Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Delights of Autumn

Cool sunny days, jackets, fires in the backyard fire pit. A cup of hot tea, a blanket and a good book. A bicycle ride on a pleasantly warm afternoon. Cold rainy days spent warm inside, playing the piano. I absolutely love fall, and nothing says "fall" to me like pumpkin and cranberries... and so, it's time for an overload of pumpkin recipes!

This pumpkin bread is delicious. Don't be fooled, it might be called bread, but that's only because you cook it in bread pans. It's a cake. And no way would I put 2 cups of sugar in it! But with some substitutions (I'd leave out the water, and put ONE cup of maple syrup or honey, and put 1/2 cup of coconut oil for 1/2 cup of the butter... or even substitute for the whole cup of butter) it's healthy enough that I justify eating a piece for breakfast sometimes. 

I absolutely LOVE this pumpkin cheesecake. I haven't actually tried putting the sour cream topping on it, I think it's great without it. I might like this cheesecake better than the typical pumpkin pie... I mean, it's so much more fat! What's not to like?? (But just in case you'd like something a little lighter, here's the pumpkin pie recipe.)

I'm not sure why they call these "Pumpkin Cranberry Bars" because it's definitely more like a cake. Or something. But whatever they are, they've always been a hit. You should definitely double the recipe and put it in a 9X13 pan. And at least triple the icing recipe. I'm serious.

Next I want to make these. They really are pumpkin bars. Maybe I'll even make them right now, and just substitute pecans, since I don't have hazelnuts...

And, lest you think that I only use recipes from Joy of Baking, I'll share this recipe from Herbal Legacy
Apparently they think that salt is unhealthy. I didn't notice until after I made them... I would add a 1/2 teaspoon. I also did NOT use Soy milk (don't even get me started, that's a whole blog post) and I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING against real chocolate. And I hate carob. But I actually put white chocolate chips and cranberries in this recipe. Add pecans and salt, and it might be a healthier version of the "Un-bar-cake" above.

Also, here is a Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe. I didn't have pumpkin pie spice mix, and unfortunately mine turned out a little too cinnamon-y. But with a LOT more milk added, it's pretty good! And with only a tiny bit of coffee in it, I can manage to drink it without the insane caffeine jolt I get from a whole cup of coffee.

Finally, I should add that I am not diligently scraping fresh pumpkin flesh from pumpkins for all these recipes. Trader Joe's is currently carrying some organic canned pumpkin and they also have organic dried cranberries!

Oh, I love fall...

P. S. While you've been overloaded with links, check out this free book download and this great blog post.

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