Pumpkin Spice Muffins

It’s pumpkin spice season! Fall is my personal favourite season. It helps that my birthday is in Fall. It’s winding into Winter, but we have had a mild November and I am pretty thankful for it. These muffins help me to remember that there are good things in abundance even when the weather is freezing cold.

These muffins are really easy and taste great. If you want something a little less sweet, you can skip the cinnamon sugar garnish at the end, but I like it as it adds a little more texture. I got the recipe here, and it was great: simple, straightforward, and high reward.

I used two bowls and ten minutes to get these muffins going, and they are incredible. I’m going to stop writing, because you need to go make these!

Ingredients

Yield: 12 muffins

For the muffins:

1½ c. flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ c. vegetable oil
½ c. white sugar
½ c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. pumpkin puree

For the garnish:

¼ c. white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ c. butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tray with paper liners.

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

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, white and brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin puree.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and combine until no lumps remain. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 17-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the thickest muffins comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon and prepare the butter.

Remove muffins from the oven, let cool for five minutes. Dip the muffin tops in the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Roll

Fall/winter is the perfect pumpkin season. As I learned the last time I made a roll cake, they are extremely easy to make. Bake a cake in a large jelly roll pan, roll it up while still warm, let it cool, then fill it.

This pumpkin roll was just as easy. A few simple steps for a large reward. I’m not going to bore you with a bunch more talking… to cake!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 cake

For the cake:

¾ c. flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. sugar
3 eggs
2/3 c. canned pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla

For the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large 10×15 pan with parchment paper, leaving an extra inch or so of overhang.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin until smooth.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined and no dry streaks remain. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 14-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

When the cake is done, let cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes, then while still hot, transfer to a flat surface. Roll, using the parchment paper, and let cool completely while wrapped on a wire rack.

To make the filling, in a medium bowl whip the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and icing sugar with an electric mixer or with a stand mixer.

Once the cake is completely cool, unroll it and spread the filling evenly over the cake, and re-roll tightly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Dust the top with icing sugar, cut into slices, and serve.

Cheesy Pull-Apart Garlic Bread

This is a side dish that goes perfectly with salad, pasta, steak and more! It’s loaded up with cheese and garlic butter, then baked in the oven until ooey-gooey perfection.

I’ve seen so many different recipes, pins, and blog posts about this bread, including this one, and honestly, it’s really easy to do. I’ve made this bread a bunch of times in the last two months, and it is always a crowd-pleaser, and I’ve put my own spin on it a few times. I’m also including step-by-step pictures in case my directions are a little wonky, or don’t make sense.

Next time you are having a get-together with family or friends, make this easy appetizer!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 loaf

1 loaf French bread or sourdough bread (homemade or store-bought)
1 c. butter, softened
3-5 cloves of garlic, finely minced (depending on how garlicky you like your garlic butter)
2-3 cups of cheddar or mozzarella cheese, shredded and in slices or cubes

Slice your loaf of bread on the diagonal, not slicing all the way through the bread. (It needs to still be attached at the bottom.) You should slice the bread into about 1-inch slices. Turn the bread, and slice diagonally in 1-inch slices so that you get little “bread fingers” all still attached at the bottom.

In a bowl, mix the butter and garlic to make garlic butter. Generously spread the butter on all the cut slices of bread. Be liberal with the butter, so that when it melts the garlic flavour is spread throughout the loaf of bread.

Take your cheese slices or cubes, and place them in between the cuts on the loaf of bread. Each little bread “finger” should have butter and cheese surrounding it.

Once the bread is stuffed with the slices or cubes, top the loaf liberally with shredded cheese.

Wrap in aluminum foil. Refrigerate until ready to bake.

To bake, preheat oven to 375°. Place wrapped loaf directly on oven rack and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted throughout. Take off the foil on top, and broil on low, 2-4 minutes, until top cheese is golden brown and melty.

Remove from oven, transfer to a plate or serving dish, and serve!

S’mores Fudge Bars

I guess I’m trying to recapture summer by making a bunch of s’mores recipes recently. Either way, it’s almost November everyone is tired, and these remind me of summertime.

This is a fairly easy recipe. If you’ve made your own marshmallows before, then you probably have everything you need already. If you haven’t, then make sure you have a candy thermometer. That is one tool that is indispensable when it comes to making marshmallows.

Ooh boy, if there is one warning I can leave you with it is that these are RICH. They are indulgent, and sweet, but boy oh boy, do NOT have more than one in a sitting. The original recipe says it makes 9 large squares or 18 small squares. I cut mine into 16 pieces and they were almost too much.

So, these will be great for you if you like s’mores… and sugar… and campfires… and sugar…

Just go make them!

Ingredients

Yield: 16 bars

For the crust:

20 full graham crackers
¼ c. sugar
½ tsp. salt
¾ c. (12 tbsp.) butter, melted

For the fudge filling:

2 c. chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

For the marshmallow topping:

2 large egg whites
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
¾ c. sugar
½ c. light corn syrup
¼ c. water
¼ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper or foil. Spray lightly with nonstick spray.

In a food processor, add the graham crackers, salt, and sugar. Pulse until finely ground. Add the butter. Pulse until you have a fine mixture that is beginning to clump together.

Press the mixture into the prepared pan, and firmly pat down. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

To make the fudge filling, in a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and the sweetened condensed milk. Heat on medium-low, constantly stirring, until the mixture is smooth and incorporated.

Pour over the graham crust, and refrigerate until the fudge layer is set.

To make the marshmallow topping, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to cook until a candy thermometer registers exactly 240°F. Immediately remove from heat. Turn the mixture on low speed and carefully and gradually drizzle the syrup into the egg whites. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is thick and glossy and looks like marshmallow fluff, about 7 minutes longer. Add in the vanilla and beat until combined.
Spread the marshmallow fluff over the fudge layer. Let set in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Use a kitchen torch to torch the marshmallow layer until lightly golden brown. You can use the broiler setting for this, but watch it carefully!
Slice, and serve!