Cuisine…Sweet Traditions: Holiday baking with pumpkin

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Family gatherings—favorite holiday decorations…the wonderful smells of baked goods— the holidays are full of familiar rituals and special memories. Traditions are part of what make the season so enjoyable.

For many, this time of year means baking family favorites—how many times do people ask you to make grandma’s bread pudding or your special cookies? The holidays wouldn’t be the same without them.

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Pumpkin treats are perfect for holiday baking. The mellow, sweet flavor blends beautifully with spices, citrus and nuts. Pumpkin is a versatile and delicious addition to any holiday tradition.

For more ways to make baking with pumpkin a tradition in your home, visit VeryBestBaking.com.

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Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Makes 3 dozen
Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
2large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar

For Cookies: PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or line four baking sheets with parchment paper.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Drop by heaping measuring teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets. (A total of 72 cookies are needed for the recipe.) BAKE for 10 to 13 minutes or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

For Cream Cheese Filling: BEAT cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy. SPREAD a heaping teaspoon of filling onto flat side of one cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Store in covered container in refrigerator.

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Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Makes 3 dozen
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Glaze (recipe follows)
PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease baking sheets.
COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.
BAKE for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle Glaze over cookies.
For Glaze: COMBINE 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl until smooth.

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Pumpkin-Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Makes 4 dozen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup raisins

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Lightly grease baking sheets.

COMBINE flour, oats, pie spice, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well. Add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in nuts and raisins. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets. BAKE for 14 to 16 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned and set in centers. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

 

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Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Brown Sugar-Yogurt Sauce

Makes 15 servings
12 slices cracked or whole-wheat bread, cut into cubes (12 cups)
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
2 cans (12 fluid ounces each) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk
1 can (15 ounces) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup refrigerated egg substitute or 4 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Brown Sugar-Yogurt Sauce (recipe follows)

For Bread Pudding: PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking dish. COMBINE bread and cranberries in large bowl. Combine evaporated milk, pumpkin, egg substitute, sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture; stir. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish; let stand for 10 minutes. BAKE for 45 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm with Brown Sugar-Yogurt Sauce.

For Brown Sugar-Yogurt Sauce: COMBINE 2 containers (6 ounces each) or 1-1/2 cups nonfat plain yogurt and 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar in small bowl.

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