Posts Tagged ‘Pumpkin’


Candied Curried Pumpkin Seeds

November 1, 2011

It’s hard to believe it’s already November.  It seems like I was only just in the early stages of planning my Halloween costume and pulling out decorations!  Yikes…time is moving at warp speed.

Seeds, fresh from the pumpkin. A colander waits in the wings....

On a less depressing note, I have finally perfected toasted pumpkin seeds.  For years, they have been my ultimate downfall.  I’ve tried countless recipes and methods and techniques, and they always turn out too chewy and not right.  NOT ANYMORE, my friends.  Not anymore.

I scoured the internets searching for the perfect method and piecing together different recipes (you’d be surprised how many wide variations there are in temperature and cook time).  And I found something interesting…

If you BOIL the seeds first for about 10 minutes, the shells soften and become much more edible.  So simple.  Then you let them initially dry on a paper towel, then complete the drying in the oven on low heat.  THEN, you add my special blend of spices and bake for an additional 40 minutes.  Magical.

Boiling the seeds -- my new secret step!

I’ve been using the “Candied Curried” recipe for several years, mostly for pecans or mixed nuts, and everyone loves them.  It may sound like a weird combo, but trust me, unless you have some aversion to curry, you’re going to love this recipe.  They make for a great holiday snack at parties, and they’re also great to package in little treat bags with a cute ribbon as a sweet/salty/spicy addition to any gift.

Seasoned seeds, straight out of the oven. Mmm...

So, without further ado…the PERFECT toasted pumpkin seed recipe.

Candied Curried Pumpkin Seeds

  • Seeds from 1 pumpkin (~2-3 cups), thoroughly washed of pumpkin guts
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)

Remove seeds from pumpkin and wash thoroughly to remove all pumpkin guts.

Boil seeds for 10 minutes in water with a pinch of salt.  Lay seeds out on a paper towel to dry.

Spread seeds onto a baking sheet (lined with heavy duty foil or a silpat) and bake at 275 for an hour, tossing seeds every 15 minutes to ensure even drying.

In a saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and honey together.  Combine remaining dry ingredients in a small bowl on the side.  Stir seeds (or nuts, etc.) into honey/butter mixture, coating evenly.  Add dry spices and turn out in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Bake at 250 for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through cook time.  Remove from oven and cool completely before enjoying.

And to round it out, a picture of the carved pumpkin!

Om nom nom...


Let it Snowcake!

December 14, 2010

Last week I was asked to make a cake by my friend Ashley for her mom’s birthday. Woot woot!

From a lot of baking and tweaking I’ve finally come up with what I think to be the best Pumpkin Spice cake. It was this cake that I had made for Ashley’s Birthday back in October and she requested for her mom’s cake as well. It has a warm spiciness of ginger and sweet cinnamon accompanied by a pleasant citrus zing.

For Ashley’s cake I had focused on making it very fall via warm colors and making some chocolate leaves. So when she asked me to winterize her cake, I ended up making some royal icing snowflakes and iced the cake in a pale blue. I also included some cupcakes in her order, as she was hinting she wanted some pre-party cake. Here are the results and the recipe for my pumpkin cake.


-I usually don’t do the whole product placement dance but I do love pampered chef cinnamon plus for a few reasons. 1.) I’m not the biggest fan of cinnamon as I feel it is overused a lot. 2.) This blend is pretty tasty as the cinnamony-ness has been cut with ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and orange peel. 3.) I could only think of two reasons. You could replace it with pumpkin pie spice.

-A classic cream cheese icing would be just as well.

Yah Autumn!

Half of the royal icing many. snowflakes.

Extra mini-snowcakes (Ashley was fearful she would snack on the cake during her commute).

Pumpkin Spice Cake Laced with Citrus

For Cake:

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon plus
  • ½ tsp fresh nutmeg (I’m kinda in love with fresh nutmeg)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • 1 ½ c granulated sugar
  • ¾ c vegetable oil (or canola)
  • ½ c unsweetened applesauce
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs

For Frosting:

  • 1 ½ stick cream cheese
  • ½ stick butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon plus
  • ¼ tsp fresh nutmeg
  • Zest of ½ orange

To make cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour 2-8” or 9” pans. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.

In another bowl mix together the oil, applesauce, and the sugar. Using an electric mixer on low beat in the pumpkin, orange zest, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Now gradually add the flour mixture on low speed, beating until just combined.

Spread the batter into the baking pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 min then flip onto a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting or else you’ll have a sad melty cake.

Cake prior to frosting.

Love that color contrast: orange cake + blue frosting = ❤

To make the icing:

In a mixing bowl put the room temperature cream cheese and butter. Beat together until creamy. When they are incorporated add the orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Blend together until it is a good spreading consistency. Add more powdered sugar if too thin; add some milk if too thick. Frost cake and decorate to your desires. Enjoy!

The finished cake yah!

~Erik <(^_^)>