It’s been an absolute whirlwind around here. On top of the usual adventures of kid raising and budget manipulation, over at Allakhazam we’ve been gearing up for EverQuest II: Rise of Kunark. It’s been a mass of hard gameplay, testing, and data entry. The expansion launched Tuesday with an incredibly smooth rollout, and I’m finally getting to breathe again. The EverQuest II Team did a phenomenal job!

And I see it’s mid-November, and I’ve hardly started my holiday baking! So I’ve been working with the pumpkin puree I wrote about last time, and I’ve got dried fruit soaking in rum for fruitcakes (which I’ll write about later).

Here’s a couple of very nice pumpkin recipes I’ve found. While pumpkins are not on the market up here right now, where they’re in season you shouldn’t have any problem finding fresh pumpkin. And there’s always that good ol’ reliable can of Libbys! Remember, pumpkin is one of those fantastic veggies that hides well in baked goods.

Pumpkin Bread

This was so good the first loaf lasted less than 24 hours!


  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups pumpkin pureé (15 oz can)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fresh or dried cranberries (optional)

Combine flour, spice, baking powder, and salt in bowl; stir to blend the dry ingredients well. Combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and oil in a mixing bowl. Stir in flour mixture, then stir in cranberries. Spoon into two greased and floured 9x5x2-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies:

I made the first batch exactly as written. The second batch I added sweetened dried cranberries and skipped the icing, which my family liked better. I also cut the sugar down to a cup. Next time I’ll substitute in some Splenda.


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.