been five years long? Mine started with two babkas, three layer cakes and a Rosh Hashanah dinner, continued with some early morning construction in my apartment, and was followed up with a neck-ache and a midweek heatwave.Cheesecake Swirled Pumpkin BreadThe good news is that NYC weather is finally starting to get with the autumnal program (I am so tired of summer clothes) and that my only plans for this weekend are to take my visiting godparents out for lunch and watch postseason baseball. Then two more work days before going on vacation next Wednesday—it can’t get here soon enough! But more on that later. For now, let’s talk about Cheesecake Swirled Pumpkin Bread.Cheesecake Swirled Pumpkin BreadCheesecake. Swirled. Pumpkin. Bread.

Perfectly spiced pumpkin bread with a tunnel of creamy cheesecake running through it.

The easy autumnal quickbread/loaf cake/whatever of my dreams. Call me “basic” all you want. This stuff is delicious.Cheesecake Swirled Pumpkin BreadCheesecake Swirled Pumpkin Bread begins with a half-recipe of my Pumpkin Bundt Cake. I went back and forth trying to determine if I should call this a pumpkin cake or a pumpkin bread, eventually determining that my Pumpkin Bundt batter is what many bakers would use for a pumpkin quickbread and ohmygawdthisexplanationissodull.

Anyway, the batter is from a cake recipe, but it’s baked in a loaf pan and I’m calling it a quickbread, okay? Okay.Cheesecake Swirled Pumpkin BreadCheesecake Swirled Pumpkin BreadCheesecake Swirled Pumpkin BreadCheesecake Swirled Pumpkin BreadTo assemble, you’ll need the pumpkin batter and a small batch of cheesecake—don’t worry, they’re both easy to make. Set aside a cup of the pumpkin batter and put the rest in your loaf pan. Top it with the cheesecake, followed by the remaining batter. Swirl it all with a thin knife or skewer before baking for the better part of an hour. The bread will be puffed when it comes out of the oven, but sink a bit as it cools. This is just the cheesecake buckling a bit—not a bad thing.Cheesecake Swirled Pumpkin BreadThis bread needs to be cooled at room temperature and then chilled in the refrigerator, making it an ideal make-ahead treat. Don’t rush to serve this. Pumpkin is a flavor that blooms over time and nobody loves room temperature (or warm 😬) cheesecake. Good things come to those who wait.

This is a very good thing.Cheesecake Swirled Pumpkin Bread

Cheesecake Swirled Pumpkin Bread
makes one 9×5-inch loaf, about 10-12 servings

Cheesecake:
8 ounces (1 brick) full-fat brick-style cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pumpkin Batter:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil (I like canola)
1 cup pure pumpkin purée (I like Libby’s)

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Line with parchment, leaving overhang on the two long sides for ease of removal. Grease again. Set aside.

Make the cheesecake. In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in sugar, followed by egg and vanilla. Set aside.

Make the pumpkin batter. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Whisk in light brown and granulated sugars followed by oil, vanilla, and pumpkin purée. Add dry ingredients in two installments, mixing just until combined. Set aside 1 cup of batter.

Pour remaining batter into prepared pan and smooth with a spatula or wooden spoon. Dollop cheesecake over the top and smooth again. Spoon reserved batter over the top and smooth again. Use a skewer or long, thin knife to swirl the batter a bit.

Tap the full pan on the counter 5 times to release any large air bubbles. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a few spots comes out with just a few moist crumbs (not soupy batter).

Let cake cool completely in the pan on a rack. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight, until chilled through. Run a small, thin knife around the edge of the pan and use the parchment overhang to lift out the bread. Discard parchment. Slice and serve.

Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.Cheesecake Swirled Pumpkin BreadCheesecake Swirled Pumpkin BreadCheesecake Swirled Pumpkin Bread

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Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}

Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}It’s that time! Tomorrow morning will be the first weekend breakfast of fall (even if you are regretting having packed away your summer clothes two weeks ago) and it should absolutely be this Pumpkin Puff Pancake. (And maybe bacon.)

(So many parentheticals today. Oy.)Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}This Pumpkin Puff is simply an autumnal take on my very favorite breakfast. Or maybe I should say “another” autumnal take—I made a Caramel Apple Puff a couple of years ago. You can have that next weekend though. This weekend, it’s all about the pumpkin.Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}Mix up your pumpkin pie spice, crack open a can of Libby’s, put some of both in a blender with the usual suspects, and whirl up a smooth pancake batter.Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}Pour it in a screaming hot pan with plenty of butter and go find something to do for roughly 17 minutes. I recommend figuring out which Emmy-nominated show you can manage to binge watch in its entirety before the broadcast on Sunday night (When They See Us! Pose! Fosse/Verdon!). Or, alternatively, if you’re local, determining which panel you’re going to attend at the Brooklyn Book Festival (I’ll be at the 4pm “How We Eat at Home” panel to hear Anita Lo, Carla Lalli Music and Alison Roman).

(What is it with the parentheses today?)Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}Anyway…when you have decided to watch Sharp Objects and a few episodes of The Good Place…oops, sorry.

*ahem*

When your time has elapsed and your pancake is puffy and voluminous and golden, remove it from the oven. It will be big, buttery and beautiful at first, but will quickly settle into a crinkly, custardy pancake in the shape of its pan. Also, it’s going to smell magnificent, as almost all pumpkin spice-scented things do.Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}Top it with whatever makes you happy—I went for my usual maple syrup and confectioners sugar, along with some toasted pecans. Keeping it seasonal, you know, because it’s officially fall in my kitchen and on this blog.Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}

Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}
makes 4-6 servings

For the Puff Pancake:
1/4 cup pure pumpkin purée (I prefer Libby’s)
1 cup milk (preferably whole)
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

For the pan:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

For serving:
confectioners sugar
pure maple syrup
toasted pecans

Place a large ovenproof cast iron or stainless steel pan in a cold oven. Preheat oven to 400F.

In the bowl of a food processor or high-powered blender, combine pumpkin purée, milk, eggs, vanilla, flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Process 30 seconds, or until no lumps remain. Let batter rest at least 5 minutes.

Once oven has reached 400F, remove the hot pan and add butter. Place pan back in the oven for 60-90 seconds, until butter has melted. Remove pan from the oven, and swirl the butter so it coats the pan. Pour in batter. Bake 17-18 minutes, until puffed and golden. Do NOT open the oven door during baking.

Remove pancake from oven—it will deflate quickly. Let cool 2-5 minutes before slicing and serving immediately with toppings of choice.Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}Pumpkin Puff Pancake {Dutch Baby}

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesIt seems like I never make cookies anymore. I made them all the time when I started blogging, but they’re a little bit of a rarity these days. As it stands, I haven’t posted a cookie recipe since August 22nd!

Maybe it’s because I’ve developed more skills in the last three years or that I simply made so many cookies in this site’s early days that I’ve felt sort of “cookied out” lately.
Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesWhatever the reason, making these Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles has been a welcome change of pace. I’ve been preoccupied by complicated things lately—think work, politics, babka, travel, planning every blog post between now and 2019—so it’s been nice to spend time in the kitchen doing one of the things that made me fall in love with baking in the first place.Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesPumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesMaking cookies, y’all. It’s the most delicious self-care I know.Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesAlso delicious? These Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles. They’re an autumnal twist on a classic recipe: soft, puffy pumpkin cookies with a sugary, pumpkin-spiced outer crust. They are simple and straightforward—if you follow the directions as written, you will be rewarded with four dozen cookies.Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesPumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesNow, before you go clicking away because you don’t want to have 48 cookies in your house, know that:

  • You absolutely do want these cookies in your house. Permitting you like pumpkin, of course.
  • They’re small.

Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesEach cookie is made from a tablespoon of dough, making each one roughly half the size of most drop cookies in my archives. I made them this way because:

  • Small food just tastes better.
  • I’d rather eat two small cookies than one medium cookie. Personal preference.

(Um, sorry for all the bullet points today. Not sure where they came from/why I needed to use two separate sets, but I’m going with it.)
Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesI understand that not everyone may feel the same way I do; if you’re not into small cookies, you can scoop the dough in two-tablespoon increments and bake the batches for 11-12 minutes. You’ll end up with about two dozen medium cookies.Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesThat’s what I love about cookies like this—the most complicated part is deciding how big or small you’d like for them to be. I don’t know about you, but that’s the sort of “problem” I could stand to have more often.Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles
makes about four dozen small cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cream of tartar*
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Coating:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in sugars, followed by pumpkin and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in three installments, mixing until completely combined. Dough may look crumbly, but should hold together well when pinched with clean fingers.

Cover dough with plastic wrap, and chill for two hours, or up to three days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Make the coating. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice.

Scoop the dough by the tablespoon, and roll into balls. Roll each dough ball in the coating mixture. Place dough balls at least two inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies 9-10 minutes, until puffy and no longer raw-looking. Let cool on pans for 5-7 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat scooping, rolling, and baking with any remaining dough.

Cookies keep well covered at room temperature for up to a week. The pumpkin flavor will be stronger on the second day.

Notes:

There are no substitutions for cream of tartar. It is required for this recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Babka

Pumpkin BabkaYou can say a lot of things about me, but you can’t say I’m not committed to this blog. If you’ve seen my Instagram stories lately, you know I’ve been on something of a mission—a mission that involved nine separate attempts at babka. Each batch makes two loaves, so that’s 18 babkas!

Last night, my sister made me promise that I wouldn’t make any more babka during the month of October. I think that’s fair.Pumpkin BabkaSome of you may be wondering what in the world I’m talking about, and I totally get it. I had never heard of babka before I moved to New York, but it wasn’t long before I became a fan of the chocolate variety. I mean, what’s not to love about soft yeasted cake swirled with chocolate?!Pumpkin BabkaCinnamon is another popular flavor of babka, but chocolate is definitely king. Seinfeld’s Elaine Benes famously called cinnamon babka “the lesser babka.” I wonder what she’d have to say about this Pumpkin Babka. I sort of hope she’d call it a “basic babka.” That is, if she had time to talk between bites of this buttery, pumpkin-filled treat!
Pumpkin BabkaLet’s talk dough. You’ll find all sorts of babka in NYC (and online). I’ve tried Israeli and Polish versions, and I’m sure there are more varieties. Some are flaky, some are feather-soft. Some have an exposed twist, while others look like any other bread until they are sliced. Some are baked in a ring; others are divided into loaf pans. I think this is why I had to make so many batches before I found a recipe I like.Pumpkin BabkaThis babka—my babka—is heavily adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s popular recipe. It starts with a soft brioche dough that is enriched with butter and eggs and accented with nutmeg and vanilla. I highly recommend making this dough in a stand mixer, although it can be made by hand. As each tablespoon of butter has to be incorporated individually, it’s nice to have a machine doing all that work.

The dough gets kneaded until it’s smooth before being refrigerated overnight. It won’t double in bulk the way most of my yeast doughs do, but it should puff up a little.Pumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaOn the day you want to bake your babkas, divide the dough in half. Working with one portion at a time, roll it into a large rectangle.Pumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaSpread on the filling—in this case, a simplified pumpkin pie filling—before rolling it into a cylinder.Pumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaBriefly freeze the cylinder on a floured baking sheet before cutting off the ends and then slicing it in half lengthwise, thereby exposing the filling.Pumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaCarefully twist the two halves together before placing your unrisen babka in a parchment-lined loaf pan.
Pumpkin BabkaRepeat this process with the other half of the dough before letting babkas rise for 1.5-2 hours, or until they peek (peak?) over the tops of their pans.Pumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaBake the babkas at 350F for about half an hour (or longer, if you are using light-colored pans). When they’re done, they should be deep golden on top, and a skewer inserted in the center should meet no resistance at all. If you, like me, get nervous about things being done, you can use a thermometer to check for doneness. The interior should be 190F.Pumpkin BabkaAs soon as you remove the babkas from the oven, brush them with a good dose of pumpkin spice syrup. You may think the amount in the recipe is too much, but it isn’t. If you try to cut back on this, you’ll miss the sticky glossiness that makes babka a cake rather than just a swirled bread.Pumpkin BabkaAs a baker, I am supposed to tell you to wait to enjoy your Pumpkin Babkas until they have cooled completely. As a human, I’m going to tell you that it’s totally okay to let them cool halfway in their pans before tearing in.Pumpkin BabkaThere’s just something about the combination of warm, fluffy brioche and pumpkin and autumnal spices that are nearly impossible to resist. I’ve eaten A LOT of Pumpkin Babka over the last two weeks, so I know.Pumpkin BabkaOh, yeah. There’s nothing basic about this babka.Pumpkin Babka

Pumpkin Babka
heavily adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi
makes 2 babkas

Babka Dough:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast (not regular active dry yeast)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Pumpkin Filling:
1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin purée (I high recommend Libby’s here)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
pinch of Kosher or fine sea salt

Pumpkin Spice Syrup:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

This is a time-consuming, two-day recipe with many steps. Please read the recipe at least twice before beginning.

The day before you want to bake, make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, nutmeg, salt, and instant yeast. Fit the mixer with a dough hook. Add beaten eggs, water, and vanilla. Turn mixer on low (the “stir” or “2” setting on my Kitchen Aid mixer) and let run until a thick dough forms.

Cut softened butter into 12 one-tablespoon pieces. With the mixer running on low, add butter one piece at a time, waiting until the previous piece is incorporated before adding another. Once all butter has been added, turn mixer up to medium speed (“6” on my mixer) and let run for about 10 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally, until the dough is smooth and pulling away from the bowl.

Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight). Dough will not double in size or rise very much during this time—don’t be alarmed.

The day you are going to bake, make the filling. Combine pumpkin, melted butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. Use a fork to whisk everything together until well-combined. Set aside.

Grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans. Line with parchment and grease again. Set aside.

Remove dough from the refrigerator, punch it down and slice it in half. Return half the dough to the refrigerator.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Working with one half of the dough at a time, roll it out to an 11×14-inch rectangle (about 1/8-inch thick). Use an offset knife to spread half the filling onto the dough, leaving 1/2-inch bare on all sides. Starting from a short edge (an 11 inch edge), tightly roll the dough into a cylinder. Some filling may squish out—that’s okay.

Place cylinder on a floured baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes. Repeat rolling and filling process with remaining dough.

Shape the babkas. Remove one cylinder from the freezer. Slice 1/2-inch off each end. Slice the cylinder in half lengthwise. This will be messy.

Place both halves next to each other, cut-sides-up. Carefully twist them together. Place babka in one of the prepared pans. Cover pan loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat shaping process with remaining cylinder. Let babkas rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1.5-2 hours, or until they rise 1/2- to 1-inch above the pan walls at their highest point.

Bake babkas at 350F for 30-40 minutes. If you are using a dark pan, your babka should be done closer to the 30 minute mark. Test for doneness with a skewer—if it meets any resistance or comes out with dough on it, bake in five minute increments until neither of those things happens. To test for doneness with a thermometer, insert the end into center. If it reads at 190F or above, it’s done.

While babkas are baking, make pumpkin spice syrup. Combine sugar, water, and pumpkin pie spice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

Brush hot babkas with pumpkin spice syrup. Let babkas cool in their pans on a rack until they are cool enough to remove them with your hands. Let babkas continue to cool on a rack until they reach room temperature (if you can resist tearing in).

Slice and serve babka. Leftovers will keep tightly-wrapped in plastic at room temperature for up to 48 hours, or in the refrigerator for a few days.Pumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaPumpkin Babka

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie Squares

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresThe Autumnal Equinox may not technically be until tomorrow night, but it is now officially Fall in my kitchen and on this blog. Time for apples and warming spices and dark caramel and, of course, pumpkin!Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresI’m starting off my Fall baking with these Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie Squares. They’re made with the seasonal staple, pumpkin purée, along with my favorite pumpkin pie spice blend and a good hit of granulated espresso.Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresThose ingredients, together with the usual suspects like all-purpose flour, butter, a touch of baking powder and a hint of vanilla, bake up into a thick, soft bar base.Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresPumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresThis portion of the process takes all of 35 minutes and smells so. freaking. good. that you might have a hard time letting them cool completely before tearing into them.Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresPumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresBut you should, because the next step is topping them with a thick layer of fluffy vanilla buttercream.Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresPumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresI think vanilla buttercream can enhance almost any dessert flavor combination, but it’s especially good here as a foil to the pumpkin spice and coffee flavors. I like to top these squares with sparkling sugar, too, for a little something extra.Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresPumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresThese bars slice like a dream—I love those clean edges! Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie Squares are very visually appealing, making them perfect for any myriad of Fall occasions. Let’s start by celebrating that it’s Fall at all ❤ Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie Squares

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie Squares
makes one 9-inch pan, about 16 bars

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso granules (I use Medaglia d’Oro)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup pure pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
sparkling sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch square pan. Line with parchment, leaving overhand at the edges, and grease again. Set aside.

Make the cookie layer. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, espresso granules, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium-large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in granulated sugar and light brown sugar, followed by egg, pumpkin purée, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, beating just until combined. Dough will be thick.

Spread dough into prepared pan with a silicone spatula. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until no longer wet-looking. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Let cookie layer cool completely in the pan on a rack. Do not remove bars from pan.

Make vanilla buttercream. In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in confectioner’s sugar in two installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Beat in salt, followed by vanilla and heavy cream.

Use an offset icing knife to frost bars. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar, if desired. Freeze pan for 10 minutes to make bars easier to slice cleanly.

Use overhang to carefully lift bars onto a cutting board. Gently peel back edges of the parchment. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice into 16 bars, wiping the knife clean between cuts.

Serve squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container with wax paper between layers. They will keep at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five.Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresPumpkin Spice Latte Cookie Squares