Friday, October 05, 2007

More pumpkin ravioli please!

I had some extra time today and took full advantage to get a lot of things done in the kitchen! I started out by getting the first batch of our favorite homemade buns made (with a variety of sesame seeds again!) and into the oven - I've been itching to get them done ever since we moved in!

Since the oven was already warmed up, I figured I might as well put it to work and make a few Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies had a couple things going for them that made me want to give the recipe a try. First, it uses a softer cake flour for the dry ingredients - it also includes a touch of KahlĂșa for depth of flavor. This recipe was touted as a re-make of a more caloric version and I think it shows in their appearance. They just looked kind of plain and didn't have that chocolate chip cookie "look" to them!

Black and White Chocolate Chip CookiesThe texture was interesting - it was kind of chewy, but not that sticky-like chew that some buttery cookies have. While the cookies were firm (not cake-like), they were not very crisp either - they were also not rock hard as the cake flour helped to keep them tender. The liqueur added a very subtle coffee background and worked well as a distraction - Jeff could smell a slight coffee aroma, but did not taste it. To keep them lighter, yet still lumpy from the chocolate chips, the recipe calls for mini chocolate chips, along with creamy white chocolate chips, so you can use less and they are better distributed through the batter. I kind of missed the large bits of chocolate chunks though! Helping with the flavor, finely chopped toasted pecans add a nutty interest and gives the cookies a leg up. It may not be my favorite cookie, but they were pretty good for cruising on the "lighter" side of baked goods!

I mentioned yesterday that we saved a cupful of the mashed pumpkin we made a couple days ago for a savory recipe - we used it in this Pumpkin Ravioli with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds dish we had for dinner tonight.

There are not many ingredients to these ravioli, but grab a chair and hopefully a loved one to help as it does take awhile to assemble. The easy part is smashing together the smooth pumpkin, soft cream cheese, sharp Parmesan cheese and an egg until completely combined. The next part involves filling 32 round wonton skins with half a tablespoon of the light orange mixture and sealing them into tight little half moons. This took me forever (okay, maybe not that long... it felt like it though!) and I tried to work on about 4 at a time so the skins wouldn't dry out. Once you complete that task, the little guys are dunked in a large pot of boiling salted water until they float up to the surface.

Pumpkin Ravioli with Toasted Pumpkin SeedsNow, instead of clouding the flavor in a strong sauce, they are simply slid into a skillet of warm melted butter to keep them from sticking and to add a rich, but light flavor. This allowed the cheesy-pumpkin combination to shine through and dominate the dish. Keeping the pumpkin theme going, a few toasted pepitas are tossed on the finished plate to add a bit of crunch to the soft ravioli. Thankfully it made enough for 4 servings as I think I would have had to fight to get the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

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