Pumpkin Spice Ideas and Recipes
By Catalogs Editorial Staff
Contributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman
It’s hard to miss the pumpkin spice insanity. Everywhere you turn, there’s something new with a pumpkin grinning from the package, or the delicious scent of those warm spices. Hard to believe, but the trend shows no sign of ending. There was even a rumor that a major company was offering pumpkin spice items for, um, the bedroom. (Not true, by the way. I checked Snopes.)
But even with the rumors disproved, there are lots of great choices with that warm spicy or rich pumpkin tastes. Here are the top ten pumpkin spice ideas and recipes I found. Some you can buy, some you can make. But all of them are perfect for chasing away the chill of autumn and winter.
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10. The latte
I think the whole craze started with Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte. No, there is no actual pumpkin in the drink (how many people were shocked to discover that!), but that doesn’t affect the popularity. My local store runs out daily! But even when the “season” is over and it disappears from the menu, you can make it at home. Start with a really good medium roast coffee (hipster bonus points if it’s a handpicked, boutique coffee). Mix pumpkin pie spice, honey and cream together and stir it in. I swear, it tastes like the real thing!
9. Pumpkin spice cupcakes
Cakes are good, but cupcakes are better. And pumpkin spice cupcakes are second only to rich fudgy chocolate (hey, a girl’s gotta have a favorite!) Use a heavy non-stick pan or individual glass cup cake cups for this recipe because of the soft, rich texture. You don’t want to leave half of the goodness stuck in the pan!
8. Pumpkin spice pasta
You’ll have to head to your local stores for this one, but do it now before the pumpkin frenzy ends. I’ve tried pumpkin ravioli with a browned butter, asiago cheese and toasted walnuts. And pumpkin spice shaped pasta with a hazelnut cream sauce (cream, toasted hazelnuts, nutmeg, salt and pepper.) Both were heavenly and easy to make with the prepared pasta from the store. (For the sauce, just toss together, warm and serve.) Oh, and both were gone really quickly when I served them to my family!
7. Pumpkin Spice Soup
I made this one for dinner last night, so I can attest to how delicious it is. Make sure you use pure canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix (trust me on this!). And it’s simple! Saute a chopped onion and two stalks of celery in two tablespoons of butter. Stir in 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, a teaspoon of ground sage, salt and pepper. Stir well. Add 6 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken broth) and 2 cups of pumpkin puree. Stir well and cook for about 20 minutes on medium. Add one cup cream, stir well, adjust salt and pepper and serve. That’s it!
6. Pumpkin butter
Did you know you could make your morning toast into a pumpkin spice treat? It’s true! All you need is a jar of pumpkin butter. No, it’s not butter. And it’s not a kind of weird peanut butter. Pumpkin butter is made by cooking pumpkin, spices and sugar slowly until it’s a thick, flavorful, rich spread. You could make you own, but it can take days to get it just right. Or you can buy it in a jar and just enjoy it on your toast or biscuits. Yeah, I like that choice, too!
5. Pumpkin spice Oreos
Oh yes, it’s true. That classic chocolate-cookie-and-cream-filling cookie has gone pumpkin spice. Reviews have been pretty positive for a cookie that most say tastes a bit more like gingerbread than pumpkin, but is still a good addition to the flavor frenzy. My thoughts? Dip them in homemade eggnog and you pretty much have the perfect after-the-hayride treat.
4. Pumpkin spice rub
It couldn’t be easier. Just mix equal parts pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar. Add a dash of powdered mustard and some salt and pepper, and you have a rub that will take any meat to a whole new flavor level. People who have tried it especially recommend it for pork chops or pork loin roast, but you could use it on poultry or a firm fish like fresh salmon, too.
3. Pumpkin spice scones
I tasted one of these at a bookstore while I was traveling and just knew I had to find out how to make them at home. After all, pumpkin scones are the perfect breakfast with my cup of Chai tea, or snack in the evening with hot cocoa. So I searched, and I found the perfect match for that bookstore treat. This recipe is easy and even includes the glaze the shop’s scones had!
2. Pumpkin spice candles
All of these yummy pumpkin spice treats can add up to a whole lot of calories! So if you want to enjoy the scent without the guilt, how about a pumpkin spice candle? Put it into a primitive tin candle holder and surround it with cinnamon sticks and cloves to add to the intensity. Or go minimalist and let the candles shine in clear votive holders or on crystal candlesticks, clustered on a mirror.
1. Pumpkin pie spice
I keep mentioning pumpkin pie spice, but I haven’t told you about the most important recipe of all: the spice blend itself! Skip the grocery store blends and mix your own in seconds with no fillers or preservatives. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, all you need is ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg or mace, ground cloves and ground allspice. Make it more intense by grinding some of the spices yourself in a coffee grinder or spice grinder.
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The pumpkin spice season has overtaken several holidays. But who cares when it all tastes and smells so good!
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