Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

We have yet to receive our first measurable snowfall, so we’ve had a rare opportunity to enjoy a long Autumn season this year. Our temperatures have dropped dramatically though over the past several days, and have only been in the 20′s. Despite the colder temperatures, I’m thankful for the lack of snow. I absolutely love the Autumn season, but in Alaska the season tends to be very short. I’m glad it has decided to stick around a little longer this year.

Now that we’ve turned the calender to November, it’s getting to be that time of year when we’re all a little bit busier with planning, and making preparations for the upcoming holidays. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away. Although I tend to stick with my usual tried-and-true Thanksgiving holiday menu, I still find myself prepping weeks in advance. You’d think by now I’d be able to make Thanksgiving dinner in my sleep, but I still spend a lot of time prepping, to ensure everything turns out just right.

With my time divided between work, family, and holiday preparations, I’ve been finding little time to do any baking. That’s why this recipe for Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies is so wonderful. Not only are these cookies delicious, with generous amounts of chocolate and pumpkin spice flavors, but being that they are “no-bake”, I can whip up a tasty treat for my family in no time at all.

~Enjoy~
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Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

2 cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 (3.4oz) box of pumpkin spice pudding mix
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 cups dry quick-cooking oats
Waxed paper

Directions:
In a heavy saucepan, bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk to a boil. Let mixture boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and add the pudding mix, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and oats to the saucepan; mix well.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let cool until set.

Makes approximately 30 cookies.

Easy Dutch Apple Pie

Easy Dutch Apple Pie

Easy Dutch Apple Pie

We’re having a really cold weekend here, with low temperatures dipping well below zero, and high temperatures hovering just a few degrees above. (currently it is -9 degrees out)

Since it’s so bitter cold outside, I decided this would be a good weekend to stay indoors and take care of some household tasks that I have been putting off. (procrastinating on really)

Even though these tasks are keeping me pretty busy this weekend, I still wanted to take some time to whip up a quick dessert for dinner tonight. This Easy Dutch Apple Pie couldn’t be a more perfect dish to make when you only have a short amount of time. The oatmeal crust and topping combine together in a jiffy, and makes a wonderful base for the apple filling. The taste is pretty similar to an apple crisp, but in pie form.

I purposely used a sugar-free apple pie filling, in order to make my pie a little healthier, but you can certainly use the regular apple pie filling with sugar added, if desired.

Well, it’s time for me to get back to work. Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!!

~Enjoy~
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Easy Dutch Apple Pie

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 (20 ounce) cans Wilderness No Sugar Added Apple Pie Filling

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, and butter until crumbly. Set aside 1 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased 9-inch pie pan.

Pour apple pie filling into crust; top with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

(To print this recipe, click on the ‘Print & PDF’ button below)

Festive One Bowl Brownies

Festive One Bowl Brownies

Festive One Bowl Brownies

We’re getting down to the wire… Christmas is only two days away!!! I hope everyone is almost finished with their Christmas shopping, gift wrapping, and holiday baking. I still have some sugar cookies that I need to frost today, but after that, I’m declaring my holiday baking DONE!

If you’re looking for one more treat to add to your Christmas cookie/dessert platter, you may want to consider whipping up a batch of these Festive One Bowl Brownies. These moist, fudgy brownies are very quick and easy to make. So much so that, since I had a little time to kill while my sugar cookie dough chilled in the refrigerator, I decided to do some multitasking and make a batch to add to my holiday platter. I was able to prepare the brownie batter and bake the whole batch while my sugar cookie dough was still chilling out in the refrigerator. In fact, the brownies were finished before the sugar cookie dough was even ready to roll out.

The brownies turned out perfect, and I just love how the colored morsels sprinkled on top adds a splash of holiday cheer to them. These brownies will certainly brighten up my holiday platter.

Well, I think it’s probably time for me to head back to the kitchen. I don’t think there is any chance that those sugar cookies will frost themselves, so I guess I’d better get to it. :)

~Enjoy~
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Festive One Bowl Brownies

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) package Nestle Toll House Holiday Morsels

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt all at once and stir until just combined. Fold in half of the Nestle Toll House Holiday Morsels. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the brownies cool for a couple of minutes, then sprinkle the remaining morsels over the top. (you want the morsels to melt slightly, but not completely)

Lift the brownies out of the pan with the foil and cool completely on a rack.

Cut into squares and serve.

Classic Creamy Fudge

Classic Creamy Fudge

Classic Creamy Fudge

I was having a conversation with some friends recently, and the topic turned to baking. We started talking about what goodies we were going to make, or had already made for Christmas, and I mentioned that I was going to be making a batch of fudge soon. My friends looked at me with wide eyes and began remarking on how hard it is to make fudge, and how time consuming it is. It took me quite a while to reassure them that making fudge was not as laborious a task as they thought it was.

Take this Classic Creamy Fudge recipe for example. From start to finish, it took me about 15 minutes to whip up this rich and creamy confection. (not including refrigeration time) Very few pots and pans were used, a candy thermometer was not needed, and cleanup was a breeze.

Exactly the type of recipe we could all use about now, considering Christmas is less than a week away. :)

~Enjoy~
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Classic Creamy Fudge

2/3 cup non-fat dry milk powder
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with foil. Butter the sides and bottom of foil.

Mix the dry milk powder and water together in a small bowl. Transfer the milk mixture to a medium saucepan. Add the sugar, butter, and salt to the saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Turn heat to low, and stir in the marshmallows, chocolate chips and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 or 2 minutes, or until the marshmallows are melted.

Remove from heat and pour into prepared baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Lift from pan and remove foil. Cut into pieces.

Store in refrigerator.

Blueberry Bars

Blueberry Bars

Blueberry Bars

While most of the country is still sweltering under record high temperatures, the summer season has begun to wind down and things are cooling off here up north. I’ve seen several leaves already begin to yellow and fall off the trees, and flocks of geese high in the sky flying south for the Winter.

Although I’m sad to see Summer come to an end, one of the things I’m really happy about is that, in many parts of the state, berries have ripened and are ready to pick. Last weekend the annual Blueberry Festival was held out in Girdwood. It’s a really fun event filled with music, food, and of course, berry picking. I wasn’t able to attend the festival this year, but I did get in the spirit of the blueberry season by stopping by the local market and picking up some blueberries there. Some of the blueberries were used to make Blueberry Pancakes, but the rest were used in these wonderful Blueberry Bars.

There’s nothing quite like the flavor you get from using fresh berries in baked goods. They just taste so delicious. The spices in this recipe are purposely kept to a minimal in order to ensure that the natural flavor of the blueberries really shines through.

~Enjoy~




Blueberry Bars

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 egg
2 cups fresh blueberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and allspice with a whisk. Blend the butter and egg into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly.

Place blueberries over crumb base in a single layer.

Blueberry layer

Blueberry layer

Sprinkle remaining crumbs evenly over blueberries.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is slightly brown. Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool. Cut into squares.

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