Friday, October 16, 2009

Let's Bake!!!

When the weather turns chilly, I love to crank on the oven, and bake things! Cookies, pies, cakes, dumplings, crumbles, cobblers, rolls, bread . . .you name it!  I love the comfort foods, and love to try my hand at the fancier specialty ones too.

I'm in the mood for something rather seasonal, with soft, creamy flavors, countered by a bit of spice.  And co-incidentally, my older daughter asked if I would make a dessert for her get-together tomorrow night. (The artistic genes got passed down, but the culinary ones didn't. .what can I say?)

Soooo, I thought that I would make a Pumpkin Gingerbread Truffle!  (I'll make two, so that we can have some too)  It looks a lot more difficult to make than it really is, and I'm going to share the recipe that I'm passing along to my daughter.  However, I'm also going to share the longer, "from scratch" version that I use. 

BUT, before I get into my recipe, take a break and hop over to The Vintage Sage.  She shared a recipe for Mexican Mocha Pudding with Whipped Pumpkin Cream this morning, that sounds SO good, and since I had "trifle" on my mind, immediately began thinking of how I could incorporate her dessert into mine!

Ok. .here we go.  My recipe as I have made it in the past.  If you want to get creative to fit your own tastes, please let me know.  I love learning new recipes!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

2 - 14 Ounce Pkgs. Gingerbread Mix
1 - 5.1 Ounce Pkg. Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 - 30 Ounce Can Pumpkin Pie Filling (not just the canned pumpkin)
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Teasp. Ground Cinnamon
1 - 12 Ounce Container Frozen Whipped Topping, thawed
1/2 Cup Gingersnaps, crushed

Bake the gingerbread according to package directions; cool completely.  Meanwhile prepare the pudding and set it aside to cool. 
Stir in the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cinnamon into the pudding.
Crumble half of the gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl.
Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread.
Then add a layer of whipped topping.
Repeat layers.
Sprinkle the top with crushed gingersnaps.
Refrigerate overnight.

Now HOW easy is that?  And it looks VERY festive!

But, if you are a purist, and like avoiding those boxes of mixes, with all of their additives, as much as I do, then here are the alternatives.

Homemade Gingerbread (I make two of these for the trifle)

1/2 Cup Boiling Water
1/2 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (I use the light brown, but if you want a deeper flavor, try using the dark)
1/2 Cup Molasses (again, I use the light, but have used the dark, too)
1 Egg, well beaten
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Teasp. Salt
1/2 Teasp. Baking Powder
1/2 Teasp. Baking Soda
3/4 Teasp. Ground Ginger
3/4 Teasp. Ground Cinnamon

Pour hot water over shortening.  Add the sugar, molasses and egg. Beat well.
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon together and add to the shortening and sugar mixture.  Beat until smooth.

Bake in a waxed paper lined 8 inch square pan in a 350 degree F. oven for 35 minutes.  Cool in the pan.

And, if you want to try your hand at some real whipped cream instead of the frozen artificial variety, here is a yummy recipe for that!  And once you taste it, you will decide that it is worth the effort!

Basic Whipped Cream

This makes 8 servings (enough for the trifle)

2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Cup Confectioner's Sugar
1 Tblsp. Vanilla Extract

Chill a metal bowl and whisk beater overnight.  Pour cream into bowl and beat a low speed with an electric mixer, until thicker and foamy.

Increase speed to medium-high, and gradually sprinkle the confectioner's sugar into the cream, beating until soft peaks form.  Don't whip beyond the soft peak stage, because the cream will get stiff and curdle.

Gently stir in the vanilla, and refrigerate promptly. 

Further tips:

The best topping is made when the cream and the utensils are very cold.  During warm weather, consider filling a larger bowl with ice to serve as a base to keep the mixing bowl cold while whipping.

Use heavy cream with a 30-40% butterfat content

Never use granulated sugar instead of confectioner's because it will give the cream a grainy texture.

The confectioner's sugar helps to stabilize the whipped cream, preventing it from easily collapsing.

If you wish, you can further flavor the topping to compliment your favorite desserts, with liqueurs, citrus zests, cinnamon, instant coffe crystals, cocoa powder or flavored extracts. 

If you want to make your own pumpkin custard from scratch, then go for it, and let me know your recipes, please!  I've cooked down pie pumpkins before and frozen it, but have never used it in this recipe.

Ok, I expect to be smelling the enticing fragrance of gingerbread wafting across the miles this afternoon!!

Have fun, and enjoy!!


  1. Yummy! A perfect day to bake! I have to admit I don't bake very often from scratch but I'd love to try this! :)

  2. It looks so delicious!!! Baking is my current hobby and I am spending so much time in the kitchen instead of stitching.

  3. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.


  4. Oooh..I have that recipe and have been waiting to find the time to make it..I think it may have just moved its way up the priority list!

  5. Hey Suzie! Thanks for the shout out! This trifle is AMAZING!! Oh my..I would be in Heaven eating this. I bet you could either add a layer of pumpkin cream inside the trifle or on top? And oh pumpkin custard sounds great! Now I want to go look for a recipe for that too. Lol! Gee, I better exercise a little before the holidays. Lol!

  6. I would normally make something like this from scratch, but with my busy schedule lately, it's nice to know that I can cheat a bit on making something this pretty!

  7. OMG your killing me girl!! Yummmmmmmy!! Is so want some!!! Whoo hoo a new recipe too!! Hugs, Sarah

  8. Oh YUM that looks SO GOOD! Gingerbread is one of my very favorite things....right now Ive got monkey bread in the oven...smells like fall!

  9. Wow! I made Monkey Bread last week! lol And yes, it does smell SO good when it is baking. Do you pour maple syrup over yours just before it goes into the oven? 1/2 cup.

    My other daughter has made this trifle using the packaged gingerbread mix, and cool whip, and she didn't have a fancy bowl. I told her to layer it in whatever pan, dish or bowl that she had, so she used a rectangular pyrex baking dish, and it still looked nice, and tasted wonderful! This is one of those wonderful recipes that you can keep it as simple or go as fancy as you like, and it still tastes great, and looks like you've been creating for hours! lol

    I wish that there was a way that I could give you all some, right now!

    Thank you all for taking the time to chat!!


  10. Suz- No i dont put maple syrup..i just break the biscuits up and roll into balls, roll them in sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon and drop them evenly stacked into a bundt pan. Melt a stick of butter, throw some of the remaining sugars in it, and 2 tsp of REAL vanilla, pour it over the biscuits evenly and bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes. The vanilla is something i chose to add, now everyone wants it every time! I will have to make one bundt filled and try the maple next time as well..i like maple syrup on just about anything, im betting it tastes like french toast..thanks for the tip! :-)


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