Category Archives: pumpkin

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Brownies


Oh man, it’s a total shame I haven’t posted this recipe sooner. This is totally the equivalent to a “#latergram” on Instagram type status. I made this back toward the beginning of the year for a dinner party and was too busy to post the recipe. So here we are, and it’s in perfect time to add to this wonderful pumpkin season!

Can’t decide if you’re in the mood for something chocolatey or with pumpkin? Brownies? Pumpkin? Why not have both?! This is absolutely luscious. Think of a pumpkin pie with a brownie crust/base. It’s literally thee perfect combination. My friends definitely seemed to think so. (And no one knows it’s vegan! Shhh…)

I think this would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving feast!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Brownies

Makes 8 brownies

Adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

For the brownie layer:

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the pumpkin layer:

  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinches of nutmeg and allspice

For decoration: a handful of chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 in. springform pan (or use a 9 in. square pan lined with parchment paper).

To make the brownie layer:

  1. Melt the chocolate.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sugar, oil and vanilla. Sift in flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine, then mix in the melted chocolate.

To make the pumpkin layer:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, stir until thoroughly combined.

To assemble:

  1. Use a spatula to spread the brownie layer mixture into prepared baking pan, taking care to bring the batter to the edges of the pan. Pour the pumpkin layer over it, leaving a little room at the edges if you can.
  2. Bake for 30 minutes, until pumpkin layer looks fairly firm (slight jiggling is ok), and has cracked at the edges a bit.
  3. Let the brownies cool for 20 minutes, then transfer the pan to the fridge to set for at least an hour and a half. Once set, decorate with chocolate chips, slice into wedges, and serve!



Drunken Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies


Are you drunk enough on pumpkin yet? Yeah, I didn’t think so. At least, your answer should have been no. I am here to change that.

Yes kitten! I made this batch of cookies just for you!

This is the second batch of cookies I have baked with a stout beer in the mix. It gives the batter an interesting fluffy texture and makes the cookies poof up in the end. You can smell a hint of it when you bite into these, especially with the added in fleur de sel to enhance the chocolate notes. Think of a pillowy pumpkin raisin cookie but with chocolate chunks, pumpkin seeds, and salt chunks instead.

I had to do quite a bit of tweaking with this batch, but it all worked out in the end (as it usually does). I had to be conservative on the liquid, and add in a bit of whole wheat flour to soak up the excess moisture. Additionally, I would recommend sticking the bowl of batter in the fridge for about a half hour to make it easier to scoop up the batter and form the shape you want. I obviously didn’t do that, but feel free to do whatever you please. I’ve become way less OCD as of late.

Eat these with a glass of pumpkin beer! You’ll get drunk off of drunken pumpkin goodness for sure!

Drunken Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes 30 cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin flavored syrup (optional)
  • 1 cup stout (ie. Guinness, Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal)
  • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chunks
  • fleur de sel, for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 325° with rack in the oven’s center. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars on medium speed until thoroughly blended.
  4. Add eggs, vanilla and pumpkin syrup, and beat on low speed until combined. Add dry mixture until combined, then add stout in small amounts. Mix in seeds and chocolate chunks.
  5. Spoon onto cookie sheet. Sprinkle a few chunks of fleur de sel on top of the cookies and bake about 14 minutes or until golden brown.

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Cake


Sometimes I can be an indecisive gal. Trying to figure out where to go for dinner, deciding what to order on a menu, deciding what to drink, deciding what to bake… I just now realized that these are all food related.

I think I love food too much.

After looking at Pinterest and foodie magazines for hours upon hours, sometimes the pressure to make up my mind what to make becomes crippling. And then I won’t make anything at all. Sound familiar?

So when it comes to fall baking and trying to decide between a pumpkin cake and an apple pie, it’s so hard to choose. Why not have the best of both worlds at once? It’s like a buy one, get one free deal. Two in one. Double duty. You get the picture.

Imagine a pumpkin coffee cake but with sauteed apples on top. Delicious, yes? Pretty much exactly what this is. I was really happy with how it turned out, and it was relatively easy. However, I feel like something was missing. It was a little dry (maybe because of the whole wheat flour? such a conundrum, the white vs. whole wheat situation), and needed a bit more flavor, spice, and moisture. I think the recommended baking time was a bit too long (1 hour), and I took it out after 50 minutes. I would check it after 40-45 if I ever make it again. I must say, it is quite delicious with a scoop of lavender (or vanilla bean!) ice cream, or a nice cold glass of milk. It’s a perfect fall dessert or breakfast snack!

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Cake

Serves 6-8

Adapted from The Vintage Mixer


Sauteed apples:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3-4 large Granny Smith apples peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Streusel topping and cake (made together then divided):

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin Greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Butter and flour (or spray) an 8-in Springform Pan and preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Saute the apples in the butter on medium heat, just until they start to soften. Remove from heat and add the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer combine the flour, brown sugar and salt. Add the 1/2 cup butter and blend well. Measure out 2/3 cup of the mixture into a separate bowl to make the streusel. Add the 3 tablespoons sugar, pumpkin spices and cinnamon to this separate bowl, blend and set aside. Add the baking soda, pumpkin, pumpkin Greek yogurt and eggs to the flour mixture left remaining in your mixer. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  4. Layer the cake batter, then the sauteed apples and finally sprinkle the streusel over the top.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour (although, like I said. I’d do it for no more than 50 mins or so. Keep your eye on it). Allow to cool in the pan and then remove the springform. Serve with ice cream or milk!

The Side Yard: Portland, OR


This last Sunday morning I had the great pleasure of being able to photograph and take part in (aka. devour) the beautifully crafted autumnal brunch dishes of Stacey Givens, owner of the Side Yard farm. Stacey began her organic urban farm in 2009, and ever since has been a supplier for local restaurants (Ned Ludd, Veritable Quandary), and regularly holds brunch supper clubs featuring her homegrown seasonal produce. In addition, she provides cooking classes and workshops on occasion. See previous and upcoming events here!

It was a beautiful fall rainy day and we were protected by a white sheet tent in the side yard (yep) of her farm, accompanied by warm and bubbly beverages and lovely company. I met some really wonderful people. I was spoiled with fantastic food. Everything was awesome. A great time was had by all.

The three course meal was absolutely spectacular. I was in foodie photography heaven.Let me lay it out for you.

1. Sweets

Pumpkin hot cakes. Pomegranate. Poached pear. Bacon fat cream cheese. Spice maple syrup.

2. Fall Hash

Hard cider braised pork. Yukons. Celeriac. Collard greens. Horseradish mustard seed creme. Farm fried egg.

3. Farm Benedict

House made crumpet. Charred brussels. Chanterelles. Braised escarole. Hollandaise. Poached farm egg.

*Not to forget the mimosas and the best coffee I’ve ever had by Ristretto Roasters (and I never drink caffeine)!

You guys, it was to die for. I’m telling you. I had such a blast taking these pictures! If you live in PDX, you must go. Please support her awesomeness and all of the awesomeness she does.

Here’s a sneak peak of the upcoming brunch next weekend!

fall crepes.
mike’s figs. chevre. local walnuts & honey

farm hash.
sweet potatoes. braised short ribs. roasted quince. shrooms. sorrel. jus

breaky sando.
buttermilk cheddar biscuit. dad’s fried chicken. farm egg. green tomato jam. spicy greens

 And it looks like I’ll be the “official” farm photographer! Will take pictures for food!

Pumpkin Chocolate Milkshake


You might be able to get an idea by now that pumpkin time is my favorite time. I will do anything to get my hands on anything related to the notion of pumpkin. To get an idea, this was me one year ago raiding Target:

Pumpkin eggos, almonds, cookie mixes, cream cheese, yogurt, puree… you name it, I found it. Definitely a pumpkin extravaganza made in heaven.

So basically, what I’m saying is don’t get too surprised if all I talk about is pumpkin around here for the next few months (and until the end of time). I will pumpkin your face out.

This milkshake is exactly what your heart desires. Vanilla bean, pumpkin spice, that earthy, comforting squash flavor, and a bit of chocolate. And whipped cream. Hello!

Pumpkin Chocolate Milkshake

Makes 1 shake for you and you only! but of course make them for your friends, too 😉

  • 3/4 cup vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • pre-made chocolate syrup (such as Hershey’s)
  • whipped cream, optional
  • cacao nibs, optional
  1. In a decently sized tall glass, drizzle some of the chocolate syrup around the glass to make a random, “spiderwebbed” look.
  2. Blend together the ice cream, pumpkin puree, milk, and spice until smooth.
  3. Pour into glass. Top with whipped cream and nibs! I hope you enjoy!

Owl Pumpkin Cakes


What happens when you combine owls and pumpkins? A massive explosion of love and goodness happens.

At least in my eyes…

More like these mini owl pumpkin cakes. But really, a massive explosion of love and goodness, too.

Owls and pumpkins are meant to be together. Especially at this time of year. And they happen to be two of my favorite things that exist on this planet.

When I found this owl mold “muffin” tin at Cost Plus last week, I was ecstatic. I had no idea what in the world I would do with it, but I knew it would be something good. Chocolates? Cakes? Muffins? Jello? The possibilities are endless.

It’s hard to beat hand-held bite-sized pumpkin bread loaves shaped into a little owl, though…

Perfect for a Halloween party, crafting party, owl-themed birthday party, or any reason at all!

Owl Pumpkin Cakes

Adapted from BHG Pumpkin Bread, Fall Baking 2012 Issue

Makes 24 mini loaves

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 7-8 oz. (about half a 15 oz. can) pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray cooking spray on the owl pan; set aside. In an extra-large bowl combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs; beat well. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and salt. Alternately add flour mixture and the water to the sugar mixture, beating on low speed just until combined. Beat in pumpkin.
  3. Drop batter evenly into pans, about 2/3 full (will puff up a lot!). Bake 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. You will only be able to make 12 the first time, and then make the remaining after the first batch is done (that is, of course, if you only buy one pan).
  4. Flip pan over onto wire racks and let cool. Store in an air-tight container!

Pumpkin Spice Macarons


Have you ever wanted to make homemade macarons but were too intimidated to try? Don’t let all that here say about how difficult they are to make scare you. Honestly, sometimes I think people try to make things more complicated than they really are. In this case, making macarons definitely falls under that category. If you do enough research about them like I did (because I was afraid I would screw them up… see “10 Signs of a Bad Macaron” and “Parisian Macaron Crimes and Misdemeanors“), you’ll find several variations as to how to tackle them and the many things that can go wrong.

Some recommend you separate your egg whites at least 24-72 hours prior, sitting in your fridge and then setting out a few hours before incorporating them in your meringue. Some swear that you have to weigh all of your ingredients–almond flour, egg whites, and sugars (I went out and bought a kitchen scale just for that, I’ll admit). Some swear that the secret to the perfect shell is to sift the ground almond flour and powdered sugar to “weed out” all of the big nut and sugar chunks. Some emphasize the folding of the food coloring into the egg whites, to handle them gently so as to not ruin the structure of the egg protein. Some recommend you tap the cookie sheets after they’ve sat for a few minutes to remove some of the air bubbles.

Well let me tell you something. Don’t worry about any of that.

When I picked up BHG’s special magazine edition of Fall Baking, the first spread I opened to was one of these pumpkin spice macarons. It was the selling point. I hadn’t made macarons since January of this year, and I’m in a new (very small) kitchen, but I knew I’d find a way to make them happen. Reading over the recipe, they made it seem too easy. No mention about being gentle with the meringue or separating the egg whites days beforehand. Nope. None of that. I thought it was too good to be true. But I trusted them anyway and went for it.

I seriously will not ever deviate from this basic recipe again. They turned out absolutely perfect. At least to me. Maybe it’s my oven now, but the first two macaron attempts I tried came out too gooey in the center and didn’t puff up as much as I hoped. These didn’t do me wrong. And they shouldn’t do you wrong, either.

The perfect shell and “foot”.

Plus, hello! Pumpkin spice! You’ll impress all your friends and they’ll be the perfect autumn treat to “spice up” your dining room table. You will love them, and you’ll love making macarons. I’m telling you, you’ll get addicted.

Pumpkin Spice Macarons

Makes about 28-30 macarons (14-15 total when you sandwich them together)

Recipe from BHG’s Fall Baking

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated or caster sugar
  • 8 drops yellow food coloring
  • 2 drops red food coloring (I used a mix of gels: red, orange, and yellow until I got the color I wanted)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin butter


  1. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl stir together almonds, powdered sugar and spice; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine egg whites, vanilla, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Gradually add granulated sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed just until soft peaks form (tips curl). Stir in nut mixture and food coloring (I added the food coloring first, but I’m not sure it really matters which one you add first).
  3. Spoon mixture into a large decorating bag fitted with a large (about 1/2-inch) round tip. Pipe 1 1/2-inch circles, 1 inch apart, onto the prepared cookie sheets. Let stand for 30 minutes before baking.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake in the preheated oven for 9-10 minutes or until set. Cool on cookie sheets on wire racks. Carefully peel cookies off parchment paper.
  5. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of the pumpkin butter onto bottoms of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, bottom sides down. You did it!