Monday, December 19, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Pancakes

I know it's almost Christmas but I still have a plethora of pumpkin recipes to share (and more to come because I've hoarded about 15 cans. I'm crazy, I know). So here's a good one!

Let me start off by saying that I'm not a huge fan of pancakes. I generally like a savory breakfast of eggs, meat and carbs. I'm also a big fan of cereal and toast with peanut butter. But pancakes and french toast aren't my favorite. I think it might be that I don't really love syrup or anything maple flavored. However, Tom enjoys them and I don't absolutely hate them so I try to make one of the two when I see him.

This was my first time making pancakes (ya know, because I don't like them). So I was really nervous that I'd either burn them or turn them into a pile of gooey mess. But I didn't! It took a lot of effort and caused my unnecessary stress but I managed.

Also, I will never just make plain pancakes. Ever. I don't like my food boring so I always have to jazz it up. So if I'm going to make pancakes, I have to make some version of the bland breakfast that will: a) incorporate things that love and b) have some kind of flavor so I don't have to use much syrup. And this is how I decided upon pumpkin.

You all know how I feel about pumpkin. Obsessed. Now you will learn how I feel about streusel. LOVE IT. I won't eat a pie without streusel topping. It's just perfect, especially when it gets a little dark and crispy. This recipe had both so it was on my "make immediately" list.

These pancakes are really filling. Tom and I shared them and we couldn't finish the whole plate because they had a very cake-y consistency. So just keep that in mind when you decide how many to make because a little goes a looooong way!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Pancakes (4 servings) from Two Peas and Their Pod
·         For the cinnamon streusel:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
·         To make the pancakes:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. First, make the cinnamon streusel. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mix together with your hands or a fork, until you have a crumbly mixture. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg, pumpkin, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk until combined.
4. Heat a griddle or pan to medium low. Coat with cooking spray. Drop 1/3 cup of batter onto heated skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon streusel. Cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form, about 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip pancake over and cover very generously with cinnamon streusel. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Continue this process to make the rest of the pancakes.
5. Serve pancakes warm with maple syrup and butter.

the gigantic pancake that was extremely difficult to flip


you can tell how hard I'm concentrating

beautiful finished product :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mashed Sweet Potato Brulee

So tomorrow is my last final for the semester. My normal course of action before a final is to get strung out on coffee, eat only gummy candy, neglect sleep and cram in all the information that I didn't learn all semester. It gets really ugly. However, I've been on my game so I barely need to study this semester! It's almost like I'm a responsible adult. Except I don't have money or a real job. But it's awesome because instead of being a shell of a person, I'll be spending my evening leisurely sipping decaf tea, writing about food, and watching Pixar's Up. Perfection.

Speaking of animated movies... I'm really disturbed by today's youth. Today I showed The Lion King to a senior Spanish class. It started at the part where Mufasa dies. I reacted like any normal human being would... by erupting into tears. I probably could have held it together if I had been prepared but I didn't realize that it'd start out like that. And I hadn't had my coffee so I was really emotional. The kids looked at me like I was insane. Granted, I'm a total movie and book crier (The Notebook and Stepmom are my biggest vices). Real life situations? Not so much. It's weird. But anyway, these kids must have hearts of stone. I don't think you should be allowed to own animals or reproduce or be a member of society if Mufasa's death doesn't make you AT LEAST a little misty-eyed. It's the only true test of character. And they didn't laugh at Timone and Pumba at all.  I swear, I teach demons.

Sorry, I just had to vent. Back to food...

So this recipe is also from Thanksgiving. My mom requested that I find something to do with sweet potatoes. Personally, I just like them baked with butter or roasted with olive oil. I think they have such a great flavor and I don't like to mess with it too much. Last year, I tried the typical casserole with the syrup and marshmallows. It was a huge flop. The whole thing was still sitting there at the end of dinner. So I looked for something that would bring out the sweetness of the potatoes but not turn it into dessert. I found this and it worked beautifully! The sugar on top gave just the right amount of sweetness (and a little crunch too!).  The only mistake I made was making enough for a large army when my family only consists of seven people. Luckily, my grandmother said it freezes well so nothing was wasted :)

Try this recipe if you're looking for a sweet potato recipe that's just a little sweet and a lot tasty :)

Mashed Sweet Potato Brulee (14 ½ cup servings – 114 cals) from Skinnytaste
  • 5 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and boiled until soft
  • 3/4 cup 1% milk
  • 3 tbsp light butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unpacked light brown sugar

1.  When the potatoes are cooked and soft, combine them with milk, light butter, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and mash or puree until smooth.  
2.  Spoon into a 9 x 9 or 11 x 7-inch baking dish.
3.  Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar evenly over top. Broil 2 minutes or until sugar melts, careful not to burn. Let it stand until the melted sugar hardens (about 5 minutes).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust and Oatmeal Crumble

Pumpkin pie... the most traditional Thanksgiving dessert ever.

I won't lie. I don't love it.

Weird, right? First, because I love all food. Second, because I love pumpkin. I buy some every time I go to the store so I can hoard it away and pull it out when it's no longer in season. Trust me, you'll see pumpkin recipes on here in the middle of summer. My taste buds don't care about seasons.

Anyway, I think it's a texture thing. And it's just kind of boring, you know? There's no wow factor. That and by the time I get around to the dessert, I don't even want to look at food. For an average sized girl, I can eat an absolutely disgusting amount of mashed potatoes and stuffing. No really... it's gross and unnatural.

Well, I set out to find a recipe with some pizazz and that would amend the texture issue.  I found this. The cinnamon crunch is delicious and makes the pie feel less like custard. And it's just different enough to grab my attention. Granted, I only had a tiny piece because I couldn't stop eating all the Thanksgiving carbs, but I thought it was good! Definitely much better than the ones you can buy at the store that, for some reason, can sit out on the shelves for weeks. So give this a try if you're sort of impartial to pumpkin pie and want to spice it up!

 Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Crunch (adapted from Bobby Flay's Throwdown recipe)
  • Cinnamon Crunch
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, cold
  • Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Filling
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
11/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
11/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for the top
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved, or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1.       To make the cinnamon crunch, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2.       Combine the flour, oats, muscovado sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor, and process a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until combined. Pat the mixture evenly into a 4-inch square on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into small pieces. Keep the oven on.
3.       To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix until combined. Press evenly onto the bottom and sides of a 10-inch pie plate. Brush with the beaten egg. Bake until light golden brown and firm, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
4.       Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
5.       To make the filling, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, both sugars, and the molasses together in a medium bowl. Mix in the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Whisk in the heavy cream, milk, and vanilla seeds or extract. Whisk in the butter.
6.       Place the pie plate on a baking sheet, pour the pumpkin mixture into the shell, and sprinkle additional cinnamon over the top. Bake until the filling is set around edges but the center still jiggles slightly when shaken, 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
7.       Cut the pie into slices and top each with a large dollop of whipped cream and some of the cinnamon crunch.