24 September 2010


Holy Cow! Work has been cray-cray, thus no updates. The adage "two steps forward, one step back" sums it up nicely. I made the most embarrassing rendition of bread pudding yesterday...and actually served it. Facepalm! On the plus side, the perfect cheesecake made an appearance as did white and dark chocolate mousses. AND my new favorite brownie! Read on!

Fall is here! Well, it was here in Nashville, then the sun decided to get one last punch in. Technically speaking though, the fall equinox has passed, so we are in the fall season. Glorious autumn. When I think of fall, I jump to pumpkin. I love its cheery color, moisture, and versatile flavors. There are a handful of favorites. (You know I couldn't have just one!) Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin cranberry bread. Pumpkin bread pudding. Pumpkin butter. Pumpkin curry soup. Cream of pumpkin. And of course simple roasted pumpkin with butter and nutmeg. When it comes to sweets, sugar and spices are a subtle accent. Pumpkin's natural flavor is really wonderful, and I like to showcase it rather than overpower it.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies
These brownies are killer. They scream Halloween with their black, orange, and white swirls, especially if you use a pumpkin cutter. These will definitely be making an appearance at our gathering. Now, I'm not fully satisfied with the brownie base, so use your favorite in a 3/4 batch. If you use a box mix, you can use the remaining 1/4 batch to make brownie cookies or muffins. Or eat it raw like a little piggy. *One of the best tricks I learned from Merridee's is to line brownie pans completely with foil, spray, then flour. Chill or freeze your baked nummies. Pull the whole thing out by the foil, unwrap, and cut into portions with little to no mess.*

1. Spread brownie base into a greased and lined pan.
2. Cream 1# cream cheese (room temperature, folks!), 1/2 cup sugar, 2 eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Spread evenly on top of brownies.
3. Mix 1 cup apple jelly and 1 cup pumpkin butter. Stripe over cream cheese and swirl using a knife, toothpick, or your finger (mmm!).
4. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. Pan should jiggle and cream cheese swirls should spring back with light pressure.

If you'd like to take a stab at pumpkin butter, throw some over medium heat, spice as desired, and stir in a sugar, syrup, or juice (apple works best). Stir often and cook for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how thick you like it.

Alright, kiddies. Some things to look forward to: Root Beer Cake, Apple Cider Muffins, Carrot Cake (my unicorn), and plenty more pumpkin!

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