Pumpkin recipes welcome fall

Published 5:56 am Thursday, October 8, 2009

By By Lisa Tindell
There may not be a chill in the air but there is a noticeable difference. The fall feeling over the past few days and the appearance of the big orange gourds in local markets has certainly turned my thoughts to pumpkins.
The recipes you’ll find here this week are centered around dishes made with pumpkin. Although pumpkin pie remains the top choice for the use of pumpkin there are many dishes that incorporate this vitamin-rich substance into wonderful treats.
This first recipe is one that was submitted and sounds delicious. It may be a great way to add something new to an old favorite that even your children can appreciate.
You probably won’t notice the pumpkin flavor in these cupcakes, but it boosts the nutrition content and makes the cupcakes moist.
Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes
(Adapted from Country Living magazine)
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 15-ounce can canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together; set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together the buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla extract; set aside. In a large bowl and with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Alternately beat in the flour and pumpkin mixtures in thirds until everything is combined. Spoon batter into cupcake cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
Place cupcake pans in the center of the preheated 350 degree oven and bake approximately 25 minutes. Cupcakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes then remove cupcakes from pans and let cool completely on the wire racks. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare cream cheese frosting (recipe follows). When cupcakes are completely cool, spread with frosting and decorate.
Whipped cream cheese frosting
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat at low speed until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and beat until frosting is light and whipped, about 3 to 4 minutes. Tint frosting orange using food coloring or gels. Use chocolate chips for eyes and nose of jack o’ lanterns and mini chocolate chips for mouths.
If you need another recipe that the little goblins at your house can enjoy, this next one is sure to fit the bill.
Frosted Pumpkin-Walnut Cookies
(Adapted from The Southern Living Cookbook, 1987)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin (can use canned plain pumpkin)
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chopped walnuts
Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in pumpkin, lemon extract and vanilla extract. In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in walnuts.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Back at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.
Maple frosting
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 1/3 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 TBS milk
3/4 tsp maple extract
Cream butter; gradually add 1 cup powdered sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add remaining sugar alternately with milk, beating until smooth enough to spread. Add maple extract. Makes about one cup.
Here’s a recipe adults will enjoy.
Mushroom Pumpkin Soup
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp. butter or oil
2 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. curry powder
3 cups chicken broth
1 can (1 lb.) pumpkin
1 tbsp. honey
dash nutmeg
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 cup evaporated milk
optional sour cream or yogurt, topping
Sautée  mushrooms and onion in butter or oil. Add flour and curry and stir gradually adding broth. Add remaining ingredients with exception of milk and cook for 10 to 15 minutes stirring constantly.
Add milk and heat through without boiling. May top with sour cream or yogurt.