Saturday, November 28, 2009

Back to the Pumpkin

Well, my pumpkin pie cheesecake turned out ok. A little disappointing since I stayed up until 1 a.m. with it. I toasted my pumpkin seeds last night and they didn't turn out very good either. I think I may have let them sit out too long before toasting (48 hrs vs 24 hrs). I'll try them again next year. The photo was taken of the seeds before they were toasted or cleaned completely.

I had plenty of pumpkin puree left, so I tried to make muffins. Well, I thought I was going to make muffins, but the recipe was really for biscuits. It helps to look at the title. Just to let you know, baking is not my strongsuit. On top of that, I always add this or that or swap one type of ingredient for another. I eyeball my ingredients too. Yep, that looks like a teaspoon. If I was paying attention to the fact that I was supposed to be making biscuits, I would not have substituted half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. I would not have added ground flax seed either.

I continued on and luckily I had a set of unopened biscuit cutters that were bought for some unknown reason at some unknown time. I've never used any type of pastry cutter before. I actually need to purchase one of those pastry blenders I keep reading about in recipes. The two knives method isn't working so well.

The biscuits tasted good but were a bit tough. They were not fluffy or flaky like biscuits should be. And of course they were a bit grainy. The orange-honey butter that I put on them was very yummy, though. I feel sure that they would have been wonderful if I had followed the recipe, so here it is. I found it in my 2003 November issue of Cooking Light on page 176. I use whole nutmeg and grate it with a microplane. Freshly ground tastes much better and lasts longer than the alternative.

Pumpkin Biscuits with Orange-Honey Butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

Cooking spray

1/4 cup Orange-Honey Butter

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (flour through nutmeg), cut in chilled butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

3. Combine buttermilk and pumpkin, add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead lightly 5 times. Roll dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 12 biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450 degrees for 11 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with 1/4 cup Orange-Honey Butter. Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 biscuit and 1 teaspoon butter).

Orange-Honey Butter

Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Yield: 1 1/4 cups (serving size: 1 teaspoon).

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