Friday, November 12, 2010

More Color of November

The squash, Delicata, acorn and Gold Nugget, harvested a few days ago after our first light frost.

My current knitting project, Brooke's Column of Leaves Hat pattern, using my last skein of a yarn I made awhile ago. A friend gave me a lovely yarn she had bought in Italy, and I plied it with a single of my handspun to create this yarn, the color of November.

And there's something about baking in November that draws me to recipes beginning with, "melt 1 stick of butter." Like these pumpkin Chocolate Chip mini-muffins. You SO want to make these, with or without the almonds. They are really great for make ahead, or take along, breakfasts or snacks. I take them to family reunions, and overnight visits, add them to gift baskets, and send them in care and holiday packages. I have been making them for years, being a big fan of all things pumpkin, and even those who are not big fans of pumpkin like them. Of course, when I say pumpkin, I mean a sugar pumpkin or squash, and not a jack-o-lantern pumpkin. These muffins were made with the leftovers from a baked Gold Nugget -good texture, not too moist, vividly orange and excellent flavor.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from Muffins by Elizabeth Alston

1/2 c. butter
Cool and add:
1 c. mashed squash or pumpkin
2 eggs
1 c. chocolate chips

1 1/3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. each nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. sliced or chopped, slivered almonds (optional)

Fold pumpkin mix into flour mix just until moistened. Scoop into greased or paper-lined muffin cups (12 regular size or 24 mini). Bake 350 degrees, 20-25 minutes (13-15 minutes for mini-muffins), Cool on rack and store in airtight container, preferably for one to two days.

Butterscotch Brownies from a recipe in a 1960's Ladies Home Journal Cookbook that I bought at a yard sale while on a camping trip with my Auntie Marilyn and toddler daughter. Butterscotch Brownies plus walnuts and chocolate chips make Congo Bars. These are worthy of the Dessert Queen, herself.

Congo Bars

Melt in a pot:
1/2 c. butter

Add: 2 c. brown sugar (almost a 1 lb. bag)
Stir to dissolve. Beat in:
2 eggs -one at a time
1 t. vanilla

In a bowl mix:
1 c. flour
1 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
Add and stir until mixed well. In all honesty, I just add the flour and all into the pot, giving it a quick fluff before stirring.

1 c. chopped walnuts (gathered and given to me by my Auntie Marilyn. I so appreciate them -and her!)
1/2 - 1 c. chocolate chips

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch Pyrex dish and bake 325-350 for 25 minutes. Cool a bit and cut into bars.

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