This post was featured by Twinkl in their Best Halloween Desserts Guide.
Pumpkin. It’s everywhere this time of year including your appetizer, entree, dessert and coffee. Americans are obsessed with it. Not just limited to canned pumpkin, grocery store aisles are filled with a variety of pumpkin flavored products. It brings to mind falling leaves, cool nights and the smell of warm spices wafting through the kitchen.
Recently, I tried these cookies called pumpkin spice snaps. Made in Pennsylvania, (love the USA) they are brand new to the market and I got a sneak peak taste. Filled with warm spices like cinnamon, ginger and cloves and sweetened with molasses these cookies have the perfect crispy snap that one would expect from the name. While simply delicious on their own I could not help but want to play with them in some dessert recipes. The first recipe I tried was a cookies and cream pumpkin cake. It was a hit with crispy cookie bits adding a textural contrast to the creamy frosting, but I could not stop there…….
……because as of today I have harvested 7 sugar pumpkins and there are at least another dozen lying in wait. I only planted 4 seeds! Plant some seeds people! For fresh pumpkin all one needs to do is roast them whole (400F. for about an hour) on a foil lined baking sheet until they feel soft. Cool, peel, seed and puree the orange flesh in the food processor and then drain for an hour or two in a paper towel lined sieve with a weighted plate on top. It’s amazing how much liquid drains out leaving silky concentrated fresh pumpkin behind. It freezes well, so please, completely skip the canned stuff. No garden? Pick up sugar pumpkins at the local farmers’ market.
In today’s featured recipe I really wanted to show these beautiful cookies off and there is no better way than my signature cookie crust. I first featured this idea many years ago in a Southern Living Magazine cook-off. It was such a big hit that even a restaurant out in Colorado asked my permission to use it on their menu. It works with any crisp, wafer like cookie and creates a lovely edge to the dessert.
Bake off the crust and let it cool. Then fill with the most luscious fresh pumpkin mousse which in my case is “spirited” (I love you, William). If you don’t like the alcohol feel free to substitute fresh OJ or apple juice or even maple syrup in its place. Feel free to play with the spices too, but for me there is nothing better and easier than a quality pumpkin pie spice mixture like this one from King Arthur Flour.
Make it one day in advance, so the cookies will soften slightly for easier cutting and take the edge off of your party planning. Anything I can make in advance of a holiday like Thanksgiving is a godsend. In fact, it can even be prepared 2 days in advance. Topped with sweetened whipped cream or Greek yogurt, oh, yes, this recipe is waaaaay better than the usual pumpkin pie. You are welcome.Print
Pumpkin Mousse Torte
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: Serves 10. 1x
fresh roasted pumpkin makes the best mousse torte
33 Stauffer’s Pumpkin Snaps, divided
4 tablespoons (¼ cup) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons bourbon or orange juice (for non-alcohol version)
1 (1/4-oz) package unflavored gelatin
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I use King Arthur Flour brand)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream, divided
2 egg yolks
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup unseasoned pumpkin, drained on paper towels
- Heat oven 350F.
- Place 18 cookies in food processor fitted with blade. Process until cookies are finely crushed to make 1 cup of cookie crumbs. Add butter; pulse until crumbly.
- Press cookie crumbs over bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Place remaining cookies around edge of pan slightly overlapping and rounded side out. Gently press each cookie into the bottom crust. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted. Cool crust in pan on a wire rack.
- In small bowl, combine water and bourbon or orange juice; sprinkle gelatin over the top. Set mixture aside to let gelatin soften.
- In medium saucepan, whisk brown sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, salt and ½ cup heavy cream until smooth. Add egg yolks and milk; whisk until well blended. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking another minute being sure to scrape the sides of the pot with a heat-proof spatula.
- Whisk in gelatin mixture until it is fully dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in pumpkin and vanilla. Press a piece of plastic wrap to pumpkin mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Whip remaining ½ cup heavy cream to soft peaks; fold into pumpkin mixture.
- Pour filling into prepared crust; smooth top. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or as long as overnight.
- Cut into wedges and top with sweetened whipped cream or Greek yogurt.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: dessert
- Method: baking/stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pumpkin, mousse, torte, holiday dessert, special occasion, cookie crust, warm spices
BTW-I receive no compensation for endorsing any products. Last year I won a contest sponsored by Stauffer’s and my prize is a monthly cookie gift package for a year.
I have never roasted my own pumpkins before. I have no idea why not! You’ve inspired me to give it a go this year. Delicious desserts!
You will be surprised by how easy it is. Thanks for joining me this morning
Yes, my favorite pumpkin was the last pic featured! I am not gaga over pumpkin but I have to say anything I’ve tried of yours has been delicious and your recipes today look beautiful.
I, too planted pumpkin seeds and it’s so much fun to grow your own pumpkins. Just need a little bit of room
Isn’t she sweet, my little punkin’! We need to plan out Thanksgiving gathering. All are welcome here. Send me a photo of your pumpkins
Your little pumpkin is soooo sweet. I’ll bet those cookies would be good as a crust for a pumpkin cheesecake, as well.
I like the way you think Pat…these cookies are perfect for a pumpkin cheesecake
Love the crust idea! Can’t wait to try it. My vote for cutest pumpkin is Annabelle!
Thanks for the vote <3
Wow ! Only 4 seeds and all that deliciousness! I want to try that torte ASAP!……speaking of sugar pumpkins….that is one sweet baby❤️
Awesome!!! I am receiving the same prize and made something similar to this! Those snaps are really quite tasty!! Great recipe!
Congratulations on winning, too. The pumpkin snaps are my absolute favorite of them all. I’d love to see your recipe, too.
Hope you like it. If you can’t find the cookies in your neck of the woods you can use gingersnaps <3 Yes–she has a sweet personality, too.
Lovely recipes, Lisa! My vegetable garden did a little better this year, but no where near as good as it used to. Will try again next year. And your granddaughter is so adorable!!!!!! I’d love to give her big hugs!!!!!!
Try sending a soil sample from your garden to local agriculture group for analysis. Improving your soil based on the test may make a big difference in your garden. Annabelle would love a hug from you <3
Wow!!!! Looks so scrumptious!
Thank you and it is. I hope you give it a try.
Looks awesome. One of the main reasons I love this time of year!
Give this pumpkin recipe a try. It’s easy and really good.