I'm happy to report that unlike Jane Austen's popular hero, Mr. Darcy, whose "good opinion once lost is lost forever", I gave pumpkin another chance and discovered that there is more to it than I had previously given it credit for!
I have come to enjoy an occassional slice of a well-baked pumpkin pie and have even gone on to use pumpkin puree in cakes, cookies, yeast rolls and also upped the yum-factor of pumpkin by oven-roasting it like squash and serving it as a tasty side.
That's the history of my pumpkin experience, now on to the present!
I had some left over pumpkin puree after making my annual batches of Pumpkin Apple Spice muffins for the artisans/vendors at our school's Thanksgiving weekend ARTfest so I set my mind to think of a cookie or muffin or something, that would be nice way to use the puree up... I thought molassses would probably be nice with it and began to think of my Mom's Molasses Gem cookies - I could probably add pumpkin to them somehow - I didn't have time to test my theory - it's been a crazy week - so I headed to the computer and came across a couple inspiring recipes - I took components from both and came up with what I thought would be cookie bars and instead came out as cake. But hey, I'm not complaining! Wouldn't life be sweet if everything you put in your oven came out as cake?! - with the exception of bacon of course!!
Streusel Topped Pumpkin Molasses Cake
The cookie recipe I used is from My Baking Addiction but with these 'tweaks':
1. I substituted 1.5 tsps of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp allspice for the pumpkin pie spice.
2. I omitted the black pepper all together.
3. After combing the dry ingredients with the butter mixture I spread the dough into a greased 9x13" baking dish and sprinkled the dough with streusel topping.
The streusel topping was inspired by a recipe found at one of my favourite blog stops: Chef in Training. The streusel recipe can be found on this recipe page.
I baked this creation in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, although a couple minutes less would have been perfect, so 20-22 minutes is best. After cooling on a rack for 30 minutes I cut it into 24 generous pieces and they came out about an inch and half high with moist, tender crumb like a coffee cake - not at all what I was expecting - I thought I'd end up with Autumn-Spiced Tollhouse Cookie kinda thing, but not every surprise is a bad one! This cake would be delicious served with tea or hot apple cider!
With the cold temperatures we've been having and our families hectic schedule it's comforting to have a warmly spiced snack cake waiting for the kids when they get home from school and for when hubby gets home from work!