Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I could go on and on about this bread, but I will just say this-this bread will rock your world! I love, love, love it!!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

3 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
1 large can (30 oz) pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease 3 large loaf pans. In a large bowl, sift together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. After eggs, add pumpkin and mix to combine. Alternate adding dry ingredients and water to pumpkin mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Divide evenly between 3 large loaf pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodle Cookies

Yesterday I played around with some recipes and came up with this little treat. I wanted to make something familiar, but with a twist. I added a few new ingredients to my favorite snickerdoodle recipe (courtesy of Great Grandma Wanlass) and I am pleased with the final product. This will be a keeper at our house for this time of year!

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2-3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. In another bowl, sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, 2 1/2-3 tsp of pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg. Combine dry ingredients with the butter mixture and mix well until combined. Add white chocolate chips and combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 and grease baking sheets. Roll chilled dough into 1 inch balls. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice in a shallow bowl or pie tin. Roll balls of dough into cinnamon/sugar mixture before placing onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes.

Makes about 5 dozen

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thanksgiving Traditions

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I wanted to share a few of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions. As with almost every other holiday, we do a Thanksgiving Countdown, full of crafts, activities, and treat making. I will be posting about this soon, so stayed tuned!
One of our most favorite traditions is our Tom the Turkey. Every Monday in November as part of our Family Home Evening activity, we each get to add feathers to Tom with some of the things we are thankful for. By the end of the month, our wall is full of colorful turkey feathers. To make Tom, I used construction paper and just traced my husbands shoes and eyeballed the rest. Laminate the turkey body and it will be ready to use each year. 
 Another tradition we have is our Thankful Jar. It is full of different act of kindness or reminders of things that we need to remember to show thanks for with an activity for each one. Example: I am thankful for my family-play a game together inside or outside. 

To make this happy little jar, just grab whatever old jar you have hanging around your house and tie a ribbon around it. The label and all of the card ideas you can get Here. I let each of my kids pick one card every night before bed and then we can plan on doing what the card says the next day. That gives me time to prepare if necessary. I also cut out each card and mounted it on a piece of cardstock to make them a little more durable. Laminating these would be a good idea too!

Last, but not least, is our Thankful Journal. This sits out all month long and I think it is my favorite tradition we have this time of year. I started it about 7 years ago, the year my son was born. I will admit, I am the one that writes in it most often, but now that my kids are getting older (and they bug their dad) it is so fun to open it and see their handwriting in it. I love to see the random things my kids and husband are thankful for (like my daughter adding that she is thankful for healthy food-something she has never put in her mouth!).
I just used a composition notebook and printed off a label that I glued on the front. I love looking back through the years and seeing what we have been through and the blessing that have been poured upon our family!

So there are a few ideas to get your thankful juices flowing. I would love to hear about some of your traditions! Please share you ideas in a comment. I will be getting some countdown activities up soon!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

This is probably my favorite fall dessert recipe of all time! I could seriously eat this whole cake by myself, so it's a good thing that I only make it once a year. My amazing sister-in-law, Courtney gets all the credit for this one because she introduced me to this recipe and my life has never been the same:) Make this cake!!! You won't regret it!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk

6 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powered sugar
2 1/4 tsp cocoa
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp orange food coloring

4 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 8 inch pans with parchment or wax paper and lightly butter. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Stir the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla together in a small bowl. Beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and yolk, one at a time. Reduce mixture to low and alternately beat in the flour and the buttermilk mixtures in thirds. Pour the batter into prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool completely before icing.

For the frosting: Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla on low speed until well combined. In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream and 3/4 cup powdered sugar and orange food coloring on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until well combined. Spread 1 cup of frosting between the 2 cakes and use the rest to frost the outside. Chill 30 minutes before glazing.

For the glaze: Place bittersweet chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a medium heat proof bowl. Bring heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan and pour over chocolate. Let sit for about 3 minutes. Using a whisk, gently stir until smooth. Let sit for 3-5 minutes., until glaze thickens slightly. Pour glaze onto the center of the frosted cake and smooth out over edges to allow it to drop over the sides.

Serves 1-12