October 11, 2008

It's Autumn!

So we had our first *baby* snow here on the valley floor this morning. Not much to speak of, but there were flakes flying around for a bit. It has finally gotten cold over the last few days, and it's definitely feeling like autumn!

I love this time of year. I love the colors, golds oranges reds and browns, and I love the feeling of packing away, cleaning out, and storing up for winter. I love fall food as well. Soups, pies, breads, and all things yummy.

I started out my fall baking season today with a few little experiments. I'm happy to report that they worked out fantastically well! I will definitely be making BOTH of these again. And again.

First, I made a pumpkin pie custard that Megan posted on her blog a few weeks ago. I'm not sure if she's tried it yet, but it sounded amazing, so I thought I would! I love pumpkin pie, and this is a bit of a healthier alternative! The recipe is as follows:

1 Can (2 Cups) Pumpkin Puree
1 Can (15-ish oz.) Coconut Milk
(Not Cream of Coconut, or whatever it is that you use for Pina
Coladas. I almost made that mistake...)
4 Eggs
1/4 t. Cinnamon
1/4 t. Nutmeg
1/4 t. Cardamom
1/4 t. Allspice
2 T Molasses
Maple Syrup/ Honey to taste (0, 1/4, 1/2 C.)

Whisk together well, Bake in a pie pan or soufle dish until set, about 50 minutes, at 350 degrees.

I made a few adjustments/careless mistakes to this recipe. I tasted it when it came out of the oven, and it was indeed amazing still.

Here's what I did different- Cardamom was like 13.00 for a small jar at my grocery store (I didn't get it), and I thought I had allspice, and I didn't. So I used pumpkin pie spice, and added a little extra cinnamon for fun. I also added some more nutmeg because I have a nifty nutmeg grinder, and I take every excuse I can find to use it... Also, I think I forgot to put in the molasses, and I didn't put in any maple syrup or honey. That would mean this is completely unsweetened. Yikes. It still tasted great though. I'll be able to tell more when it's chilled. (I like my pumkin parafanalia cold.... You could eat it hot too I'm sure.)

I knew in advance that I wouldn't just be satisfied with plain old custard, so I got the ingredients I needed to make some Ginger Snaps from a recipe I found online! Doesn't it sound amazing? Pumpkin Pie Custard with Gingersnaps? The answer is yes, and yes, it is sooo good.

This recipe I found on a website for 'sugar free' cooking, meaning cooking without refined sugar. The recipe calls for date sugar, but I used rappadura, or evaporated sugar cane juice. You can use plain old white sugar, and it won't affect the cookies, I'm just trying to eliminate white sugar from my diet, so I used an alternative.

Here it is:

Ginger Snaps

1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Date Sugar
1/4 Cup Dark Molasses
1 Egg
*Mix together, then add:
1/2 t. Ground Cloves
1/2 t. Groung Ginger
1 t. Cinnamon
*Mix. Then add:
2 3/4 Cup Flour (you can use white or whole wheat, it doesn't matter)
1 t. Baking Soda

Roll into balls, (or use an awesome cookie scoop, like I'm blessed to have) and place on a cookie sheet. Don't roll them in sugar. Remember? We're trying to be healthy. I promise they're still good, and plenty sweet.
Bake them at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes. I took them out a little bit early so they would be soft. Yum. I figured that if I baked all of the cookies, I'd eat them all in the next day or two (you have to eat them before they go stale, right?). So I figured I'd freeze some of the dough so that next time I'm in the mood, I'm only ten minutes away from freshly baked Ginger Snaps! My cookie sheets don't fit in my freezer because I have a side-by-side, but my awesome mini muffin pan does!

I froze them in the pan, and then bagged them in one-dozen each bags.

Here they are, all baked and beautiful. As a side note, anyone who doesn't have/hasn't tried a silpat mat should definitely look into it. They are awesome silicone baking mats, and NOTHING sticks to them! Clean up is so easy!
Bon Appetite!


ma said...

You know how much I love Autumn too! The cookies looked yummy...how did they taste? And the pumpkin custard? How was it once it cooled? So glad you found some time to experiment. Cooking always makes me feel better! Wish you had a fireplace!

Megan said...

I will definitely be making those ginger snaps with the custard this week! Looks wonderful!

Megan said...

What website did you find the cookies from? I'd love to get some more naturally sweetened recipes.