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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pumpkin Napoleons

Growing up, I didn't get to spend a ton of one on one time with my mom. So the weekend when I was about 11 years old and just my mom and I went and spent the weekend with my grandma really sticks out in my mind. We had a great time eating ice cream, watching movies, and just talking. To top it all off, on the way back to our house, we stopped at one of our favorite places, Solvang. It is a little Dutch town in So Cal. We spent several hours just roaming the streets, perusing the shops. I still remember my mom bought me a watch and a troll(remember those weird troll doll things? I loved them). To top it all off, as we were leaving, we stopped at the bakery and got the amazing Napoleons available there. It was a heavenly day.

Since running to Solvang on a regular basis wasn't an option, my mom decided to try her hand at recreating the yummy treats. To this day, whenever she makes them, I am reminded of that day.

Traditionally, when we make these, they are made with store bought frosting and red raspberry preserves, sprinkled with sugar on top, which is so easy, yet so good. However, I was bored the other day and when I decided to make these, I thought I would try and put a fall twist on a favorite treat. I tried to create my own pumpkin filling, it turned out ok, although I am sure there are better ones out there. Instead of using store bought frosting, I had seen on Christy's blog the recipe for the best ever frosting, so I decided to try that. And since I was being so darn domestic, I also made the Pioneer Woman's caramel sauce to drizzle on top. Overall result? Light, flaky, delicious! Bring on fall!

Pumpkin Napoleons

Puff Pastry (I'm sure you can make your own but I used good ol' store bought)
Thaw pastry according to package. Roll out a little on lightly floured surface. Cut into even size squares (as close as you can get). Brush lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Cook at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Let cool.

Caramel Sauce

4 tbsp butter
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 c half and half
pinch of salt
1 tbsp vanilla

Mix butter, brown sugar, half and half, and salt in saucepan over medium low heat. Cook while whisking gently, 5-7 minutes until thickens. Add vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off heat and pour sauce into jar. Refrigerate until cold.

Best Ever Frosting

5 tbsp flour
1 cup milk (she used whole, I used 2%)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter

In saucepan, pour flour into milk and whisk together. Place on medium heat and whisk as it heats, until it thickens. It should become very thick. Take off heat and cool completely. When it is totally cooled, add vanilla.
Meanwhile, whip sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
Then add the cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture to sugar/butter mixture. Whip together until it resembles whipped cream.

Pumpkin Filling

3/4 c canned pumpkin
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Add all ingredients together in medium bowl. Whisk together until combined.

Just a quick note: I am fairly confident this is what I put in the filling, however I just made it up as I went along and I made it several days ago.

To assemble Napoleons:
Take two pastries, slather one with frosting, slather the other with pumpkin mix and place together lightly. Drizzle caramel sauce over and enjoy!

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