Pumpkin Mac-n-Cheesecakes

Let me say one thing here, right off the bat.

You’re not going to find me humping any pumpkins this autumn season.

Pumpkins.  So…everywhere.

Personally, I find pumpkin pie to be vastly overrated. Straight out of the can, the stuff reminds me of orangey catfood.  I don’t drink lattes much less $6 “pumpkin-spiced” ones (give it to me strong and black).  And my beer?  Leave my beer alone. For the love of hops, people, beer is not supposed to come in a cinnamon-sugar-rimmed glass.

But…occasionally, it’s kinda fun to cook with.

I had mac and cheese on the brain when I picked up a can of the gloopy orange stuff at the store this afternoon.

It’s really pretty unbelievable how well creamy orange squash mimics cheese, tricking you in to thinking you’re eating something loaded with the stuff, when really, it’s mostly vegetable matter.

Because I was a little short on time tonight, I cooked the stuff up in a muffin pan instead of a casserole dish.

Recipe: Pumpkin Mac-n-Cheesecakes

OMG, this was good.  And healthy…and cute.  And fast!  This went from zero to belly in about 35 minutes.  Can’t beat that!

I figured as long as I was jumping on the bandwagon, I may as well go all out…

A co-worker brought me a bottle of this Uinta Harvest Punk’n Ale.  Now, I’ll admit that I haven’t tasted a ton of pumpkin ales.  See: comments above.  All too often, these pumpkin brews are just gimmicky.  As in: they taste like regular beers in which someone just dumped a bunch of pie spice, making them smell like a Yankee candle and taste like a watered-down dessert.

This beer definitely had some of the pie-spice shtick going on, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was very mild and easy to drink.  It didn’t hit me over the nose, and in my mouth, it tasted like…well, like a slightly spiced-up light beer.  That’s not entirely a bad thing.  At 4% ABV, this Punk’n is a relative lightweight and definitely a beer you could drink in multiples.

Bottom line: I suspect true pumpkinhumpers will be disappointed by the subtlety of this beer.  But I think that’s why I kind of liked it.

Alright, enough freakin’ pumpkin for one evening.

Thanks, Olaf.

Good night!

27 responses to “Pumpkin Mac-n-Cheesecakes

  1. Haha! It does seem the blog world ( and the regular world) is overdosing on pumpkins right now…..and we are still almost 9 weeks from thanksgiving! But i love the idea of pumpkin as a cheese replacement- get in some extra vitamins AND save the cals. I always think the cheese on TOP of the mac is the only cheese that matters anyways, right?

  2. I don’t like pumpkin much at all, and I’m dubious that I would ever mistake pumpkin for cheese… but you seem to have decent taste, so maybe I’d try it :).

    • There’s plenty of cheese in there too! But honest to god, I’ve done this type of mac with butternut squash before and it actually fooled my husband.

  3. I have no idea what the pumpkin spice latte craze is about. Just recently, I was sent some pumpkin spice flavored coffee and I pouted because I didn’t have enough time to throw it out and brew another pot of normal people coffee. Booo….

    And even though I prefer pecan pie over pumpkin pie anyday, I do enjoy baking with it- pumpkin muffins are pretty freain’ awesome.

  4. ha, i hear you on the ridiculous pumpkin craze. i much prefer fresh pumpkin that i roast myself after scooping out all the seeds and goop. way more fun. a bit laborious though.

    these little guys look great! such a nice little snack, too, if you throw ’em in a ziplock. love it.

    • If I’m gonna go through the trouble of slaughtering, gutting and roasting a gourd, it’s gonna be a em-effin’ butternut squash. Roasted with garlic and sweet onions and a little brown sugar. Now that’s delicious.

  5. Is there any more to life than eating pumpkin, and being really really ridiculously good looking?!?
    Seriously though I’m making these little muffins ASAP.
    Oh and listen to your friend Billy Zane, he’s a cool dude.

  6. Last year I was all about the pumpkin beers, but you make a good point about them tasting like “regular beers in which someone just dumped a bunch of pie spice, making them smell like a Yankee candle and taste like a watered-down dessert.” Meh. Just give me a regular ol’ IPA or pilsner please.

    However, the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale is decent (8% ABV) – it’s a local brew, but Whole Foods usually carries it. I recommend!

  7. I’ve never really had much of a chance to cook/bake with pumpkin or any squash until last year. I was pleasently surprised by how much I liked butternut squash. Maybe I’ll give this recipe a shot…although I doubt I’ll get The Husband to partake. Whatever, he can fend for himself like the grown man he is, right?!

  8. Heh. I’m on a baking spree right now, and made pumpkin muffins (basically cupcakes) with cream-cheese centers last night.

    Pumpkin belongs in baked good – not my beer.

    (And I’ll kill a Costco pumpkin pie anytime, kthx.)

  9. That recpe looke amazing!
    I like pumpkin for baking and cooking, but share your sentinments on it’s ZOMG status. What gives? And by the way, I don’t like this magic latte from Starbucks. I am with ya on the coffee.

    I do enjoy butternut and spaghetti squash. I just blogged my favorite way to eat spaghetti squash. Tis the gourd season!

    • Umm wow, sorry for the spelling errors. Have I mentioned I hate IE and it’s inability to underline my spelling mistakes? I blame it not my lack of attention to detail :)

  10. Soooo glad you aren’t jumping on the band wagon. I really hate the trendy “yay it’s pumpkin season” posts. I don’t want to add it to my oatmeal, or spend a ton of money on a 700 calorie pumpkin drink. 😛

    This, however, looks tasty! I made something similar–it was a baked mac n cheese with butternut squash and it was SO good. I loved it.

  11. That mac ‘n cheeseandvegetable looks so good- I might have to try that with the butternut squash that I just bought. Also, if you want a pumpkin ale that actually tastes like pumpkin and not just liked spiced beer, see if you can locate (or get your liquor store to order) Crown Brewing’s Pumpkin Ale. I know you’re not a huge pumpkin person, but it’s worth it for the experience of trying a REAL pumpkin beer. (and leave the cinnamon sugar off, clearly. The head on this baby actually tastes a little like whipped topping.)

  12. Indeed…pumpkin’s been getting right up there with bacon on the ol’ interwebz.

    I do have to say, though — while there are plenty of gimmicky, unremarkable pumpkin beers out there, there are also some fantastic ones. We just had this the other night:


    And it was spectacular (as in, we bought four 22 oz bottles). Just enough pumpkin to be tasty & interesting; any more would’ve been overkill. Don’t know if you can get it too easily, but if you have a chance, give it a try!

  13. I like my coffee black, and I do like squash and pumpkin. I may even like this mac’n cheese, but I will still know it has something extra besides the cheese. :)

    Ironically, I just picked up a 6 pack of Blue Moon’s pumpkin something-or-other. I couldn’t resist getting some “seasonal” beer, so I’m hoping this one is good, at least as a change of pace!

  14. I insist that you try this: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/467
    Turkey pumpkin chili is fantastic. I make a double batch and do 1 can of black and 1 can of kidney beans. Delicious.
    The other is this: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pumpkin-Stuffed-with-Everything-Good-361169
    I seasoned on my own, this seemed like it had the potential to be bland.

  15. I can’t remember who it was, but someone once remarked that 99% of pumpkin beers taste like you’re drinking a pumpkin Yankee candle.

  16. I would definitely eat the f*ck out of those mac n cheesecakes. Pumpkin or not.

  17. Gotta make pumpkin pie with the real deal! No can! They’re much better. 😉

  18. Soulmothafuckinmates.

    Agreed on everything.

    Pumpkin is for eating, and coffee is for making strong enough to kill people with.

    Thank you.

  19. You’re a genius. I made this last night with a mix of Gruyere and cheddar and butternut squash instead of pumpkin puree and it was crazy delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  20. I’m a pumpkin hater too. Just not my thing. Cold winds, fall colors, scent of woodsmoke, those are my harbingers of Fall. Pumpkin spice, pumpkin beer or pumpkin lattes never even cross my mind.

  21. Oh my gosh, this post made me totally lament the fact that a) I can’t drink fall beers right now and b) I am missing all of the awesome fall foods that I love. That Mac and cheese looks awesome!

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