Pumpkin Spice Rolls

Scenes from a morning run in Bristol never seem to amaze me. It’s getting colder, but Autumn is still holding on. As it was my day off, I thought what better treat to make on a gloomy day than Pumpkin Spice Rolls! It’s like a cinnamon roll, but made with pumpkin and pumpkin spice. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 3 1/2 cups flour, divided
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice

First, add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and all the yeast, then set aside.

Next, place the pumpkin, milk, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the butter into a small pan and heat until the butter is melted. Do not bring to a boil. You want the mixture to be warm, but not too hot otherwise it will negatively affect the yeast.


In a small bowl, beat the egg, and add it to the flour and yeast along with the warm pumpkin mixture from the stove top. Mix until all the flour is incorporated into the wet mixture. You will then add the remaining flour, bit by bit, and knead. If your dough is still too moist, add a tablespoon of flour until it is a doughy consistency and no longer sticks to your hands.


Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place for one hour until it doubles in size.

When it has risen, punch down the dough and lay onto a floured surface. Roll out the dough and form a rectangle shape. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and layer it on top of the dough. Then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the top. I do apologise for not including a photo. I was so happy the dough turned out nice that I forgot to take one!


At this point, you’ll want to heat your oven to 375 F / 190 C. Carefully roll up the dough, trying to keep it somewhat tight. You will then have a log shape of dough. With a sharp knife, carefully cut into discs and place on a greased baking dish.


Once cut, cover and let them rise for another 30 minutes. Did I mention you might want to have some time on your hands to attempt this recipe?


Once the cut rolls have risen, bake for 20 minutes. During this time, gather the ingredients for the caramel icing, but I recommend making it right after you take the rolls out of the oven.


Once baked, take the rolls out and begin making the icing. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup icing (powdered) sugar

 
In a small saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt. Heat until the butter melts and the brown sugar begins to dissolve, but do not boil. Turn off the heat and whisk in the icing sugar a little at a time.

 I didn’t use a whisk because I didn’t want to damage my pan’s coating. However, this caused little clumps of icing sugar to form in the icing. It was still smooth and delicious, so don’t worry if you have a similar result.

Pour the icing over the rolls while they are still warm.


And there you have a warm, gooey batch of Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon rolls. They are sweet and have just enough spice to satisfy your Halloween sweet tooth. I followed the recipe I had, but I would add 1/2 cup brown sugar and maybe another table spoon of butter to the filling. I think I’ll add some cinnamon in addition to the pumpkin spice as well. These are really gonna be tough to share, but I’ll try. Maybe. Enjoy your weekend ahead, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!

My husband is sneaking a roll in the background

Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies

 

It’s Friday and overcast, but definitely not gloomy today in Bristol! It’s half term for the schools, so there’s lots of people out and about. Also this weekend is the Bristol to Bath marathon, so I figured I would make cookies since I’m not running in the race. Makes sense right? These cookies are the perfect thing to enjoy as you relax with a nice cup of tea. Or as you watch people burning calories during the marathon instead of consuming them. Anyway, here is what you’ll need:

 

  • 1 tablespoon ground linseed or flax (I used linseed)
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/3 cup puréed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (I used almond)
  • 2 tablespoons softened coconut oil (not melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

   

First, add the linseed (or flax) and warm water to a bowl and mix well. Let it stand for about 5 minutes until it becomes gelatinous. 

    Next add the pumpkin, nut butter, coconut oil and vanilla. Mix well until very smooth, making sure there are no coconut oil lumps. You will then add the brown sugar, mixing until combined. It will start to resemble the consistency of pudding, as seen below.

 

Next, add the oat flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt, and spices. You will mix until all ingredients are incorporated, leaving you with a sticky dough, as seen below. I already began to form cookies before I remembered to take a photo, so there will be more dough than that.
  
Now you’ll want to preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and line a cookie tray with parchment paper or foil.  

  
Next, scoop spoon sized drops of cookie dough onto your tray and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, depending on the heating efficiency of your oven. When ready, let them cool completely before eating. As they cool, they will firm up a bit.

 

And there you have a batch of Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies. This recipe yields about 16 cookies, but you’ll probably lose count as you’re eating them. Did I mention they are flourless, egg free, and dairy free? Of course, you can substitute one egg for the linseed, just beat it first. I can’t claim they are gluten free, but can be as long as you use certified gluten free oat flour. I do love these whichever way they are made because of all the yummy spices. They would go great with a bit of chai or a hot toddy! Although I’m not sure mine will last long enough to make a brew. However you eat them, enjoy these lovely autumn days as winter will be here before we know it. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!
  

Pumpkin and Persimmon Smoothie

Now that fall is in full swing, I cannot get enough of autumn produce and anything with cinnamon. As pumpkin is my favorite, I wanted to make something perfect for a healthy breakfast. And since they had persimmon on sale at Aldi, I thought making smoothie would be a perfect option that would combine some of my favorite flavors. Here is what you’ll need:

 

  • 2 chopped, frozen bananas
  • 1 cup puréed pumpkin
  • 1/2 chopped persimmon
  • 2 heaping tablespoons yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • Milk of your choice 

  
If you don’t have any pumpkin pie spice, don’t worry, it’s easy to make. The ratio is 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon each of ginger, ground cloves, nutmeg, and all spice. However, you can always add the spices in whichever quantity you like.

 

First you’ll want to cut your persimmon. I always cut the peel off my persimmon first before I chop it up. If you’ve never tasted a persimmon, it has a sweet, almost cinnamon like flavor. And oddly enough, it tastes nice when it’s still crisp and just as good when soft and ripe. There is also an old farmers tale of how to predict what the winter will be like by cutting open the seed. Mine didn’t have any, but if it did, you will find one of three shapes. If the shape resembles a knife or something long and flat, it will be a sharp and cold winter that will cut right through you. If it’s shaped like a spoon, you’ll be shoveling a lot of snow. If it resembles a fork, it will be a mild winter. I don’t know what the absence of a seed means, but I’m pretty sure winter will be here soon enough in Bristol.

 I also wanted to mention the yogurt I used, which is a spiced apple and quince variety. I’ve never tasted a quince before, but I see it around every autumn, so decided to give this a try. It has a smooth, mild taste, perfect for fall. And I really like that Yeo valley makes organic products and is a family farm.

 

Now for the smoothie! Place the fruit, yogurt, vanilla, and spices into your blender. Then add enough milk until it fills up to the 4 cup mark. Blend until smooth.

   
  And there you go, a pumpkin persimmon smoothie perfect for crisp autumn mornings. You get a nice dose of vitamins and antioxidants that tastes of fall. This made two pint glass servings (hey, this is England after all) but I could easily finish it off myself. This smoothie is also a nice way to balance out the baked treats I’ve been stuffing my face with lately. As long as the treats contain pumpkin though, I figure thats one of my 5 a day, so there. Anyway, stay warm and stay tuned for more fall treats. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating! Bottoms Up!
  

Easy Peasy Pumpkin Drop Cookies

The weather here in Bristol hasn’t been too bad lately. Cold breezes have complimented sunny, comfortable afternoons. However, I had a bit of a cold, hence, no posts last week. But since I’m feeling better, I decided to do one of my favorite recipes because 1) it really is super easy, and 2) it utilizes my favorite fall gourd – PUMPKIN!!

  
As you can see above, I am fully stocked with enough pumpkin to last through Thanksgiving. And when you consider there may be a pumpkin shortage due to devastating flooding in Illinois, it’s best we all have a few cans on hand. So, you may be asking why I’m using canned pumpkin instead of fresh. Well, to be honest, cracking open a pumpkin, taking the seeds out,  roasting it, waiting for it to cool, scooping it out, then pulsing it in a food processor is kind of a pain in the ass. I’ve done it before mind you, but using canned in this case makes things easier. If you do feel inclined to use fresh pumpkin, do not use Halloween carving pumpkins as those are grown for decor and animal feed. For the sweetness and flavor used for baking treats, use sugar pie, Cinderella, or kabocha pumpkins. Ok, on with the show. Here is what you’ll need- oh wait, did I mention it’s ONLY 2 INGREDIENTS?!

  
 

  • One can of pumpkin; or two cups purée fresh pumpkin
  • One packet cake mix

Yup, that’s it! In the states, I would wait until the store brand boxes of cake mix were on sale for $1, or less, then stock up for the holiday season. I would typically buy yellow or spice cake mix.

  
First, line your baking tray and preheat your oven to 180C/ 350 F.  I used parchment paper, but will use greased foil next time as they did stick a little.

  

  
So pretty much, just empty the cake mix and all the pumpkin into a large bowl. 

  
You will then proceed to mix the heck out of it. It may be a little difficult and it might seem like there is too much of the dry mixture. But trust me, it WILL all absorb. Pumpkin has a lot of moisture, so just keep stirring and it will eventually turn into a fluffy mixture, as seen below.

  
Drop several heaping spoonfuls onto your baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

  
When ready, take out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. These cookies will not appear to rise too much or take on a much different color when ready. However, when cool, they will be a bit firmer.

 

Yes, these are actually baked
 
And there you have it! Two ingredient pumpkin drop cookies! These really are the easiest, and tastiest, cookies you can make. And the end result is a soft, sweet cookie that melts in your mouth. 

 

Oh, and since it’s made with pumpkin and no eggs, dairy, or oil, I’d like to think its a somewhat healthier option for a treat. Of course, the sugar content will differ according  to your mix. Also depending on the ingredients in your cake mix, this can also be a vegan treat, but definitely won’t taste like one! If you don’t like pumpkin or don’t have access to any, you can substitute  2 cups of puréed sweet potato, butternut squash, or banana. Whatever you decide, these cookies will not disappoint! Enjoy these lovely fall afternoons while they last. And as always, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!
  

Butternut Squash Rolls

  
Fall is underway here in Bristol. We’ve had a pretty good week here weather wise. Lots of sun with gentle cool breezes has made the afternoons enjoyable. But, elsewhere the harvest is just beginning. So, I decided to buy some butternut squash to start off the season. We used half in a casserole this week and I thought just roasting the rest would be fine, but kinda boring. So I came across this recipe which utilizes the squash in a way I never really thought of before – rolls!

  
Before you begin this recipe, I would roast and cool the squash. I roughly cut it and wrapped it in foil with some water inside for a little steaming effect. Put it in the oven at 180C / 350F for about 1 1/2 hours, or until soft.  

Once cool, scoop it out of the skin and purée it in a food processor. If you don’t have one, use a masher or fork and mash it as much as possible. The smoother it is, the better it will be incorporated into the dough. You will need 1/2 cup of the butternut squash purée. Here are the other ingredients for the rolls:

  

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash purée

First, place the warm water and yeast in a bowl for around 10 minutes, or until it becomes bubbly and foamy, as seen below. I emphasize that the water must be warm. If it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast. Too cold, and it will not activate.

  
While that is foaming, in a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar.

  
Next, you will make sure you warm your milk. This can be done in a microwave or on the stove top, but don’t overheat as it can kill the yeast.

  
Now, you will add the wet yeast, warm milk, softened butter, and butternut purée to the flour mixture.

  
If you have a mixer, use a dough hook and mix until combined. If not, like me, knead with your hands until all the ingredients are combined and evenly distributed.

  
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and/or a towel, and let rise for an hour until it is pretty close to double the size. 

  
Once risen, separate the dough into 12 balls  (or a baker’s dozen as I did) of dough and place on a lined pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 400F / 205 C

  
After 15 minutes, your kitchen will smell amazing and it will be time to take these lovelies out.

  
Another reason I wanted to bake these was to utilize some jostaberry jam I bought from the SS Great Britain farmers market. I first tried this jam back in May, and waited a few months until the market returned in August. The jostaberry is a hybrid and tastes like a earthy black currant. The preserves stand will be at the fall market on Saturday October 5th from 10-4 at Brunel Square, located in front of the SS Great Britain.

  
The jam went perfectly with the rolls, but they could also be enjoyed toasted with butter. Or dipped in caramel sauce. Or Nutella. The possibilities are endless really. Whatever you choose, enjoy all the foods fall has to offer. And if you get the chance, head over to the SS Great Britain on October 10th for more local treats. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!