Pumpkin! That lovely orange vegetable is one of my favorite things about fall (even though up here we are definitely in winter, I’ll pretend it’s fall!). I don’t really like buying cans of the stuff though, so I try to buy a pumpkin early on (or at least right after Halloween when cheap!), roast & mash it, then freeze the puree to use in various dishes. I know that I’m really not “supposed” to cook with those big giant jack-o-lantern pumpkins, but I find it much too hard to turn down the good deal! Besides, I’ve never been disappointed with my results. My pumpkin is used in baked goods mainly, and I have not yet made a pumpkin pie, so I can’t vouch for that. I can say that 24 cups of pumpkin puree from one $5.00 pumpkin is a pretty great deal!
This is one of my new favorite uses for pumpkin, and it can take a couple different shapes. When I first made it, last week, after a long drought of not baking (we’ve been avoiding sugar), it took the form of pumpkin blondies, more of a dessert treat that was lovely – especially after not eating desserts for over a month! I made the recipe again this morning, figuring it would work as a coffee cake also, which it did beautifully. Today I decreased the maple syrup by half, by necessity, as we were out of the stuff, but then decided that it made the cake even more fitting for breakfast.
Joe & I are down in Kenny Lake for Thanksgiving. Yesterday we spent the entire day getting here, first loading our car full of all the things we didn’t want to freeze in our little cabin, then running a couple errands and surviving the seven hour drive here. Thankfully the drive went smoothly, only a little ice and a few caribou on the roads. I was thankfully to be doing the drive in daylight, which makes it much more bearable! My sister Tiffany got home last night as well, and we pulled out her old tea-set for breakfast this morning, having a bit of a tea party! We all enjoyed our coffee-cake on tiny little circus plates, and sipped miniscule amounts of tea from dainty cups (I think Tiffany & I enjoyed this much more than Joe and my brother Caleb, who kind of resented having to use such small dishes!).
Pumpkin Coffee Cake or Blondies
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup coconut oil, melted, but not hot
1/4 cup maple syrup (if you want a sweeter dessert treat, go with 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg (from happy chickens!)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cup frozen cranberries
1 cup pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9×11 inch baking pan. You could also use a 9×13 if you’re looking for less height.
This is a pretty basic wet & dry ingredient recipe: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, spices, baking soda and salt. In a smaller bowl, combine the melted coconut oil (I suppose if you were using a mixer you wouldn’t need to melt it, but I think it simplifies things and works great!), maple syrup, molasses, egg, vanilla, and pumpkin. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just moistened, then add the cranberries and pecans.
Spread out in the prepared baking pan, and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. (The first time I made these I took them out of the oven too soon, realized my mistake and slid them back in for about 10 more minutes, which didn’t seem to hurt them!) Let cool, or go ahead and dig into it warm.