Pumpkin Cookies with Balsamic Cream Filling

I found this cookie recipe online. The cookies are cake-like and perfect for frosting filling. I modified the frosting to my own style since I love to flavor frosting with different balsamic vinegars for a sweet and savory balance. The result is light and fluffy and flavorful without being too sweet or filling.

pumpkin cookies - main photo

Cookie Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp.
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Frosting Ingredients

  • one 8 oz package of cream cheese
  •  ½ stick of butter
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup of harvest spice balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cream butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.
  3. Add pumpkin, vanilla and egg and beat until combined.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  5. Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients, beating on medium to low speed until fully mixed.
  6. Spoon heaping spoonfuls of mixture onto baking sheet with parchment.
  7. Dough will be sticky.
  8. Bake until puffed and golden, about 10 minutes.
  9. Allow to fully cool.
  10. Make frosting by beating all ingredients until creamy (see photo below)
  11. Cut cookies in ½ and fill with frosting. (see photos below)
  12. Drizzle with glaze made from powdered sugar liquefied until thick but runny with lemon juice. Drizzle with more balsamic (optional). Dust with more powdered sugar.
Frosting should be spreadable and very creamy.

Frosting should be spreadable and very creamy.

Cookies are cake-like. Use a serrated knife to cut.

Cookies are cake-like. Use a serrated knife to cut.

Be generous with the frosting filling, more is better!

Be generous with the frosting filling, more is better!

Winter Squash with Caramelized Goodies

Apples, nuts and squash - it's like a winter wonderland! Any way you put these together it's gonna be good. There are so many different winter squashes, this one uses an acorn squash but butternut or other similar squash will do just as well. And there are different goodies you can caramelize, different nuts and different veggies. This recipe shares one version I made recently, but feel free to make your own substitions!

One suggestion: To make the squash easier to work with, microwave it for about 3- 5 minutes on medium heat and allow to cool. It is easier to cut or peel after that.

Acorn squash, halved, cored and ready for baking.

Acorn squash, halved, cored and ready for baking.

The first step is to bake the squash. An easy way is to cut it in half, remove the seeds, place it in a baking dish face down with about 1/2 inch of water and cover it with foil. Bake in a 400 degree oven about 45 minutes or until soft when pierced with a  fork.

While my squash was baking, I made my heavenly caramelized saute using the following:

  • One large apple, diced (any kind will do!)
  • One small white onion, diced (a yellow onion would also work and you could add other veggies too like diced brussel sprouts or celery)
  • Raw walnuts diced to produce about 1/2 cup (pecans or even pine nuts would also work)
Apples, Onion, and Walnuts ready to slow cook in a heavy pan.

Apples, Onion, and Walnuts ready to slow cook in a heavy pan.

To caramelize, you need a heavy baking pan. My absolute favorite is "All Clad" but any heavy pan will do. The trick is to cook slowly and allow the caramelization to happen. I usually use a technique called "sweating" the veggies which gets the juices out and softens them . 

I put the pan on low heat and liberally coated it with extra virgin olive oil and then added just a pat of butter for extra flavor. Once the butter melted, I added the veggies, a few pinches of kosher salt, turned on some music, and watched and occasionally stirred until everything started to get nice and soft.

Then I did an important step: once the veggies started to soften and get translucent, I added 1/2 cup of Apple Cinnamon Balsamic Vinegar and let it cook down with the veggies as I occasionally stirred. That really finished it off to create create sticky, sweet, yummy goodness full of flavor. When you are done it should look like this ...

The finished product of the caramelized apples, onions and walnuts with Apple Cinnamon Balsamic Vinegar

The finished product of the caramelized apples, onions and walnuts with Apple Cinnamon Balsamic Vinegar

When your squash is baked, scoop it out of the rind (an ice cream scooper works great!) into a large bowl. I mashed my squash with a potato masher and ... surprise! some garlic olive oil. The garlic and sweet apple made a surprising contrast that just finished off the recipe perfectly.

Cooked squash mashed with Garlic Olive Oil

Cooked squash mashed with Garlic Olive Oil

And last step, mix it all together .... and eat!

Winter squash final

Happy winter wonderland.

Anne's Famous Smoky Dressing

At the Farmers' Markets, many of you have asked me to relay my recipe for this dressing. After repeating it about 100 times, I  decided it would be much more efficient to just add it to this blog!

What you will need:

  • 1 part cup enFuso Smoked Olive Oil
  • 1 part enFuso Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 part enFuso Fig or Strawberry Balsamic
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

I use any bowl or dish good for whisking. You simply combine all of the ingredients and whisk together. Then done! It is a basic vinaigrette but the smoke makes it taste earthy and very rich. It's so easy – I just make enough each night for my salad so it is always fresh.

Smoky Apple Vinaigrette + Bacon Salad

Our friends Adam and Joanne of Inspired Taste came up with these great recipes.

According to Adam and Joanne, "We are big fans of homemade salad dressing. It’s quick, easy and so flexible. Our basic recipe is to combine vinegar + Dijon mustard + something sweet + olive oil. For this, we went with apple cider vinegar and maple syrup then instead of using regular olive oil, we used a smoked olive oil. It adds a great backbone to the dressing and works so well with the bacon."

Photo credit: inspiredtaste.net

Photo credit: inspiredtaste.net

What you will need (for the dressing):

Whisk together!

What you will need (for the salad):

  • Butter lettuce
  • Baby romaine
  • Cooked bacon
  • Poached egg
  • Smoky vinaigrette dressing

Toss it all together and enjoy!

Smoky Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

This quick and easy recipe came from my daughter, Taryn. She is an amazing cook and into super healthy foods.

Photo Credit: Elephantjournal.com

Photo Credit: Elephantjournal.com

What you will need:

Place everything in a food processor and mix. Enjoy with crackers, bread, pita chips, veggies, and more!

Smoked Turkey Meatloaf

This recipe comes from our caterer friend Rich, who owns a cafe in Costa Mesa and plans to be using enFuso Smoked Olive Oil to enhance many of his recipes. The first one he offered is his healthy turkey meatloaf. We tested this recipe at home, and it's delicious!

What you will need:

  • 1 package lean ground turkey (20-24 ounces)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/8 cup mustard
  • 3 tablespoons enFuso smoked olive oil (Rich prefers our Buttery Late Harvest, but any will work)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3 shakes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-3 celery stalks, chopped (optional for extra crunch)
  •  A pinch of dried or freshly chopped herbs, such as thyme or rosemary

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Form into a loaf and then place on an open pan or on a grill over an open pan. This is important because it will allow any grease or fat  to render and drain versus having it cook in its own fat. Bake at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes until center measures 155-160 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Optional notes: If you want a less crunchy meatloaf, you can saute the veggies first. You can also create a nice glaze using ketchup, a little Worcestershire, a little brown sugar and then brushing the top of the loaf before baking.

Smoky Roasted Potato Salad

Perfect for a summer BBQ!

What you will need:

Steps:

Roast the potatoes: Wash and cut the potatoes into bite size cubes. Toss with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in 425 degree oven to roast. Once potatoes are tender (check with a fork), remove them from the oven and place them on a paper towel to drain and cool.

Prep veggies: Chop red, yellow, and orange bell peppers to bite size pieces and set aside. For the added crunch, chop celery and green onions. Mix together.

Prep fresh garlic: Use 4-5 large cloves. Peel, mince, and set aside.

Smoked dressing: Use 2 parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 part Strawberry Balsamic, and 2 tablespoons of Smoked Olive Oil. The amount of dressing you need depends on the size of your salad so scale it as you need to. Whisk until fully mixed. Add 1-2 tablespoons of tangy, brown mustard along with salt, pepper, and freshly minced garlic. Whisk again.

When the potatoes are fully cooled, place them in a large mixing bowl. Add your chopped veggies, a tablespoon or two of capers, pimentos, and your smoky dressing. Toss the ingredients and then salt to taste.

Smoked Chocolate Caramels

This recipe was invented by our friend Emily Stoffel of The Pig and Quill.

Here is how she describes it:

“Sweet, smoky, salty — I won’t lie, this caramel tastes a bit like candied barbecue sauce, but in an ohhhhh so good way. We’re talking seriously sophisticated flavor that opens with a big punch of salty smoke before melting into golden, sugary goodness. Be sure to use a high-percentage dark chocolate for this. Any less and you’ll lose the flavor to the olive oil.”

Photo Credit: thepigandquill.com

Photo Credit: thepigandquill.com

What you will need:

  • 1 (one) 14 oz. can of condensed milk
  • 1 tsp Enfuso Smoked Olive Oil – Turbo
  • 1.5 oz 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

According to Emily: "Combine condensed milk, olive oil and chocolate in a nonstick saucepan. Cook over low to medium-low heat for 18-25 minutes or until mixture is shiny and very thick, stirring constantly. (Time will depend on the heat of your stove and the size of your saucepan.) Pour into a shallow dish and cool to room temp for 15 minutes. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

Combine pecans and sea salt in a small food processor and pulse until nuts are finely ground, but not pasty, about 10 times. Pour into small dish. With buttered hands, scoop rounded teaspoons of cooled mixture into balls and roll in pecan mixture, lightly pressing to adhere to caramel, if necessary. Set aside on parchment. Repeat with remaining mixture. Refrigerate until serving."

Easy Smoked Cauliflower

This is a super easy side dish. The enFuso Smoked Olive Oil gives normally bland vegetables a rich, earthy flavor. This pairs nicely with baked salmon (which I brushed with our Lemon Olive Oil).

Photo credit: cookingbythebook.com

Photo credit: cookingbythebook.com

Just clean, separate, and steam a whole cauliflower. When you can easily insert a fork, it is done.

Drain the cauliflower and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle on a tablespoon or two of smoked oil and mash with a potato masher. Season with cracked pepper and ground salt. Then toss to mix.

That’s it… done!

Coconut Pecan Brussie Salad

Another all-star recipe from our friend Em at The Pig & Quill. Described as, "The crackiest salad, and for good reason. Buttery pecans. Chewy, sugar-flecked coconut. Crisp, salty fried onions, all lightly dressed with a sweet-tart balsamic vinaigrette? It’s a beautiful thing."

Photo Credit: thepigandquill.com

Photo Credit: thepigandquill.com

What you will need for the dressing:

What you will need for the salad:

  • 14 oz. brussel sprouts, shredded
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (or more!) canned fried onions

According to Em, "Whisk together dressing ingredients. In a large bowl, toss together brussies, carrot, coconut, and pecans. Combine with dressing. Top with fried onions and extra sesame seeds just before serving. Crack out."

Yum!

Smoky Fig Pizza With Goat Cheese And Caramelized Onions

Photo Credit: Alexandra's Kitchen. alexandracooks.com

Photo Credit: Alexandra's Kitchen. alexandracooks.com

We love this savory dish!

What you will need:

  • Pizza dough (you can buy this at most supermarkets)
  • enFuso Smoked Olive Oil
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • Red baby potatoes, steamed and sliced
  • 1 cup of chopped onions
  • Fresh chopped arugula
  • enFuso Fig Balsamic

First, take your your pizza dough and spread it out on a cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal or flour. Then, rub it with our Smoked Olive Oil.

In a separate pan on medium heat, take chopped onions and sautee them in an enFuso Extra Virgin Varietal. Do this until they are golden in color.

Next, you will top the pizza dough with mozzarella cheese, potatoes, goat cheese, and caramelized onions. Place dish in oven and bake for as long as your dough recipe package recommends.

Once done baking, drizzle with Fig Balsamic and sprinkle with arugula. Enjoy!

Asian Noodle Salad

This is Part 2 of our Miracle Noodle-inspired recipes! Check out our Tex Mex Noodle Salad to see what else we used this light, low calorie noodle for.

What you will need:

  • 1 package of Miracle Noodle, angel hair variety (prepared per instructions)
  • Water chestnuts, drained and sliced thin
  • Cabbage, sliced thin
  • Sugar snap peas, with ends broken off and sliced into small pieces
  • Grated carrots
  • Cucumber, peeled and diced
  • Raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of enFuso Lime Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Once you have all of your ingredients, you simply mix together and eat up!

Tex Mex Noodle Salad

In January I attended the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. What a great event! But after about 5 aisles of unlimited sampling of exceptional toffee, chocolate covered anythings, condiments, cheeses, cured meets, olives, chips, candies... Whoa, I was starting to enter a serious food coma. I was craving something light and fresh so my attention was totally captured when I saw these:

So this blog shows one of my first instinctive recipes. Fresh, easy, and totally delicious on the very first try. I purchased my Miracle Noodles at my favorite local market, Sprouts. Each package is two servings so I purchased two packages of the angle hair variety. Two noodle salads for my hubby Jon and me to share.

What you will need:

  • 1 package of Miracle Noodles, angel hair variety (prepared per instructions)
  • Frozen white corn (we used an organic brand) rinsed and drained
  • Canned garbonzo beans (we used an organic brand with no salt) rinsed and drained
  • Colorful bell peppers (we used orange and red) sliced thin
  • 1 green onion sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon of enFuso Chili Cilantro Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Mexican style cheese (optional, but highly recommended!)

To make the salad, mix ingredients together, cut through with a butter knife and toss thoroughly, and voila! Time to eat!

If you want some added protein, add grilled chicken and you have a satisfying meal that is low calorie and full of healthy foods. One of my favorite go-to lunches!

You can find out more about Miracle Noodle at miraclenoodle.com.

Smoky Dukkah Pesto

This is a delicious The Pig & Quill recipe that we can't get enough of. Goes great on pizza with goat cheese!

What you will need:

In a mini food processor or blender, pulse basil and Dukkah together until basil is roughly chopped. With blade running, slowly stream in EVOO until mixture forms a loose paste, or to your desired pesto consistency. Stir in Smoked Olive Oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Strawberry Spinach Goat Cheese Salad

Over the past few months I have been searching for the perfect salad container to bring to work. In a serendipitous trip to the Container Store I happened upon the salad container of my dreams. But in all seriousness, it is fabulous and has a separate container for dressing so your salad doesn’t get soggy!

I love strawberries with spinach, but for those of us who are too lazy to cut up strawberries every morning or for those times of the year when strawberries aren’t in season, Enfuso Strawberry Balsamic is the perfect substitute. The recipe is simple and you can add your own salad toppings to suit your fancy!

What you will need:

  • Spinach
  • Candied pecans
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • enFuso Strawberry Balsamic

Voila! A cheap, easy, and healthy salad you can bring for lunch!

Lemon Pepper Vegetarian Hash

This recipe came from one of those nights when you need to clean out the fridge. You know, where you take whatever you find and turn it into a meal. My fridge was a little lean so I found potatoes, onions, and cabbage.

What you will need:

Put the potatoes in a large deep sauté pan with about ¼ cup of water. Cover and place over high heat to steam until the water is gone and the potatoes are about ½ cooked.

Add the onions and EVOO as needed to sauté the potatoes and onions. First, toss them liberally in the oil. Cover and wait about 3-4 minutes so that the bottom will brown. Turn over the mixture to bring the browned bottom to the top and repeat about 3-4 times until the potatoes are getting soft, there are lots of crispy parts, and the onions are nicely golden.

Add the cabbage and liberally sprinkle with Lemon Olive OIl and fresh ground pepper. Saute until the cabbage is soft but not wilted.

Add a bit of salt to taste and serve.

Smoked Grilled Whole Oysters

Here is a great recipe idea from one of our customers, Doug Turner!

As I’m sure you will remember, today I bought some of your smoked oil to try on some oysters I bought at the Old Town Orange Farmers and Artisans Market.

I simply placed the oysters, still in their whole shell, onto a hot BBQ for about 5 minutes until they started to open.

I then popped them out into a small bowl and drizzled your smoked olive oil on them and picked them up with a tooth pick and then right into my mouth.

Let me tell you, I couldn’t get enough. It is so delicious.

Smoky Chicken Salad Sandwich

Maintaining and growing the business keeps me busier than ever. I often eat on the run but I still want yummy tasting food. Yesterday, I worked through the normal lunch hour and then had only a few minutes before I had to head out to class. Grabbing what I had on hand, I made this tasty gourmet tasting sandwich in about 5 minutes – and ate it in less than ten!

What You Need:

  • Shredded cooked chicken (you can use canned or fresh; I prefer fresh)
  • Chopped crunchy veggies (like celery or bell pepper)
  • Spoonful of mayonaise
  • enFuso Smoked Olive Oil
  • Artisan bread (I used a fresh baked crusty French)
  • Tomatoes or cucumbers for garnish

I had some leftover cooked chicken breasts from the night before so I pulled the meat off the bone and shredded it. Add your veggies then stir in a small amount of mayonnaise (and I mean small) and a generous drizzle of our Smoked Olive Oil. I prefer the robust (Late Harvest flavor) because the chicken and mayo already have their own sort of buttery flavor so the green flavors of the robust oil really complement it. The oil surrounds and penetrates everything, giving the sandwich plenty of moisture and making the chicken taste so rich and smoky.

Plop it on an open faced slab of artisan bread and garnish with whatever you can find in your garden (that's why I used tomatoes and cucumbers).  Then eat!

Note: to really flavor it up, drizzle any of our aged balsamic vinegar reductions over the top!

Lemon and Fig Flavored Fruit Stuffed Wontons

Lemon and Fig: one of my favorite pairings! To begin, you will need:

First, toss together the blueberries, apricots, goat cheese, and Fig Balsamic in a large bowl.

Next, fill wonton wrappers with the mixture and then seal. Drizzle Lemon Olive Oil on top and add a touch of brown sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes until golden brown.

This recipe was created on the fly by my daughter, Taryn. Enjoy!

Smoked Asparagus Soup

This is a recipe from our enFuso "Chef Demo" at the Williams-Sonoma Crystal Cove in Newport Beach, California. It got a great reception at the demonstration, especially when they noshed on the surprise inside – that perfectly al dente and smoky asparagus tip!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds green asparagus: woody stem bottoms snapped off and discarded
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 Loaf Italian or French country bread, torn into large pieces
  • 1/2 lemon cut lengthwise
  • Large water bath with ice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of enFuso Smoke Olive Oil (any of them will work: Late Harvest, Turbo, or Smoky Garlic)

Cut tips from asparagus 1 and a 1/2 inches from top and halve then tips lengthwise if thick. Cut stalks into 1/2 inch pieces. (Below shows the torn bread, the discarded woody tips of the asparagus, the asparagus tips and cut stalks.)

Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lemon half, and using a sieve, or wire mesh skimmer, submerge the asparagus tips in the boiling water. After they turn bright green, and maintain their crunch, 1-3 minutes, remove and plunge into water bath to cool. Repeat with the asparagus stalks. (Below shows the boiling water, the ice water bath, and the asparagus tips ready to plunge into the boiling water.)

In a 2 to 4 quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Then blend in the cream and asparagus stalks, and remove the “soup” from the heat.

Purée the soup in a blender until smooth as follows, using caution due to blending hot liquid. Remove the smaller center cap from the larger blender lid and cover with a dry kitchen towel, allowing steam to escape, and preventing the soup from spraying out of the blender.

After blending all the soup, add pieces of country bread to the blender to achieve the consistency of thin gravy. Then season soup with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the asparagus tips in a bowl, and toss with the Smoke Olive Oil.

Transfer soup to bowls for serving.  Garnish with smoky asparagus tips. If you want a little extra smoky flavor, drizzle a few drops of smoked oil over the soup for extra flavor.