Crisp autumn days and brightly colored leaves stir up my cravings for spicy pumpkin treats. I look forward to Pumpkin Spice Frappucino at Starbucks, Pumpkin Pie Blizzards at Dairy Queen, pumpkin whoopee pies at Weavers. . . and just about everything else pumpkin.
A few days ago, I was wishing I could sip on a spicy frappucino. But since I live 10 miles from the nearest Starbucks, I decided to try making my own. I combined a couple of recipes, and even came up with one that is low in calories and still tastes amazing. Coffee and pumpkin: a match made in heaven!
Here’s the recipe if you want to try it.
- ½ cup espresso, cooled (decaf or regular)
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 packets stevia (or 2-3 teaspoons sugar)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1 dash pumpkin pie spice (or a pinch of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg)
- Crush ½ cup ice in blender. Pour ice into a bowl.
- Mix all other ingredients in blender:
- After ingredients are well blended, add crushed ice. Blend till smooth.
- If you’re not concerned about the extra calories, top your frozen delight with a spoonful of whipped cream and drizzle with caramel syrup.
Last year, I discovered the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard at Dairy Queen. This was very unfortunate, because it now takes a lot of willpower for me to drive by Dairy Queen in the fall without pulling into the drive-thru.
Then I discovered a treat that tastes remarkably like the DQ blizzard, and it is so tasty (and simple) you can make it for company. It’s possible to lower the calorie content too. Use low fat ice cream or frozen yogurt, and reduce the amount of sugar or replace it with stevia. Then, instead of making a crust, just crush a couple of ginger snaps and mix them into the ice cream.
- ⅓ cup pumpkin purée, juice of butternut squash or cooked butternut squash purée.
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom (or ginger)
- 1 cup maple syrup (reserved for the LAST step)
- Bring water, spices and pumpkin puree to a boil; simmer for 30 minutes until cooked down.
- Run through a cheesecloth to remove excess chunks of spices. You should be left with about a cup of liquid. If you have less than this, measure the amount left so that you can use equal parts maple syrup.
- Transfer mixture to a glass pint jar, add maple syrup and stir until mixed. If you prefer to go totally sugar-free, you can omit the maple syrup, or add your preferred sweetener to your coffee separately.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of this mixture per cup of coffee or latte. Top with steamed milk or whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.
- 30 Ginger snap cookies, crushed.
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- 1-15 ounce can pumpkin
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ gallon vanilla ice cream, softened.
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Crush ginger snaps. Melt butter. Pour melted butter into bowl of crushed ginger snaps and mix thoroughly.
- Press mixture into 2 pie plates (or use a 9 x 13 pan).
- Mix together pumpkin, sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Add vanilla ice cream, softened. Mix well and spread on top of crust. Top with chopped pecans.
- Freeze till ready to serve.
If these treats don’t satisfy your cravings, try my favorite family recipe for pumpkin muffins.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup orange juice
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 24-30 muffin cups with papers (or grease muffin tin).
- Sift flour, spices and baking soda into a large bowl. Add salt.
- Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and juice in large mixing bowl; beat till just blended. If you’re adding pecans, put them in now.
- Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture. Stir just until all ingredients are mixed.
- Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling ¾ full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Muffins are done when toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.
- Cool in tins on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then remove muffins to cool completely on racks.
- Serve with butter, cream cheese or Sweet Cream Cheese Spread (use mixer to blend 8 ounces cream cheese with ½ cup brown sugar).
- And if you’re still craving pumpkin after trying these recipes, stop in to Weaver’s for pumpkin roll, pumpkin pie or whoopee pies! Fall will turn to winter before you know it, so enjoy these pumpkin delights while they’re in season!
And if you’re still craving pumpkin after trying these recipes, stop in to Weaver’s for pumpkin roll, pumpkin pie or whoopee pies! Fall will turn to winter before you know it, so enjoy these pumpkin delights while they’re in season!