Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's Still Pumpkin Season!

Yes, it's still pumpkin season! And as it turns out, I did make the pumpkin clove pancakes for our annual Family Day. Every year, we choose one day for the five of us to spend together, with each of us coming up with something special to do. Before setting off for our day, we had breakfast together and the pumpkin clove pancakes were once again requested.

These are pretty special pancakes and what I really love is that we can all enjoy them, including the health fanatics of the family (Tim and I), the neutral ones (Gillian and Connor), and the one who is highly offended when you sneak whole grains into her food (Carly). In fact, Carly came over while I was just getting the ingredients out to make them and she stopped and said, "Wait- you're not going to make them with whole wheat, are you?" And I delighted in saying that as a matter of fact, they've always been made that way!

The kids like these with butter and pure maple syrup. Tim and I had them with Greek yogurt mixed with a little agave nectar and berries. Very special!

The next recipe is pumpkin cookies with dark chocolate chips. I made these today for Halloween, and again they pleased my non-healthy eater as well as Connor's friends before they went out trick-or-treating. I started out with a recipe I found on the Food Network website and made my usual adjustments. The longer you bake them, the crispier they are, although they are still going to be cake-like. Lots of flavor, and again, you're getting the whole grains (whole wheat pastry flour), vegetables (pumpkin) and antioxidants (dark chocolate).

Continue to enjoy pumpkin season! I know my family will, well through November.

Pumpkin Clove Pancakes
(original recipe from, but this recipe is the one I make with some substitutions)

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
6 tablespoons raw cane sugar or organic brown sugar (I've also used agave nectar instead, but needed to add a few more tablespoons of flour or the batter will be too runny)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix first 6 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Whisk buttermilk, pumpkin, eggs and melted butter in medium bowl until well blended. Add to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls into skillet. Cook pancakes until bubbles form on top and bottoms are golden brown, about 2 1/2 minutes. Turn pancakes over. Cook until bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm up to 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more butter to skillet as necessary for each batch.

Serve pancakes hot with your favorite toppings!

Pumpkin Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 or 3/4 cup agave nectar
1 cup natural cane sugar or organic brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups (12-ounce bag) 60% cacao chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli)
Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the agave nectar and brown sugar, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

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