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Filtering by Category: halloween

Sweet Pumpkin Spice Bread

Patricia Reitz

It’s October which means pumpkin spice season has arrived. I like a few pumpkin spice things, but I know some people who are completely obsessed. They go gaga for everything pumpkin spice. Whether you fall into that obsessed category or not, you’ll love this simple quick bread. And feel free to use canned pumpkin puree (not canned pie filling), which is often less fibrous than fresh pumpkin puree.

Note: If you’d like to try making your own pumpkin puree, pick up a sugar pumpkin from your local farmer’s market. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds, place it cut side down on a rimmed, oiled half sheet pan, piercing the halves in several places with a sharp knife. Bake in a 400F oven for about 30 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and can easily be scooped out. Cool completely, then puree in a food processor or blender until smooth (you can skip this step if your pumpkin isn’t too fibrous).

Start by preheating the oven to 350F and place the oven rack in the lower middle positions. Prepare your pan by spraying with Baker’s Joy; set aside until needed.

In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, applesauce, sugar, and eggs.

Whisk to combine.

In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Whisk well to combine.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and mix well with a rubber or silicone spatula.

No traces of dry ingredients should remain.

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Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake as directed below.

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Cool completely before serving. Enjoy!


PUMPKIN SPICE BREAD

makes one 4.5 x 8.5-inch loaf

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)

  • 4 ounces applesauce

  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (or double if using dried)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, coat a 9x5-inch metal loaf pan with Baker’s Joy spray, and place oven rack in lower center position.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, applesauce, sugar, and eggs; set aside.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, and cinnamon.

  4. Pour pumpkin mixture into flour mixture and whisk until no dry lumps remain.

  5. Spread batter evenly in prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center (and all the way down to the bottom of the pan) comes out clean.

  6. Remove bread from oven and rest for 10- 15 minutes before unmolding.

  7. Allow bread to cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Notes

  • To make pumpkin puree, preheat oven to 400F. Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out and remove seeds. Place halves, cut side down, on an oiled half sheet pan. Pierce skin with knife in several places. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the outer skin softens and gives under pressure. When cool enough to handle, scoop flesh and use a food processor or blender to puree (you can skip this step if your squash doesn't have a stringy texture).

  • Freeze leftover pureed pumpkin in 1-cup portions so you can bake a fresh loaf whenever the mood strikes.

  • This bread freezes beautifully when vacuum sealed or wrapped well in plastic followed by heavy-duty foil, being sure to seal very well. Thaw overnight in the fridge before unwrapping.

Roasted Acorn Squash Bread

Patricia Reitz

Acorn Squash Bread - ButterYum

Acorn Squash Bread - ButterYum

Oh how my family loves sweet, delicious quick breads.  This time of year I usually make pumpkin bread, but just about any sweet winter squash can be substituted.  Today I'm using pureed acorn squash, but think about using other tasty varieties like butternut, buttercup, cushaw, delicata, hubbard, kabocha, and so on. 

I like to freeze the roasted, pureed squash in 1-cup portions so I can bake a fresh loaf whenever the mood strikes.  Also, baked loaves freeze beautifully when wrapped well in plastic followed by heavy-duty foil, being sure to seal very well.  Thaw, wrapped, in the fridge overnight.

To begin, we'll need to roast some squash.  For the bread shown in the photo, I used acorn squash, but just about any sweet winter squash variety can be used.

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds (this tool works really well).  

We won't be needing the seeds today's recipe, but you can certainly roast them separately (click here).

Preheat the oven to 400F and place the squash cut side down on a half sheet pan.  Pierce the squash with the point of a sharp knife a few times so they don't explode in the oven.  

Roast uncovered for about 30 minutes until they look like this.  They'll be soft to the touch and the flesh will scoop out easily when they're cool enough to handle. 

They should be soft enough to give under pressure.  Don't be alarmed if the squash halves start to caramelize during the roasting process.  Extra flavor.  Cool and scoop the squash from the skins and puree it.  If I have a lot of squash to puree, I use this wonderful piece of equipment.  For a smaller amount, a hand-held immersion blender works well - I use this one).

Time to mix the dry ingredients for the bread.  Flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Whisk to combine.  Have you tried a flat whisk yet?  I have this one - changed my life. 

In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.  Pureed squash, applesauce, sugar, and eggs.

Whisk to combine.

Now pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix thoroughly.  I usually start out whisking, then switch to a silicone spatula - this one is my all-time favorite. 

Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with Baker's Joy.... unless you want the corners of your bread to stick in the pan.  Another life changing product.  Just saying.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about an hour.  Remove from oven and rest for about 10-15 minutes before unmolding.  Cool completely on a rack before slicing with a serrated knife (my favorite brand).

Be sure to use a really good quality pan, like this one, for best results.  Your bread won't burn and your pan won't rust.  Commercial quality pays.  

acorn squash quick bread recipe with step-by-step photos.

Roasted Acorn Squash Bread

makes one 9x5-inch loaf

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup roasted acorn squash puree (see note below)

  • 4 ounces applesauce

  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (or double if using dried)

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, coat a 9x5-inch metal loaf pan with baking spray, and place oven rack in lower center position.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pureed squash, applesauce, sugar, and eggs; set aside.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, and cinnamon.

  4. Pour squash mixture into flour mixture and whisk until no dry lumps remain.

  5. Spread batter evenly in prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center (and all the way down to the bottom of the pan) comes out clean.

  6. Remove bread from oven and rest for 10- 15 minutes before unmolding.

  7. Allow bread to cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Notes

  • To roast squash, preheat oven to 400F. Cut squash in half, scoop out and remove seeds. Place halves, cut side down, on half sheet pan. Pierce skin with knife in several places. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the outer skin softens and gives under pressure. When cool enough to handle, scoop flesh from skins and use a food processor to puree (you can skip this step if your squash doesn't have a stringy texture).

  • Freeze the roasted, pureed squash in 1-cup portions so you can bake a fresh loaf whenever the mood strikes.

  • Baked loaves freeze beautifully when vacuum sealed or wrapped well in plastic followed by heavy-duty foil, being sure to seal very well. Thaw overnight in the fridge before unwrapping.

Halloween Cake Pops

Patricia Reitz

Mummies and Pumpkins and Ghosts, Oh My! Halloween is just around the corner - let's make some adorable Halloween themed cake pops!

Start by baking and cooling a 9x13-inch cake.  You can use your favorite flavor boxed cake mix or try my scratch chocolate and vanilla cake recipes at the bottom of this post.

In addition to the baked and cooled cake, you'll need either an 8-ounce brick of room temperature cream cheese or the same amount of a good quality, butter-based frosting at room temperature (the stuff from the grocery store won't work)

Need a couple of amazingly delicious butter-based frosting recipes, try my Italian Meringue Buttercream or French Vanilla Buttercream).  

Break the cake into pieces and place in the bowl of a stand mixer with the room temperature cream cheese or butter-based frosting.

Use the flat paddle or BeaterBlade attachment (check here for the various sizes available) to mix the two ingredients together until the mixture resembles play-dough.

I really love the BeaterBlade attachment - it eliminates the need to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Chocolate cake pop dough - yum!

Vanilla cake pop dough - mmm.

Next we'll shape the balls of cake-dough.  I use a #50 scoop so the cake pops are all the same size.  

I own 6 different sizes of scoop and I reach for the #50 9 times out of 10.  The scoops are about the size of a tablespoon - the perfect size for most cookies and these 2-bite cake pops.

Have a little fun shaping the cake-dough - the round ones on the left are for pumpkins and zombies.  The bowling pin shaped ones on the right will be the ghosts.

Now it's time to melt some colored candy coating disks in the microwave (they come in a rainbow of colors).  I do this in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until completely melted.  If the coating is too thick, you can add a very small amount of solid vegetable shortening (1/2 teaspoon at a time) and stir to incorporate.  If the coating is too thin, add a few more candy disks.  

When the candy is melted to the consistency shown above, dip a cake pop stick about 1/2-inch into the candy (available in many different colors and lengths).

Carefully plunge the candy-coated end of the stick into the naked cake pop.

Turn the cake pop upright and place the stick into a heavy-bottomed glass or cake pop stand and allow the melted candy to set hard, gluing the cake pop and stick together.

When the naked cake pop and stick have bonded together, gently plunge the cake pop into the melted candy coating, then tip the stick from left to right until the whole cake pop is coated.  DO NOT TWIRL THE STICK - doing so will almost definitely dislodge the cake pop from the stick.

To make the pumpkin stem, gently push a green tic-tack half way into the top of the cake pop before the candy coating hardens.

Now set the cake pop back into the glass and allow the coating to harden.  

When the coating hardens, draw a jack-0-lantern face with a food-safe black marker

The process for making the ghosts is very similar, only we're going use a little melted candy to glue two white tic-tacs to the cake pop BEFORE dipping in the candy coating.  Again, let it set before dipping in white melted candy coating. 

Use a food-safe marker to draw a friendly little face.

To make a jack-0-lantern basket, use a food-safe marker to draw on orange mini M&Ms.

Use a little melted white candy coating to glue the basket in place and draw a handle around the arm.

how to make halloween cake pops, recipe and how-to photos

Not sure what happened to the mummy photos, but they're probably the easiest of all to make - just coat a round cake pop ball in ivory candy coating and allow it to harden, then drizzle more ivory coating all over to simulate bandages and add a couple of mini M&M eyes.   

By the way, I love these containers for making cake pops.  They're microwave safe, they're the perfect size for dipping, and they have screw on lids so you can store the leftover candy right in the container.  How perfect is that?  Have fun making cake pops!

WHITE CAKE

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Prepare a high quality, light colored metal 9x13-inch cake pan with oil/flour baking spray.

  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with a BeaterBlade attachment (or hand mixer), combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, shortening, and salt until the shortening is completely incorporated.

  4. Add the milk, egg whites, and pure vanilla extract; mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.

  5. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

  6. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out of pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

To Make White Cake Pop Dough:  Crumble cooled white cake and place in bowl of stand mixer with about 1/2 cup vanilla buttercream (or 8 ounces room temperature cream cheese); combine until smooth and paste-like using flat paddle or BeaterBlade attachment.  Roll dough into balls or other shapes.  If the dough balls crack or seem a little dry, add a little more buttercream.     

CHOCOLATE CAKE

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1/2 cup shortening

  • 1 1/3 cup water

  • 1/2 cup canola oil

  • 3 large eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Prepare a high quality, light colored metal 9x13-inch cake pan with oil/flour baking spray.

  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with a BeaterBlade attachment (or hand mixer), combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and shortening until the shortening is completely incorporated.

  4. Add the water, oil, and eggs; mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.

  5. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

  6. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out of pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

To Make Chocolate Cake Pop Dough:  Crumble cooled chocolate cake and place in bowl of stand mixer with about 1/2 cup chocolate frosting or vanilla buttercream (or 8 ounces room temperature cream cheese); combine until smooth and PlayDoh-like using flat paddle or BeaterBlade attachment.   Roll dough into balls or other shapes.  If the dough balls crack or seem a little dry, add a little more frosting or buttercream.

Additional items needed: