COOKING ADVENTURE #36: Mini Pumpkin Croissants
Pumpkin is probably one of my top ten favorite foods. In my research for this Cooking Adventure, I came across a startling discovery. Pumpkin is actually a fruit. A FRUIT. I knew about avacados and tomatoes, but not this. My mind was officially blown. But, I’ve got to say yum. Yummy num num. These things were delicious. I say ‘were’ because I’ve nearly eaten all of them. But I plan on making more very soon… probably within the next day or so. And once again, I had little to no trouble making these scrumptious treats. They were easy, required very few ingredients and yielded a batch of thirty-two, count ’em, THIRTY-TWO mini croissants. Wait… so when I said “I ate them all,” I may have been exaggerating. I gave some to my parents. I didn’t eat all of them… but I could have. And if you make this recipe, odds are, you might, too.
About a week ago, my good friend, Celena, told me about Pinterest. I’d seen it around on other people’s facebook profiles but I immediately thought that it would be a bad idea to start one. The reason is that I’d probably become obsessed with it, and spend all my waking hours on it “repinning” things. But, she sold me on the idea, so later in the evening after work, I started up an account. And yes, I was obsessed within a few minutes. There are so many recipes up there that the Cooking Adventure portion of my brain went crazy within moments. I have over thirty recipes already “repinned” as ideas for future adventures. This particular one for Pumpkin Croissants crossed my eye. Since we’ve been having some wonderful fall weather already, I figured it was time to break out the pumpkin and start getting in the autumn baking mood.
The original recipe can be found here at Shaken Together. The first thing the directions tell you to do is to make your pumpkin filling that will go inside the croissants. In a bowl, I dumped a half a block of softened cream cheese. Then, I peeled open a can of pumpkin and measured out a cup to go in as well. It’s important that it is canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. Next, we add pumpkin pie spice. Well… here’s where we get a little creative. I’d gone to the store to snag a little bottle of the premade pumpkin pie spice but found, to my astonishment, that they had sold out! Yes, the same supermarket that doesn’t carry green onion, marscapone, or leeks, was also completely out of pumpkin pie spice. I returned home, the hand of defeat slowly crushing me until I remembered my own spices…
Over my many cooking adventures, I’ve collected a variety of spices which have culminated in me having a ridiculous selection to choose from. Among this selection are the ingredients for making my own pumpkin pie spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. I dashed these spices together in a little bowl, and kept in mind that cloves and ginger pack quite a punch so it wasn’t as necessary to use as much of those. Voila! I added two tablespoons of this concoction to the bowl and topped it off with four tablespoons of granulated sugar. Now, the fun begins.
Out came the psycho mixer. Within a matter of mere minutes, I was blending the mixture in the bowl together, a cloud of pumpkin spicy wonder rising up to my nose. That is one of my favorite smells, by far, one that really makes me anticipate fall and all of the other cooking adventures to come. Finally, I had a thick orange-brown paste filling in the bowl that I pretty much just wanted to eat on its own. I restrained myself and pulled out the croissant cans.
Now, the recipe says that this batter will make 32 mini croissants. I’ve found that it could probably make 48, because I had a lot left over. I bought two of the Pillsbury Croissant Tubes that are in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. I should have bought three. Opening the cans (and praying that the metal ends didn’t come shooting off like they did in the Empanada Cooking Adventure), I rolled out the dough. There are dotted lines to show where to cut the croissants. The recipe tells you to cut each one of these triangles in half. Then, with a spoon, you smooth some of the pumpkin mixture across it, and then roll it up into a croissant. Because I’d never actually made croissants this way (let alone at all), I rolled the first one backwards. Dur…
On a separate plate, I dumped about four tablespoons of the granulated sugar and a tablespoon of my pumpkin pie spices, and then mixed them together. After rolling each croissant up, I’d dip it in the sugar mix and completely coat it before setting it aside. I spent the next ten minutes cutting, spreading, rolling, and dipping croissants, all while watching an episode of “Fringe” and enjoying the fresh breeze coming in through my kitchen door. It was a heavenly moment. Then, I placed the first batch of sixteen croissants onto a baking pan and put them in the oven at 375 for about 18 minutes. While the first batch cooked, I made a second and put those in when the first batch was ready to come out.
The kitchen smelled sublime, like a waking dream of fall. I was worried, at first, that my stomach wouldn’t be able to handle the spices used in the croissants or the pumpkin, for that matter. Not a problem though. I had three before I went to bed. They were so delicious. I’m definitely going to be making some more either tonight or tomorrow night, so that I can use up the rest of that pumpkin filling. Why waste it, right?
On next week’s Cooking Adventure, we’ll be trying two breakfast recipes from Pinterest. Biscuit Cinnamon Buns and Pumpkin Coffee Creamer are next week! Stay tuned!