Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls

Last week, I texted Ben randomly during the day at work and asked if he wanted to have Thanksgiving dinner a little bit early. As I expected, he was ALL in. So this weekend, we got to cookin’, and had ourselves a delicious feast on Sunday afternoon. Turkey, chipotle-cilantro mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, mixed vegetables mornay, pumpkin cloverleaf rolls, and harvest pear crisp with candied ginger. It was GLORIOUS! For my dream meal I would have had stuffing too–but Ben doesn’t like it, and I couldn’t find the kind of bread I wanted, so that didn’t happen, but everything else was divine and I can’t wait to share the recipes with you this week! So, I officially declare this to be THANKSGIVING WEEK on the blog and I will do my absolute best to post all five new recipes this week. I’ve already shared my cranberry sauce before so I won’t repeat that… but just because it is old doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying! :)

Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls | thepajamachef.com

I had a hard time deciding what to share first, so I just picked my absolute favorite thing… bread. Ahh, delicious carbs! :) With pumpkin too! Doubly good, huh? I seriously am not sure if there is anything I could love more than soft, pillowy rolls, warm out of the oven with just a touch of butter.

Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls | thepajamachef.com

I made the dough for these rolls in my bread maker. If you don’t have a bread maker, definitely consider investing in one if you have the space. I bought mine from a Craigslist post for $20. It was a wedding gift that had never been used, so that couple’s loss was our gain! I am not a huge fan of how bread bakes in it, but it is super convenient for preparing dough while you are doing other things, like pulling together a huge meal for two people just for the heck of it.

Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls | thepajamachef.com

Please don’t judge how these Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls were shaped. It takes a time or two [or four] to get the hang of shaping the balls, and I will warn you–the dough is really sticky, so use flour and/or cooking spray liberally. I read too late that cooking spray is better for shaping rolls than flour is because it won’t dry the dough out… so I will try that next time. Regardless of how the rolls are shaped, the taste will be out of this world!

Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls | thepajamachef.com

The rolls are slightly sweet, with a delightful orange flavor. The flavor is really strong at first, but after a day it tones down a bit. But if orange isn’t your thing, feel free to leave that out and add a little bit of warm spice like cinnamon or nutmeg, some vanilla, or even something a little more savory like garlic powder.

Thanksgiving Meal | thepajamachef.com

Ben and I absolutely adored these rolls! I’m sure you didn’t need clarification on that, but for what it’s worth–they were great! I can’t wait to enjoy one for breakfast with some jam. Yum! As much as I would love to say that they were so amazing because they included pumpkin [aka my favorite thing about fall], I really don’t think that was it. They are just super soft, melt-in-your-mouth rolls. Even if you are scared of baking with yeast, try these rolls! In a bread maker, they are so simple and easy–almost foolproof. Since the dough is so sticky, I think it would be hard to knead this dough by hand, but you could try it in a stand mixer–just use these tips on converting the recipe. I hope you give these rolls a try for your Thanksgiving table! They’re so appropriate for the season. I know they will be my go-to for many years to come! Enjoy, and be sure to come back all week long for more Thanksgiving recipes. :)

one year ago: Pork, Apple, & Ginger Stir Fry
two years ago: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Bars
three years ago: Balsamic Roasted Chickpeas

Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls [from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour [562 grams]
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast [1 package]

Directions:

Place ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. For me, it is: liquids and salt, dry ingredients, and yeast in a well.

Set bread machine on dough cycle. Grease two muffin tins with cooking spray.

When finished, turn dough out onto a floured surface. With floured hands, divide dough in half, then divide each piece in half again. You should have four pieces. Then divide each of those pieces in half again–making eight. Finally, divide in half again so you have 16 pieces.

Roll each piece into three equal sized balls. Gently place in a muffin cup, and repeat with remaining dough.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes, until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and then bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Time: 2 1/2 hours.
Yield: 16 rolls.

Linked up with: Tuesday Talent Show.

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SRC: Pumpkin Graham Muffins

Pumpkin Graham Muffins are a fun twist on everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving pie! 
Pumpkin Graham Muffins | thepajamachef.com

I love muffins! I think I’ve said that about every single time I post a muffin recipe, but I really really do. I love that muffins can be healthy, indulgent, interesting. I love that muffins are so quick to make and that they can be enjoyed for a snack or breakfast or dessert. Yum yum yum. So when I found out that my Secret Recipe Club assignment for the month, the wonderful Kate of Food Babbles, had been an avid participant in Muffin Mondays, I immediately knew that I NEEDED to make a muffin recipe.

Kate is a mom to three and is always whipping up a new, creative concoction in the kitchen. Her photography is excellent, much like her taste in food. These Pumpkin Graham Muffins are no exception. They are basically pumpkin pie, muffinified! Is that a word? It is now! [Kate used the term 'muffinizied.' I like that one too!] Using graham crackers in muffins is a genius trick that I will definitely be stealing for the future. These muffins have a great texture and nutty taste that pairs wonderfully with pumpkin and a smattering of fall spices.

Pumpkin Graham Muffins | thepajamachef.com

The best part of the graham cracker goodness is in the crumb topping–just look at it! Yum yum yum. I couldn’t get enough of it, and neither could Ben. He gobbled his first one down in four bites, if that’s any indication of their deliciousness.

Pumpkin Graham Muffins | thepajamachef.com

Pumpkin Graham Muffins are a crowd pleaser, so I hope you try them soon. As a lasting testament to their greatness, I think my pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving will feature a graham cracker crust instead of my traditional all-butter crust. I am so excited to try it out because in my book, graham cracker + pumpkin = love. Thanks, Kate!

one year ago: Lemon Herb Eggs in Ciabatta 
two years ago: Candy Corn Pretzel Bites
three years ago: Pumpkin Ginger Bread

Pumpkin Graham Muffins [from Food Babbles]

click to print

Ingredients:

for the muffins

  • 2 cups flour [I used white whole wheat]
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup graham crackers, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • dash of cloves
  • 1 cup buttermilk [I used 1 cup skim milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice]
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin [not pumpkin pie filling]
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the topping

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup graham crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin,oil, egg, and vanilla. Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way full.

Stir together topping ingredients in a small bowl then distribute evenly on top of muffin batter.

Bake for 18-22 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

Time: 30 minutes.

Yield: 12 muffins.

Be sure to check out other recipes from other SRC members here today too! :)

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Frosting

Ohhh, pumpkin spice. Is there a better fall flavor? I think not. Especially when paired with not just one, but TWO kinds of chocolate–mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and Nutella. This cake is basically gonna rock your socks off. It’s rich and moist [sorry, it is] with a perfect crumb texture that you will not be able to stop eating. Or at least, I couldn’t. The sprinkles on top make it even better!

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Frosting | thepajamachef.com

I think this cake was the first pumpkin recipe I made this fall, and I am so glad it turned out! See, I adapted the recipe from another favorite–Banana Chocolate Chip Cake. Usually improv recipes work out, especially if there aren’t tons of changes, but ya never know.

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Frosting | thepajamachef.com

As I whipped the cake together [literally whipped, this cake takes about two seconds to throw together], I worried that it wouldn’t bake right or something. A few years ago I had a horrible experience with a pumpkin bread recipe I adapted from a banana bread and just didn’t want a repeat of that. I didn’t need to worry though. This cake was just a dream. Perfect warm out of the oven, perfect frosted, perfect as a snack, perfect as breakfast, perfect as dessert. Perfect, perfect, perfect. When can I make it again? Or more importantly… when will you make it?

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Frosting | thepajamachef.com

The flavor of fall and the flavor of chocolate. How can you go wrong? Especially when you add in my new favorite rich and creamy Nutella frosting. You know how smooth Nutella is by the spoonful? Well, adding cream cheese and butter and sugar, milk, and vanilla too makes it even smoother. :) Be really careful when you’re frosting the cake–make sure to save enough for the cake. This frosting has a way of ending up in your mouth instead. It’s really bizarre, I say. But that’s okay–the cake is made with white whole wheat flour and a vegetable, so it’s healthy, right? :)

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Frosting | thepajamachef.com

This is a cake I’d highly recommend if you like cake. Or pumpkin. Or chocolate. Cause it is just darn good. Enjoy those sprinkles too! :)

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Frosting [cake adapted from Banana Chocolate Chip Cake; frosting is a TPC original]
click to print

Ingredients:

for Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree [not pumpkin pie filling]
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

for Nutella Frosting

  • a generous 3/4 cup Nutella
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened [regular or Neufchatel]
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar [perhaps more]
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk [perhaps more]

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.

Combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low for a minute to combine. Then add pumpkin, milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on low until incorporated. Increase to medium speed and beat for 3 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour into prepared pan, then bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely, then frost.

To making frosting, whisk together Nutella, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar by the half cup and milk by the tablespoon, whisking well in between incorporations. Add additional powdered sugar and/or milk to reach desired consistency.

Spread on cooled cake, then top with sprinkles or more chocolate chips. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Time: 45 minutes [10 minutes active] + time to cool.

Yield: 16-20 servings, depending how you cut it.

Linked up with: Foodie Friday, Weekend Potluck.

Autumnal Muffins

So, I used to post once a month on a blog called Today’s Housewife. Last fall, the group decided together to stop posting due the busyness of life and families and such. Though sad, I enjoyed being part of the group. As of early January, the blog was officially taken down. But I don’t want to lose my recipes, so periodically I will be reposting them on here. Enjoy!

~

from November 26, 2010 … I wanted to post these sooner rather than later so that you can enjoy these muffins early on in pumpkin season! :) So just ignore the Christmas talk. Haha. 

Autumnal Muffins | thepajamachef.com

Even though Christmas is just around the corner, fall is still in full swing for another month or so. [Side note: where has 2010 gone?!?] And I am really glad about that, because while I love Christmas baking, I really enjoy fall flavors–pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves immensely. Recently I was in the mood for baking, and whipped up a batch of Autumnal Muffins, a creation of mine that combines the wonderful flavors of the season–savory pumpkin, tart cranberries, and sweet, crunchy apples with some amazing spices. These smell absolutely amazing while baking, and they make a healthy, tasty, seasonal treat, perfect for breakfast or a snack.

Autumnal Muffins | thepajamachef.com

Autumnal Muffins
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup skim milk + more for mixing
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • about 2 cups pumpkin, canned [I used a 15 ounce can]
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup apple, finely chopped [I used a Granny Smith and didn't peel it]
  • zest and juice of 1 orange

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line muffin tins with paper cups or grease well with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients: flours, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Grate orange zest over mixture and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: milk, eggs, and pumpkin. Squeeze orange’s juice into bowl and stir to combine. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then gently mix in apple and cranberries. If mixture needs additional liquid to combine, add extra milk in 1 tablespoon increments. [I used about 2 tablespoons additional milk.] Do not overmix. Spoon batter into lined muffin tins, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen.

Note:

These muffins are not very sweet, so feel free to alter the recipe by increasing the sugar or using sweetened dried cranberries in place of the fresh cranberries for a different taste.

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday.

SRC: Pumpkin Coconut Soup

It’s no secret that I love pumpkin, and since it is now September, it is perfectly acceptable to bake and cook with pumpkin as much as humanly possible! Right? :) Though I must say that while I love pumpkin so so much, it’s a bit odd to use when it’s 90 degrees and 90% humidity outside. That’s why I was so excited last month when it started to get a bit chilly. See, I was assigned to Leigh’s refreshing, classy blog, Chit Chat Chomp for this month’s edition of the Secret Recipe Club, and I couldn’t get this Pumpkin Coconut Soup out of my head!

Secret Recipe Club

Leigh writes from Melbourne, Australia and her recipes and photography [and travel accounts!!] are absolutely to die for. I just have to make this Coconut Mint Syrup Cake asap. I actually planned on making it this month as well, but just ran out of time. Alas, this Pumpkin Coconut Soup is totally worth its own post.

Pumpkin Coconut Soup | thepajamachef.com

I’ve made pumpkin soup before, and have even made a pumpkin-based stew, but this soup is so unique! Aside from the usual suspects like garlic and onion, this pumpkin soup is spiced with fresh ginger, coconut milk, and shredded coconut for some warm notes. The soup is kinda Thai-reminiscent, and though it is simple and comes together in less than 20 minutes, is very sophisticated. Leigh calls it “luxurious” and I would have to agree.

Pumpkin Coconut Soup | thepajamachef.com

I should note that I took these photos before pureeing the soup with my immersion blender. At first I didn’t think that step was necessary, but after trying a few bites, realized it really was… I think it was the shredded coconut that did it. No matter though–this soup is a wonderful gateway to fall. Be sure to come back to The Pajama Chef often… more pumpkin recipes are in the works! :) Thanks, Leigh, for the first pumpkin recipe of the season. :) Absolutely delicious!

one year ago… Iced Tea with Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup
two years ago… Pumpkin Granola
three years ago… Tropical Granola

Pumpkin Coconut Soup [from Chit Chat Chomp]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 29 ounces pumpkin puree [or 3 cups fresh pumpkin, diced]
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 walnut sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 32 ounces vegetable or chicken stock
  • 15 ounces lite coconut milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine pumpkin, onion, garlic, ginger, coconut, and stock in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Add coconut milk, then puree soup with an immersion blender, or carefully with a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for another 3-4 minutes or until hot.

Time: 10 minutes.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

Be sure to check out other recipes from other SRC members here today too! :)