Thursday, October 6, 2011

Making fall happen..

One of the LTs that I used to work with wants to open her own bakery when she finishes her contract with the Navy.  She should because she is amazing.  She also sparked my idea to cook something pumpkin-y when she sent a care package for the department that included 3 kinds of cookies, white chocolate chip macademia nut, pumpkin spice with cream cheese icing, and oatmeal rasin?  I can't really remember the last flavor because the pumpkin spice one was so delicious, I got distracted from the other cookies because I'd started looking up blogs for pumpkin cookies.  

In my Google Reader, one of the cooking blogs was featuring some holiday/seasonal ideas, which was exciting to me.  I scoped out the situation and talked to Shoulda Been a Cowgirl and she said she LOOOOOVVVESSS pumpkin anything.  Well, at least I knew one person would be eating my creation!

I decided to go with this pumpkin "bars" which is actually more like pumpkin cake... but we're going with it.  She has an awesome list of recipes and she has several pumpkin ideas.  Originally, I was going to go with cookies, but with the recent packout and some disposable pans that Teh HP Wizard left with me, and I figured this could be a good use for one of those.  

This recipe called for several ingredients that I was worried I wouldn't be able to find.... mainly.. pumpkin.  In Bahrain, Halloween isn't really a "holiday" or even a seasonal event.  A trip to the NEX revealed there was no canned pumpkin to be found.. despite the abundance of Halloween candy on the endcaps and the featured display area.  Well alright then.  I started to get scared at this point that I had gotten my own and Shoulda Been a Cowgirl's hopes up and I wouldn't be able to pull off this pump-tastic treat (see what I did there, haha).

A trip to the market downstairs set me on my course again.  Not only did they have the canned pumpkin, but they also had all the other ingredients I was missing, meaning I could make this sucker as soon as I had the ingredients in my apartment!

For the cake:
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  3. 1 cup vegetable oil
  4. 15-ounce can pumpkin
  5. 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  6. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  2. 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  3. 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

2.  Combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin and blend until light and fluffy (does this also mean runny?  cause that's how my batter was).

1 cup of oil is really a lot.  I liked the layers of this photo.
3.  In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

When you packout your whisk, the fork is a perfectly acceptable substitution.
Also please don't judge that heinous fork.. It doesn't belong to me.  I swear.
4.  Hand mix the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just combined. Do not overmix (I'm not actually sure at what point you've overmixed).

Hand-mixing.. ok, I'm good at that.
Is this "overmixed"?  jk, jk.
5.  Spread the batter into the prepared 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

In she goes!
6.  For icing, combine cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again.

WRONG!  Teh Megan fail on adding everything all at once.. oops my bad.  Didn't affect the taste, imo.
Hand blender patterns look soo cool.  (I'm sooo easily amused.)
7.  Spread on cooled cake.

Tada!  I used all the icing..  Mostly so I wouldn't eat anything leftover.
I chose this recipe over the other pumpkin cookie/scone/random baked goods because it didn't call for anything too exotic.. and by exotic I mean, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, etc.  In America, those things are fairly easy and cheap to get your hands on, but in Bahrain thats a different story.  The one thing of ground nutmeg at the market downstairs was 2.8BD (in American: $7.50), you can keep that, kthx.  Add to that, I'll be leaving Bahrain soon, so anything that I don't use either will get mailed home (things that won't go bad if its food type stuff) or donated (if its going to go bad/can't stand to sit and not be used within a month).

Another reason I chose this over the other recipes is that cake is much easier to transport than cookies/cupcakes because its in a single container.  Especially when you're working with limited options.  Why transport it?  Because I'm not eating an entire cake.  I know my eating habits aren't that good, but I am rational enough not to eat an entire cake.  Although.. is pumpkin your fruit or vegetable serving?  ;)

Side rant: It SUPER bothers me when recipes give directions like "in your stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.."  Excuse me... not everyone owns a stand mixer (as much as they'd like to).  At first I was extremely disheartened by directions like this, because I thought it meant that if I didn't have a stand mixer that I couldn't make that recipe.  I have quickly learned that isn't quite the case, but still, its like sexism.. except towards blenders.  PS.  Unless I get a magical job where I make exuberant amounts of money every year.. I won't be buying a stand mixer.  I'll do what everyone else does and register for one when I get married, lol.  I'll just stick with my hand mixer for now.  

1 comment:

  1. These turned out great!! I am so happy to see that you enjoyed them! Makes me wish I had a piece right now! ;)


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