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Pumpkin Perfection

My husband is obsessed with pumpkin. He begs me to make him pumpkin baked goods all the time. I tried two new recipes for him recently, and they both turned out great!

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The first recipe I tried is my favorite. These Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars are seriously amazing, and I will be making them in lieu of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving. I have never been a huge fan of pumpkin pie, so this offers a tasty alternative for me. I can’t even properly describe how awesome these melt-in-your-mouth bars are, so you’re just going to have to try them for yourself.

Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars

Ingredients

    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cups quick oats (old fashioned works too)
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Pumpkin Pie Filling
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed-light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups canned pureed pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk or half and half
  • Whipped cream and cinnamon, for serving (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, salt and baking soda for 30 seconds. Add in 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar an mix until no clumps remain. Combine melted butter and vanilla and add to mixture, then stir with a spoon until evenly moistened. Gently press half of the mixture into a greased 8 by 8-inch baking dish (a 9 by 9-inch baking dish would be great to, just reduce the baking time slightly as needed) and bake in preheated oven 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt. Add in egg, egg yolk and vanilla and stir until blended. Mix in pumpkin then milk. Pour mixture over baked cookie portion and return to oven to bake 15 minutes, then remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cookie crumb mixture over top while breaking the crumb into small bits. Transfer oven rack closer to the top-center (not directly beneath but a few levels below) and return to oven to bake about 20 – 25 minutes longer until golden on top and center only jiggles slightly. Remove from oven and allow to cool 1 hour at room temperature, then transfer to refrigerator to cool 1 hour longer (or serve warm from the oven like a crumble with ice cream). Cut into squares and serve with sweetened whipped cream and a light dusting of cinnamon if desired.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

 

photo 3 (1)The second recipe is also to die for. When I see sour cream as an ingredient for cookies, I immediately want to try the recipe. They are guaranteed to turn out soft and fluffy. Which is what led me to try out these Pumpkin Snickerdoodles. Let me tell you, they did not disappoint. If you love regular snickerdoodles, you MUST try this recipe. I made them without the icing, simply because my pumpkin-loving hubby hates icing. I bet they would be even better with it, though!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ingredients
  • ½ cup, plus 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (do not use the pumpkin pie mix puree)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Coating:
  • ¼ cup granulate sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Icing:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2½ – 3½ cups powdered sugar (depending on how thick you want it)
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

 

Instructions
  1. Beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar for about 3 minutes on low.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the vanilla and egg until combined.
  3. Add the pumpkin and sour cream.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk them all together and slowly stir into the wet ingredients.
  5. Refrigerate the batter for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees while you start to roll out the dough into medium size balls.
  7. Mix together the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg for the coating.
  8. Roll the balls of dough into the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Pat the ball of dough gently with your palm after setting onto the pan (covered with parchment paper or a baking mat).
  9. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes. They will finish baking when you let them cool on the baking sheet when pulled out of the oven. Do not over bake.
  10. Icing:
  11. Beat the softened cream cheese and vanilla for about 1 minute on medium high speed. Alternate the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until the right consistency. You may want to add more powdered sugar to make it thicker or to your liking.
  12. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the icing. You can hand frost these with a knife or by using a piping bag method.
  13. Enjoy!

Click here for original recipe.

photo 2I hope you give these a shot! Fall is my favorite time for baking, and I think these desserts are perfect for the season! Happy baking!

 

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Quick Ribbed Headband

IMG_1265Just a short blurb today about this super cute and easy ribbed headband with a ruffle rose. This took me about 30 minutes total to make! I made two, one for Daisy and one for a friend’s niece. Now that I am getting faster and a little better at crochet, I have project ideas for literally every baby I know. I’m quickly turning into a 21-year-old granny. Click to see the free pattern! Below you will see Daisy modeling the headband in her Halloween PJ’s. Judging by the second photo, I’d say she likes the headband 😉

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Baby Leg Warmers!

IMG_1254Let me start by saying, don’t judge me for my crooked rows. This is the second pair of leg warmers I have crocheted, and this pattern was a little more complicated than the first one I made. Daisy looks adorable in them, anyway (she’d look adorable in a brown paper sack…which isn’t saying much for my leg warmers I suppose). These little gems will come in handy when my munchkin starts crawling. Which could be any day now, and I’d hate for her knees to get rug burns!

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This super cute pattern happens to come from a fellow WordPress blogger! Her blog is awesome, with tons of free patterns. Click here to check it out! The pattern is for 6-9 month olds, but I had to shrink it down quite a bit for Daisy. Her legs don’t have any big baby rolls yet!

I also whipped up some little teethers for Daisy. I had some old, slightly coarse yarn lying around and no idea what to do with it. It occurred to me that the yarn would probably be fairly absorbent. I crocheted a few simple small shapes with the yarn, and ta-da! Baby teethers. They can be wet down with cold water, and Daisy loves to chew on them. These are something I can make in a matter of minutes for friends with teething babies.

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I had no idea how to crochet an oval before this, and I totally winged it. I think it came out pretty good! The heart shape is a free pattern I found online. Click here to see it! That’s all the crochet fun I have for today. With the snow we’ve gotten, I’m inspired to embark on some warm winter projects! Those will be up soon.

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Treat Yourself Tuesday

Caprese Grilled CheeseI think it’s only appropriate to kick off my new blog with a post about my latest food obsession: Caprese salad. But I have taken the tomato, basil, mozzarella, and balsamic vinaigrette combo to the next level. Caprese Grilled Cheese. A little backstory here: my mother has a garden in which she grows basil. Last week, she sent a bag full of basil home with me. I then purchased Roma tomatoes, whole milk mozzarella, and a fancy balsamic vinaigrette. I first made the traditional salad; it was tasty, as I expected it would be. After some brief brainstorming, the idea for the grilled cheese was formed. Am I saying I invented this sandwich? No. Am I incredibly proud of the deliciousness that ensued? Yes. To build the sandwich, I used some thick-cut Italian bread I happened to have on hand, slathered in plenty of butter. Then layered on the cheese slices, tomato (with a little salt), and a few basil leaves. I placed the sandwich into my skillet (not cold, I pre-heated the skillet so it sizzled when the buttery bread touched it), and grilled it to a golden brown on both sides. Any grilled cheese expert will tell you that the best way to achieve crispy perfection is to cook on a medium heat. Low heat, even. My mozzarella, being thickly sliced, was not completely melted when my bread was perfectly grilled. So I turned the heat on my burner down as low as possible and covered my skillet with a lid. The cheese took just a few minutes to reach the perfect gooiness. At this point, I plated and tasted my sandwich. I knew immediately that this was the best grilled cheese I had ever created or tasted. I dipped it in a little bit of my fancy balsamic, but it was also good without.

The options for Caprese are pretty much endless. I encourage you to try it if you haven’t already, and get creative. If you’re into appetizers, you could make Caprese kabobs with those little mozzarella balls and grape tomatoes. I have even included an annoying Instagram photo of my grilled cheese for your enjoyment. Happy Eating!