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Halloween’s favorite recipes

Maureen Malloy | Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Crisp autumn air and falling leaves always can make one crave foods made with fall’s best flavors.

Halloween is just around the corner, and pumpkin is one of the highlighted ingredients of the season. Pumpkin puree is an inexpensive and easy addition to pies, cookies, breads and more. Adding pumpkin to cookie recipes provides an interesting twist to homemade favorites. Pumpkin soup is an unusual way to use this versatile gourd and is a hearty, filling first course. Also, pumpkin bread may be very common at this time of the year, but this pumpkin bread pudding with caramel sauce is a tasty variation.

Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

1 cup solid pack pumpkin puree

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

10 ounces white chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease cookie sheets. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then stir in the pumpkin puree until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice; stir into the pumpkin mixture. Fold in the white chocolate and pecans. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be at least two inches apart. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool for five minutes on baking sheets before removing to cool on wire racks. Makes 36 cookies.

Recipe courtesy www.allrecipes.com

Pumpkin Soup

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 can stewed tomatoes

1 can pumpkin puree, unsweetened

4 cups low sodium canned chicken

stock, warmed

Fresh grated nutmeg

Salt

Pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 scallions, thinly sliced

In a heavy large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender, about five minutes. Stir in thyme, stewed tomatoes and pumpkin puree and bring to a simmer. Stir in warmed stock and return to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Puree soup in three batches in a blender. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Serve with sliced scallion. Serves four.

Recipe courtesy www.foodtv.com

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with

Caramel Sauce

Bread pudding

2 cups half and half

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin

1 cup (packed) plus 2 tablespoons

dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

10 cups 1/2-inch cubes egg bread

(about 10-ounces)

1/2 cup golden raisins

Caramel sauce

1 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown

sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup whipping cream

Powdered sugar

For bread pudding: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk half and half, pumpkin, dark brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and vanilla extract in large bowl to blend. Fold in bread cubes. Stir in golden raisins. Transfer mixture to 11-by-7-inch glass baking dish. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake pumpkin bread pudding until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare caramel sauce: Whisk brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Whisk in cream and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is smooth, about three minutes. Sift powdered sugar over bread pudding. Serve warm with caramel sauce. Makes six servings.

Recipe courtesy Epicurious.com