If you are lucky enough to not live near any hoodlum neighbor kids and still have an intact pumpkin, roast that bad boy up! The little ones are the best in terms of flavor and ease but any are edible as long as they haven't been carved or have rotted. I secretly chose the 2 little ones at the patch for this very purpose. If you don't have a pumpkin, never fear Libby does a stellar job of it for a fraction of the time and effort!
Preheat oven to 350. Wash pumpkin and cut in half (this is why a smaller pumpkin is preferred). Scoop out the innards - I just had to use that word - and place cut-side down in a large baking dish. Cover with 1/4 inch water and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size. Remove from oven and once cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh and discard skin. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. And don't forget to roast those seeds for a tasty, healthy treat!
Now once you've made the puree, here are a couple recipes to use it up.
Pumpkin Brownies - These are the closest thing to chewy I've ever tasted that involve pumpkin. It typically provides so much moisture it's impossible to get this chewy texture. However, this recipe omits any baking soda or baking powder, which is used to make things rise and become fluffy. I prefer for my various pumpkin bars to stay away from the pumpkin pie texture and flavor and be more cakey or chewy, so this was a perfect fit for my taste buds.
Pumpkin Blossom Cookies with Pumpkin Spice Kisses - The first thing to note is that the original recipe used candy corn kisses but I'm in love with the pumpkin spice ones and snatched up the first bag I saw at Target. This recipe gets kind of involved with all the freezing components but it's all worth it in the end. The cookie is good and pumpkin-y and the kiss adds an extra little burst of sweetness. I'll warn you that the recipe yields about 3 dozen cookies, so be ready to pass these gems out to your closest friends! Or you could just freeze them and selfishly keep them all for yourself!!
And I had to share this next picture to display my little helper. I'm teaching him early the important stuff - cooking, photography, and blogging!