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Post ‘jack-o-lantern’ treats

November 7, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

You might have a bright orange pumpkin, or maybe even one on the yellow side, and don't know what to do with it. Aside from scooping it out and carving a ferocious face upon its shell, you could make pumpkin puree to use in many ways in cooking.

Better Homes and Gardens tells what to do for fresh pumpkin filling: Choose a medium-size pie pumpkin. These varieties are labeled sugar or sweet pumpkins and are higher in natural sugar than decorating types.

To pick the right size, remember that a 6-pound pumpkin makes about 2 cups of pulp. A 15-ounce can of pumpkin equals about 1 3/4 cups pulp. To bake, cut into 5-inch pieces. Scrape away strings and arrange in a single layer, rind side up, in a baking pan. Cover pan with foil; bake in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour or until tender. Scoop pulp from the rind. Blend pulp in a blender until smooth. Strain liquid from the pulp before using.

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Pumpkin puree can be added to a boxed brownie mix to make a fudgy dessert.
-- Esther McCoy

This recipe is from Athens Fillo Dough. It is a fluffy pumpkin filling put into miniature fillo shells.

Pumpkin Mousse

1/2 cup canned pumpkin pie mix

2 1/2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons whipped topping

15 mini fillo shells, 1 box

1/4 cup whipped topping for garnish

In a small bowl, whip cream cheese until fluffy. Combine pumpkin pie mix, brown sugar and cinnamon until smooth. Fold in 2 tablespoons whipped topping. Chill for an hour. Spoon or pipe 1 teaspoon mousse into each fillo shell. Garish with remaining whipped topping. Serve immediately.

This is a more healthy brownie with a can of pure pumpkin in the batter. It is from Hungry Girl and has 165 calories for 1/16 of a recipe, with 5.5 grams fat, 28 grams carbs, 15 grams sugar and 2 grams protein

Fudgy Brownies

1 sugar-free chocolate pudding shack with 60 calories or less

1/3 cup chocolate frosting

1 box moist-style devils food cake mix, 15.25 to 18.25-ounces

15-ounce can pure pumpkin

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, mix pudding with frosting. Cover and refrigerate. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine cake mix with pumpkin. Batter will be thick. Spread mixture into the baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Evenly spread brownies with pudding frosting mixture and sprinkle with walnuts. Cut into 16 squares.

J.L. Janik and Co. provided this recipe for a fluffy no-bake pumpkin pie that is light and delicious.

Easy No-Bake

Pumpkin Pie

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/3 cup water

15-ounce can pumpkin

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 cups whipped cream

Large graham cracker pie crust, 10-inches

Whipped cream for garnish, optional

Sprinkle gelatin over water in small saucepan and let stand 1 minute. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves. Combine pumpkin, milk and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in gelatin mixture. Let cool 10 minutes. Gently stir in 2 cups whipped cream until combined. Pour mixture into the crust. Chill at least 3 hours or until set. Cut pie in 10 slices. If desired, top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream just before serving.

Note: If a 9-inch pie shell is used, the crust will be very full.

In 1968, Mary Jo Fizer, later to become McHugh, had her Smithfield Elementary School first grade pupils bring in a favorite recipe and they were all compiled into a recipe book for Mother's Day.

This was when Larry was in the first grade and this book will always be treasured by me. Shirley Boyd provided a recipe for pumpkin cookies, as these were the rage back then. Her son, Billy, was in that class and Shirley got a cookbook for Mother's Day as well.

Pumpkin Cookies

1 cup sugar

1 cup shortening

1 egg

1 cup pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup nuts or raisins if desired

Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg, pumpkin and vanilla and blend well. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.Stir well and if desired add nuts or raisins. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Frost with the following:


1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter

4 teaspoons milk

Cook for 2 minutes. Cool and add 1 cup powdered sugar, beating well. Add more milk if needed and swirl on the cookies. Can sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired.

Note: I have made these and added nuts and chocolate and butterscotch chips to the batter.

Pumpkins are not just for pies, cakes and cookies anymore. Here is a recipe for Pumpkin Soup from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. It tells that coconut milk lends a wonderful flavor to the soup.

Pumpkin Soup

1 cup sliced carrots, 2 medium

3/4 cup coarsely chopped green sweet pepper, 1 large

1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 medium

1 tablespoon cooking oil

15-ounce can pumpkin

14-ounce can unsweetened light coconut milk

14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 medium fresh jalapeno chile pepper, seeded, and finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro or parsley

In a large saucepan, cook carrot, sweet pepper and onion in hot oil over medium heat, about 5 minutes or until almost tender. Remove from heat. In a bowl, combine pumpkin, coconut milk and broth. Stir in brown sugar, jalapeno pepper, salt and ginger. Stir pumpkin mixture into cooked vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently. Stir in cilantro or parsley before serving. Makes 8 side dish servings. A 3/4 cup is 94 calories, with 5 grams total fat and 13 grams carbs.

(McCoy can be contacted at

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