Pumpkin Nutella Bread

Pumpkin Nutella Bread

Counting calories has definitely changed things around the house. It was definitely strange to come home to bake this recipe, only to find out that I had almost 3/4 of a container of Nutella in the pantry. In the past, I used to seriously sneak spoonfuls of this stuff before bed, which isn’t really a bad thing, but the guilt of admitting to MyFitnessPal that I went over in calories because of Nutella kept me from grabbing for a spoon.

My love for Nutella started in high school French class. We had some sort of group project, where each group brought some sort of snack that the French enjoy. One of the stand-outs was definitely Nutella, which I had never tried (or even heard of) before. I remember going to work that afternoon, (at a grocery store) and searching our database to see if we sold Nutella. Sure enough, the store did. Whew! From then on, I was hooked!

However, now that I’m counting calories, I feel like I’m neglecting some of my old favorite snacks. :- I try to plan ahead with my meals and snacks. Sometimes, my calorie count is so close, that there’s no room for an impromptu snack. There are times where I think…”Heck, why not? Not like I’m going to gain ALL of this weight back from this snack”, but most of the time, I have to remind myself that while a certain snack is delicious, I don’t want to end up where I was 50 lbs. ago. If you’ve ever dieted, I’m sure you can relate.

Back to the recipe…when I saw this pumpkin bread with a Nutella swirl, I thought it would definitely be a fun twist to the classic pumpkin bread that I always enjoy in the fall season. :-) I ended up making this in mini loaves, as the recipe stated, and brought them to coworkers. I did try a slice (or two), and the Nutella definitely gave this bread a little extra indulgence. It was a fantastic combination, actually, and the swirls on the loaves look so pretty. If you love classic pumpkin bread, you should definitely give this a try.

Pumpkin Nutella Bread
Source: mildly adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 tbsp. Nutella (2 tablespoons per mini loaf)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare 4 mini loaf pans by spraying with baking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk the dry ingredients well.
  3. In another larger bowl, add the sugar, applesauce, water, pumpkin, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix/whisk the wet ingredients well, until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add in the dry ingredients, a little at a time, mixing until the ingredients are just combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly into the mini loaf pans. Then, in each pan, drop 2 tbsp. of nutella, and swirl the nutella into the batter using a butter knife.
  6. To avoid leaks in the oven, place the loaf pans onto a baking sheet and then place the sheet with the pans in the oven. Bake the loaves for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool the loaf pans on a wire racks for about 15 minutes, and then remove the loaves from the pans. Allow the loaves to cool completely before eating.

 

 

 

Favorite Party Recipes

Part of me cannot believe that the Superbowl is Sunday. I mean, that’s the end of football season until next Fall. I have to wait at least six months to watch another game after this. Sad.  (If you know me, you know I’m being dead serious about how sad this is to me. Crazy football fan here!) A perk of Superbowl Sunday? Watching Millie run up to the TV when I randomly switch over to the Puppy Bowl.

To mourn celebrate the end of another football season, here’s some great recipes that will definitely disappear if you serve them at your Superbowl parties.

Queso Blanco
Restaurant Style Queso Blanco

Restaurant Style Salsa
Restaurant Style Salsa


Crawfish Pies


Crawfish Cheesecake

Jambalaya
Pork and Sausage Jambalaya

Berry Mash Bruschetta
Berry Mash Bruschetta

Sugar Cookie Bars
Sugar Cookie Bars

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

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Oreo Cupcakes

Oh, and if you have an occasional puppy bowl break, I’m pretty sure the dogs at your party would love you for these!

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats

Pumpkin PB Treats

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Bars

It’s been a while, I know.

But I bring you a recipe with butter, sugar, eggs and PUMPKIN. I hope you forgive me. :)

I decided it was time to just start baking again. It’s feeling cold outside again, butter was on major sale, so, of course, things felt right. :)

Of course, I wanted to make something a little out of the ordinary, so I scrolled through my google reader starred items and stumbled upon this!

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars. Pumpkin pie layered on top of a snickerdoodle cookie layer, drizzled in spiced white chocolate. Delicious, right?

Sounds great right? Yes. They are excellent! So excellent, in fact, that they ended up being a hit at the hubs’ office.

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars
Source: adaptation found on Beantown Baker, originally on Dozen Flours

Snickerdoodle Layer Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pumpkin Pie Layer Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin

Topping Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Drizzle Ingredients:

  • 1 oz white chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch pan and lay a piece of parchment paper across the pan, so that it extends the pan slightly. The parchment paper is an optional step, but it will make it easier to get the bars out later
  2. To make snickerdoodle layer:
    Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
    Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan. (Tip: wet your hands with warm water to make the batter easy to spread, since it’s thick.)
  3. To make pumpkin pie filling:
    In a mixer bowl (you can use the same one you used to make the snickerdoodle batter) with a paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar. A dd the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined. This layer will be less thick and more pourable. Pour over the snickerdoodle layer, smoothing out the top.
  4. Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.
  5. Bake for 33-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. Let the bars cool completely. They will deflate a bit and remain a bit pie-like on the top layer. The bars that are closer to the edges of the pan will be more firm.
  6. After the bars are completely cool, place the chopped white chocolate into a bowl or zip-lock bag and melt on low power. When it’s completely melted, add the pumpkin pie spice and mix (or knead if using a zip lock bag). Use a spoon or cut a small corner off the bag and drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the bars and let it cool and harden.
  7. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Place on a cutting board and cut into bars. Store in a covered container.

Pumpkin Blondies

Pumpkin Blondies

If you read my Twitter, you might already know that I’m on a major diet. A 10 week weight loss challenge for my local YMCA to be exact. I slowly freaked out inside when they took my body fat % and weight…those numbers weren’t so pretty. However, I guess I should see this as more weight to lose and alas, a good chance to win this challenge. The prizes are pretty phenomenal, too. The hard thing? It’s 10 weeks….until December 16th.

I’m pretty hardcore when it comes to competition. Just ask my family…I get pretty extreme just to get that “#1″ feeling. So, I’m back to the gym 4-5x/week and back on Weight Watchers too to kick this challenge’s booty!

Before you panic about my recipes being ALL “skinny” again, I still intend to do my cold weather baking, because my urges to bake and create things are far too strong lately. The difference this year is that a lot of my husband’s coworkers (and maybe mine) will be getting to enjoy these treats moreso than I.

These blondies, actually, were made for my family. I went to visit them this past weekend and had a blast! I thought it would be nice to bring these blondies, and with a family of 6 in the house, the pan of these were almost GONE Sunday. I’d say the recipe was pretty darn successful, no? I did try a couple (small) squares of these, and yes, yes, yes! Majorly yummy and potentially majorly addictive. It took a lot for me to hold back. :)

Pumpkin Blondies
Source: Martha Stewart (adaptation found on Smells Like Home)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.  Stir together and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.  Mix in the pumpkin puree.  With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Fold in the white chocolate and 1 cup butterscotch chips with a rubber spatula.
  3. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips over the top of the batter.  Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.
  4. To serve, lift the cake from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board.  Peel off the foil and using a sharp knife, cut into 24 squares.

Pumpkin Cheesecake


I remember how excited I was to finally have a springform pan. I could make cheesecakes galore! However, with being on a diet lately, I had no excuse to make one, until now. Work had a Thanksgiving potluck, and I thought, perfect excuse to make a PUMPKIN cheesecake. I have had my eye on this pumpkin cheesecake recipe that I found on The Way the Cookie Crumbles, and it did not disappoint. I was still getting compliments on the cheesecake a couple of days later!

I topped it with the caramel I made earlier that was a little too soft to be candy, and it ended up being a little too hard to be a topping too. It made a bit of a mess for people trying to slice up cheesecake, but oh well! :)

Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake
Source:  The Way the Cookie Crumbles, where (crust from Cooks Illustrated, filling adapted from Gourmet via Epicurious)

Ingredients:

(Crust)

  • 5 ounces graham crackers (9 whole crackers), broken into large pieces
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

(Filling)

  • 1½ cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup (3.5 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (optional)
  • ½ cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

Directions:

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350F. Spray bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan evenly with nonstick cooking spray. Pulse crackers, sugar, and spices in food processor until evenly and finely ground, about fifteen 2-second pulses. Transfer crumbs to medium bowl, drizzle melted butter over, and mix with rubber spatula until evenly moistened. Turn crumbs into prepared springform pan and, using hand, spread crumbs into even layer. Using flat-bottomed ramekin or drinking glass, press crumbs evenly into pan bottom, then use a soup spoon to press and smooth crumbs into edges of pan. Bake until fragrant and browned about the edges, about 12 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling.
  2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed, scraping down the bowl often, for about 4 minutes, or until it is velvety smooth. In a medium bowl, stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Add granulated sugar mixture to cream cheese and beat for another 2 minutes. In a medium bowl (or the same one), whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liqueur (if using) until combined. Beat at medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour filling into crust, smoothing top, then put springform pan in a shallow baking pan (in case springform leaks). Bake until center is just set and measures 140 to 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 50 to 60 minutes.
  4. Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 3 hours. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours. Remove sides of pan and bring to room temperature before serving.

Skinny Holiday Baking: Pumpkin Scones

I do enjoy baking from scratch, but sometimes, I’m up for trying shortcuts. I found this recipe by perusing the Weight Watchers boards, because I wanted to try something a little different than pumpkin bread for breakfast.

This was a pretty good scone, but I think the recipe needs a little work. I think next time, I’m going to try brown sugar, more white sugar and more spices. I also didn’t have Splenda, which was recommended for the recipe, so I subbed sugar.

This was also a fairly wet batter, so I couldn’t really shape these like traditional scones. I ended up using a large cookie scoop to scoop individual scones out, and it worked out fine.

Pumpkin Scones
Source: adapted from a Weight Watchers forum

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Bisquick Heart smart mix
  • 1/3 cup mini choc chips (omitted to save calories)
  • 6 packets of Splenda (used 4 tbsp. sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. skim milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.
  3. Mix pumpkin, egg and milk in a separate bowl and add to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, place scones about 2″ apart on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until the scones start to brown on top.

The Skinny: per serving, serves 8

Calories: 124.4
Fat: 2.6 g
Fiber: 1.5 g

Pumpkin Bread

bread

I can’t believe this pumpkin shortage. I mean, who would have thought that store shelves would be empty where this stuff is usually stocked? In fact, around this time, most groceries have special holiday baking sections with rows and rows of pumpkin. None to be found. It’s SO weird!

However, as a woman with a craving, I went on a mission to find this rare canned pumpkin. Five stores later, I found myself in a grocery store in a pretty bad part of town. (I went during the day, if you are wondering how wild I am.) I walked down the baking aisle in crazy anticipation. There they were – two large cans of pumpkin puree. I grabbed them quicker than a kid grabs the bubble gum off the candy aisle.

I was so excited when I got home, but I knew I have 58 precious ounces of pumpkin puree. I need to ration this wisely, just in case I can’t find any for the beloved Thanksgiving pie. (You never know!) I couldn’t help but make myself pumpkin bread. It’s a Fall breakfast staple for me!

I’ve seen this recipe from Allrecipes around many food blogs, and people rave about it, so I decided this would be the lucky recipe. It turned out to be a really good pumpkin bread, however, it wasn’t very spicy. I prefer spicy pumpkin bread, like this one I made last year.

Of course, I did my favorite applesauce for butter/oil substitution and it didn’t disappoint. I also halved the recipe  since I don’t need 2 loaves at one time.

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread (full recipe)
Source: Allrecipes

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (sub applesauce)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans. (When I halved the recipe, I used one large loaf pan.)
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes (took mine 60 minutes) in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

The Skinny - per serving, Serves 24 (in full recipe)
Calories 187.6
Fat 1.1 g
Fiber 1.3 g

Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

My office, before Thanksgiving, had a potluck dinner. We were asked to bring a dish, so of course, I was ready and eager to bake! I found this great pumpkin cake recipe off of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody and went to work!

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Pumpkin Cake
Source: Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

Ingredients:

¼ pound unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg (used 1 1/4 tsp. Penzey’s cake spice)
½ tsp salt
¾ cup 100% natural solid pack pumpkin
½ cup nonfat buttermilk
½ cup tightly packed light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Combine together in a medium bowl flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
  • Place pumpkin and buttermilk in a small bowl and combine thoroughly. Set aside.
  • In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugars. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl .
  • Increase speed to high and beat an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs and beat on medium for 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and beat on high for 30 seconds. With mixer on low alternate adding the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl.
  • Mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter, until smooth and thoroughly combined.
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  • Immediately pour the cake into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake on the center rack of a preheated 325F oven for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  • Invert cake onto a plate or cake circle. Turn the cake upright and refrigerate until needed.
    img_7165

 

I knew I wanted a cream cheese frosting for my cake. So, I adapted a Cream Cheese frosting recipe I found off of Allrecipes. I added 2 tsp. of Penzey’s cake spice to the frosting and mmm, it was good!

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from: Allrecipes

Ingredients:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tsp. cake spice (mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc.)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.img_7164

Overall, this was a very well received cake. Coworkers loved it (as did I, obviously). What? Someone has to taste test the tops!! Mmm…
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Eggnog Cookies and a couple of recipe revisits!

For my last day at my old job, my coworkers asked me to bring in some goodies for them. I decided to make Cranberry White Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti (scroll down a bit for the recipe), Eggnog Cookies and Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Brownies.

The treats went over really well!

Here’s the recipe for eggnog cookies. These left for a very subtle spice taste, so if you want more eggnog, add more. Many people on Allrecipes adapted the recipe that way.

Eggnog Cookies
Source: Allrecipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Cream sugar and butter until light. Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks; beat at medium speed with mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Bake 20 to 23 minutes until bottoms turn light brown.

Check out the spread!!

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Cranberry White Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

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Eggnog Cookies

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Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Brownies

 

Pumpkin (White) Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these pumpkin cookies last week, since I was on a serious pumpkin kick, as you can tell from previous entries. These were a little too sweet with the white chocolate chips, in my opinion. So, next time, I’ll omit them and let the pumpkin shine!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: Allrecipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I did 1/2 cup applesauce, of course!)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used white chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional and omitted)

Directions:

  1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
  2. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
  3. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

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