Spiced Pumpkin Cornbread Mini-Muffins

Here’s the one that I completely winged that everyone seemed to really dig at work….

Spiced Pumpkin Cornbread

1 C cornmeal
2/3 C Flour
1 Tab Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Ground ginger
1/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Salt
2 ea eggs
1/4 C Brown Sugar
1 C Pumpkin Puree
1/4 C Milk
1/2 C Buttermilk
3 Tab Butter melted

  1. Preheat oven to 375deg
  2. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix brown sugar and eggs until sugar has dissolved 2-3 min
  4. Add Pumpkin Puree, Milk, Buttermilk, and melted butter
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated
  6. Drop batter into a mini muffin pan so each is about 2/3-3/4 full.
  7. Bake for about 10min or until done to your liking

I used a Chicago Metallic non-stick mini muffin pan which worked fantastic.

Dehydrated Pumpkin Puree?

I was talking at work about how my pumpkin cookies were a bit cakey and it was still a pretty soft dough even when frozen.

Then it occured to me that I could dehydrate the puree and then process it for more of a pumpkin flour of sorts.

I now need to buy a food dehydrator.

Pumpkin Cornbread

They were having chili day at SAVVIS last Friday, and it was requested that I make some.  I guess I did walk my way into that one because I’m always talking about food, and my previous cooking jobs, but not really having ever made much chili, and knowing full well a dozen crock pots full would show up, I bowed out and went with the decision to make cornbread instead.  I like baking more anyway, and with my gallon of pumpkin puree staring me in the face, I figured pumpkin cornbread was in order.

Not really knowing where to begin, I sought a recipe out online and did find a halfway decent one.  After making it, however, it lacked much in the way of pumpkin flavor to my estimation, so I went ahead and made a northern cornbread as well.  Yellow cornmeal is the designation of northern cornbread from what I’ve gathered because a true southern cornbread is made with white cornmeal.   I had yellow so northern they got.

After making the northern, however, it occured to me that part of the lack of pumpkin flavor in the pumpkin cornbread was do to the lack of spices in the mix and it’s only sweetner being honey.  So, I devised my own recipe and as it turns out, it’s the one everyone (including myself) liked best.

Thanksgiving thoughts 2006

As thanksgiving approaches, I once again find myself wanting to enter the kitchen to show off some of my former pastry chef skills to my friends and family. Admitadly, I’m a little rusty, but, never-the-less, I found myself scouring the city for baking/pie pumpkins last Thursday so that I could roast them off for some homemade pumpkin puree. Finally having tracked some down of the adequate size at Whole Food$, I was surprised to run into an old coworker who was wondering what I was going to do with pumpkins after halloween. They seemed genuinely shocked that pumpkin puree could be made fresh, and that it wasn’t just libby slaving away for us all. As a side note, I’ve recently read several reports on chowhound and the like that the canned stuff is just as good or better then making it fresh, but I really don’t buy this and have, as of yet, never used the canned product for anything.
After looking through a stack of my cookbooks and not finding a real definitive technique I opted for the following:

Roasted Pumpkin Puree
note: 2-5lb pumpkins are preferred

  1. Preheat oven to 325deg
  2. Knock stems off with the back of a chef knife and wash pumpkins well.
  3. Cut pumpkins vertically in half and scoop out all seeds with a spoon.
  4. Place pumpkins flesh side down onto lined baking sheets and put them in the oven.
  5. Cook the pumpkins for 1.5-2 hours or until soft. Every 30min rotate the sheets top to bottom and 180 degrees.
  6. Remove pumpkins from oven and let cool flesh side down until they are cool enough to handle.
  7. Scrape the flesh from the pumpkins and process it in a food processor in batches.
  8. Pass the resulting pumpkin puree through a fine mesh sieve
  9. put into vented containers and chill.

This stuff is delicious, and I couldn’t stop just eating it up with a spoon as, after having passed it through the sieve, it was very luxurious. Fortunatly I ended up with about a gallon of puree, so the pumpkin recipe ideas are in full effect.