I’ve spent the first twelve years that Philip and I were together trying to convince Philip that he liked pumpkin. I love pumpkin and always have. My grandmother used to make a pumpkin chiffon pie every Thanksgiving and I looked forward to that thing all year. Philip, on the other hand, has always been insistent that he hated pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream…nope, nope. Once we thought that perhaps it was the spices that usually accompany pumpkin that he actually found unappealing (even though he typically likes cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc.) so I made some pumpkin ravioli (with brown butter and sage!) and he didn’t like it either. I made a pumpkin pie 100% from scratch and he conceded that he didn’t hate it….but he still would never choose it over pecan pie.
Last winter I had the idea to look for a recipe for pumpkin, banana, and chocolate chip muffins. I didn’t find one, but I found a recipe for a bread that I adapted into muffins. I assumed that Philip would hate it, too….boy, was I wrong! He went crazy for it. Now we joke that we should always have some bananas ripening on the counter so that we can make those muffins whenever we want them (I have a batch in my freezer right now!). My hypothesis? It doesn’t have anything to do with the flavor. Philip is definitely a texture-sensitive kind of guy. He is not a fan of pudding, creme or custard pies (no lemon meringue! Sadness.). Oddly enough, crème brûlée is his favorite dessert…but that’s definitely an anomaly. So, seems that pumpkin in cake form is just fine. Thank goodness.
It seems that lately everyone is crazy for pumpkin. Pumpkin spice EVERYTHING. It blows my mind. Flavored coffees, coffee creamers, candles….pumpkin spice is everywhere you look. When I had needed to take a dessert to a dinner at our church, it came down between a peanut-butter sheet cake and “pumpkies” or pumpkin brownies. I posted links to both recipes and people definitely seemed to gravitate toward the pumpkies. I can’t tell you how many people asked me at the dinner, “Did you bring the pumpkin brownies?” And I’ll tell you what I came home with: an empty tray. Good call.
Be sure to cream the butter and sugars well! This is what it should look like: light and fluffy!
I got this recipe from Pinterest, and this begins my new category: Pinterest Test Kitchen (I thought about calling it “Pinteresting” but I think that’s just a little too “pun-ny” for me). Every week I will test a recipe that I got from Pinterest, adding my own spins, and let you know how they turn out. You guys will get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly on this one….because not every recipe that looks good could possibly taste that good. This one, though, did.
The recipe was pinned from http://www.motherthyme.com. It was super-simple. I doubled the recipe for a crowd so I used a 9×11 pan. My pan was stoneware so I put it in the oven for a few minutes before pouring the batter into it, because my experience is that if you don’t heat your stoneware for a few minutes your baking will take forever. Unfortunately, I didn’t line the bottom with parchment and my pumpkies broke when I tried to turn them out onto a rack (an unfortunate side effect of using stoneware is that it holds the heat, which is not always good when you are trying to cool something). Oh well…I just cut them into little squares that I iced individually. And got to save the ugly pieces for myself! I also wish I had baked them for an additional 5 minutes. However, topped with Joy the Baker’s brown sugar cream cheese frosting, these are pretty much to die for!
Recipe can be halved and baked in an 8x8 pan.
Pumpkies with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
Egg, Milk, Wheat
Adapted from Mother Thyme
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x11 inch pan with parchment paper if you would like to remove the pumpkies from the pan for display.
Cream 5 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of butter with the white sugar and 1 cup of the brown sugar with an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until completely incorporated. Add the pumpkin and beat until well-blended.
Add the flour, spices, and salt. Mix until just combined then spread into the pan. Bake for about 35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
To make frosting: cream together 1/2 cup butter and the cream cheese, scraping down the sides until well combined. Mix in the remaining brown sugar and the molasses until fully incorporated. Add the confectioner's sugar and mix until well-blended. Refrigerate leftover icing (you know, for eating from the bowl).
Recipe can be halved and baked in an 8x8 pan.