Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is always a good choice when you’re in need of a comforting dessert. The custard-based pudding is rich in texture and flavor – and the fact that it can be served warm always seems to add another layer of indulgence to each serving. There is no time of year that …

The post Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding appeared first on Baking Bites.

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is always a good choice when you’re in need of a comforting dessert. The custard-based pudding is rich in texture and flavor – and the fact that it can be served warm always seems to add another layer of indulgence to each serving. There is no time of year that calls for comfort food more than the fall and winter holiday seasons, and that means that this Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding is a perfect option for dessert during that time of year.

The bread pudding is made with pumpkin puree and a generous amount of pumpkin spice. Pumpkin spice, or pumpkin pie spice, is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger that is typically included in pumpkin pies and other pumpkin desserts. You have undoubtedly had it in a pumpkin spice latte, even if you weren’t familiar with the individual spices that went into the mix in the first place! The spices add a delicious warmth to the natural sweetness of pumpkin puree, which is further enhanced in this dessert with brown sugar and vanilla.

Bread puddings are usually soft and custardy, without much texture of their own. In this recipe, I add in a generous amount of toasted pecans. The flavor of the pecans works beautifully with the pumpkin spice elements, as well as adding a nice crunch to each serving of bread pudding. Toasted pecans will give you the best results in this recipe, as they will hold up to the custard without loosing their texture. Feel free to use pecans that are both roasted and salted if you like a little extra salty-sweetness in your desserts (I do!). I like to toss a few extra on top for garnish, to hint at the flavors that are inside the bread pudding.

This recipe makes a generous batch of bread pudding and you might not have a large enough gathering to serve it all at once. Fortunately, bread pudding keeps very well and the leftovers are just as delicious as the freshly baked dessert. If you do have leftovers, store them in the fridge. You can serve them cold or reheat individual portions in the microwave for a few minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding
2 3/4 cups milk (pref. whole)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (1-15 oz can)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
9-10 cups cubed bread (pref. white bread or brioche)
1 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans
topping: 2 tbsp sugar + 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, for topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice until very smooth.
Place cubed bread in a large bowl, and pour pumpkin mixture over the top. Use a spatula to gently fold the bread cubes until they are well coated. Allow bread mixture to stand for 20 minutes to soak up the custard mixture.
Pour bread custard mixture into prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Combine sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the bread pudding.
Bake for 40 minutes, until the pudding springs back when lightly pressed and a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers should be cooled completely and stored in the refrigerator.

Serves 10-12

The post Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding appeared first on Baking Bites.

Homemade Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Granola
During the fall, when I’m using a lot of pumpkin in my baking, I’m always looking for new pumpkin recipes to use up leftover pumpkin that I might have sitting around in my refrigerator. This Pumpkin Granola is definitely worth making even if you don’t have leftover pumpkin that needs to be used …

The post Homemade Pumpkin Granola appeared first on Baking Bites.

Pumpkin Granola
During the fall, when I’m using a lot of pumpkin in my baking, I’m always looking for new pumpkin recipes to use up leftover pumpkin that I might have sitting around in my refrigerator. This Pumpkin Granola is definitely worth making even if you don’t have leftover pumpkin that needs to be used up because it is so tasty, but you have no excuse not to make it if you have a half-used can of pumpkin puree waiting to be stirred into something.

This granola recipe is a bit unusual in that it only contains a very small amount of added fat, just a tablespoon of oil. The rest of the moisture in this recipe comes from the pumpkin puree itself, which binds all the granola components together. You might think that this would result in a soggy granola, but it bakes up to be perfectly crisp in the oven, just as you would want it to! The granola is packed with rolled oats, pumpkin pie spices, sugar and maple syrup. It also has generous quantities of both slivered almonds and toasted pumpkin seeds, which add a great texture to the granola. You can use untoasted nuts in the granola, since they will toast in the oven, however toasted nuts can also be used and they should hold up to the additional baking time without a problem.

I usually use puffed rice cereals in my granolas to lighten them up and give them a bit more crunch, however I opted to use a chocolate cereal in this batch of granola. Specifically, I used Count Chocula cereal, which is a cocoa flavored seasonal cereal that you can find around Halloween. It has a great texture and flavor (though I remove all the little marshmallows that come in it), and the chocolate adds a little complexity to the granola. If you don’t have Count Chocula available, you can use something like chocolate rice krispy cereal or simply use plain puffed rice cereal and you will still get a delicious granola.

This granola has a nice blend of flavors and is perfect for breakfast or a snack anytime during the fall. It keeps very well in an airtight container, so you can also consider packing it up as a homemade gift for pumpkin-loving friends and family members!

Pumpkin Granola
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chocolate puffed rice cereal (such as Count Chocula or Cocoa Krispies)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup real maple syrup (pref. Grade B)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 325F and line a large baking sheet (or two smaller sheets) with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine oats, cereal, and spices. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vegetable oil and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients along with nuts and pumpkin seeds and stir to combine. Spread on prepared baking sheet(s) in an even layer.
Bake for 30 minutes, then turn over the granola carefully using a large wide spatula, and bake for additional 10-15 minutes, until crisp and golden. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, the center might not be fully dried if your granola layer is thick, so if necessary remove the edges of the cooked granola to a cooling rack and let the rest cook for another 10 minutes until done.
Cool on pan or on a wire rack.
Break granola up and transfer to an airtight container for storage.

Makes about 6-8 servings.

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