Pumpkin Spice Pecan Muffins

Amandas Plate pumpkin spice pecan muffins

It’s pumpkin spice season and you either absolutely love it or you don’t. Pumpkin spice is no longer limited to pies and lattes; they now flavor cough drops with pumpkin spice. Yes, they really do exist. :D. I used this blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger, to create my Pumpkin Spice Pecan MuffinsAmanda's Plate Pumpkin Spice Pecan Muffins

I have memories of the pumpkin candies my grandmother makes. She would buy the biggest pumpkins available and boil them, simmer them in sugar and dry them out.

I was afraid of them as a kid. The only “pumpkin-y” thing I wanted to eat was pumpkin pie and this candy did not resemble a pie. But then I tried it! And to my surprise I loved it!

Amanda's Plate pumpkin spice muffins

When making these muffins, the batter will be thick. It is really important not to over mix it. I highly recommend using parchment muffin liners by Paperchef. You can purchase them here

It is also really important to check the dates on your baking soda and baking powder. Baking soda is good for baking for six months, once the container has been opened. Baking powder is good for about 9 months. I always write the date I opened the containers with a sharpie, to ensure my baked good turn out! 

Pumpkin Spice Pecan Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla bean pasta or vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted
Crumble
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter, unsalted
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prep baking tins by spraying with non stick spray or lining with cupcake liners
  3. Make crumble my mixing melted butter, flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar and pecans. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, vegetable oil, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. *Do NOT over mix*
  7. Gently fold in toasted pecans
  8. Divide muffin mix evenly between 12 cavities
  9. Sprinkle over the crumble and press down into the muffins
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean
  11. Allow to cool on a wire rack
  12. Enjoy 🙂

 You can use 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice inlace of the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. You can also make these muffins without the crumble topping, but I highly recommend it 😀

Make this dish? I’d love to see it! Tag me using #CreateAmandasPlate or @AmandasPlate

Xoxo, 

 

Amanda

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Butternut Squash Penne Pasta

I love butternut squash. After living in Seattle for 5 years, and experiencing the farmer’s markets, I learned to cook seasonally. This butternut squash penne pasta dish is the perfect homage to my time there. It is really easy to make and with my roasted technique, you do not have to peel the squash!

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Salted Caramel Fig Chocolate Cake

I love figs. They’re deliciously sweet and packed with flavor. They’re also really good for you and make a great addition to desserts. I made this salted caramel fig chocolate cake before baby Hannah came into the world, but did not have a chance to share it until now. I used mission figs from Melissa’s Produce. But any fig will work 🙂

fresh figs

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Butternut Squash Soup

I don’t often admit this, but I was a picky eater as a child and young adult. For some reason, I did not like soup (I think it was the texture?).

What are the foods you did not like as a kid, that you now enjoy? I’d love to hear about the transition from dislike to like 😀

I created this soup last fall, when I had a surplus of butternut squash on hand. I decided to roast the squash before pureeing to enhance the sweet notes of the squash. By roasting the squash whole, you don’t have to peel it or dice it first! 

amandas plate butter nut squash soup

This soup doubles nicely and can be kept in the freezer in an airtight container (stores up to 2 months), for those busy, cold weeknights!

While this recipe is vegetarian, it can also be made vegan, by omitting the heavy cream. You can substitute the cream for more vegetable broth. 🙂 

 

butternut squash soup

There are a number of toppings you can add to this soup! My favorites are fried sage, as it adds a deep, earthy flavor and homemade croutons! 

 

Butternut Squash Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large butternut squash (3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
Toppings
  • Croutons, fried sage, pomegranate arils, olive oil, goat cheese (all optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut butternut squash length wise and remove the seeds. Drizzle each half with olive oil. Place the squash flesh side down and roast in the oven for 40 minutes.
  3. After the squash has roasted for 20 minutes, place the onion, red bell pepper and garlic cloves on the baking pan. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil.
  4. When the squash is tender and the onion, bell pepper and garlic are cooked thru, remove from the oven. Peel the skin off the squash.
  5. If using a blender, as I did, place the squash, onion, pepper, garlic, vegetable broth, nutmeg, salt and pepper in the blender and puree until smooth. Lastly, add the heavy cream and blend until evenly incorporated.
  6. Transfer the soup into a pot and heat thru.
  7. Serve with fried sage, goat cheese, croutons, a drizzle of oil and pomegranate.
  8. Enjoy 🙂

Note: if using an emersion blender, place the vegetable stock, cream, squash, onions and garlic in a pot. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg, and blend until smooth. 

Make this dish? I’d love to see! Tag me @AmandasPlate or using #CreateAmandasPlate

 

xoxo, 

 

Amanda

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Easy Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie

amanda's plate strawberry pineapple smoothie

Over a month ago, I posted a snapchat photo of a smoothie I had made for Hussein and I and several of you had asked for the recipe! It is simple to put together and is packed with nutrients. This easy strawberry pineapple smoothie makes a great breakfast or snack! 

As we settle into parenthood and our new lives with our dear, sweet baby girl, Hannah, smoothies and quick nutrient and protein packed breakfasts are a must! 

I have raved about my love for Chobani Non-fat Greek Yogurt several times before. It has a ton of protein, is low calorie and tastes delicious. We use it almost exclusively in our smoothies. 

Amanda's Plate strawberry pineapple smoothie recipe, easy strawberry pineapple smoothie recipe

One of the classic smoothie

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Homemade Churro Smores

amanda's plate homemade churro smores, churro smores

An absolute favorite summer treat are Smores! But the traditional store bought version can get boring (at least for me). I’ve been making my own marshmallows for 2 years now and I love have the versatility in this homemade confection. When I learned of the Feed Feed and Ghirardellis smore contest, I wanted to create my homemade churro smores! 

Amandas Plate Homemade churro smores

This dessert does take some effort, but it is TOTALLY worth it! You really can’t get any better than sandwiching a gooey, toasted marshmallow in between a fried sweet dough thats rolled in cinnamon sugar! Also, don’t forget the chocolate. I used a salted caramel dark chocolate in these smores, but feel free to use whatever it is you like 🙂 

 

amanda's plate churro smores, churro recipe

Homemade Churro Smores
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
Marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons gelatin (can use agar agar)
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon good quality vanilla
  • 1 cup cold water, divided
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Churro
  • 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts oil for frying
Cinnamon Sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
Marshmallows
  1. Place gelatin and ½ cup cold water in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment; this allows the gelatin to bloom.
  2. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, mix together sugar, salt, corn syrup, and remaining ½ cup water.
  3. Stir the mixture and heat to a temperature of 240 degrees.
  4. Begin whisking gelatin and slowly stream in sugar mixture.
  5. Add in vanilla extract
  6. Continue whisking until light and fluffy; about 15 minutes.
  7. Once the mixture resembles marshmallow fluff, turn off mixture
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust it with powdered sugar.
  9. Spread marshmallow fluff evenly across pan
  10. Allow to set for a minimum of an hour.
  11. Remove from pan and cut into desired shape.
  12. Dust with more powdered sugar
Cinnamon Sugar
  1. Combine ½ cup sugar with the cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
  2. Line a plate with paper towels.
Churros
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix together the water, 1½ tablespoons sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil then remove it from the heat.
  3. Stir in the flour. Mix until it forms a ball.
  4. Heat vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot set over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees.
  5. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
  6. Pipe the dough into pinwheels (about 5 inches wide). Press the pinwheels down gently until they are flat.
  7. Fry the churros in oil until golden brown.
  8. Transfer the churros to the paper towel-lined plate to drain, then roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Assemble
  1. Build your smores
  2. Enjoy 🙂

 

You will need a candy thermometer to make the marshmallows. They are easily found at kitchen stores and on amazon. For the churros, you will need a star icing tip. These are also readily available. 

Homemade churro smores

 

Make this recipe? I’d love to see! Tag me using #CreateAmandasPlate

 

Xoxo, 

 

Amanda

 

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Zucchini Cakes with Mint Dipping Sauce

amanda's plate zucchini cakes

 Zucchini is definitely in abundance during Michigan summers. I’ve planted one plant which has already yielded 15 yellow squash (relatives of the zucchini)! Zucchini is such a special vegetable that today, August 8th is National Zucchini day. 

Because zucchini has a very high water

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Cucumber Mint Yogurt Salad

cucumber mint yogurt salad

One of my favorite salads on a hot summer day, is this refreshing cucumber mint yogurt salad. This recipe is a traditional Lebanese dish, typically served as part of a Mezze plater. It is called ‘Khayr bi Laban’, which translates to cucumbers in yogurt. The traditional yogurt used is laban, but I prefer the greek yogurt, to provide more protein 😀

amandas plate cucumber mint yogurt salad

I

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