In response to Bonnie Miller, I am still on the track of a recipe from food writer Annie Buckland for a pumpkin dessert that makes a light alternative to pie. In the meantime, several swappers have sent in pumpkin-related recipes that have convinced me that pumpkin is too good to confine to October. Emily Lucko offers a recipe for pumpkin pie squares, which combine the flavours of the classic pie in an easy bar. I also received a recipe for pumpkin cookies with a brown sugar glaze.
This week, I would love to get favourite family recipes for Easter and Passover, which are both coming up sooner than you think. (Well, sooner than I think, anyway.) If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to email@example.com, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
Old World pumpkin pie squares
250 ml (1 cup) sifted all-purpose flour
125 ml (1/2 cup) quick-cooking rolled oats
125 ml (1/2 cup) brown sugar
125 ml (1/2 cup) margarine
500 ml (2 cups) canned pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
400 ml (13.5 oz) evaporated milk
175 ml (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
5 m (1 tsp) cinnamon
2 ml (1/2 tsp) ginger
1 ml (1/4 tsp) cloves
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped pecans
125 ml (1/2 cup) brown sugar
30 ml (2 tbsp) margarine
Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). In medium bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and margarine. Mix until crumbly. Press into ungreased 22x33 cm (9x13 in) pan. Bake for about 15 minutes. In large bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, spices and salt, and beat well. Pour over baked crust and bake for 25 minutes. To make topping, in small bowl, combine pecans, brown sugar and margarine. Sprinkle over semi-baked pumpkin filling and return to oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan and cut into squares when serving. Top with whipped cream, if desired. Store covered in fridge.
Tester's notes: If you like pumpkin pie but don't like making pastry, this might be the recipe for you.
The oats add a slightly nutty flavour to the base.
I might increase the amount of pecan topping, as it was tasty but sparse on my bars, and if you like a sweeter filling, you might want to add about 60 ml (1/4 cup) more sugar.
Pumpkin cookies with brown sugar glaze
250 ml (1 cup or 228 g) butter, softened
125 ml (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
125 ml (1/2 cup) firmly packed golden brown sugar
250 ml (1 cup) canned pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla
500 ml (2 cups) all-purpose flour
5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
10 ml (2 tsp) cinnamon
1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
Brown sugar glaze:
45 ml (3 tbsp) butter
125 ml (1/2 cup) dark brown sugar
60 ml (1/4 cup) whole milk
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) icing sugar
chopped pecans for decoration (optional)
Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). In large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Blend in pumpkin, egg and vanilla. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix flour mixture into butter mixture until blended. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing about 5 cm (2 in) apart. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom and at edges. Let cool a few minutes on sheets, then remove warm cookies to racks to cool completely. To make glaze, in a medium saucepan, heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat until bubbling. Cook, stirring constantly, about one minute. Add milk (it might splutter) and stir. Remove from heat and blend in icing sugar until smooth and spreadable. Glaze cookies and add chopped pecans, if desired, before glaze sets. (If glaze starts to harden before all cookies are frosted, soften over low heat until spreading consistency.) Makes about 31/2 dozen.
Tester's notes: Really good. This moist and cakey cookie is not too sweet, while the fudgey brown sugar glaze is super-sweet.
If you have a sweet tooth, you'll find it a nice balance. If you don't, you might want to leave the cookies unfrosted.