Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Although the calendar shows that it is still Autumn, this is the scene I awoke to this morning. It started snowing yesterday afternoon, and by the time it stopped this morning, there was approximately 6 inches of accumulation. I guess Autumn finally decided that it had stuck around long enough this year.

Happy Veterans Day! Thank you to all that serve, and have served our country!

~Enjoy~
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Gingerbread Apple Crisp

Gingerbread Apple Crisp

Gingerbread Apple Crisp

Fall has reappeared here in our neck of the woods, and the rains that have accompanied it have washed away all signs of the snow that fell earlier this week. Many of the leaves on the trees have turned a brilliant gold color, and the temperatures have climbed back into the 50’s. We’re supposed to get another chance of snow falling next week, but for the time being, I’m enjoying the reappearance of Fall.

To welcome back the Autumn season, however brief it may be, I decided to make this incredibly yummy Gingerbread Apple Crisp. Now I’ve had plenty of apple crisp throughout the years, but this recipe is one of my favorites. I’m not sure what makes this apple crisp so good. It could be the allspice and brown sugar that wraps around and coats each and every apple slice, or it may be the gingerbread pudding mix, oats, and pecans that combine to create the crisp and delicious topping. Whatever it is, I really love it.

If you’re not a big fan of gingerbread, you can get creative and try this recipe with other pudding flavors such as vanilla, cheesecake, pumpkin-spice, etc. Whichever flavor you like and think would pair well with apples.

~Enjoy~
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Gingerbread Apple Crisp

4 cups apples, peeled & sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup water

Topping:
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 package (3.4 ounce) Gingerbread Instant Pudding & Pie Filling mix
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the apples in an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, allspice, vanilla and water. Pour over apples.

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, pudding mix, sugar, cinnamon, salt and pecans. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over apples.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and fruit is tender.

Remove from oven and place pan on wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped topping; if desired.

October Sunrise

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather for the past few days, and unfortunately I haven’t had the energy to bake any new treats. So instead of posting a recipe today, I thought I would “treat” you to a photo of a beautiful Alaska October sunrise.

~Enjoy~

Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

It sure is looking very Fall-like around here. The leaves are changing color at a rapid pace, and falling off the trees even more rapidly. There is a distinct chill in the air every morning now, and the temperature only warms up into the low to mid 50’s during the day. Even though the calendar shows that Autumn is still a week away, I’d say it has definitely already arrived here in Alaska.

What better way to celebrate the arrival of Fall, than with Pumpkin recipes!!! For my first pumpkin recipe this season, I decided to make this delightful Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Spice Biscotti. This is the first time I’ve attempted to make biscotti, and I was quite surprised at how easy it actually was. I only needed two bowls to mix the ingredients in, one for the wet ingredients and one for the dry, and everything could be combined together by hand. The scent of pumpkin and spices filled the air as I mixed the ingredients together, and my kitchen smelled like a pumpkin patch while the biscotti were baking in the oven. It was wonderful!! I decided to dip the ends of the biscotti in melted chocolate, just to add a little something extra. I’m currently dunking one of these crisp little biscuits in my morning coffee and munching away on it, and I must say – it tastes very yummy!

The weather forecast is calling for another wind storm to hit our area this evening, and the wind is expected to continue blowing through Sunday. They say wind gusts could reach up to 100 miles per hour again. I’m hoping our trees don’t blow down and our electricity stays on, but I think I’d better make a trip to the store to stock up on batteries, ice, and non-perishable food – just in case.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

~Enjoy~




Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Biscotti ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs
3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons canola oil

Dipping Chocolate ingredients:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet, or cover with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and oil with a wire whisk until smooth. Add mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined.

With floured hands, divide dough in half and form two logs lengthwise on the cookie sheet; approximately 15 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. Leave a little space between logs and sides of cookie sheet.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes on the cookie sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Move logs to a cutting board and slice into 1 inch slices. Lay slices on their sides on the cookie sheet.

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Bake for 10 minutes. Turn slices over and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until biscotti are crisp and start to brown.

Remove biscotti from oven and place the slices on a wire rack to cool completely. Dip ends of biscotti in chocolate; if desired. (instructions below)

Dipping Chocolate Directions:
Place chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir, then microwave for another 20 seconds. Add vanilla extract and stir until blended and smooth.

Dip one end of biscotti in chocolate. Place on waxed paper and let sit until chocolate sets.

Makes approximately 20 biscuits.

Picture Perfect Day

Picture Perfect Day

Picture Perfect Day

It’s a picture perfect day here today. Current temperature is 36 degrees, and the sky is blue.

Geese

Geese

And, even though the temperature is in the 30’s, you can still find Canadian Geese hanging out in the area. I guess they’re not in too big of a hurry to leave Alaska. ;)

~Enjoy~

More Snowfall in the Mountains

Snow in the Chugach Mountains

Snow in the Chugach Mountains

Snowy Mountains

More snow

The snow is creeping further down the mountains, and we’ve had to say “goodbye” to 50 degree weather. Our high temperatures have only been around 47 degrees.

Hope it’s warmer in your neck of the woods.

~Enjoy~

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

I hope you’re not getting tired of Fall-themed recipes, because this is one recipe you don’t want to miss.

During this time of year, I love anything with pumpkin in it – pumpkin pie, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin muffins, and the list goes on and on…
But throw chocolate into the mix, and I’m one happy camper.

These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares are loaded with chocolate, and I mean loaded! A whole 12 ounce package of chocolate chips gets baked into these luscious, moist pumpkin squares, and the result is nothing short of amazing.

If you only make one Fall-themed dessert this season, I would recommend trying this one. You won’t be disappointed.

~Enjoy~




Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

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

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla extract until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree.

Gradually add in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Remove to a wire rack and cool completely in pan.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

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