I know it's trendy to try to put pumpkin in almost anything and everything; but I've skipped the mediocre recipes - these are only the best of the best.

 

 These days, roasted pumpkins seeds are all the rage.  Tasty, full of anti-oxidants, high in fiber and protein, gourmet shops and health food stores stock them.  Here's an EASY recipe to make them yourself! 

Directions for Making Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients and Equipment

  • A Pumpkin
  • a sharp, serrated large knife
  • Cookie sheet
  • vegetable oil
  • salt pepper, general herbs

Recipe and Directions

Step 1 - Clean the seeds

When you are carving your pumpkin, separate the seeds from the pumpkin flesh and strings. Wash them well (usually putting then in a big bowl of water and rubbing them between your hands is a fast way to clean them) and let them drain in a strainer for about 30 minutes, then spread them out on a baking pan. Now just use a hair dryer to dry them quickly! It is also time to start preheating the oven.  Turn it on and set it to 275 F (135 C, for those in Europe)

Step 2 - Spread the seeds on a cookie sheet and season them

Spread the seeds evenly over a cookie sheet and lightly baste the seeds with melted butter, margarine, or vegetable oil.  There are many variations.  Here are the most popular, in order or popularity:

  1. Savory: 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt and 2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
  2. Lemony:  4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon 'Mrs. Dash" or lemon pepper
  3. Halloweeny:  4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt,  and 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.
  4. Spicy: 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  5. Natural: 1 teaspoon sea salt or other salt, 4 tablespoons melted butter,

Step 3 - Roast the seeds

Heat them in a 275-degree oven for 10 to 20 minutes until golden brown. DO KEEP AN EYE ON THEM, checking every few minutes and stir about every 5 minutes. Some ovens run hot and it can be as little as 10 minutes or as long as 30 minutes to roast them. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot or cold.

For milder flavor, simmer the cleaned seeds for about an hour in salted water and fry in deep oil. Or mix a tablespoon of oil or margarine to each cup of nuts and roast them at 250 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes until they're golden. Sprinkle them with salt.

 

 

How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Cookies!

Pumpkin cookies are a great change from chocolate chips and other cookies, as they are much more nutritious, as well as tasty! The taste is reminiscent of pumpkin pie and they're great warm from the oven or warmed later in the microwave!  They have a light, soft, almost bread-like texture! and of course, you can add orange food coloring to the icing and use frosting to make jack-o-lantern faces or other designs on them, too! Perfect for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas and holiday parties.

Ingredients and Equipment

Cookie Dough Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fresh cooked pumpkin 
    OR one half of a small can of commercial canned pumpkin (about 4 or 5 ounces total)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (not self-rising flour)
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs or egg beaters
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts (optional)

        Icing ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar, unsifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup milk (just enough to make the mixture spread able)
    chopped pecans or other nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F  (190 C).
  2. Lightly grease two cookies sheets (whatever size you have) with vegetable shortening (like Crisco.  If you are the UK, there is something called Trex vegetable fat in the refrigerated section of the supermarket near the butter. I'm told it a good substitute for Crisco. )

    Prepare the icing:
  3. Carefully, lightly brown the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Be careful not to burn it. If you have trouble getting it to brown, down worry about it, it is mostly to add the color!
     
  4. Remove the browned butter from heat. 
  5. Blend in the confectioners' sugar and the vanilla extract. It will start off think and lumpy, until you add the milk in the next step.

    Mix in just enough milk to make the mixture smooth and spread able.  It probably will only take a small amount, like 1/8 to 1/4 cup.
     
  6. Set aside 
  7. Prepare the Cookie dough

    In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and brown sugar together until light and smooth.

     Mix in the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla extract.
     
  8. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices (cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg).
     
  9. Combine the two bowls (just pour the smaller bowl into the larger) and
     
  10. Stir until blended.
     
  11. Stir in the chopped nuts (optional).
  12. Use a ordinary spoon (table, soup) or small ice cream scoop to drop the cookie dough onto the greased cookie sheet (you can also use the silicon cookie sheet cloths on a regular cookies sheet, the cookies will come off more easily).
  13. Bake pumpkin cookies in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
     
  14. Cool the cookies on racks and while they are still warm (but not hot)
     
  15. Spread the butter icing on them!

They're great warm, or later when cool!

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