When I first started cooking and baking I sorta feared looking at recipes. Just reading an ingredient list was like reading a foreign language that led to more confusion than clarity. Heavy cream vs. light cream. For the love, what the heck was the difference!!! When I picked up the cartons in the refrigerator section they felt like the same weight to me. Do creams have a body image issue?… Black pepper or white pepper… wait, is this recipe racist?!?! And, I mean really, was there really a difference between ‘allspice’ and ‘pumpkin pie spice?’ They both say ‘spice’ and didn’t the ‘all’ in the spice include everything I’d need, right? I mean, it does say ‘all’ which is a pretty inclusive word.
Needless to say, my early days in the kitchen we’re veeeeery interesting. A lot of trial and error was involved. The good news is, cream doesn’t have a complex and pepper isn’t prejudice. Phew, I was worried there for a second.
So next I had to learn about spice blends. Um, come again, spice blends?? What the crap is that? And who blends them? Oh geez, do I have to learn how to blend spices too!! I was still convinced allspice was the King of spices, given it’s ‘all’ name. Turns out allspice is just a spice, with a confusing name. It’s a spice you can mix with other spices to make things like, pumpkin pie spice. Pumpkin pie spice is a spice blend. Got it?! Clear as mud.
You can buy a jar pumpkin pie spice at the store, that’s perfectly acceptable. Or, you can make your own spice blend. Now, why would you make your own spice blend? Well, for me it was because I wanted to make a recipe that called for pumpkin pie spice… but I didn’t have any. YET, I had all the ingredients that go into pumpkin pie spice. So why go to the store and spend more money on a pre-made spice blend when I already have everything I need, all I have to do is just mix them. So, that’s what I did. The cool thing about making your own spice blends is you can add more or less of a spice depending on your taste preference. I LOVE extra cinnamon, so I go a little heavier on the cinnamon. For example.
I’ve used pumpkin pie spice for 2 recent recipes: Caramel Pumpkin Ice Cream and Gooey Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. Last night I made sweet potato fries for dinner and sprinkled a little pumpkin pie spice on them, delicious! Be creative, don’t use pumpkin pie spice ONLY for pie. It’s just a spice blend, it can go on whatever sounds good to you! Also, make a huge batch of this and package it up in little jars for hostess gifts and Christmas gifts. It costs you pennies and it’s a homemade gift that the recipient will love!
Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction