Let the Good Times Roll!

Let the Good Times Roll

So this week, as you might have started to guess, is Fall Dessert Week. All the sweet yummy things that you can indulge on this time of year. Yesterday we had a pumpkin recipe, and today is a cranberry one. We’re going to have a great rice pudding tomorrow seasoned with lots of warm fall flavours, and Friday we will end off with an apple cake. Something about the colder weather just makes you want to have a nice comforting sweet treat at the end of your meal, or with a cup of tea in the afternoon.

Today’s recipe is for a Cranberry Pecan Cookie, comes from Ann Walpert, a woman that my mother knew from New Orleans. While being called a cookie, it is one large one that you slice like a pie, rather than individual little biscuits. If you are having company though, you might want to make two “cookie pies” or double the recipe and bake it in a 9″ x 13″ pan instead, ’cause trust me, it’s that good! So, as they say in NOLA, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” or for your non-french speakers “Let the good times roll!”

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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

This recipe calls for dairy ingredients, however they can be substituted for non-dairy (parve) items of the same type: i.e.: margarine or shortening instead of butter, soy cream cheese instead of regular. Regarding the use of the crystallized ginger, it is a really wonderful and unique ingredient. It starts off slightly citrusy when you first bite into it, and then you get the heat of the ginger. If you’re finding it difficult to find crystallized ginger, just know that it is the same as candied ginger, sugared ginger, or ginger chips – they are all just different names/sizes. If you choose not to use it, just up the total amount of powdered ginger to 1 ¼ teaspoons instead.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
⅓ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, cloves, and crystallized ginger in a bowl; set aside. Beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in colour. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin puree with the last egg. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 -25 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Allspice Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon allspice

Directions:

In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese, butter, and allspice. Gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until the mixture is spreadable. Spread or pipe onto the cupcakes.

A Treat With No Trick

Pumpkin Spice

So we are coming to the end of October, and around here, that pretty much means only thing: Halloween. Now Halloween is not a Jewish holiday, and in fact has it’s roots in the Christian All Hallows’ Eve, but it has become, like many holidays throughout the year, completely secularized and commercialized. Now Halloween is all about the costumes and the candy, and not about remembering the dead. Even though it is not a holiday that I celebrate, I can’t help but look around and be inspired by all of the pumpkins! So with that in mind I thought a Pumpkin Spice Cupcake with rich Allspice Cream Cheese frosting would be a hit! I mean, everywhere you look these days, something, ANYTHING, is flavoured with pumpkin spice! The rich, warm flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove just fill you up with toasty goodness. So I say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!