Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread

Time consuming: yes.
Difficulty: hard.

Pumpkin | Part 2

This bread is so good, words can't describe how happy I was it turned out. I've never made a yeast bread before so that's partially why I was excited it turned out but also why I thought it was difficult to make. This bread is like an amazing fusion of pumpkin pie flavors and a cinnamon roll.

I first saw this recipe on Pinterest, then my Cooks Illustrated did an article on a pumpkin quick bread and I knew I had to make this for my school's monthly special Ed team meeting.

This recipe, although tasty, had a lot of down time between steps. While preparing this recipe I: did the dishes, wrote an IEP, skimmed through a new cookbook from the library, made chili, and watched tv and tooled around on Pinterest.  So be warned, have things to do.

The recipe

3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin
2 oz cream cheese
1/8 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
1/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 - 3 teaspoons spiced or white rum, depending on how strong you want it to taste OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Heat pumpkin puree in a saucepan stirring constantly to cook the puree and caramelize the sugars in the pumpkin, about 6-8 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add cubes of cream cheese and stir until melted and incorporated. Add milk and mix until combined. Set aside to cool (the fridge is fine).

2. Mix 2 tablespoons melted butter with warmed milk (microwave is fine). When mixture is around 100-110 degrees (check using a candy thermometer) mix into the bowl of your stand mixer with sugar and yeast - stir quickly to combine,then let sit for about10 minutes so the yeast can activate. It will look frothy and bubbly and smell like bread.

3. Add cooled (but not cold) pumpkin mixture, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Stir until combined. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time. Knead for about 6 minutes (using a kitchen aid mixer on speed 2 and the dough hook). If after 6 minutes the dough is still wet or sticky, continue to knead adding 1 tablespoon of bread flour at a time until the dough is only slightly sticky and smooth.

4. Transfer dough to a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel, and leave in warm place to rise until about doubled in size (about 60-90 minutes). Because I live in Ohio and the weather is temperamental in the fall, it was particularly cool in my kitchen so I heated a small cup of water in the microwave, moved it to the back corner of the microwave, and set my bread bowl in to rise. **Do NOT turn on your microwave - just keep the door closed. If your kitchen is "normal" you can just leave it on the counter to rise.

5. While the dough is rising, melt 2 tablespoons of butter (if you haven't already) in a small bowl and mix with the sugar and spices to form a paste. Set aside. while you're waiting, prepare the pan. Grease and flour a 9"x5" loaf pan and set aside.

5. Once 90 minutes have passed or your dough has doubled in size, deflate the dough (aka punch it down) and turn onto a flour surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 12"x20" but don't stress if you can't eyeball measurements and end up with a rectangle 24"x16". If the dough becomes challengingly tough to roll, cover with a damp cloth and let rest for a few minutes then keep going.

7. Once your dough is rectangular, spread with the butter/sugar/spice mixture and evenly coat. Use your hands to press the mixture into the dough.

8. Cut dough into 3 long strips (if you rolled your dough out right you'd now have 3 strips each measuring 4"x20"). Stack the strips and cut in half so that the strips are now 10" long. Cut each 10" strip into thirds. Stack the strips so they stand vertically in the loaf pan. Put pan in a warm place, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise for 45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

9. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until deep golden brown. While it's baking, prepare the glaze.

10. Combine all glaze ingredients (2 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, milk, powdered sugar, rum/vanilla) in a sauce pan and heat until combined and sugar has dissolved.

11.  After the loaf has baked, let cool for about 5-10 minutes.  Run a knife around the loaf and turn onto a plate, then carefully turn right side up.  Pour glaze over loaf, pull apart, and enjoy!  Alternatively you can glaze the loaf while it's still in the pan.

Inspired and slightly altered from Sunny Side Up

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Savory Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Difficult? No
Time consuming? Not after you've got your seeds.

Pumpkin | Part 1

Hubby's pumpkin on the left, mine on the right,

I love pumpkin seeds. I look forward to October every year just so I can carve pumpkins for seeds. I even have friends over to carve pumpkins just so I can collect more. Also they're really fun people to hang out with.

The worst part about making roasted pumpkin seeds is separating all the guts from the seeds, but it's a task that's well worth the effort. A trick to help separate seed from pulp is to put the seeds and pulp in a a tub of water and stir. Let sit for a few minutes and the pulp should sink to the bottom while the seeds float to the top. This method isn't perfect but gets the job started.

My pumpkin seeds are not "traditional," meaning I don't just cook and salt them. Rather they are a blend of favors that I like, but the quantities can be adjusted to your personal taste.

Start by separating the seeds from the pulp. If you aren't going to cook your seeds right away, store them in salt water in the fridge (no longer than a week). If you are going to wait a day or two before cooking, smash a clove of garlic and add it to 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set in fridge until you're ready to use (Caution! Garlic sitting in olive oil can produce botulism if left out at room temperature for too long or if not used within 24-48 hours, so feel free to omit this step or be careful. And throw away any extra oil). When you are ready to cook, measure out how many cups of seeds you have (four medium pumpkins gave me just over 5 cups of seeds).

Boil 4 cups of water with 4 teaspoons of salt for every cup of seeds. You can decrease the amount of salt if you like but really this only lightly favors the seed. Add seeds and boil for 10 minutes. Drain seeds and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Put into a medium sized bowl.

Brush olive oil on a foil lined sheet or roasting pan. Add oil, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings  to seeds. Stir until evenly coated. Spread out in a single layer on the pan (depending on your quantity of seeds you may need more than 1).

Bake for 1-2 hours at 250 degrees stirring occasionally. Seeds are done when dry and crispy.

The recipe.

1 cup of pumpkin seeds, cleaned of any pulp
4 cups water
4 teaspoons salt (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon (garlic infused) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon  Worcestershire sauce

3/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less, to taste)
pinch of thyme (I measured out 1/16 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon paprika


1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet or a roasting pan with foil and brush with olive oil, set aside.

2. Boil 4 cups of water and 4 teaspoons of salt with seeds for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, pat dry with a tea towel, and place into a medium sized bowl.

3. Add remaining olive oil (should be about 1/2 teaspoon), Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Stir until seeds are evenly coated.

4. Spread seeds into a single layer on baking sheet (or roasting tray) and bake, stirring about every 30 minutes, for at least1 hour, or until seeds are dry and crispy (which may take up to 2 hours; mine took one and a half hours for my desired crispiness).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Hey. I just wanted to give you all a quick update and let you know that Sweet Your Heart Out has reached over 1,000 page views!! I am pretty excited to have people visiting and checking out all of the sweets I've baked. I hope I've inspired you to try the recipes I've shared and please feel free to comment and tell me how they've turned out.

Currently, the 3 most viewed recipes are:

Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies

Zebra Cake
Cassata Cupcakes

In the works I have:
  • A 3 part s'more inspired post including toasted marshmallow buttercream, easy ice cream, and s'more cupcakes
  • A 2 day pumpkin post including pumpkin pull apart bread and savory roasted pumpkin seeds
  • And a few other non-themed random goodies, too.

I was really hoping to get my s'more posts up by now but my 2005 Dell laptop has succumbed to some health issues including vision loss (back light to screen is out) and dementia (tons of available memory but can't detect or use any of it). I can post from my iPad but I haven't figured out how to edit photos on it yet or use the Blogger App so please be patient and keep checking back while I shop for a new 'puter.

Again, thanks everyone for peeking in and keep coming back because I swear I will post ASAP.