Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Give Fall a Warm Welcome with these Seasonal Recipes

The leaves have changed colors, seasonal crops are piled high in the grocery store, and Halloween costumes are on everyone's minds. Fall has arrived! But we can't forget that this change in season also makes way for some seasonal baking! 

We found a lovely collection of seasonal recipes that not only incorporate the fall favorite: pumpkins, but also our beloved tart cherries...

Cherry-Pumpkin Seed Muffins

6 tablespons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup whole milk
8 ounces fresh cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds, toasted in a skillet or oven

Preheat oven to 375. Grease or line 12 muffin cups. Beat butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy, either in a mixer or by hand. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Gently mix half of the flour mixture into the butter, then half of the milk, then the remaining half of each.  Stir in the cherries and toasted pumpkin seeds. Distribute the batter into the muffin tins, and top with the raw pumpkin seeds. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

White Chocolate, Cherry & Pumpkin Seed Bark
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
Pinch of salt
12 oz. white chocolate
¼ teaspoon Allspice
¾ cup pitted, dried tart cherries

Toast the pumpkin seeds by placing them in a pan over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning (be careful as the seeds may crackle as they heat).
Remove the toasted seeds, toss them with the salt and and set them aside to cool. Make a double boiler by first boiling a large pot of water. Break the chocolate bar into pieces then add the pieces to a smaller pot. Hold the smaller pot over the boiling water to melt the chocolate, careful not to let any water leak into the smaller pot. Stir the chocolate continuously until it is smooth. Add the Allspice and mix until well incorporated. Pour the chocolate onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Use a rubber spatula to spread the chocolate out until it is roughly ¼" thick. Immediately top with the toasted pumpkin seeds and dried cherries. Let the bark harden in the refrigerator or in a cool, dry place for at least 4 hours, or until firm.

Cherry-Walnut Pumpkin Bread

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter loaf pan. Line bottom and 2 long sides with waxed paper. Whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until blended. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in pumpkin, then vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions each. Fold in Brownwood Acres Dried Tart Cherries and nuts. Transfer batter to pan. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake bread for about 1 hour 10 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Pumpkin Cake with Sage Ice Cream and Pumpkin Cherry Compote

For pumpkin cake
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup safflower or canola oil
1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin purée or canned solid-pack pumpkin
For compote
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 lb fresh pumpkin (preferably sugar or cheese pumpkin), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)


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