Apple Crisp Cheesecake

So, are you savoring these last days of Fall while getting ready for Thanksgiving still embracing the pumpkins, leaves and colors of the season? Or have you just gone full blown into Christmas and all around you is red and green and your Thanksgiving meal will be celebrated with Christmas décor?  People have very strong feelings about this and prefer each holiday to have its own time. Me personally I put up my Christmas Tree on November 1st. I used to wait until after Thanksgiving, but I would always feel rushed then to get all my decorating done in one day. The tree up, décor around the house and the lights outside. It was just too much. So, a few years ago I decided that I would set up my tree right after Halloween. I will wait until Thanksgiving week though to turn it on and enjoy it all lit up. I must say though that this year I found that people really had some strong feelings about people jumping into Christmas right after Halloween. Is it really that big of a deal? Just do you own thing and don’t fault others for wanting to spread some holiday cheer a little early. Regardless, today’s dessert might just be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table. It combines quite a few desserts into one, an Apple Crisp Cheesecake. You get your apples, a crisp topping and a cheesecake all tied together into one yummy dessert.

I started off by making the crisp topping since it needed to be chilled, then the apples and finally the cheesecake part. To assemble, I started off by filling a 9-inch graham cracker crust with the cheesecake filling. I added in some apple pie spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger – to the cheesecake to help tie all the flavors together since I did add cinnamon to both the apples and crisp topping.

I then arranged the apples over the filling. First in an even layer and then placed the remaining apples over them. I tossed the apples with lemon juice, cinnamon and brown sugar. I used Granny Smith apples, so they weren’t very sweet or mushy after baking.

And finally, I sprinkled the chilled crisp topping over the apples. Initially I wasn’t planning on baking the cheesecake on a baking sheet, but, as I started to sprinkle the topping on it, I thought it best to bake it on the sheet just in case any of the topping fell off. The reason I chilled the crisp topping was to minimize the chances of it over-browning or burning too quickly while in the oven.

I baked the cheesecake for just shy of an hour and then let it cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before placing it on a wire rack to cool completely. It’s best to let cool it for a few minutes on the pan before transferring it so the cheesecake can firm up a bit. The apples will release some juices while baking and while the cheesecake will be done it will feel soft due to these extra juices.

Once the cheesecake had cooled completely, I refrigerated it overnight. And the next day it was time to slice it and enjoy a piece. And I must say, this came out just as I had hoped and envisioned in my head. As with the Apple Tiramisu from the other day it wasn’t overly sweet and all the components worked well together.  

Apple Crisp Cheesecake

Ingredients:

9-inch graham cracker crust

For the Cheesecake:

2 8oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon ginger

2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the Apple Topping:

2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored & sliced thin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

For the Crisp Topping:

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter, softened

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 F.

For the Crisp Topping: In a medium bowl mix together the oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Add in the butter and mix until the mixture is crumbly. It might be best to use your hands. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

For the Apple Topping: In a medium bowl toss together the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar until the apples are well coated. Set aside.

For the Cheesecake: In a large bowl beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger with a hand mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs and continue beating until the eggs are incorporated into the batter.

Assemble: Place the graham cracker crust on a baking sheet then pour the cheesecake batter into the crust. Arrange the apples evenly over the batter and then sprinkle the crisp topping over the apples.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, until the center is set. To prevent the crisp topping from over-browning or burning, tent the cheesecake with aluminum foil for the last 15-20 minutes.

Cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (or overnight) before serving.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.

Apple Tiramisu

This week I’m bringing you a twist on some traditional desserts, a Fall twist that is with the addition of apples to both. Up first an Apple Tiramisu, and later this week an Apple Crisp Cheesecake.

So, where did the idea for an Apple Tiramisu come from? Well, I had a pack of ladyfingers that were quickly approaching their expiration date and while I was planning on making a traditional tiramisu with them, I started to think that maybe something a little more seasonal would work. And thankfully I was right. Truth be told I had some reservations that the apple filling, similar to what you would make for apple pie, would work in the tiramisu.

To start, I made the apple filling since it needed to be completely cooled before assembling the tiramisu. After peeling, coring and chopping my apples I tossed them with lemon juice, light brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. I then cooked them in melted butter along with a few tablespoons of water in a medium saucepan. The apples were soft, but still had a slight crunch to them.

While the apples cooled, I made a bourbon whipped cream and the mascarpone filling. I folded some of the bourbon whipped cream into mascarpone cheese and reserved the rest for the topping of the tiramisu. I also made the dipping mixture for the ladyfingers by whisking together milk, sugar, vanilla extract and bourbon.

Once all the components were done it was time to start assembling the tiramisu. I began by dipping half of the ladyfingers in the milk mixture and arranging them in an even layer in the bottom of an 8×8-inch baking dish. I spread half of the mascarpone filling over the ladyfingers and then topped it with half of the apple mixture. I repeated the layer one more time and then spread the reserved bourbon whipped cream over the top. I covered the tiramisu with a piece of wax paper and aluminum foil and refrigerated it overnight.

The following day I made a small and quick batch of caramel sauce. After sprinkling chopped walnuts on top of the tiramisu I then drizzled the caramel sauce over it.

This was a nice Fall twist on the traditional Tiramisu. It was light with just the right amount of sweetness from the apples.

Apple Tiramisu

Ingredients:

7oz. package of Ladyfingers

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, for topping

For the Apple Filling:

3 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored & chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon flour

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 tablespoons water

For the Mascarpone Cream:

8 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

2 cups heavy cream

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons bourbon

For the Ladyfingers Dipping Mixture:

1 1/2 cups milk*

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons bourbon

For the Caramel Drizzle:

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*I used whole milk

Directions:

Apple Filling: In a medium bowl toss the apples with the lemon juice. Add in the sugar, cinnamon and flour and toss together until the apples are well coated.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat, add the apples and water and toss everything together. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook the apples until they are soft but still have a slight crunch to them, 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally so the apples don’t stick to the pan. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Mascarpone Cream: In a medium bowl stir together the mascarpone cheese and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract until well combined.

In another medium bowl, beat together the heavy cream, sugar, bourbon and the remaining 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract with a hand mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Reserve about 1 1/4 cups of the whipped cream mixture.

Gradually fold the remaining whipped cream mixture into the mascarpone cheese mixture. Start with a quarter of the of the whipped cream mixture and then the remaining amount. Continue folding the two mixtures together until no streaks of either remain and they are well incorporated.

Dipping Mixture: In a shallow bowl whisk together all the ingredients – milk, sugar, vanilla extract and bourbon – until combined.

Assemble: Dip the rounded side of half of the ladyfingers in the dipping mixture and arrange them in an even layer in the bottom of an 8×8-inch baking dish. Top with half of the mascarpone cream and then spread half of the cooled apple mixture over the cream. Repeat the layers once more. Top with the reserved whipped cream mixture. Cover with a piece of wax paper and them aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

For the caramel drizzle: An hour before serving, make the caramel sauce. In a small saucepan combine the sugar, butter and milk. Heat over medium heat until sugar melts and the mixture boils. Boil for a minute or two stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to cool. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. If it looks like it’s separating while it’s cooling, whisk it for a minute or so.

Right before serving, sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the tiramisu and then drizzle with caramel sauce.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.

Pumpkin Churro Bundt Cake

I must say, I haven’t gone crazy this year with baking pumpkin desserts. I had a couple of recipes I wanted to try – which I did – and there were others that I came across that I passed on. Could it be that my love of pumpkin is fading? Mmm…. I don’t think so. I’ve just been focusing on getting some other things done and finding and creating other recipes to make. Now, if you love pumpkin and you love churros today’s cake is for you… It’s a Pumpkin Churro Bundt Cake.

The base of the cake is a white cake mix that is doctored with some spices and of course pumpkin puree. The pumpkin flavor is not overpowering at all and the puree gives the cake a nice light orange hue. Not the artificial looking orange you may see with some pumpkin desserts thanks to the addition of orange food coloring.

And to get the churro effect, once the cake has completely cooled it is rubbed with a cinnamon sugar mixture. I must say, I liked that the recipe didn’t call for the cake being brushed with melted butter before coating it with the cinnamon sugar. I think the cake would have been almost too wet then since the pumpkin helps to make the cake incredibly moist. And yes, there were no issues getting the cinnamon sugar to stick to the cake without it.

Along with the cinnamon mixture on the outside of the cake, there is also a swirl of it on the inside which gives each piece of the cake an extra spice and sweet kick.

If you are in the mood for actual Pumpkin Churros, try the recipe below:

Pumpkin Churros

Pumpkin Churro Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1 15.25 box of white cake mix

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Cinnamon Swirl:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray and set aside.

Combine the ingredients for the cinnamon swirl in a medium bowl, set aside.

In a large bowl sift together the cake mix, flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, salt and baking powder.

In a separate large bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients – buttermilk, pumpkin puree, light brown sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract – until well combined. Add this mixture to dry mixture and whisk together until well combined.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and then sprinkle 1/3 cup of the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top of the batter and then pour the remaining batter into the pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Place the pan on a wire rack and allow the cake to cool completely. Invert the cake on a platter or cake board and rub the remaining cinnamon sugar around it.

Recipe from Sweet Meli Bakery

Baked Apples

I recently got a good amount of apples from my yearly apple picking trip and this year the apples I picked were the right amount of sweetness and crispness. To make sure they don’t go to waste, one can only eat so many apples before they start to go bad, I invariably make a few baked goodies with them. Usually an apple crisp of some sort, this year I decided to make Baked Apples. A simple dessert with a lot of flavor.

The most difficult part of making these baked apples is coring the apples. To do so I used an apple corer to go partway down the apple, turned it a few times and then removed it without the core. Next, I used a paring knife and a small spoon to remove the core and to widen the holes of the apples. You want to leave about a 1/2-inch of the bottom of the apple intact.

Next, I combined brown sugar, spices and chopped walnuts with softened butter and divided the mixture among the apples which I placed in a glass baking dish. And finally, before placing the apples in the oven I filled the bottom of the dish with a cup of boiling water. This helps to keep the apples moist while baking.

And after baking for about 40 minutes in the oven I had delicious baked apples and wonderful aroma swirling around my house. These are delish on their own but even better with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream.

One more thing to note, the best apples to use for baking are those that are firm; Granny Smith, Cortland, Fuji, Gala, etc. Since I picked quite a few different types of apples I can’t be all that sure which I used to make these baked apples. If you are concerned that the apples you are using may be too soft just keep an eye on them while they are in the oven. They may be ready in less time.

Baked Apples

Ingredients:

4 medium to large apples

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

1 cup boiling water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Use a sharp knife or apple corer to cut out the core of the apples leaving about a 1/2-inch of the bottom of the apple intact. Scoop out the insides of the apples to make the holes wide enough to place the butter mixture inside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and chopped walnuts (is using). Add in the softened butter and mash everything together with a fork or use your hands to mix it together until it’s well combined.

Place the apples in an 8×8-inch baking dish. Divide the butter mixture among the apples and then carefully pour the hot water into the bottom of the pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the apples are cooked through and soft but not mushy.

Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before enjoying.

Any leftover apples can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in the microwave.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.

Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake

If at first you don’t succeed you must try again. That’s what’s been happening with some of the cakes I have been posting as of late. I have been trying to come up with recipes myself as opposed to relying on Google to give me a nice list of whatever idea pops into my head. On my first try it’s sometimes a complete fail, a great flavor but horrible texture or a so-so flavor and the right texture. And let’s be honest, if you can’t get the flavor and texture to be just right the cake is just not good to eat. That’s what happened with the first pumpkin cake I made for today’s Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake. I used an entire can of pumpkin puree for the cake and the end result was a cake that had an odd indentation around it, but tasted good. I had a feeling that it was the result of too much liquid (i.e. wet ingredients) in the cake and my suspicions were correct. I ended up tweaking the recipe a bit and ended up with a cake that had smooth edges and a much more cake-like consistency.

So, what makes this a tiramisu cake? Well, if you are thinking ladyfingers you won’t be finding any on this cake. It’s more about the flavor. The filling is basically the same filling that is used in your typical tiramisu… A custard that is mixed with mascarpone cheese and homemade whipped cream. To get that coffee flavor, each cake layer is brushed with a coffee and Kahlua mixture. And to top it off, the cake is covered in a Mascarpone Kahlua Frosting (YUM!). I had some leftover frosting after finishing the cake and I may have enjoyed a spoonful or two of it. It’s not sweet at all and the Kahlua gives it a very light coffee flavor. And finally, the cake is dusted with unsweetened cocoa powder to get that finishing look of Tiramisu.

The end result, a pumpkin cake that is perfectly complemented by the traditional flavors of Tiramisu.

If you are looking for a more traditional Tiramisu with the flavors of pumpkin instead, check out the recipe below from a few years ago.

Pumpkin Tiramisu

Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake

For the Pumpkin Cake:

1 15.25oz box of yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

For the Tiramisu Filling:

3 egg yolks

1/3 cup + 1 tbsp sugar

1/3 cup whole milk

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the coffee soak:

1/4 cup coffee

2 tablespoon Kahlua

For the Mascarpone Kahlua Frosting:

1 1lb. mascarpone cheese

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups Confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons Kahlua

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Unsweetened cocoa powder, to dust on top of the cake

Directions:

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray 2 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray.

In a large bowl whisk together the cake mix and pumpkin pie spice. Add in the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, eggs and milk. Beat with a hand mixer on low speed for 30 seconds and then increase the speed to medium and beat until just combined.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 24-28 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling:

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until blended. Whisk in the milk and stir constantly until it boils. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a container and cool to room temperature. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and then cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Beat the heavy cream and vanilla together until stiff peaks form.

Beat the mascarpone cheese and chilled egg yolk mixture together until blended. Fold the whipped cream mixture in until no streaks remain. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the frosting:

Add the mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, Confectioners’ sugar, Kahlua and vanilla extract to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Start the mixer on low and beat for 30 seconds to 1 minute to allow the ingredients to come together. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer to medium high and continue to beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. At first there may seem like there is too much heavy cream but as you continue to beat it, the heavy cream will be incorporated, and the frosting will become light and fluffy.

To assemble:

If necessary, level the cake layers. In a small bowl whisk together the Kahlua and coffee and brush it on the top of both cake layers.

Place the bottom cake layer on a cake board or serving platter. Transfer about a cup of frosting to a piping bag and pipe a dam around this bottom layer and then fill with the tiramisu filling. Place the second cake layer on top and then crumb coat the cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then finish frosting the cake with the remaining frosting. You should have enough frosting to pipe decorative dollops on top of the cake. Finish the cake by dusting the top with cocoa powder using a fine mesh sieve.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.

Bourbon Caramel Apple Upside Down Spice Cake

I’ve been willing Fall to get here for the past few weeks. I am sure I have mentioned it before, it’s my favorite season. Cooler weather, the leaves changing, baking without overheating my house, the list goes on and on. There are a few flavors synonymous with this time of year, mainly pumpkin and apples. And while I normally like to welcome Fall with a new pumpkin recipe, I decided to go with the apples this year for a Caramel Apple Bourbon Upside Down Spice Cake. A bit of a mouthful!

A little backstory on this cake. I got the idea from watching a Fall themed movie on Hallmark Channel back in the Spring. I wrote the idea on a post-it and finally revisited it a few weeks ago. And of course, there were a few fails before I finally ended up with a cake that looked and tasted delicious. My first cake collapsed in the middle. My cake tester led me astray! The cake was slightly undercooked in the middle and there was no saving it. The fail though led me to change the flavor of the cake so it was kind of a good thing. Initially I doctored a French vanilla cake mix and decided the flavor just wasn’t right, so I switched to a spice cake instead. That definitely screams Fall more so than French Vanilla. So, I bought a spice cake Mix and made a few tweaks to it. I also decided to bake the cake in a tube pan to ensure it would bake completely without drying out. Well, it still wasn’t quite right. I used heavy cream when I made my bourbon caramel sauce and I just didn’t like the way it looked after flipping the cake. And while the cake tasted good, I just wasn’t getting enough spice from it.

Thankfully my third attempt was a success! First, I decided to omit the heavy cream from my caramel sauce. Second, I went with a yellow cake mix and added in cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves (those yummy warm spices of the season) to really get a strong spice flavor. And third, after I poured the caramel and arranged the apples in the pan, I placed the pan in the refrigerator while I made the batter for the cake. This allowed the apples to set in the caramel so that they wouldn’t move when I poured the batter into the pan. This actually happened with my second attempt at this cake. I had arranged my apples in a nice design and they moved all around once I poured the batter in. I didn’t take any chances with my third attempt though. I spooned the batter into the pan just to be safe.

Just look at how the apples looked before I added the batter. I definitely wanted that look on top of my cake once it was done.

And thankfully since I made those tweaks my cake looked amazing once I flipped it out of the pan. YAY!!!

And even better, the taste and texture of the cake was spot on.

Happy Fall Y’all!

Bourbon Caramel Apple Upside Down Spice Cake

Ingredients:

For the Bourbon Caramel Apple:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup bourbon

2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch)

For the Spice Cake:

1 15.25 box of yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

3 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup buttermilk*, at room temperature

1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Make your own buttermilk by adding 4 teaspoons of vinegar to a measuring cup and then adding enough whole milk to make 3/4 cup. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature, or until the milk becomes thick and appears curdled.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a tube pan with baking spray and set aside. You could also use a Bundt pan.

For the Bourbon Caramel Sauce:

In a small saucepan combine the brown sugar and butter and melt over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is melted and combined remove from the heat and add the bourbon. Return to the heat for about a minute and stir to combine. Let cool slightly.

Pour the caramel sauce into the prepared pan and arrange the apple slices in the sauce making sure to overlap them.

While you make the cake batter refrigerate the pan with the apples and caramel sauce so the sauce can set. This will help the apples stay in place when you add the batter.

For the Spice Cake:

In a medium bowl whisk together the yellow cake mix with the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on low speed, beat the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla extract until combined. Using a fine mesh sieve (or a sifter) sift the cake mix with the spices over the buttermilk mixture and then beat with the hand mixer on medium speed until just combined.

Remove the pan from the refrigerator and spoon the batter over the apples. Give the pan a few gentle taps on the counter to remove any air bubbles and then bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes and then invert onto a cake platter or other rimmed dish. Let the cake to cool to room temperature before slicing and enjoying. It’s important to let the cake cool before slicing so the apples can set on the cake. If you slice it too soon the apples will slide off.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula

Pumpkin Blondies

I wasn’t planning on making so many pumpkin recipes this year, but, inevitably I come across a recipe here and there and it sounds too good not to make it. Besides its Fall Y’all… it’s all about the apples and the pumpkins! Now, I haven’t attempted to make a pumpkin brownie since the Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies from 5 years ago. Those brownies required 9 eggs, more than 1 can of pumpkin puree, turned into a debacle when I went to slice them and I was on the fence as to whether or not I liked them. Considering that I never thought to make them again, that should be my answer. But this year when I was thinking of something to bake for a friend’s birthday (she’s a pumpkin fan like me) I thought about attempting a pumpkin brownie again, definitely not that recipe though. But that idea quickly turned into a Pumpkin Blondie instead. In case you are wondering, the biggest difference between a blondie and a brownie is that a blondie does not have cocoa powder.

I knew right off the bat that these blondies would be much better than those brownies. The batter wasn’t as dense so I knew that when they were done baking there wouldn’t be any undercooked sections. I baked them until the edges were beginning to brown and pulled away from the sides of the pan. And when I inserted a cake tester in the center it came out clean.

And when I sliced them, I was right. They were completely baked through. And more importantly they were delish. I’ll go out on a limb and say that these blondies may be good for you. Along with the pumpkin, they also have dark chocolate and pecans, all three of which have health benefits.

Pumpkin Blondies

  • Servings: 24 Blondies
  • Print

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cup flour

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 15oz. can pure pumpkin puree

2 cups dark chocolate chips*

3/4 cup chopped pecans

*I used a 10oz. bag of dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides, and spray with baking spray.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until everything is combined. Add in the pumpkin puree and beat until combined.

With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients. Mixing until everything is just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans with a rubber spatula.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and using an offset spatula spread the batter out evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and when a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Place pan on a wire rack and let blondies cool completely in the pan before removing and slicing.

Recipe from My Baking Addiction

Honey Pumpkin Crumble Pie

So, I am trying to bring you a new pumpkin treat every week. I am hoping up until the week of Thanksgiving. And with the way time has been flying by it will be here before we know it. This week I am bringing you a twist on your traditional pumpkin pie… A Honey Pumpkin Crumble Pie. Don’t worry, it’s not super sweet because of the honey and the crumble topping offers a nice texture and crunch thanks to the addition of walnuts. And while I love pumpkin pie, I will admit that it can be a tad bit dense, but this pie is creamier and lighter.

Honey Pumpkin Crumble Pie

                      

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

1 15oz. can pumpkin

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 12oz. can evaporated milk

1 9-inch deep dish frozen pie crust

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the pie crust on a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl combine the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves and using a hand mixer whisk together until just combined. Continue beating while gradually adding the evaporated milk. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

While the pie is in the oven make the crumble topping. In a medium bowl combine the flour, chopped nuts, brown sugar and butter. Using a fork or your hands mix the ingredients together until they are crumbly.

Sprinkle the crumb topping over the pie after the 25 minutes and then continue baking the pie for an additional 20 – 25 minutes. Until the crumble topping lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack and then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe from Mixing Bowl Magazine

Apple Crumb Pie

I’m wrapping up my mini apple week today with a pie that would be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table… An Apple Crumb Pie. I make my fair share of desserts for Thanksgiving and this year I decided to make things a little easier on myself and forgo making any pies with a decorative pie crust. My baking list for Thanksgiving usually includes about 6 or 7 different desserts so taking that small thing off of my list is definitely going to help me get everything done in a timely fashion. And since I normally head to the city to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons get inflated the night before Thanksgiving I have limited time on that day to bake so I normally end up baking one last thing on Thanksgiving morning and I am trying to avoid that this year. Coupled with no decorative pie crusts I am also thinking of baking one or two things ahead of time which should definitely free up some time for me.

To begin this pie I started by making the crumb topping. Once I mixed all of the ingredients together I placed it in the freezer so it could firm up. Next, I covered a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and placed it on the bottom rack of my oven and preheated it to 400 F. And finally I made the filling. I added all of the ingredients for the filling to a large bowl and using a rubber spatula gently folded them together.

Now, I’ve never had much success in making pie crust from scratch so I always opt to either use refrigerated pie crust or my real favorite frozen pie crust. I apologize to those of you who are cringing right now. I just find it fool-proof, especially the frozen one, and since I am usually more concerned with how the filling is going to come out and perfecting a decorative crust it’s just easier for me. To be honest, when I do make a decorative pie crust I use a frozen crust for the filling and a refrigerated pie crust to decorate it. It’s so much easier to make cut outs or cut long strips with pie crust that is already the perfect thickness. If you’re thinking of following my trick here’s another one. If you want to decorate your pie with cut-outs make sure you refrigerate them after cutting them out before placing them on your pie. Same thing goes for the strips you would use for braiding or a lattice design. Handling the pie crust softens it quickly and then when you go to place it on your pie it won’t place as well or may start to break (especially if you are making a lattice design), firming it up again makes it easier to work with and it will bake better. Okay, so back to the pie at hand. I used a frozen 9-inch deep dish pie crust. I kept the pie crust in the freezer until I was ready to fill it. I spooned the filling into the pie crust and then gently topped it with the crumb topping, breaking any pieces of crumb that were too large. I carefully removed the hot pan from the oven and placed the pie on it and then returned it to the oven.

Look at those nice pieces of crumb topping… YUM!!!

I baked it at 400 F for about 25 minutes and then reduced the oven temperature to 350 F and baked it for about another 50 minutes. My apples were a tad soft to begin with (I got them a few weeks ago from apple picking) so my pie was ready rather quickly. About 25 minutes after reducing the heat I covered the top of the pie with a piece of aluminum foil so the crumb topping wouldn’t burn. Once I removed it from the oven the crumb topping was a perfect golden color and the filling had bubbled out just a bit.

After letting it cool completely I placed it in the refrigerator covered with aluminum foil for a few days before cutting into it -I baked it on a Thursday night and sliced it on Sunday. Final verdict… It was the best apple pie I’ve ever made. I would say pie in general, but that distinction belongs to Key Lime Pie. Per requests, I am planning on making two of these for Thanksgiving!

 

Apple Crumb Pie

Ingredients:

1 Frozen 9-inch deep dish pie crust*

Crumb Topping:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces at room temperature

Filling:

3 pounds mixed apples, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

*You could also use a homemade pie crust or a refrigerated pie crust. If using either, once you have prepped your pie plate with the crust place the dish in the refrigerator until the crust is firm, at least 1 hour or overnight. If using a frozen pie crust, you can fill the crust right out of the freezer.

 

Directions:

Make the crumb topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter to the mixture and use your hands to mix it until crumbs form. Place in the freezer until ready to use.

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and place it in the bottom rack of your oven and then preheat the oven to 400 F.

Make the filling: Mix the apples, melted butter, both sugars, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Spoon the filling into the pie crust. Sprinkle the filling with the frozen crumbs. Breaking any large crumbs into smaller pieces and making sure to spread them evenly over the pie and patting them down while doing so.

Place the pie on the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the crumbs lightly brown, about 25-30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and continue baking until the apples are completely soft when pierced with a knife, about an additional 60 to 80 minutes. If you find the crumb topping is getting too dark cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Food Network

Pumpkin Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Monday has become my day for sharing new pumpkin recipes with you. That’s not a bad way to kick off the week if you ask me. Today’s recipe is a Pumpkin Cinnamon Pudding Cake. It’s a nice light dessert that creates its own sauce for drizzling while baking. I found the recipe during a recent cleaning/organizing frenzy. I went through a bunch of holiday baking magazines I had sitting on a bookshelf for quite some time (some for almost 10 years.) I had flagged recipes in each of them and then never made them. I found quite a few pumpkin recipes, some cookie recipes, and some other goodies that I am hoping to try out sooner rather than later.

You may be wondering how exactly this cake created its own sauce. Well, after making the batter for the cake I spread it into an 8x8x2-inch baking pan I sprayed with baking spray and then sprinkled the top with brown sugar and cinnamon. Next, I poured a mixture of boiling water and butter over the top of the cake prior to baking. While baking the water combines with the sugar and cinnamon to create a sauce under the cake. You may be tempted to reduce the amount of brown sugar you sprinkle over the cake thinking a cup is too much (I did!), but, the end result isn’t overly-sweet. Since the cake itself isn’t that sweet it offers a perfect balance for the cake.

After baking the cake in a 350 F preheated oven for about 35 minutes I let the cake cool on a wire rack before enjoying.

And the best way to enjoy this cake is warm with the sauce drizzled on top with a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream on the side. I made the mistake of letting the cake cool for too long before enjoying a piece so I placed it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm it up and then added my ice cream.

If you are really in a pumpkin mood you could also make my No Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream from last week to go along with this cake. The best part, you can try both recipes with just 1 can of pumpkin puree.

 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 3/4 cups light brown sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray and 8x8x2-inch square pan with baking spray.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the 1/4 cup butter and 3/4 cup of the brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream, pumpkin puree and vanilla and continue beating until the mixture become light and fluffy again. Add the flour and stir with a spoon until just combined. Transfer the mixture to prepared pan and spread it into an even layer with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the batter and then sprinkle the remaining cinnamon over the sugar.

In a measuring cup combine the boiling water with the 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until the butter is melted. Pour this over the batter in the pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes and then spoon the cake into a bowl and top with vanilla ice cream and drizzle the syrup from the pan over it.

Recipe from Mixing Bowl Magazine from Fall/Winter 2010

%d bloggers like this: