Showing posts with label Fall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fall. Show all posts


Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

Warm spiced rolls with a hint of pumpkin. They’re the perfect addition to a fall breakfast or brunch.

In true Ohio fashion, it went from beautiful fall to “WHY IS IT SNOWING ALREADY?” in the course of about a week. No major snowfall or anything, but I was still upset to have to brush even a little snow off my car before work in the morning. This is supposed to be prime hoodie and sweater weather, not break out the thick winter scarf and reluctantly turn on the heat time. Luckily we’re smack in the middle of warm cinnamon spice season, so it’s perfectly acceptable to warm myself up from the inside out.

I’ve made pumpkin cinnamon rolls before. And they were quite easy and delicious. For the past month, those rolls have been popping up all over my Pinterest, as more and more people seek out all things pumpkin. But looking at that picture day after day… Well, it started to get to me. In the back of my mind I kept thinking, “good Lord that’s some terrible photography. I’ve got to remake those.”

So here you go. A new recipe, merely because I’m vain. And embarrassed at my lack of skills.

They’re soft and tender, perfectly spiced, and not overly pumpkin-y, so even pumpkin haters can enjoy them.

They take some time to prep and proof (about 3 hours total time), so plan ahead if you want to serve them for breakfast or brunch. To save yourself a lot of early morning kitchen stress, prepare them, following the recipe until the second rise, the night before, then cover and refrigerate the rolls in the pan overnight. The next morning, about 2 hours before you want to serve them, remove them from the fridge and allow them to finish their second rise in a warm place, for about an hour, before baking them. Allow them to cool slightly, ice them up, and be the hero of breakfast.

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Pumpkin Waffles

Okay Fall. You win. I tried to hold on to summer as long as I could, still talking about Cherry Peach Galettes last week. But then you had to go and show off.

Your pretty colors and your amazing cool weather-- you know how to play the game and convince me to let go of all thoughts of summer. Now all I can think about is pumpkins and apples and all things Fall. You win. I'm on your side now.

Bring on the pumpkin treats!

I've professed my love of waffles before. And even admitted to my waffle crazy brain. These pumpkin waffles do nothing to quell that crazy. If anything, it exacerbates it. Warm, spiced up pumpkiny goodness dripping with maple syrup--it's quintessential Fall in breakfast form.

They're super thick and pillowy soft and spiced to perfection. Make a big batch for a weekend brunch, or wrap them up and throw them in the freezer for a quick delicious breakfast during the week.You'll want to eat these all through the Fall.

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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Oh hey. Hi. Remember me? It's okay if you don't. It's been awhile.

Are we still doing the pumpkin thing? Or is that over? Did I miss it? Well shoot. I hope you're still up for at least one more recipe, because I have something that's going to help you use up your leftovers. You know, those random few tablespoons that you always have after making a pumpkin recipe (because for some reason, it never uses the entire can). They either get thrown away immediately, or they sit in the fridge, hoping I'll figure out a use for them, before inevitably getting tossed in the trash. But what if we put them to good use? What if we turned them into a delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte--one that doesn't cost half your mortgage, and one you don't even have to put on real pants to enjoy.

I know, I know. You're probably so over the PSL (as it's known in that Starbucks hieroglyphs on the side of your cup). It's totally Red Cup Peppermint Mocha time. But this is a good one to tuck away for next year. Or for that cold February morning when all you want is something hot that doesn't remind you the least bit of snow. I promise, it's so easy-- you don't even have to figure out what all those random letters and numbers and doodles scrawled on the side of your Starbucks cup even mean. If you can boil water, you can do this.

We're just creating a simple syrup. True to it's name, it's totally simple to make. Equal parts water and granulated sugar. Heat it and stir until the sugar dissolves and turns clear. Then just add in your flavors, let it steep, and strain. That's it. You're good to go! Add it into your morning coffee or espresso, and you've got your very own Pumpkin Spice whenever you want, without breaking the bank.

See. Told you it was easy! Now who wants to help me out with the crossword puzzle?

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Tomorrow is a day of true indulgence. We’ll pile our plates high with turkey and stuffing and sides, eat until we’re on the brink of explosion, then go back for dessert. Unbuttoning our pants and falling asleep on the couch are perfectly acceptable, if not encouraged behaviors. And as punishment for uttering that dirty, four letter d-word, “diet”, our mouths are washed out with pie. It’s a day where calories don’t count and seconds and thirds are mandatory. So why not start the day with a truly indulgent breakfast as well? How about a batch of delicious, gooey pumpkin cinnamon rolls?

They’re soft and fluffy and full of warm spicy goodness. And Oh. So. GOOD! Believe me when I say these are seriously incredible. I made smaller rolls because I had every intention of taking them to work to share, but it was dark by the time I got around to taking pictures (darn you, Winter!) so I had to wait until the next day to shoot. In the meantime, I ate a couple. And then a couple more. And a few more after that. By the end of the night, I’d eaten about a quarter of the pan. Oh darn.. Now I don’t have enough to share. Guess I won’t take them with me to work.. Over the next couple days, I ate them for breakfast. I ate them for dinner. I ate them as a midnight snack. I ate the entire pan. by. my. self. And I thought about making more.

In addition to tasting incredible, they’re actually incredibly easy to make. There’s no kneading involved. Heck, I didn’t even use my mixer! At all. For any of it. I did every bit of it with a whisk and a rubber spatula. Even the frosting. So there’s no excuse not to make these! I’ll even give you my secret proofing tip if it’ll help convince you. My house is always freezing cold. (seriously. I JUST turned the heat on a couple days ago when the thermostat finally dropped down to 55 degrees. Inside my house.) That’s exactly how I like it. So that “warm” place to let your dough rise doesn’t really exist in my house. My trick? I put it in the oven and turn the preheat on for about 30 to 45 seconds, then turn it back off. Makes a perfect little warm spot for my rolls to do their proofing. And now you truly have no excuse.

Cinnamon rolls take some time to put together, and you’ve already got so much to do for Thanksgiving, so make it easy on yourself by doing most of the work the night before. You can do up through most of step #5 tonight. Instead of allowing to rise in a warm area the second time, cover the dish and put them in the fridge to proof overnight. In the morning, pull them out of the fridge, let them finish rising in a warm area for about a half an hour, then pop in the oven to bake! Just make sure to snag a couple before everyone devours them to pack as a snack to enjoy while you’re standing in the early morning Black Friday lines! Gotta keep your energy up!

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Extra Crispy Apple Crisp

Apple season is winding down as we get closer and closer to the flavors of the holidays, when even pumpkin is an afterthought behind peppermint and gingerbread. But before we say goodbye to apple, I thought I’d share one more yummy treat to send apples off with a fond farewell—a good old fashioned apple crisp.

While we picked apples, Boyfriend kept insisting I make an apple crisp for him. His one requirement for this apple crisp? Make it with tons of topping, because the “crisp” is the best part. After apple braids and handpies, I finally got around to making his crisp with the last few apples I had.

With double the crisp topping, you could barely see the apples on the bottom of my pan! But I have to say, Boyfriend is right. That topping is amazing. I’d eat an entire pan of just the crisp if I could.

I brought it over to Boyfriend’s still warm from the oven and served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. He actually kept pausing his video game to take another bite! I left it with him to finish off, but ended up making a tiny loaf pan sized crisp for myself the next day because I wanted more. I guess I really am an apple convert now. So long, apples. I'll definitely be seeing you again next year.

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Apple Hand Pies

I may have found the remedy to my baked fruit aversion. Tuck it into a tiny little pie. Then smother it with whipped cream or ice cream. Suddenly, what once was only somewhat tolerable turns into something I’ll downright eat the crap out of. I totally get the whole “a la mode” deal now.

With 8 pounds of apples left after my Apple Braid, and some apple pie spice I found hanging out in the back of the spice cabinet, I decided to get some use out of my new toy and give hand pies another shot.

I found this contraption at Target for about $5. You just roll out your pie crust, open the press up and use the back (non-textured) side to cut out your rounds. Place the round on the textured side, fill with pie filling, then fold over and press to crimp them shut! (Rub a little water around the edge of one side before you fold to help seal.) It seriously cut my pie making time in half! So incredibly easy!

And so incredibly tasty too. Warm from the oven and smothered with the can of whipped cream I’ve had hanging out in the back of my fridge-- oh man. I never thought I’d say that about an apple pie, but seriously. This won me over. The recipe only made 8, and I’m not ashamed to say I ate 2 of them myself, and contemplated eating the two I saved for pictures that I promised to give to Boyfriend, since he seemed to like them a lot. After snagging one in the car from the container of still-warm-from-the-oven pies I was taking to my parents while I went back inside to grab something, he declared them to be “pretty kick-@$$”.

My only warning—don’t overfill your pies. I learned this after my one casualty sort of exploded in the oven. But it still tasted amazing.

My other word of advice—check the expiration dates on things in your pantry every now and then. When I pulled my apple cider vinegar out, I noticed there were some gross random floaties in it. Then I realized it had expired about a year ago. Oops. (Also, feel free to substitute regular vinegar instead, so you don’t end up going to the store to buy 1 thing and walk out with $70 worth of groceries you probably didn’t really need.. Not that I’d know anything about that. And don’t forget to take the water you have chilling out of the freezer if you go to the store, because you’ll come home to an ice cube rather than ice water.. But I wouldn’t know that either.)

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Apple Braid

It’s 67 degrees and sunny, and right now, this is the view outside my window.

This is perfection--the fleeting few weeks where the mornings are crisp and cool, the afternoons are warm and bright, and the world bursts into flames of vivid color. These few weeks are what I’ve looked forward to all summer.

Every fall, Boyfriend and I try to make it out to a local farm to pick our own apples and pumpkins. The last few years, we’ve only made it for the pumpkins, but this year I was determined to get some apples too. Luckily, I found myself with a gorgeous, sunny Sunday off, so it was time to hit the orchard and start picking.

 I always feel bad for the apples that fall on the ground.

Our bag filled up fast, and after jumping mud puddles and climbing trees, we carried home 10 pounds of gorgeous apples. I would have loved to keep picking, but I knew I would struggle finding ways to use the ones I had. After scouring my usual recipe sources, I found the perfect inspiration in what has lately become my new obsession—Pinterest.

It’s there I found the Apple Braid that Rachael of La Fuji Mama posted on Eat, Live, Run. Think of it as "cinnamon roll meets apple pie and get’s braided up into a gorgeous loaf." Incredibly simple to put together and looks like a lot more work than it really is. The best part about it? It’s a yeast dough, but you don’t even have to let it rise. Just mix the dough together, knead it like you would normal yeast dough, roll it out, cut and braid, then bake.

My braid didn’t turn out quite as defined and gorgeous as Rachael’s. (Check out the link to see step-by-step photos of the braiding) I think because I tried to roll it out a bit too big, so my strips were really thin and stretched way too much, but it still turned out nice. (It would probably have also helped if I had a pizza cutter. Cutting with my knife just wasn't working.) I have to say though, while everyone else thought it was good, it still didn’t change my mind. I’m still not a fan of baked apples at all. I thought I’d overcome my baked fruit prejudice with my Peach Cobbler and Peach Handpies, but nope. I just don’t like baked apples. I’ve still got about 8 pounds left, so I’ll definitely be baking more, I just probably won’t be eating them myself... So.. Who wants some apple treats?

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Rum Frosting

It’s here! It’s finally here! The calendar flipped to September and the temperatures dropped into the 60s. It’s FALL! I can finally break out my favorite black and red Miami University hoodie, not get overheated wearing cute scarves, stop sweating profusely on my non-airconditioned ride to work, and bake, eat, and drink all things pumpkin. It took one long hot summer to get here, but my favorite time of year has finally arrived. Oh Fall, how I love you so.

I kind of jumped the gun, and actually baked these cupcakes a few weeks ago, while we were still in the midst of summer, but I just couldn’t help myself. As the Halloween and Fall kids' books poured in at work, my coworker, Lisa, and I kept getting more and more excited about the upcoming season and the prospect of baking with pumpkin again! Finally we just couldn’t stand it anymore, and she invited me over for a pumpkin cupcake baking party at her house a couple weekends ago. So I packed up my stand mixer and half of my kitchen, and took my baking show on the road!

I’ve made pumpkin cupcakes before, with some delicious cinnamon rum frosting that I took to the second Cupcake Camp Columbus, but as a blogger, I have this terrible habit of never baking the same thing twice. So of course I had to find a whole new recipe. After comparing a couple different recipes, I ended up going with the always delicious Smitten Kitchen. Packed with spices, light with cake flour, and a bit more pumpkin than the other recipes, it just screamed, WINNER! to me. And it so totally was.

After a delicious dinner and my very first introduction to Jersey Shore, (now I know why I don’t have cable..), we hit the kitchen and started baking with the most adorable sous chef ever.

Chloe wants to help!
 The best thing about Lisa’s kitchen? Her oven has a window. I want a window for my oven! Although, I’d probably just sit and stare the entire time things are baking.. So maybe it’s better that I don’t.

Look how pretty they are already!

After an episode of Supernatural, the cupcakes were cooled and frosted, and ready to be devoured. And let me tell you, they’re complete heaven. They were moist and super soft, with just the right amount of spice. And the frosting is perfect. Not too mapley, not too rum flavored. Just perfect. We saved a couple for ourselves and Lisa took the rest to work the next day, where they were polished off before I even got there.

So the baking field trip was a raving success! And I may just have to amend my bad habits—these cupcakes deserve to be made more than once. With a couple months worth of prime pumpkin season, these will probably make an appearance several times!

You didn't save any for me?

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Pumpkin Donuts

I’ll admit it. As much as I try to be, I’m not a very patient person. When I want something, I want it now. I don’t want to wait for it. Especially when it comes to ideas for baking. If I get something in my head, I HAVE to do it. The idea will haunt me until I give in and make it. With all the fall recipes popping up everywhere, pumpkin flavored treats have been on my mind for over a month now. I want to try every new pumpkin recipe I see! The only problem—there was very little canned pumpkin available in the early days of fall when all the recipes started showing up. And it drove me crazy! Crazy enough to spend far too much on a small can of organic pumpkin from Whole Foods, just to say I finally had some in my possession. (And guess what I found at my grocery store the very next day? Yep. More pumpkin. At half the price. If only I had been just a bit more patient.)

Pumpkin Donuts

In the past, I’ve made pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cupcakes, and pumpkin cheesecake. But this year I wanted to make something completely different. After another trip to Buckeye Donuts, pumpkin donuts were all I could think about. (Have I mentioned how evil this place is? Their donuts are like crack—so addicting... you’ve gotta have more!) So I whipped up some dough, broke out my thermometer and started frying up my first pumpkin treat of the year.

Pumpkin Donuts

Unlike my first donut attempt that went perfectly smooth, this time I had a few bumps in the road. The dough is incredibly soft and sticky, so the lightly floured surface ended up a heavily floured surface in order to pat the dough out to cut, and it was almost impossible to keep the circles in tact while transferring them to the oil. Even putting trying to put them on a Chinese skimmer to drop them in, they stretched and tore and just ended up kind of ugly. I had a hard time keeping the oil at a constant temperature too. The first time, I had no issues whatsoever. It held steady the entire time. This time, it went from too cool to way too hot, dropped down to being too cool again, shot back up to being too hot… It was so inconsistent, so some of my donut holes ended up way too brown on the outside, and not completely cooked on the inside. And maybe it’s just me, but I swear I used practically every utensil, dish, and pot I own making these things! In a matter of hours I went from having a spotless kitchen to having a complete mess!

But, despite all the hassles, these were pretty tasty! Not overly pumpkin-y, so if you’re looking for a super pumpkin treat, these probably aren’t it, but still yummy anyway. I covered my big donuts in glaze (yum!) and the donut holes in a spiced sugar mixture (extra yum!). I only got 6 somewhat large donuts and about 10 donut holes out of half the recipe, so next time I’ll definitely make the whole recipe, and make smaller donuts, which will probably help with the stretching and tearing. Now to figure out what to do with the rest of my 7 cans of pumpkin! Yeah… I kinda went a little overboard... After last year’s pumpkin crisis, I felt like I needed to horde some this year... Not really necessary since this greets me every time I walk in the grocery store.

Definitely no shortage this year.

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Apple Rum Cupcakes

Apple Rum CupcakesApples—another great flavor of fall. There’s nothing better the crunch of biting into a crispy fresh apple. Except maybe pulling that crispy fresh apple right from the tree with your very own hands. There’s just something about walking through the orchard on a cool fall day, finding just the perfect ripened globe on a branch sagging under the weight of its glorious treasure. Apple picking is something I look forward to every year. I love coming home with my bag of apples bursting at the seams from trying to cram as many as I could into it. Unfortunately this year, I only had enough time to search for the perfect pumpkin at Lynd’s Fruit Farm, so my apple picking has been limited to wandering the crisp, cool aisles of the grocery store in search of the perfect fruit.
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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Pecan Crust

Pumpkin CheesecakeNovember’s here, and with it comes the start of all the holiday baking! It’s a good thing I have all those goodies to look forward too, because I’m definitely not looking forward to the nasty weather that winter brings with it. Gone are the bright colors on the trees and the crisp hoodie weather I love so much. In just a matter of a few weeks the view outside my back window has gone from gorgeous to gloomy, I finally had to break down and put on an actual coat, turn the heat on in my house, and I was not happy the first morning I had to scrape frost from my windshield. I cringe every time the weatherman hints at freezing temperatures and the possibility of the first snow of the season. And I heard Christmas songs played in a store the other day. Oh no. Not yet. I’m not ready yet! Fall passed me by before I got to fully enjoy it! So I’m holding on for dear life to the flavors of fall. You might snow on me, but you’ll never take my pumpkin away!
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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Rum Frosting

Pumpkin Spice CupcakesIt’s been nearly a month since Cupcake Camp, and I realized I still hadn’t put up anything about my Pumpkin Spice and Cinnamon Rum Cupcakes! Talk about serious slacking. I’m kind of disappointed in myself for not getting this up sooner, because of the two cupcakes I made for Camp, these were by far my favorite. (I actually had time to taste them! And eat quite a few…) Although Cupcake Camp is long past, and Halloween has come and gone, pumpkin season is still in full swing, so I’m not too terribly late!
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It's the Great Pumpkin!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I absolutely love October. I love the cool weather, the bright colors, and the warm flavors of fall. As much as I don’t want the baseball season to end, I love the playoffs (even though the Red Sox didn’t get very far this year… *sniff*) and the World Series. I love watching and going to football games (even though the Browns game I went to was absolutely pathetic…), and hockey season is back! I love dressing up for Halloween and passing out candy for Trick or Treat. And it’s completely impossible for me not to watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” when it’s on TV. But what I love more than anything is bundling up in a hoodie and heading out to the local fruit farm to pick my very own pumpkin. There’s something so rewarding about stomping through a muddy pumpkin patch on the quest for the perfect pumpkin. I have to find the one that “speaks” to me. One that draws me in and says “Here I am! Take me home!” Boyfriend just looks for the biggest one he can find. This year, despite being really chilly, and the threat of rain, we made our way to Lynd’s Fruit Farm in Pataskala for tons of pumpkin fun.
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Is That Bobby Flay at the Door? Cause We're About to Have a Throwdown

Fall is officially here. The leaves are changing and the weather is getting colder. Hoodies and jackets are replacing tank tops and flip flops. The baseball season is wrapping up, and football is in full swing. The stores are lining their shelves with Halloween candy and costumes; skeletons and ghosts haunt the aisles, while just a few shelves away, the first Christmas decorations of the season make their appearance. With the change of the seasons comes a change in tastes and flavors. Gone are the abundance of fresh berries and other summer fruits in the grocery stores and farmers markets. They’ve been replaced with apples and pumpkins, while the warm smells of cinnamon and nutmeg fill the air. I love everything about fall. It’s my favorite season, and October might just be my favorite month of the year. But up until last year, I was missing out on one of the most important parts of fall—pumpkins! Growing up I never liked the flavor of pumpkin. No pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin rolls, or pumpkin spiced lattes for me. That is, until Kiesha brought in a pumpkin cheesecake she made to share at work last year. Not one to turn down dessert, I sliced a piece, thinking I probably wouldn’t like it, but I’d at least I’d give it a try. I couldn’t have been more wrong. With one bite, the skies opened up, light from Heaven shined down to illuminate my plate, while a choir of angels sang praises to this piece of pumpkin cheesecake. How had I gone so long without something so delicious? I definitely had to rethink my stance on pumpkin abstinence. This year, as soon as the weather showed the slightest hint of fall, pumpkin was the only thing I could think about. I was dying to make pumpkin anything! Luckily I didn’t have to wait long.
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Maple Snickerdoodles

Maple SnickerdoodlesIt’s the time of year again—back to school time; the time every parent looks forward to and every kid dreads. It’s around this time every year I get nostalgic and find myself wandering down the school supply aisles, just wishing for a reason to have a whole new set of pens, pencils, notebooks, and crayons. After a leisurely stroll through the supplies, I inevitably find myself in the “college” section, full of furniture and accessories to fill a dorm room. Although I now have my very own apartment to furnish with whatever I want, however I want, each August I still long to be back in the dorms I lived in for 3 years in college. There’s just something about living in a place that no matter what time of day it is, there’s always someone awake, or asleep, and procrastination is only a few doors down.
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