Have you heard of dessert hummus? Sounds kind of gross, right? When you think of hummus you typically think savory, spicy, chickpea goodness served with veggies, crisp chips and deliciously soft, warm pita bread. You usually don’t think of dessert. But this recipe will forever change the way you view hummus! Because chickpeas have a fairly neutral flavor, they are a great base for MANY things (brownies, fudge, etc). Kind of like avocado…remember this awesome Chocolate Avocado Pudding made with avocados?! Yeah, it was awesome. But back to the hummus…in a word, this stuff ROCKS. You would never know it was made with BEANS and you definitely don’t have to tell people. I absolutely love that it is healthy and a perfect holiday treat. I served it with graham crackers, gluten-free cinnamon crisp cookies and tart fuji apples. I actually liked the apples best for dipping! That is when I was actually using something to dip it with and not just eating it with a spoon. Kind of addictive. But in a good way! Try this for your next holiday party just don’t mention the beans! 😉
I am into FAST recipes these days. But of course they still have to be delicious. And obviously were in the full swing of fall so they either need pumpkin or apples involved somehow. Which gives us this super moist, super yummy Praline-Apple Bread. I love quick breads, especially ones that are topped with a gooey praline topping. The chunks of apples, bursts of cinnamon chips and crunchy, toasted pecans make this bread perfect for a brunch, snack or after dinner dessert! I took it to a mommy/baby play date and it was almost gone by the time we left! I call that a successful recipe!
2 c. Finely Chopped, Peeled Jonagold Apples (or golden delicious, granny smith, etc. It ended up being about 3 large apples.)
1½ c. Cinnamon Chips
1 c. Chopped Pecans, toasted
½ c. Unsalted Butter
½ c. Dark Brown Sugar, firmly packed
½ t. Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sour cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed for 2 minutes or until blended.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and apple pie spice. Add to sour cream mixture, beating just until blended. Fold in apples, ½ cup of pecans and 1 cup of cinnamon chips. Pour batter into loaf pan and sprinkle with remaining pecans and cinnamon chips, lightly pressing them into the top of the batter.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil after 50 minutes to prevent excessive browning (I missed the tip about the foil and my edges were well done so I strongly recommend doing it.) Cool in pan on wire rack, placed over a baking sheet, for 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.
Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and spoon over top of bread. Let cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.
Fall is in the air! Cooler weather, leaves falling, sweaters and boots, bonfires, apple and pumpkin EVERYTHING. I love it! Definitely my favorite season. So I thought I’d start things right with this recipe for Pumpkin Crunch Cake. I saw this recipe on The Picky Apple and since it had over HALF A MILLION pins on Pinterest, I thought it might be a good one to try. The bottom is like a yummy custard type pumpkin pie and the top is cakey and slightly crunchy from the pecans. So good! I topped mine with homemade cinnamon whipped cream, Bourbon Salted Caramel from Fat Toad Farm and organic dark chocolate chips. If you’re looking for a delicious fall recipe, this is the one!
Pumpkin Crunch Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, Bourbon Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Chips
1, 15 oz. Can Pumpkin Puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1, 12 oz. Can Evaporated Milk
3 Large Eggs, room temperature
1½ c. Sugar
1 t. Cinnamon
½ t. Salt
1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
1, 18.25 oz. Spice Cake Mix
1½ c. Pecans
1 c. Unsalted Butter, melted
Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10½ inch springform pan or 9x13 cake pan. I used a springform pan which did leak a little so I put a large, round baking pan under it.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Pour into the pan and sprinkle the cake mix on top (I only used about ¾ of the cake mix because I used a springform pan), then the pecans and drizzle with the melted butter. Bake for 1 hour or until the middle of the cake is firm (mine took about 1 hour and 10 minutes). Cool completely. Top with cinnamon whipped cream, caramel and dark chocolate chips.
This recipe started off as blondies but somehow turned into cake. Not sure what I did wrong but it’s all good because this turned out to be one of the best pumpkin cakes I’ve ever made. It’s super moist and the spices are very pronounced which I love. On top of all that, the orange cream cheese frosting is THE PERFECT frosting to complement all the spices in the cake…it’s absolutely delicious. I added semi-sweet chocolate chips and dried cherries but if I did it again, I’d omit the chocolate chips. The just seemed unnecessary and didn’t really add anything. I did love the dried cherries but you could also leave those out if you prefer.
If you’re looking for a fantastic pumpkin cake recipe, try this one. You won’t be disappointed.
Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Spiced Pumpkin Cake
2 sticks, plus 2 T. Unsalted Butter, softened
1¾ c. Packed Brown Sugar
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
1½ c. Pure Pumpkin Puree
1½ T. Cinnnamon
½ t. Nutmeg
2 t. Allspice
2 t. Ginger
1 t. Ground Cloves
2¼ c. All-Purpose Flour
1½ t. Baking Soda
½ t. Salt
¾ c. Dried Cherries (optional)
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
1 Stick Unsalted Butter, softened
1, 8 oz. Pkg Cream Cheese, softened
¼ t. Salt
4 c. Powdered Sugar
1 T. Orange Zest
4 T. Fresh Orange Juice
For the Spiced Pumpkin Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then vanilla and pumpkin until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in dried cherries, if using.
Bake for 35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely and frost with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.
For the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, cream cheese and shortening until smooth. Add salt. On low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Beat in orange zest and juice. Frost cake.
I really enjoy finding recipes from other blogs to share with you guys. The only problem is I find so many that it’s hard to choose which ones to include without the post being incredibly long! So I managed to narrow things down to TEN pumpkin recipes. All look drool-worthy and absolutely freakin’ delicious. See if there is one you like and make it! If you do, please tell me about it in the comments…I truly would love to know what you end up making and loving!
Welp, it’s October. Pumpkin is everywhere. Pumpkin decor, pumpkin patches, pumpkin candy, pumpkin soup…it goes on and on. And then we have baking. The pumpkin recipes never end. You’ve got bars, cakes, ice cream, cookies, fudge, cheesecake, cupcakes and so many other things I’m not even able to think of right now! I of course want an EPIC pumpkin recipe to share with you all but it seems like so many ideas have already been done…but I’m working on it!
In the meantime, I’d like to share this super simple and healthy pumpkin muffin recipe. It’s like pumpkin pie in muffin form with a little chocolate thrown in. I LOVE the combo of pumpkin and chocolate. I first tried it a few years ago when I made pumpkin truffles and wow, the two flavors together are amazing! This recipe from Deliciously Organic was originally grain-free but I only had whole wheat pastry flour on hand so I went with that. I modified a few other things and these turned out fabulous. Super moist and full of pumpkin flavor. And the little touch of chocolate is delicious.
1 c. Canned, Pure Pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
½ c. Dark or Bittersweet Chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a regular muffin tin with 12 muffin liners.
Whisk eggs, egg whites, almond milk, sucanat, vanilla and safflower oil together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon together. Add dry ingredients to wet and whisk until no lumps remain. Fold in pumpkin. Spoon batter into muffin cups and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an air-tight container.
Whose garden is already being overrun with TONS of zucchini?? I would raise my hand but guess whose zucchini plants didn’t take this year–yeah, mine. But I must be the only one because I am being blessed by everyone else’s overabundance from their gardens and have already started grating and freezing loads of zucchini. I did want to use some of it right away though so decided on, what else, zucchini bread. I love zucchini bread, always have. I know that people get tired of it but I could eat it all day (uhh, which is NOT good, just fyi). My favorite is a variation with lots of spices and pieces of black walnuts throughout, just like my grandma always made it.
Coincidentally, my friend Joelle had just posted this recipe and I decided to use it as a base for a healthy version. If I’m going to use something as nutritious as zucchini in my baking, I have real issues with adding in refined sugar, unhealthy oils and unecessary fats (exception: this recipe). Seems kind of pointless, to be honest. So I went for the extreme opposite and made this as healthy as I possibly could. And what resulted was the best pumpkin zucchini bread I have ever had. I really am not joking. It was so moist and dense and had the perfect flavor. I really had to pace myself with this stuff because let me tell you I could have eaten it all in a couple of days.
I had read that chia seeds could be used as a substitute for butter in baking which was interesting to me so I went ahead and used them along with some canned organic pumpkin (a million times better than the stuff at Wal-mart) and I really think that it worked even better than oil or butter in the recipe. Very exciting! Definitely look forward to experimenting more in the future.
2 c. Shredded Zucchini, wrung with paper towels to rid excess liquid
⅓ c. Black Walnuts, chopped
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger.
In a medium bowl combine almond milk, honey, pumpkin puree, chia seeds that have been soaked in water and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Add to dry ingredients and gently fold in until everything is just combined. Add zucchini and walnuts and mix until evenly distributed throughout batter. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes checking periodically to see if a tester comes out clean. Cool completely.
This past weekend I made homemade candy, which is probably my favorite thing to make in the kitchen. I tried a couple of old recipes and a couple of new ones. One of the new ones was out of a candy book that I have and unfortunately it was a total disaster. It was supposed to be similar to a 3 Musketeers but was more like chocolate taffy. The taste was great because I used my super delicious Mexican cocoa powder but the texture was way off. I was soooo disappointed in the recipe but I’m not going to give up! I think that is what I like about candy making, it can be a challenge and it’s fun to figure out why recipes went wrong and what to do right or change the next time.
Here is a small collection of candy recipes that I’d love to try this Christmas, from simple to a little bit more complicated. The homemade Snickers bar and Coffee Toffee are totally calling my name…actually they ALL look good! Which one would you like to try??
Jeremy and I recently had the chance to sample another new cupcake place in Springfield, MO called Star Cakes: Cups of Cakes that opened just this past September (one of MANY that we have now…although not quite as many as all the self-serve fro yo places…I’ll do a post on that another day). Their store ran a special deal for buy a dozen cupcakes at half-price so we got to taste a good variety of their cupcakes the day we went. They also had chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies so I went ahead and got a chocolate chip cookie to go with our DOZEN cupcakes. It’s a hard job I tell ya.
Anyway, we gathered our bounty and headed home. The chocolate chip cookie didn’t quite make it to the house…it was a really good, thick, chewy cookie and Jeremy and I both liked it alot! As for the cupcakes, I chose nine different flavors: Star Cake a La Mode, Fudge Star, Red Star Velvet, Chocolate PB Star, Strawberry, Hawaiian Star, Pumpkin, Carrot Cake and Milky Way. You can check out the descriptions of each on their menu here.
Unfortunately, I didn’t really have a favorite out of the group and but you really can’t go wrong with pumpkin and that was probably the one I liked the most, moist and very fall-appropriate with a yummy cream cheese frosting. The rest, to me at least, didn’t taste quite as from-scratch that I’m used to and it seemed like a lot of artificial flavors were used. My least favorite was a toss-up between the Hawaiian Star and Strawberry…too much artificial going on for me.
Overall, I think it will be interesting to see who survives the cupcake wars going on in Springfield right now…and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of new cupcake places to come to town! Just more research I *have* to do! 😉
In case you’re feeling crafty and in the mood for cupcakes this Thanksgiving, why not give one of these so, so cute Thanksgiving themed cupcakes a try! I think the acorn cupcakes look like something even I could handle! I’d probably add some chocolate leaves just to give it a little more oomph!
Believe it or not, there are some people on diets this time of year. Yes, DIETS, preparing/starving themselves for the two month long eat-o-rama that begins around mid-November and doesn’t stop until somewhere around the new year. I myself believe in moderation and balance and try to get plenty of exercise and eat an overall healthy diet (I definitely do NOT believe in starvation and “diet” trends). And I am most certainly planning on indulging during the holidays but in moderation.
So, for those more health-conscious readers out there like myself, I thought I would provide you with some healthy dessert options for you to bring to those family get-togethers. Some are most definitely more healthy than others; there are low-fat, low-calorie, high-protein, low-sugar, etc. Options! That’s what I’m all about. 🙂 I’ll definitely be testing a couple (the Date Bars and Honey-Almond Cake are calling my name!) to see if they are worthy of the upcoming family festivities. I’ll post my results!
If you’ve never tried the combination of pumpkin and chocolate, you are seriously missing out. The first time I ever tried the unusual, but oh-so-delicious pairing was several years ago when I made these Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles. I was in heaven. You wouldn’t think that the two flavors would go together but they compliment each other wonderfully. Throw in some cinnamon and it’s a party in your mouth! Now, add a cheesecake factor and you have mind blowing AWESOMENESS. And that is just what you get with these Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirled Brownies.
These are simple and delicious. The brownie batter is super thick and doesn’t seem like alot when you pour it in the pan, but after it bakes up, it’s the perfect proportion of brownie to cheesecake. The only problem I had was swirling the brownie batter into the cheesecake because it was so thick. It was more just kind of gently mixing it all together with a knife. But it worked! And they turned out perfect.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking pan.
For the Brownie Batter:
Beat together the melted butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Whisk together dry ingredients in a small bowl and then gradually fold into the butter mixture by hand.
For the Pumpkin Cheesecake Batter:
In another bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in remainder of ingredients until smooth.
Spread about ⅔ of the brownie batter into prepared pan. Spread the pumpkin cheesecake batter over top, distributing evenly. Drop the remaining brownie batter over the cheesecake batter and swirl together with a butter knife.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely and chill before cutting and serving. (They are MUCH better chilled in the refrigerator overnight.)
I know everyone is getting really excited about the colder temps and winter-like weather that is happening right now, but we have PLENTY of fall left and I’m going to savor every last minute of it. Here are a few things I love at this time of the year (and some ah-mazing pumpkin recipes).
Fall Leaves. Can’t get enough of the beautiful colors. And it’s even better this year since this is the first fall in our new house and we have two gorgeous trees in our front yard. (and no, these are not our trees! I wish!)
Pumpkin Monkey Bread. I do believe I could eat this EVERY SINGLE morning for breakfast. I won’t! But I could.
Fall-Scented Candles. According to this blog, Bath and Body Works has a Bakeshop candle collection. Sad to say I haven’t been to the mall in so long, I have no idea if this is true or not! Shopping trip!
Andy’s Frozen Custard Pumpkin Pie Concrete. I think this is my favorite concrete concoction from Andy’s (besides my husband’s brilliant combination of cherry juice, Oreos and brownie mmmmm). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good photo which I suppose means one thing: I’ll have to go get a Pumpkin Pie Concrete and take my own photo. The things I do…
Lovely Fall Dessert Tables. I so wish I had been invited to this party.
The nights are getting cooler which means it’s time to break out the hot cocoa and apple cider. I thought it would be fun to share some recipes for hot drinks, both classic and new. Oh and for those who prefer a bit of booze in your holiday drink, I’ve got a couple of those too.
My original intent for this post was that it would be a recipe for pumpkin BROWNIES (or blondies..whatever) but about a quarter of the way through whipping these up I realized that I was not going to end up with the dense, chewy, pumpkin-y brownies I was dreaming of but most likely, a cake. And I was right. I was definitely a little disappointed at first but got over it pretty quickly after my first bite.
It was probably one of the most moist pumpkin cakes I’ve ever had and so wonderfully spiced. It’s good enough to stand on it’s own without frosting but would most certainly be even more awesome with a layer of cream cheese frosting or a dollop of homemade whipped cream. I took it to a family function and didn’t bring any home, so that’s a good sign! So, I suppose it worked out but I’m still on the hunt for the perfect pumpkin brownie recipe!
In an electric mixer, beat oil and sugar. Add eggs and beat until incorporated. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and beat into wet ingredients just until combined.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
*I also put an 11 oz. bag of butterscotch chips in these but since they weren't thick like brownies, they all sunk to the bottom half of the cake. So, it's up to you if you want to add them or not.
It’s October! I am so excited about October for many reasons…craft fairs, pumpkin everything, Halloween candy galore, hot drinks, scary movies, bon fires…the list goes on and on. I think we should kick off October AND Monday morning the right way–with Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes! How delish do these look?! You might recall when I posted about the original Cinnamon Roll Pancake recipe on a previous post awhile back, but I think the pumpkin takes it to a whole other level! You better believe these are on the menu for breakfast next weekend!
Prepare the cinnamon filling: In a small, microwave-safe bowl- heat butter, brown sugar and cinnamon for 40 to 60 seconds, just until butter is melted. Whisk the filling ingredients together and then pour it into a sandwich-sized zip baggie. Zip up the baggie and lay it on the counter while you prepare the pancake batter.
Prepare the Icing: In a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat butter and cream cheese 30 to 60 seconds, just until butter has melted and cream cheese has softened. Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla and combine until smooth. Set the icing aside.
Prepare the pancake batter: In a large bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vinegar. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt and brown sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until all is moistened.
Check on your cinnamon filling: Open up the baggie again and give it a good stir to re-incorporate any butter that may have separated. You want the mixture to thicken a bit- it's best when it's similar to the squeezing texture of toothpaste (which will eventually happen if you leave it on the counter long enough, but refrigerate for a few minutes if you need to). Don't try to use the filling for the pancake swirl unless it has thickened as it will be too runny! Snip off a small piece of the corner of the baggie.
Cook the pancakes: Preheat a large skillet or griddle to medium. Use an ice cream scoop (or ladle) to add the batter to the pan. Use the bottom of the scoop or ladle to spread out the batter into a nice, even circle. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Pick up your cinnamon filling baggie and squeeze the filling into the corner. Starting at the center of the pancake squeeze the cinnamon filling on top of the pancake batter in a swirl (just as you see in a cinnamon roll). Cook the pancakes 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it is golden brown on the bottom. Slide a thin spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. When you flip the pancake onto a plate, you will see that the cinnamon filling has created a crater-swirl of cinnamon. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, and repeat with the remaining pancake batter and cinnamon filling. Serve pancakes topped with a drizzle of cream cheese icing.
If you do not have pumpkin pie spice, use this combo of spices instead: 1 teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
I know that I just posted a recipe for Key Lime Pie Ice Cream earlier this week, but the truth is I am already WAY into fall baking mode. After having several days of degrees well above 100 this summer, anything less than that seems cool and fall-ish in comparison even if it is still in the upper 80s! So now that it’s September, I am opening up the flood gates on everything pumpkin, apple and maple and the recipes are gonna come pouring out!
Let’s start with this recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies. I initially wanted a chewy cookie but these were some of the puffiest, softest cake-like cookies that I have ever made. And that was ok by me. And they weren’t too sweet which was perfect because the butterscotch filling more than made up for any lack of sweetness in the cookie. I took these to a get-together and they got rave reviews all around and not one made it back home with me. Always a good sign.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Malted Butterscotch Filling
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
1 c. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
1⅓ c., plus 1 T. Light Brown Sugar, packed
2 Large Eggs
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 c. AP Flour
1 t. Baking Soda
1½ t. Ground Cinnamon
1 t. Pumpkin Pie Spice
½ t. Salt
2½ c. Oats
Malted Butterscotch Filling
1 c. Butterscotch Chips
2½ T. Unsalted Butter, cut into chunks
⅓ c., plus 2 T. Plain (not chocolate-flavored) Malted Milk Powder
1½ ounces Cream Cheese, softened and cut into chunks
3 T. Milk
1½ t. Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Cookies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt and oats together. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight.
Roll dough into 1½-2" balls and place two inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 9-10 minutes (9 minutes was perfect for me), rotating pans half-way through. Let them sit on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Filling:
In a medium bowl, microwave the butterscotch chips and butter at 20 second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and smooth. Cool to warm. In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and malted milk powder until well blended and completely smooth. Beat in half the butterscotch mixture just until incorporated. Beat in the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until well blended. Beat in the remaining butterscotch mixture and the vanilla until evenly incorporated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until somewhat thickened but not stiff. (The recipe then calls for you to beat the filling on high speed until light in color and very fluffy, about three minutes. I accidentally missed that step. Oops. So it's up to you, but I'd recommend NOT skipping that step.)
Spread about 1½ tablespoons of the filling on the underside of half of the cookies and then top with the remaining cookies. These can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.