Friday, October 7, 2011

[It's Finally] Fall Recipes

Today was an epic day of fall running, fall reading, fall baking and experimenting. It was fun, and it was delicious.

For some reason, yesterday I decided that I really wanted to try to make almond butter, so I decided to start with that this morning. I've had a bag of almonds in my room that I've been slowly eating away at, but it was about time do do something else with the raw ones. I looked up a recipe and found out that it was supposed to be incredibly easy--just add a pinch of salt and food process the hell out of those nuts. It went pretty well for a while.

But eventually, I couldn't get past that nutty, grainy texture. The oils that were supposed to be coming from the almonds to make it more of a paste just weren't working for me. I had read that the heat of the food processor was part of what helped the oils emerge, so I put the nutty mixture on the stove for a couple of minutes. Annnnd that didn't help. So I added just a little water and threw the mixture in the blender. That worked pretty well. When it got down to a texture I was more comfortable with, I added a few more flavors: some cocoa powder, a packet of Splenda, and about a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I won't be swapping my peanut butter for this spread any time soon, but I'll definitely be trying again soon as well to achieve a version closer to what I was hoping for.

The next thing I made turned out a little better. Actually, the adjective I should probably use to describe these cookies is "heavenly." These were what I found when I was browsing for the "best pumpkin cookie recipe" online yesterday. I am not even that much of a cookie person, but my oh my did these deliver. Wowow. Try this very easy recipe, and you will not be disappointed.

This brown sugar glaze went really nicely with the cookies. While a lot of times powdered sugar based glazes get much too sweet for me, the brown sugar really came through in this one, leaving a really nice caramel flavor that went perfectly with the pumpkin cookies.

Some of the reviewers on the recipe that I used for this commented that the glaze made the cookies too sweet. My cookies were slightly salty, almost a pumpkin pie taste, so I loved the way the sweet glaze complemented them.

The thing I might love most about baking with pumpkin is that I rarely use the whole can. For some reason, it comes in these huge cans, but don't get me wrong--I'm not complaining. Now, even after this good sized batch of cookies, I've still got half of the pumpkin left in the fridge, just daring me to come up with something more delicious to make this weekend. Perhaps something to go with this amazing caramel I experimented with (although I doubt this batch will last that long).

I found this idea on Pinterest, one of my newest obsessions. Turns out, all you have to do is put a can of condensed milk in a pan and cover it with water. Boil it for three to four hours (making sure that the water remains three or four inches above the can), and when you take it out and let it cool...yum.

This was absolutely delicious with the sliced apples, but I'd be shocked if that was the best idea I came up with on how to use this caramel.

Happy fall!

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