Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Maple Glaze

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It’s been a busy fall, as they always are with back-to-school time, our anniversary, Lily’s birthday, Halloween, and getting ready for winter and the holidays.  On top of the usual, we went to the weddings of both my brother and Jake’s sister (not to each other) and planned a trip to Disney World (that’s still a secret from the guest of honor).  And poor Jake spends every weekend raking leaves, yet there are still more hanging on the trees waiting to fall.  And now it’s already started snowing in Pittsburgh.  How is winter starting already?!

In October, Lily had what she calls “the best birthday ever.”  She turned 4(!) and celebrated in style with a pool party at the local rec center.  We invited her whole class thinking that maybe 5 kids would be available, so weren’t we surprised when almost all of them RSVP’d with a yes.  And then they all actually showed up!  I’ve never been so thankful that we held the party somewhere other than our house.  The kids were adorably happy going down the slide and drifting around the lazy river, and Lily loved having them to play with, so it was a great day for everyone.

Now we are hunkering down and getting ready for two Thanksgivings.  One here in Pittsburgh (topped off with a trip to the Pitt v. Syracuse football game) and one in Syracuse with Jake’s side of the family.  For my own sake at the second Thanksgiving, I hope Pitt fares well at the first!  I’m not responsible for cooking the dinner for either celebration, but I’ve still been trying different recipes so that my oven doesn’t get too lonely.  I’ll try to get them all posted in the next couple of weeks!

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Maple Glaze

Cookies:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée (not pie filling)

Glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk (not nonfat), plus more as needed
2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the cookies:

Heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Whisk the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.

Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Then scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Add the egg and vanilla, return to medium speed, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides again.

With the mixer on low speed, add half of the reserved flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add half of the pumpkin and mix until just incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and pumpkin.

Drop eight 1/4 cup dough rounds on the baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between them. Place the remaining dough in the refrigerator.

Bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back and continue baking until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and around the edges.  For me it was about 5-7 more minutes, but the original recipe said it can be up to 12.

Let the cookies cool on the sheets for a few minutes and then transfer them to the wire racks to cool completely. Let the baking sheet cool to room temperature and then repeat with the remaining dough (you can use the same parchment paper).

For the glaze:

Whisk all of the ingredients until evenly combined. Drizzle in more milk if it’s too thick.  Dip a fork into the glaze and drizzle it over the cookies. Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the glaze has set, about 20 minutes.

Source: Chow

Pumpkin Pie Fudge

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 I got the great opportunity to post this pumpkin pie fudge over on Recipe Lion’s blog, Recipe Chatter!  This candy is absolutely delicious and autumnal.  Check out the post here: http://www.recipechatter.com/pumpkin-pie-fudge-recipe/

Here is the recipe for you to try out:

Pumpkin Pie Fudge

1.5 cups sugar
1.5 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
2 Tbsp corn syrup
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
9 oz white chocolate chips
7 oz marshmallow fluff
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, butter, milk, pumpkin, corn syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking and stirring until a thermometer reads 235 degrees (soft-ball stage).  Don’t guess on this part; you should definitely use a candy thermometer!

Remove the pan from heat and add the white chocolate, marshmallow fluff, and vanilla and let it sit for about a minute and soften.  Then stir until it is all melted and blended. Pour the mixture into a 9×9 pan lined with parchment paper. Let stand until completely cool and set. Cut the fudge into 1-inch squares.

Source: Adapted slightly from Prevention RD

Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Bars

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We went to the Great New York State Fair this weekend, which was really a lot of fun (I like to razz my in-laws about it being all that Syracuse has to offer, but I can’t deny that it was a good time).  I ate the obligatory funnel cake.  And 25¢ milk.  And oh-good-lord fried vegetables.  They were as unhealthy and delicious as you would imagine.  This was Lily’s first year at the fair and it completely blew her mind.  She was both thrilled and overwhelmed all at once.  There were huge slides and a roller coaster that she rode with Aunt Katie (and she rode with a huge smile until the moment the ride slowed to a stop).  She also got to pet prize-winning farm animals and get a chocolate ice cream cone all over everything within 3 feet of her stroller.  It was great!

But the fair also has another meaning.  It’s the end of August.  Summer is pretty much over.  I’m so SO sad to think that all of the fun plans we had for the summer are over.  The summer commute with half the cars on the road is over as kids go back to school.  Our CSA is going to wind down soon.  And my garden out back is winding down (without really ever winding up!).  BUT it’s time for apples and pumpkins and the smell of autumn and Halloween and the 3rd birthday of my best girl.  Hopefully, this season won’t fly by as quickly as the last one!

I had to ring in September with these snickerdoodle pumpkin bars and I didn’t realize until I ate them that they have a striking resemblance to pumpkin gooey butter cake.  Which is very much a good thing!  I found the recipe on Janie’s blog as a part of the Secret Recipe Club swap.  I love how it’s a double layer bar because there are two completely different textures and flavors that add an awesome element to the dessert.  Definitely give them a try!

Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Bars

Snickerdoodle Layer:
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Pumpkin Layer:
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or a general mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and/or crushed cloves)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Topping:
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease or spray a 9×13 inch baking pan.

In a stand mixer, stir together brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix in the baking powder and salt, and then flour. Pour into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.

For the pumpkin layer, cream together the sugar and butter.  Add the rest of the ingredients and pour over snickerdoodle layer in an even layer.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the pumpkin layer.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 33 to 40 minutes. Cool completely before slicing and serving.
Source: Adapted from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes

Super Easy Pumpkin Pie Dip

New year’s party coming up?  Or any gathering, really.  This dip has 3 main ingredients, takes literally 3 minutes to prepare, and it’s a crowd pleaser.  Even if it is only a crowd of one or two, you must make it.  Personally, I’m planning on spending NYE with Jake, a couch, and Anderson Cooper’s (my other husband) CNN countdown.  It just seems like when you go out to parties at a club or bar, everything is overpriced and underwhelming.  Then, you have to figure out how to get home.  Then you have to pay a babysitter $7,000.  It’s all such a hassle.  Is this what getting old feels like?

Easy Pumpkin Pie Dip

1 can pure pumpkin puree
1 container Cool Whip
1 packet vanilla instant pudding
Dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste

Mix all of the ingredients with a hand mixer and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.  Serve with Nilla Wafers, graham crackers, animal crackers, or anything else along those lines.

 

Source: I’m not sure… I’ve been making it for years and don’t remember who first told me about it.  I’m guessing it originated from either the pumpkin company or the makers of Cool Whip!

(Mini!) All-In-One Holiday Bundt Cake

I was at a holiday lunch with my work department yesterday and we were having a lovely dessert when all of a sudden my boss reached over and started to stick her fork into my apple-huckleberry crumble.  The fork that she had already been eating with!  I was so taken aback that I had an immediate physical reaction and yanked the crumble out of her reach (and I might have let out a small shriek).  I handed her a clean spoon and she looked at me like I was crazy.  I was made fun of, and later checked into a menteal hospital for my overly dramatic reaction, but I somehow still have my job. 
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