Thanksgiving Celebration: Pumpkin, Butterscotch and Caramel
November is the month we, as Americans, celebrate thanks. We give thanks for the bounty of the harvest, for family, friendships and the freedoms we enjoy living in a Democracy.
To my readers, I give thanks to you all for your continued support of my work.
My mother, Reva Paul, an internationally celebrated artist known for her sugar confections, hand wrote over sixteen cookbooks. My treasures. After “de coding” the recipes, I especially get a kick out of reading the notes. I can feel her presence guiding me in the kitchen. I share with you, and I quote, “A Southern recipe that is a top secret ~ but too good to keep”, Reva’s TOP SECRET CARAMEL SQUARES. I believe every Southern family must have a version of this delicious confection. I think Reva’s is exceptional.
While you indulge in these sweet delights, please remember to help those who are in need or alone during the holidays with donations, a food basket or a seat at your table. “May all of your afternoons be filled with tea and friendships.”
PUMPKIN TEA CAKE
Ingredients: Pumpkin Tea Cake:
1 (15-ounce) can of solid-packed pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup vegetable oil, 4 extra-large eggs, 2 cups granulated sugar,
2 cups of all-purpose flour sifted, 1 teaspoon baking soda,1 teaspoon baking powder,
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon Nielsen Massey Madagascar Vanilla Extract or pure vanilla extract, Optional ~1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
Optional: Spiced Whipped Cream:1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream,
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon grated orange peel zest, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Spiced Whipped Cream Instructions: In a chilled small bowl, beat whipping cream on a high speed of your electric or handheld mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar, orange peel, and cinnamon and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom and sides of baking pan * PAM Baking Spray, Dust the same with Domino Light Brown Granulated sugar. On a medium speed with an electric mixer, beat together pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, eggs, and sugar; set aside.
In a separate bowl, blend together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract until evenly and smoothly mixed together. Pour in the pumpkin batter and stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour mixture into prepared baking or Bundt pans. Sprinkle the top with additional ground cinnamon.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the center allows a toothpick to come out clean of batter. If nuts are desired, after 20 minutes of baking, remove cake from the oven and sprinkle the nuts on top. Place back into the oven and continue baking until done.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut and serve either “as is” or with whipped cream topping.
NOTES Variation: This recipe will work when baked in small loaf pans, cupcake pans, muffin pans, Bundt or cake pans. Fill each pan ONLY to the halfway mark, as the batter rises.
PUMPKIN ~ PUDDING CAKE PRAILINE CRUNCH
This one is easy! Either serve as main dessert or use your holiday leftovers. Follow my recipes for pumpkin tea cake, butterscotch pudding mix or pumpkin pie filling. Crumble the cake and mix together with the butterscotch pudding or pumpkin pie filling. Top with praline crunch- homemade or store bought.
MY T FINE Butterscotch Pudding Mix. Follow box directions.
Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves 2 large eggs
- 1 can (15 oz.) Libby’s 100% PURE PUMPKIN-not pie filling
- 1 can (12. Fluid oz.) Carnation Evaporated Milk
- 1 tsp. Nielsen – Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
PRE HEAT OVEN to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small bowl mix sugar, salt cinnamon, ginger and clove. In a large bowl beat the eggs. Stir in pumpkin and dry sugar mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and vanilla extract until all is blended together. Pour blended mixture into a glass or Pyrex baking pan.
Bake in a 425-degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for an additional 40 to 50 minutes until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean of batter. Cool on a wire rack for two hours. Refrigerate until ready to mix with pumpkin cake. Garnish with praline crunch.
No Butter Praline Crunch: Place one cup of Pecans, Walnuts or Almonds on a foil or parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and or granulated sugar. Heat in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 8 to 15 minutes until golden. Toss midway to prevent nuts from burning.
REVA PAUL’s “TOP SECRET” CARAMEL SQUARES
- 2 sticks unsalted, sweet butter
- 1 lb. package dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ cup all purpose flour- sifted
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract. (I use Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla.)
9 x 13-inch baking pan but a round pan can also be used. PAM™ Baking Spray, Domino Light Brown Granulated Sugar. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 baking pan with PAM Baking Spray. Dust the same with Domino Light Brown granulated sugar.
Pre heat oven to 350-Degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the butter, mix in the brown sugar. Allow to cool one hour. Add eggs- one at a time. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes until an inserted cake tester or toothpick when removed from the center is clean. Remove from the oven onto a wire rack to cool. Cut into squares or roll balls. Dust with confectioners – powdered sugar balls and serve. May be stored in an airtight container for two to three days.
CARAMEL ~ VANILLA ICE CREAM BOWL
Anyone and I mean anyone can assemble this Caramel~ Vanilla ice cream bowl.
Vanilla Ice Cream, Smucker’s Caramel Sauce, Waffle Ice Cream Cone Bowls.
Place softened ice cream in a bowl. Swirl in caramel sauce to taste. Scoop into the individual waffle cone bowls. Use the tines of a fork to create streaks. Place cellophane over each and refreeze. To make ice cream roses place mixture into a silicone rose mold and freeze. Turn out when ready to serve. Optional décor uses – edible gold dust to brush the edges of the rose petals.
Gingerbread Cookie Crumb Pumpkin Pie Bars
Gingerbread Cookie Crumbs: 2 cups of gingersnaps or crisp gingerbread cookies crushed into crumbs, 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Combine together. Press firmly into the prepared 8” x 8” baking pan. Spray baking pan with PAM BAKING SPRAY™ and dust bottom and sides with Domino light brown granulated sugar. Bake 5 minutes only. Remove and set aside.
Pumpkin Pie Filling: Ingredients: ¼ cup granulated sugar, ½ tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, ½ tsp. ground ginger, ¼ tsp. ground cloves, 2 large eggs, 1 can (15 oz.) Libby’s 100% PURE PUMPKIN-not pie filling, 1 can (12. Fluid oz.) Carnation Evaporated Milk, 1 tsp. Nielsen – Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
PRE HEAT OVEN to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Preparation: In a small bowl mix sugar, salt cinnamon, ginger and clove. In a large bowl beat the eggs. Stir in pumpkin and dry sugar mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and vanilla extract until all is blended together. Pour blended mixture into an 8” x 8” baking pan lined with gingerbread cookie crumb base. Bake in a 425-degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for an additional 40 to 50 minutes until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean of batter. Cool on a wire rack for two hours. Refrigerate or one hour before cutting into squares.
Additional flavors of the season:
Photos and Text©Ellen Easton