Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

I only made two pumpkin recipes this fall. One was my mom’s pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving (which I then enjoyed for the rest of the week because I did a solo, socially distant Thanksgiving thanks to the virus.) The other was this pumpkin coffee cake. And while nothing can beat mom’s pumpkin pie, I was preeetty pleased with how this coffee cake came out. Look, when you’re faced with a canned pumpkin shortage and you have to decide the two recipes you’re going to make for the year, the stakes are high! But if I had to do it over again, I totally would.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRUMBLE:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons
unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE CAKE:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 ounces sour cream, at room temperature
2 large eggs, beaten

FOR THE GLAZE:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a baking pan, then set aside.

Make the crumble first by combining all ingredients in a bowl with a mixer. Then set this bowl aside.

Make the cake next. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, powder, soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and sugars. In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, sour cream, and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until combined.

Pour the cake batter into the greased pan. Top with the crumble, then bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Pull the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes/

While the cake cools, make the icing by combining the powdered sugar with water in a clean bowl. Use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the cake.

Serve with coffee or, my preference, espresso!

Woohoo! Now it’s officially time to move on to Christmas content. YAY!

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Popsicles

I figure now that the first day of fall is literally around the corner, I might as well share the summer recipes I’ve been sitting on for, oh, months.

I’ve had a pretty excellent summer, all things considered (pandemic, political unrest, a consistently hefty workload)! Some highlights since we’ve last chatted: Driving with my best friend to my summer cabin in Wisconsin for the best socially-distant 10 days with my family; re-doing my bedroom decor; spending every opportunity by the pool with a good book; slumber parties; a socially-distant weekend trip to the beach; getting a bike; FaceTiming with friends that are far away that I can’t visit; lots of hikes; a week-long stay at a beach house on Figure 8 Island which was technically work but felt like a girl’s trip because I’m so freakin’ lucky. I mean, not bad right?!

So obviously I was busy livin’ and not too worried about writing and I’m not sorry about it! Just like I’m not sorry for sharing a popsicle recipe in the middle of September. It may be in the 60’s this weekend in North Carolina (and my apartment may be decorated for Halloween already) but we all know it will be back up to the 80’s next week so let’s just accept what we have here.

So there’s this fast food chain here called Cook Out – it’s like elite fast food. Better than anything except for maaaybe Shake Shack (but only the Shake Shack on 72nd street in NYC) Yeah, I said what I said. Anyway, they have all these specialty milkshake flavors like “banana pudding” and “orange push-up” but my favorite is their raspberry cheesecake. So obviously I recreated it in popsicle form.

I mean, how precious are these?! That marble effect! And they taste even better than they look. Honestly you should just make them in general but they’d be perfect to serve for the Fourth of July or Memorial Day so file these away for next summer for sure!

Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles

Ingredients:

RASPBERRY SAUCE:
12 oz fresh raspberries
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
Juice from 1 lime

ICE CREAM BASE:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 oz graham cracker crumbs

Directions
1. First make the raspberry sauce by combining the raspberries, sugar, and lime juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally and heat until the mixture reaches a gentle boil. Cook until the berries have softened and the sugar has dissolved completely. Then remove the saucepan from heat and allow to cool.
2. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree. Then strain the puree over a large bowl to remove any seeds. Toss the seeds and chill the sauce completely in the fridge.
3. While the sauce chills, make the ice cream. In a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until it’s smooth and creamy.
4. Add the milk and heavy cream to the cream cheese and mix until well combined. Put the mixture in the fridge and let chill for 30 minutes.
5. Transfer the cream mixture to your ice cream machine and follow manufacturer instructions. Don’t add the raspberry sauce during the churning process!
6. Once the ice cream is finished churning, it should be milkshake-like consistency.
7. Pull the raspberry sauce from the fridge and find your popsicle molds.
8. Fill the popsicle molds about 1/4th of the way with ice cream, then add a tablespoon of raspberry sauce, and continue to alternate between the two until the popsicle molds are filled.
9. Add popsicle sticks to the molds, cover them, and place the molds in the freezer to allow everything to freeze for a few hours at least (but ideally overnight)
10. Once ready, remove a popsicle slowly and carefully from the mold and enjoy!

Orange Buttercream Macarons

Hi from my couch! Again! Forever, maybe!

Okay – week 100 of quarantine. What can I update you on…

I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series and also enjoying a couple of new titles. I was watching too much TV (sometimes when I do this I feel like I turn into a poorly functioning human) so I took a break from movie reviews. I made the most incredible quarantine-themed playlist. I gave up on Hot Balcony Guy after my huge sign went ignored. I signed up for Skillshare so I can learn some new skills (I’m very type A…what can I say). 

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I miss my family, friends, community, etc. But all in all, things are standard and pretty good over here. Thank goodness.

And by “things are standard”, I mean I’ve made another batch of macarons.

This time they’re ORANGE BUTTERCREAM MACARONS. You guys, these sweet, citrus-y cookies? C’est Magnifique.

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Ok. These macarons. How beautiful are they?! I couldn’t stop taking their picture. These babies knew how to werk the camera!!!

If you’ve never had a macaron…what are you even doing?! I am so sorry for you. Please remedy the situation immediately. Make these. It’s so fun and a perfect quarantine baking project because they take some patience and I’m betting you have free time available.

These guys use a basic French macaron recipe with orange buttercream frosting piped in between the two cookies (with real orange juice! hello, vitamin C boost anyone?!) The result is a sweet, citrus-y, delightful, wonderful, splendid, etc. cookie that will. not. disappoint.

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Orange Buttercream Macarons

for the macaron shells

1 cup powdered sugar

3/4 cup almond flour

2 large egg whites

1/4 cup white granulated sugar

orange food coloring

for the orange buttercream frosting

4 tbsp unsalted butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp orange zest

1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

orange food coloring

directions

sift 1 cup of powdered sugar and 3/4ths cup almond flour into a large bowl. whisk to combine, then set aside.

add the egg whites to a metal mixing bowl and start whisking on one of the lower settings (I start with a 4 on my Kitchenaid) until the egg whites start to look frothy. add half of the granulated sugar to the egg whites, then increase the speed to a medium (7 for me) until the mixture is entirely foamy and mostly white. add the remaining granulated sugar, then increase the speed to high (9 works well) and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. add the food coloring to the meringue at this point and mix until the desired color is uniformly distributed.

remove the bowl containing the meringue from the stand mixer. add half of the dry ingredients directly into the bowl containing the meringue, then use a spatula to gently fold meringue around and over until the dry ingredients are well incorporated. add the remaining dry ingredients, and continue to fold the batter. avoid over-mixing by going slowly. the batter is ready when it falls off the spatula in ribbons, but isn’t runny.

transfer the batter to a piping bag with a large round tip. pipe small, uniform circles onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper by holding the piping bag at a 45 degree angle to sheet. make sure not to overcrowd the sheets.

once finished with piping the batter, take each cookie sheet and carefully but forcefully bang the bottom of each corner on the countertop, to help release air bubbles in the batter! let the cookies sit for 35 minutes. preheat the oven to 305 F while you wait.

bake the cookies on the top shelf of the oven for 15 minutes. remove from the oven but let the cookies cool completely before touching them.

while the cookies cool, make your orange buttercream by creaming the butter in a clean mixing bowl. add the powdered sugar and mix on high for a minute, then add the orange zest and orange juice. finally add the food coloring and continue to mix until the desired color is reached.

transfer the buttercream to a new piping bag and pipe frosting on the underside of one cookie. sandwich with another cookie of roughly the same size. repeat over and over again.

optional: paint macarons into lil baby oranges with orange food coloring mixed with a little bit of water.

enjoy!

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And don’t forget to check out the other macaron recipes I’ve shared, because you can seriously never have too many and with these bad boys practice really makes perfect: here, here, here.