Life is finally starting to settle into winter mode. It’s dark and cold and often raining sideways this time of year, so naturally we’re thinking of indoor ‘sports’ like baking.
We found this recipe for Pumpkin Pucks while looking for a nutrient-dense somewhat primal snack recipe that could take the place of grain & sugar heavy ‘granola’ bars. It calls for almond butter, which can be expensive, but Costco has MaraNatha brand for a decent price.
Pumpkin Pucks (edited slightly with our changes)
1 C pumpkin puree (mashed bananas are also tasty)
1 C almond butter
1/4 C honey
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/3 C almond flour (coconut flour works too, and we forgot flour in one batch and it was fine)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
(these are also good with dried cranberries or currants mixed in)
- With electric mixer or stand mixer, whip pumpkin and almond butter together until thoroughly combined (a fork is fine too)
- Add honey and syrup and beat in eggs one at a time
- Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined
- Fill muffin cups 3/4 full in greased muffin tin (they will not rise but more would be too dense IMO)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, will be firm to the touch but a testing knife or stick will not come out clean
Makes 1 dozen pucks. Store at room temperature only for a day or two, otherwise keep in the fridge or freezer (if they last that long!).
Since we wanted to use up the frozen pumpkin from last year, the recipe hunt continued, only this time for the canine crew. The original recipe involves fancy cookie cutters, but we took the easy path and used a small cookie scoop. Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (we used about 1.5 cups homemade puree)
1/2 cup oats
3 cups whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, or gluten free flour
3 Tbsp of peanut butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional – we used a heaping spoonful of bacon grease)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- In small bowl, stir together the flour, oats, and cinnamon
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin and peanut butter until combined. Stir wet ingredients into dry.
- Pour onto a floured surface and roll dough out to 1/2 thick (we made small flattened balls instead).
- Cut out using cookie cutter. The dough will be a little sticky, a dusting of flour for your hands and the rolling pin will help!
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown.
- Place on cooling racks and let cool thoroughly. They will harden as they cool (we ended up putting them back in the oven at 200F for an hour or so to harden more)
The dog cookies were a hit with Stewart and Fergus, but seeing them in a plastic bag on the kitchen counter kept reminding me of old-fashioned lemon cookies. I got tired of reaching for the bag, thinking a sweet treat was at hand, so I broke down and looked up a recipe, sugar and flour notwithstanding.
I don’t have a picture of them, because we ate them all, so this pic is from the original recipe site. The two batches we shared with coworkers also rapidly disappeared. I can imagine making these thinner, and sandwiching cream cheese frosting between two of them.
Lemon Burst Cookies
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest (we used the zest from one lemon per batch)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (one lemon makes 2 or 3 tablespoons of juice)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/3 cup powdered sugar, for rolling
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla, and beat just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl, and beat on low speed just until combined. Do not over beat. The dough will be sticky, so chill it for about 30 minutes.
Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, form the dough into a ball as much as possible, and roll it in the powdered sugar, covering it completely. Place the balls of dough on the cookie sheets spacing them 2″ inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time on the middle rack of the oven for 12-14 minutes, or until the middle is completely set. Cool on a wire rack. Cookies can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature.
On a non-edible note, we found some interesting mushrooms popping up under the sunflower seed feeder hanging from one of our fir trees. The picture doesn’t quite capture the purplish-brown sticky shine of the upper part, or the pinkish tan gills and stem. There are about 5 of them, but the hens have damaged them a bit while scratching for dropped sunflower seeds.
Any ideas what these are?