Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Popovers

After making the Barefoot Contessa’s Popovers for Barefoot Bloggers earlier this week, I wanted to try it again with the flavor of pumpkin.

Popovers are known for being fickle—sometimes they just don’t “pop” and my first batch of pumpkin popovers disappointingly did not. For that batch, I used ½ cup of pumpkin, which likely made the batter too heavy. Determined to try to figure out the secret to popovers, I did some online research and found that without yeast or chemical leaveners, popovers rise purely by steam. It’s what makes them “pop.” For this reason, you want to ideally make the batter with a lower-protein flour and use it right away without letting it rest—letting it rest allows the gluten to develop and traps air bubbles, which is the opposite of what you want in a popover. In addition, using room temperature ingredients is important. The less cold the ingredients, the faster the oven can start converting the liquid in the batter to steam for “popping” the popovers.

This recipe worked pretty well in getting “popped” popovers, but the rise was still not as dramatic as the plain popovers. The pumpkin flavor was subtle and delicate, and the steamy interiors were moist and "eggy." These popovers serve well with butter, Nutella, or apple butter.

Adapted from: Pumpkin Popovers, EatingWell, November/December 1992


¼ cup canned pumpkin puree

3 large eggs, at room temperature

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

2 cups milk, at room temperature

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When hot, place popover (or muffin) pans in oven for 2 minutes to preheat.

Whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, egg whites, milk, and oil in a medium bowl until smooth. Combine flour, salt, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Remove warmed pans from oven, grease with cooking spray and divide the batter among the prepared cups. Bake the popovers until they are puffed and browned, about 30 minutes and serve warm.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Baked Pumpkin French Toast

Perfect for feeding a crowd, this baked French toast was rich with flavor and received so many compliments! This easy recipe must be assembled in advance to allow enough time for the bread to soak in the batter. The crunchy, caramelized crust from the pecans and sprinkled sugar is divine. I’ll be making this recipe again and again!

Adapted from: Baked French Toast, Martha Stewart Living, November 2010


10-12 slices day-old brioche or Challah (about ¾ inch thick)

6 large eggs

¾ cup cooked or canned pumpkin

1 cup milk (whole or 2% preferred)

⅓ cup heavy cream

½ cup sugar or vanilla sugar, divided

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup pecans (coarsely chopped or crushed)


1 cup sweetened whipped cream

Maple syrup

Additional nutmeg for garnish


Beat 6 large eggs in a bowl. Whisk in pumpkin, milk, heavy cream, ¼ cup sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.

Working in batches, dip brioche slices into batter to coat. Overlap brioches slices in a 9-by-13-inch ceramic or glass baking dish. Pour remaining batter over top. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Top with pecans and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup sugar. Bake, covered with parchment-lined foil, for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake until top is golden brown and crunchy, 20 to 25 minutes more. Serve with favorite toppings.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin and Corn Fritters

These fritters were not only delicious but also surprisingly easy to make. I made these fritters for our pumpkin-themed tailgate. One shortcut I took was using frozen corn kernels rather than cutting corn from the cob. Using the frozen corn, I only had to thaw it in a colander while I prepared the batter. When it’s time to fry, use a candy thermometer to help you keep the temperature just right. I used a small cookie scoop to drop the batter into the hot oil, and it only took minutes for the fritters to puff up and brown to a beautiful golden color.

The flavor was spot-on perfect! The fritters are tasty enough to eat plain, or you can dress them up with maple syrup and powdered sugar. Either way, they won’t last long!

Source: Pumpkin and Corn Fritters, Emeril Lagasse


2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 cup fresh corn kernels cut from the cob

½ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon white pepper

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch ground cloves

⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

½ cup cake flour, sifted

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

6 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Cane syrup or maple syrup, for drizzling

Powdered sugar, for garnish


Heat an 8-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the oil and butter to the pan. When the oil is hot, add the corn to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Season the corn with ¼ teaspoon salt and the white pepper. Continue to cook the corn, stirring often, for an additional 5 minutes. Remove corn from pan and set aside on a plate to cool. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin puree, brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and whisk to combine. When the corn is cooled, fold it into the pumpkin base. Gently stir the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and baking soda into the pumpkin base. Stir just until the ingredients are combined, so as not to over-mix. Wrap bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

In a large 6-quart pot, heat the vegetable oil to 325 degrees F. Remove the fritter batter from the refrigerator and carefully spoon heaping tablespoonfuls of the fritter batter into the hot oil to fry. Cook no more than 6 at a time, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, turning when necessary, until the fritters are a golden brown. Remove the fritters from the oil and drain on a paper-lined plate. Transfer to an aluminum foil pie pan and place in oven until all of the fritters have been made.

To serve, pile the fritters onto a serving plate and drizzle with syrup. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve while hot.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chocolate Hello Dollies

For anyone who has ever needed to make a dessert at the last minute or when you just don’t have much time, this is the recipe for you. Hello Dollies are also known as seven-layer bars, usually made with butter, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate and butterscotch chips, coconut, walnuts, and sweetened condensed milk. This recipe changes out the graham cracker crumbs for a decadent chocolate crust.

This bar cookie couldn’t be any easier to make. Seriously, I spent more time cutting the squares than I did assembling my baking sheet for the oven. These were sinfully delicious!

Source: Chocolate Hello Dollies, Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor


1 package (18.25 ounces) devil’s food cake mix with pudding

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk


Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Set aside an ungreased 15- by 10-inch jelly-roll pan.

Place the cake mix and butter in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the cake mix with two knives or a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle this mixture over the bottom of the jelly-roll pan and press it into the pan with your fingertips to form a crust.

Sprinkle the top of the crust evenly with the butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over all the ingredients. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the bars until they are lightly browned and bubbly all over, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for 30 minutes. Cut into bars.

Store these bars, covered in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, at room temperature for up to 5 days. Or freeze them, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the bars overnight on the counter before serving.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Barefoot Popovers

Until now, I’ve never made popovers before. Somehow, they always seemed a bit intimidating. But with only five ingredients, this Barefoot Bloggers recipe was so easy! I read through the comments before making my popovers, and so many people stressed how important the details are—room temperature milk and eggs, hot oven, preheated pans—to ensure that the popovers actually “pop” from the top of the pan. These popovers turned out fabulous—so tall, light, and fluffy! Thanks to Tara of Smells Like Home for this great recipe selection!

Source: Popovers, Barefoot Contessa Parties!


1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus softened butter for greasing pans

1 ½ cups flour

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 ½ cups milk, at room temperature


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Generously grease aluminum popover pans or Pyrex custard cups with softened butter. You’ll need enough pans to make 12 popovers. Place the pans in the oven for exactly 2 minutes to preheat. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, eggs, milk, and melted butter until smooth. The batter will be thin. Fill the popover pans less than half full and bake for exactly 30 minutes. Do not peek.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Turkey Chili

There’s no other fall flavor as perfect as pumpkin. Pairing pumpkin with chili creates a wonderful autumn dish. I pretty much always make my chili in my slow-cooker just because it’s so easy to do and dinner is already done when I come home from a long day at work. Made with ground turkey, this healthy chili loses nothing in flavor for your pickiest meat-eaters.

Adapted from: Pumpkin Turkey Chili, Serious Eats


1 (14 ½ ounce) can red kidney beans

1 (14 ½ ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 pound ground turkey, browned and drained

1 cup chopped onion

½ green bell pepper, chopped

½ yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 cups (14 ½ ounce can) pumpkin puree

1 ½ tablespoons chili powder

½ tablespoon cumin

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cayenne pepper to taste (at least 3 good shakes)

2 tablespoons brown sugar


Fresh cilantro, chopped

Shredded cheddar cheese

Sour cream

Hot sauce


Put ingredients in slow cooker in the order listed. Carefully stir. Cover and cook on low 10 to 12 hours or high 5 to 6 hours. Cover for another 10 minutes.

Garnish with favorite toppings and serve hot.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

East Hampton Clam Chowder

Clam chowder has always seemed an indulgence, a special treat. For some reason, I’ve never made my own clam chowder. I guess I always thought it would be a complicated endeavor. So, I was excited about this Barefoot Bloggers selection, chosen by Laura of Family Spice. Not only is this chowder not difficult or intimidating, it was perfectly flavored and delicious, an awesome dinner for a cool night!

Source: East Hampton Clam Chowder, Barefoot Contessa Family Style


12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, divided

2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)

2 cups medium-diced celery (4 stalks)

2 cups medium-diced carrots (6 carrots)

4 cups peeled medium-diced boiling potatoes (8 potatoes)

1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves (½ teaspoon dried)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 quart (4 cups) clam juice

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

3 cups chopped fresh chowder clams (1 ½ pounds shucked clams)


Melt 4 tablespoons (½ stick) of the butter in a large heavy-bottomed stockpot. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the celery, carrots, potatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 more minutes. Add the clam juice, bring to a boil, and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

In a small pot, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and whisk in the flour. Cook over very low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in a cup of the hot broth and then pour this mixture back into the cooked vegetables. Simmer for a few minutes until the broth is thickened.

Add the milk and clams and heat gently for a few minutes to cook the clams. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.