The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Food

October 31, 2012

Fall treats

Pumpkin dishes an autumn favorite

Temperatures are dropping; nearly all the leaves have fallen and pumpkins, cornstalks and bales of hay are gracing front porches. Fall is here.

And Rachel Hull, owner of Alexandria’s Frosting & Crust bakery, said it’s one of her favorite times of year.

“I’ll eat anything with pumpkin,” she joked. “I’m more prone to eat something if it has pumpkin in it. Actually, I’d eat it straight out of the can.”

Hull has a variety of pumpkin treats at her bakery, 102 N. Harrison St. in Alexandria. The specialities will only be available through Thanksgiving when she will switch to winter flavors. Items include her favorite pumpkin oatmeal cookies with maple frosting, pumpkin cupcakes and cake pops, pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin pie.

Hull said pumpkin dishes make her think of fall and coziness.

“People just seem to enjoy food more when it gets close to the holidays,” she said. “And remember, you can use pumpkin in savory dishes too — a pumpkin manicotti or pumpkin-ricotta stuffed shells.”

Judy Zinszer, owner of Zinszer’s Cookies, said she doesn’t necessarily look forward to fall weather, but said she is a fan of fall food. The Anderson bakery — 2245 Broadway Ave. — is offering pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling, sweet potato cookies, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin and pecan pies, pumpkin cream cheese pies and pumpkin cream cheese rolls as well as a variety of fall decorated short bread cookies.

“Pumpkin goes in any recipe pretty easily without messing up the recipe,” Zinszer said, pointing out that a can of pumpkin and two additional eggs can be added to any cake mix to make a delicious pumpkin cake topped with cream cheese frosting.

She said to be sure to use a lot of spices — fresh ground nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and cinnamon — when baking with pumpkin as much of the spice bakes out.

Zinszer pointed out that the connection between fall foods and pumpkin goes back to the country’s founding fathers. Pumpkins and squash were the vegetables grown in the fall and were used in baking and cooking beginning the tradition.

Andi Jordan, owner of Crave Dessert Cafe on Anderson’s west side, said there a variety of ways to use a pumpkin and that many don’t think about — the filling can be used for cooking, the seeds sauteed or baked and the shell of the pumpkin could make a planter.

Crave, located at 3627 Nichol Ave., offers pumpkin bars, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cookies with caramel frosting, pumpkin pie ice cream, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie coffee, pumpkin swirl cheese cake and pumpkin rolls for the holidays.

“Everyone is crazy about pumpkin in the fall because it is only available for such a short time,” Jordan said. “I know I love it!”

Find Abbey Doyle on Facebook and @heraldbulletin on Twitter, or call 640-4805.

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