Monday, December 2, 2013

Pumpkin Pecan Crostinis

I have been on a baking kick recently. In the winter, I like nothing better than turning on the oven and whipping up breads, muffins, and cookies. But since we are all new to each other here on this blog, I don't want you to think that I sustain myself purely on flour and sugar. While I love both, I also love to cook and in this kitchen I cook everything. Hearty Italian with homemade pasta, enchiladas with tortillas from scratch, burgers with all the fixings, and some delicious vegetarian food.

I love to eat. So does my husband. Our mutual love of food sustains our relationships. We grow a lovely vegetable garden, scheme up recipes using ingredients from our farm share, plan and execute epic beer-paired four course meals, and of course, enjoy nothing more then date night at our favorite local Boulder, Colorado eateries.

So today I'm going to share an appetizer my husband and I created during one of our epic beer-paired meals, our pumpkin pecan crostinis. We developed this as an appetizer to pair with our favorite pumpkin beer, Upslope's Pumpkin Ale. Homemade pumpkin butter (with pumpkins grown out our back door), spiced pecans, parmesan, all a top toasted baguette. We brought these as an appetizer on Thanksgiving and they were a hit. They certainly are my favorite right now with the perfect balance of sweet, nutty, and spice.
Pumpkin Butter
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

15 oz can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tbs pumpkin spice
1/2 cup brown sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and and simmer for 15-20 minutes until thick and creamy. Not only is this good on these crostinis but granola and morning toast. It also makes awesome pumpkin ice cream.

Kate's Sweet and Spicy Pecans

1 tbs olive oil
1 cup salted pecans
2 tbs honey
1 tbs Worcestershire
1 tsp chili powder

Heat olive oil in the pan over medium high heat. Add pecans and toast for about three minutes, should just start to brown. Add Worcestershire, honey, and chili powder to the nuts in the pan. Stir until coated and remove from heat. Once again these nuts have many uses including a most awesome salad condiment, granola ingredient, and sprinkled on top of butternut squash ravioli.

To assemble: Toast half inch slices of baguette until golden brown. Shave parmesan and add a slice on top of the baguette. Spread the pumpkin butter over the parmesan and sprinkle with a teaspoon of nuts.