Tag Archives: fall

pear kuchen recipe

Pear Kuchen Cake Will Make You Feel Warm and Cozy

As these days grow colder and darker, a slice of this lightly spiced pear cake will warm the spirit. It’s the perfect fall dessert for when you are craving something simple, warming and just sweet enough. Unlike layer cakes or those smothered in frosting, this streusel-topped kuchen is full of flavour without being overly indulgent. Since it’s neither too fussy or sweet, feel free to enjoy either with your morning coffee or afternoon tea. Or serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or ice cream for a fancy dessert after your fall feast.

Pear Kuchen

Prep time: 20 to 30 minutes
Bake time: 50 to 60 minutes
Total time: 70 to 90 minutes
Serves: 8 to 12

Ingredients:
Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp oats
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch salt
2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
2 to 3 Tbsp sliced almonds, divided

Pears:
3 to 4 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tsp granulated sugar

Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 medium lemon
2 large eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
Icing sugar, optional

Pear Kuchen

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.  Line a 9- or 10-inch spring pan with parchment and set aside.
2. Make the streusel topping. Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and 1 tablespoon of the almonds together. Rub the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture starts to clump together.  The streusel should be crumbly – no need to make the pieces uniform.  Chill until ready to use.
3. Toss the sliced pears in the lemon juice and sugar. Set aside.
4. For the cake, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.  Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the vanilla and lemon zest.  With the mixer on medium, add the eggs, one at a time.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl.
5. Add in half of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Add the yogurt and mix until smooth.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined.  The batter will be quite thick.
6. Dump the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out with a small offset spatula or the back of a large spoon.  Leaving all the juices behind, arrange the pear slices on top of the cake batter.  Sprinkle the top with the streusel and remaining almonds.PearKuchen_06

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.  If the topping is browning too quickly, cover with foil.
8. Leave in the pan to cool for about 10 minutes before removing the springform collar.  Finish cooling on a wire rack before slicing.
9. Dust with icing sugar, if desired.

Pear Kuchen Cake

 

Looking for more warm fall treats? Try these Awesome Apple Recipes from Anna Olson.

Cornbread Chili Pot Pie

Two Comfort Foods, One Glorious Cornbread Chili Pot Pie

Chilly weather calls for chili, and chili calls for cornbread. But doesn’t chilly weather also call for pie? Like a pot pie? Well, how about combining these three classic comfort foods into one with a cornbread-topped chili pot pie? It makes the ultimate in cold-weather comfort food, even better. You could even make the chili on its own, enjoy it one night and make the pot pie the next night – cook once, eat twice! 

Cornbread Chili Pot Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:
Chili
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb stewing beef cubes
2 small onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium  tomatoes, chopped
2 cups beef stock
4 Tbsp tomato paste
1 to 2 Tbsp chili powder, to taste
1 (540 mL) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Cornbread Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup corn kernels, drained if canned

Note: Chili Powder is a mix of chili pepper and other spices like garlic, cumin and oregano, not pure chili pepper

Directions:
Chili:
1. In a large pot or large Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp of the oil over medium heat. Cook the ground beef completely and drain on a paper towel-lined plate, about 10 minutes. Next, cook the stewing beef until just browned and drain on another paper towel-lined plate, about 5 minutes.
2. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp of oil in same pot (no need to clean) over medium heat, and cook onions until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.
3. Add drained ground beef and stewing beef back to pot and stir to combine with onion mixture. Cook on medium-high heat until the beef is evenly browned, about 5 minutes.
4. Add tomatoes, stock and tomato paste and combine well, followed by chili powder. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Add the beans and continue to simmer, uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Spread cooked chili evenly into a deep ovenproof baking dish with a capacity of 4 cups (1 quart). Set aside while you prepare the cornbread topping.

Cornbread Chili Pot Pie

Cornbread Topping:
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, eggs and melted butter. Gently stir in the corn kernels.
3. Add the milk and corn mixture to the flour mixture and stir until dry ingredients are just incorporated.
4. Working quickly, spread the cornbread batter over top of the chili, trying to make the batter reach the edges.
5. Bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the bread comes out clean. Scoop into bowls and serve.

Cornbread Chili Pot Pie

We’ve also got the vegetarians covered with our top 10 hearty meat-free chili recipes.

Pumpkin swirl brownies

Pumpkin Pie Swirl Brownies Are The Best Of Both Worlds

If you love brownies and pumpkin pie (and who doesn’t?), this recipe is one to try. It’s two classic desserts, fudgy brownies and spiced pumpkin pie, combined into one decadent treat. Such simple luxuries blended together make for a surprising combo that’s hard to beat, especially when it’s pumpkin spice time. Add to that a gorgeous swirled finish, and you won’t believe that something so pretty could be so easy!

pumpkin brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Cool Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Makes: 24 brownies

Ingredients:
2-1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1-1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, more for pan
5 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray or grease with a little extra butter and line with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix to combine sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder. Transfer 1-1/4 cups of the batter to a medium bowl and to this stir in pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until fully combined. To remaining batter in the large bowl, mix in cocoa until fully combined; reserve 2/3 cup cocoa batter and place in a small bowl.

Brownie batters

3. Spread all but reserved 2/3 cup cocoa batter into the prepared pan. Next, spread the entire amount of pumpkin batter evenly onto the cocoa batter. Overtop of batters, dot with reserved 2/3 cup chocolate batter. Use the tip of a paring knife or skewer to drag and swirl cocoa batter dots into the pumpkin and cocoa batter bases below, creating a marbled look.

Brownies unbaked swirl

4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely in pan before cutting into 24 squares. Serve. Freeze brownies for up to 2 months, or refrigerate for up to 1 week. To up the decadence upon serving, top a scoop of vanilla ice cream with cubes of the chilled pumpkin swirl brownies.

Brownie baked uncut

If you can’t get enough of these chocolate-meets-pumpkin pie Franken-treats, you’ll love our chocolate pumpkin Nanaimo bars, too.

Behold The Chocolate Pumpkin Piecaken!

Tender, luscious layer cake with silky buttercream, or spiced pumpkin pie with a flaky crust? Both are equally delicious in my book. Luckily, you don’t have to choose just one. That’s right — this cake actually has an entire pumpkin pie baked right inside! Consider it the “Turducken” of desserts. Yet another thing to be thankful for this holiday season.

Chocolate Pumpkin Piecaken

When you just can’t choose between serving a pie or cake, satisfy your cravings for both with a piecaken! Whip up your favorite cake batter and throw in a pre-baked pie, and you’ll feel like a confectionery wizard in no time. In this recipe, we’ve taken a traditional pumpkin pie and baked it within a classic chocolate cake. The cake is then iced with lightly spiced buttercream, drizzled with chocolate glaze, and decorated with dollops of frosting and chopped nuts for extra flair. The buttercream is meringue-based, meaning it’s silky smooth and not overly sweet like other frostings can be — perfect for pairing with pie! We love the striking contrast in this combo between the pumpkin, chocolate and vanilla layers, but feel free to swap in any of your favourite cake recipes and pies.

Chocolate Pumpkin Piecaken

Chocolate Cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 60 to 70 minutes
Total Time: 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours, including cooling
Serves: 10 to 12

Ingredients:

1 pre-made pumpkin pie (7 to 8 inches in diametre)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup hot coffee

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch spring form cake pan. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients, including the sugar.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined. While stirring, slowly stream in the hot coffee and mix until smooth.
4. Pour about 1/3 of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Place the baked pie on top.
5. Gently spread the remaining cake batter on top and around the pie.
6. Place the cake in the pre-heated oven and bake until done, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack for about 45 minutes before releasing it from the spring form pan. Continue to completely cool before cutting or frosting, 2 to 3 hours total. After the first 45 minutes, you may speed things up by placing the cake in the refrigerator loosely covered in plastic wrap.

Piecaken slice

Vanilla Buttercream
Total time: 25 to 30 minutes

Ingredients:
3 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the egg whites and sugar. Whisk briefly by hand until combined.
2. Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double-boiler. Stirring intermittently, heat the egg mixture until it reaches 150°F to 160°F on a candy thermometer.
3. Once hot, carefully return the mixer bowl to the stand mixer. Fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg white mixture on high until stiff peaks, about 8 minutes. When done, the outside of the mixer bowl should return to room temperature.
4. Stop the mixer and swap the paddle for the whisk. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and butter, a couple tablespoons at a time. Once all of the butter has been added, turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until smooth.
5. If the mixture looks curdled, just keep mixing until it is smooth (this could take up to about 5 minutes). If it appears soupy, place the mixer bowl in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes, then mix until smooth.

Piecaken Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate Glaze
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
Pinch salt

Directions:
1. Place the chocolate, cream, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture begins to steam and the chocolate starts to melt. Remove from the heat. Add the salt and stir until smooth.
2. Let the glaze cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes, before dripping over the cake.

Chocolate Pumpkin Piecaken

Assembly:
1. Once the cake has completely cooled, trim the top as needed. Frost the cake with the vanilla buttercream.
2. Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Once the buttercream has chilled, carefully drip the chocolate glaze around the top edges. Pour the remaining glaze into the centre of the cake and smooth out with an offset spatula. Decorate the top by piping any remaining buttercream and sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.

Looking for more delicious treats? Try our 15 Warm and Cozy Fall Desserts.

3 Sourdough Stuffing Recipes

Move Over Turkey, These 3 Stuffings Are Bound for Thanksgiving Stardom

Holiday meals just wouldn’t be the same without turkey’s best sidekick: stuffing. Soaked in gravy and flavoured with herbs and spices, it’s a holiday essential. Some home cooks follow recipes that have been passed down for generations, while others try their hand at new recipes every year, searching for a modern classic. Here, using one loaf of humble sourdough bread, we’ve created three different stuffing recipes to suit any menu. Try one or try them all, and add something a little different on your table this year.

Sourdough Toast Stuffing Base 
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Tear 1 (454 g) loaf sourdough into 1-inch pieces and divide between two baking sheets, spreading into a single layer. Toast bread in oven until golden and dry, about 15 minutes. Use in stuffing recipe of choice (below).

Date Walnut Stuffing

Date, Walnut and Cinnamon Stuffing
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large, deep skillet, melt 2 Tbsp unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1 finely chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add in 1 recipe Sourdough Toast Stuffing Base (recipe above), 3/4 cup torn pitted dates and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Add 1-1/2 cups chicken stock, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Stir everything to combine, transfer to a large ovenproof baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove foil and bake until crisp on top and heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve.

Sausage Stuffing

Chestnut and Sausage Stuffing
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large, deep skillet, cook 400 g Italian sausage (casing removed), breaking up meat with a wooden spoon until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add in 2 ribs diced celery, 1 finely chopped onion and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 recipe Sourdough Toast Stuffing Base (recipe above), 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage and 1/2 cup of roasted chestnuts (homemade, canned or vacuum-packed). Add 1-1/2 cups chicken stock, stir everything to combine, transfer to a large ovenproof baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove foil and bake until crisp on top and heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve.

applecranstuffing

Apple Cranberry Stuffing
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 Tbsp unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1 thinly sliced onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add 1 large diced apple and cook for another minute. Stir in 1 recipe Sourdough Toast Stuffing Base (recipe above), 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary. Add 1-1/2 cups chicken stock and 1/2 tsp salt, stir everything to combine, transfer to a large ovenproof baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove foil and bake until crisp on top and heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve.

Turkey and stuffing are best buds, so we’ve compiled our best holiday bird recipes to pair with these newfangled stuffing centrepieces.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

These Pumpkin Pie Bars Belong on Your Thanksgiving Menu

Pumpkin pie bars take your favourite fall slice and transform it into an easy, yet elegant, three-layer dessert These beautiful baked bars start with a buttery shortbread base, which is then topped with a creamy pumpkin pie filling before being covered with a generous nutty brown sugar crumble. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or a homemade pumpkin spice latte, and slide into fall.

PumpkinPieBars-10

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Cool Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Makes: 15 to 18 bars

Ingredients:
Shortbread Base
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

PumpkinPieBars-1

Pumpkin Pie Filling
3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1 (15 oz.) can pure pumpkin purée
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
2 large eggs
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Pecan-Hazelnut Topping
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1⁄4 cup brown sugar

Directions:
Shortbread Base:
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line the bottom and sides of 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on all sides.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add flour and mix on low speed until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until dry to the touch. Reserve for second baking with filling.
3. Increase oven temperature to 350°F.

PumpkinPieBars-4

Pumpkin Pie Filling:
1. In a blender or food processor or large bowl, combine all filling ingredients and blend until smooth.

PumpkinPieBars-5

2. Evenly pour filling over the baked shortbread base and smooth top with a spatula.
3. Bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes. Reserve for third baking with nut topping.

Pecan Hazelnut Topping:
1. In a medium bowl, combine nuts and brown sugar. Mix well.

PumpkinPieBars-8

2. Sprinkle pecan hazelnut topping in an even layer over baked filling layer. Bake for a final time for 15 to 20 minutes, until pumpkin pie filling has set.

PumpkinPieBars-12

3. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 1 hour at room temperature. Lift the parchment out of the pan using overhang, and transfer onto a cutting board. Cut into 15 to 18 bars or squares. Serve.

PumpkinPieBars-17

Of course, pumpkin pie bars are begging for little whipped cream. Master the basic technique (or fix an over-whipped batch) with this tutorial.

Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Curry

Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry is the Easiest Healthy Comfort Food

Are you craving a warming, deeply delicious curry that is slow-cooked to perfection? This coconut chicken curry has the bold, creamy flavours we love in restaurant versions, but is a cinch to make at home, and far healthier. The method is as simple as adding ingredients to your slow cooker and setting the timer – you come home to a beautifully cooked meal that’s especially satisfying to eat as the weather gets chilly. Served on a bed of whole grain quinoa or rice and topped with refreshing cilantro, it’s healthy comfort food done right.

Slow cooker chicken curry 3

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours on high, 8 hours on low
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes on high, 8 hours 10 minutes on low
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into cubes
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
2 Tbsp mild curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp sea salt
1 heaping cup of baby spinach
Warm cooked quinoa, for serving
¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Curry ingredients

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients except baby spinach, quinoa and cilantro in a 6-quart slow cooker. Mix well to combine, cover and set on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Slow cooker chicken curry-1

2.  When ready to serve, open the lid and stir in baby spinach to wilt. Ladle curry over cooked quinoa or rice with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. Serve.

Slow cooker chicken curry-2

Spicy-hot curry is all about the cooling condiments. Smooth things out with this refreshing mint, yogurt and cucumber raita.

Looking for more slow cooker ideas? Try these tasty chicken slow cooker recipes.

Pomegranate Ginger Chicken

Pomegranate Ginger Chicken For a Sweet and Fruitful Rosh Hashanah

Sweet, tart and jewel-tone pomegranates are commonly enjoyed during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebrations, and there are many theories about what this majestic fruit symbolizes. One explains the fruit’s (supposed) 613 seeds represents the 613 good deeds in the Hebrew Bible. Another refers to pomegranates as a symbol of fertility, representing a happy new year of unlimited possibilities. Though my favourite reason to eat these ruby-red gems is because they’re a versatile fruit that adds sparkle to both savoury and sweet recipes, all season long.

chicken-pom

In this dinnertime treasure, we pair pomegranate molasses and pomegranate seeds with fresh ginger to make a seasonally-spiced chicken bake fit for holiday entertaining. As it bakes, a mouthwatering gravy forms at the bottom the dish, which you can serve with couscous or rice to soak it all up. This recipe is perfect for any occasion, simple enough for weeknight cooking and regal enough for elegant holiday entertaining.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger plus 1 (2-inch) piece thinly sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt, more for serving
1 (3 lb) whole chicken broken into 8 pieces or 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts, halved
1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/8 tsp ground pepper
Warm cooked couscous or rice, for serving, optional

Directions:
1. In a large zip-top bag, mix pomegranate molasses, olive oil, 1 Tbsp minced ginger, cinnamon, garlic and salt. Place chicken and onions in bag and massage to coat with mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to 1 day in refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place chicken and onions in a single layer in a large ovenproof baking dish. Discard remaining marinade. Place thinly sliced ginger in-between chicken pieces.
3. Bake until chicken is cooked through and onions are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds, parsley, additional salt and pepper. Serve with warm couscous or rice, if desired.

Add some sparkle to the rest of your plate with our best-ever holiday sides.

Apple Granola Bars

Apple Pie Granola Bars That Taste Just Like Fall

We’ve made apple pie healthier and snack-sized, but have still kept all the classic, cozy fall flavour you know and crave. These apple pie granola bars have all of the perks of the traditional slice, without any of the fuss of making pastry. Filled with dried apples, cinnamon, nuts and honey, they have serious comfort food appeal, but are wholesome enough for an on-the-go breakfast. If you’re feeling decadent, dip one side of these bars in melted butterscotch chips or serve a la mode.

AppleGranolaBars-8

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 8 to 10 bars

AppleGranolaBars-1

Ingredients:
1⁄2 cup unsalted whole roasted almonds
1⁄2 cup unsalted roasted hazelnuts, chopped
1⁄2 cup unsalted roasted walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup rolled oats, toasted
1⁄4 cup honey
2 Tbsp almond butter
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄2 cup dried apple rings, diced
1/3 cup butterscotch chips or salted caramel chips, melted (optional)

Directions:
1. Line an 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang.
2. In a medium bowl, mix to combine almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and oats. Set aside.

AppleGranolaBars-3

3. In a small saucepan, combine honey, almond butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. While continuously whisking over low heat, warm mixture until it starts to gently bubble. Remove from heat and pour mixture into nut mixture.

AppleGranolaBars-4

4. Using a spatula fold in diced dried apples and mix until everything is thoroughly combined. Transfer into lined pan and tightly pack the mixture with the back of the spatula. Make sure there are no gaps.
5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up.

AppleGranolaBars-5

6. Using parchment overhang, lift granola bar mixture from baking pan onto a cutting board. Cut the chilled granola bar mixture into 8 to 10 bars or squares. If desired, dip one side of the chilled bars into the melted butterscotch chips or salted caramel chips and place on parchment until set. Serve.

AppleGranolaBars-13

Enjoy more bountiful fall apple desserts with this mouthwatering list of perennial favourites.

Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

No-Mess Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas Will Change Your Dinner Game

Are you looking for a satisfying, flavourful dinner with barely any clean up? If so, sheet pan chicken fajitas is the recipe for you. Simply toss all ingredients on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for an easy, healthy and delicious meal. With very little prep and minimal clean-up required, you’ll surely be adding this dish to your family’s weeknight supper schedule.

Sheet-Pan-Chicken-Fajitas Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Serves: 2 to 4 

Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
1 yellow onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch strips
1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch strips
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp granulated garlic powder
¼ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
4 to 6 tortillas
1 avocado, diced
⅓ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. On a large rimmed baking sheet, add chicken, onions, peppers, oil, chili powder, paprika, cumin, granulated garlice powder, salt and pepper. Toss well.

Sheet-Pan-Chicken-Fajitas Recipe

2. Bake for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Stack tortillas and wrap securely in foil.
3. Remove cooked chicken and vegetable mixture from oven and make a clearing to add on tortilla package.

Sheet-Pan-Chicken-Fajitas Recipe

4. Set oven to broil. Return sheet pan with chicken and vegetable mixture and tortilla package to oven. Broil for about 2 minutes, until chicken and vegetables are slightly crisped and tortillas are warmed through.

Sheet-Pan-Chicken-Fajitas Recipe

5. Unwrap tortilla package. Build fajitas in tortillas with chicken and vegetable mixture, avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Serve.

Take your dinner chicken from ordinary to extraordinary tomorrow night, too, with these tasty recipes.

Spaghetti Squash Fritters

3 Delicious New Ways to Eat Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is known for being the healthy alternative to carb-heavy pasta, but it can take on more than its traditional garnish of tomato sauce and meatballs. Spaghetti squash also happens to be a rockstar ingredient that can be used in a variety of fresh, inventive ways. From a sweet slice to a salad topper to a snack-sized fritter, check out these three creative recipes that champion spaghetti squash as the hero, all without a meatball in sight.

Cooking Tip: Microwave, steam or bake spaghetti squash until tender before you start the following recipes.

 

Squash-Salad Topper

Middle Eastern Spaghetti Squash Salad or Sandwich Topper
Mix 1 cup cooked squash with 1/4 cup almond meal, 1 tsp ground cumin and a few pinches of salt. Use to top a salad or layer onto your favourite sandwich for a healthy, nutrient-packed vegetarian meal. Serve warm or chilled. Serves 1 to 2.

Squash-Fritters-1

Spaghetti Squash Fritters
Mix 1 cup cooked spaghetti squash with 1 large egg and 1/4 all-purpose flour. Stir in 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese and 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley. In a non-stick skillet over medium, heat a knob of butter. Cook batter in batches, like pancakes, until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Serve warm with Greek yogurt and fresh lime. Serves 1 to 2.

Spaghetti Squash Quick Bread
Give zucchini bread a break and whip up this cozy, spiced loaf for a subtly sweet breakfast or teatime treat.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Makes: 1 loaf

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, more for pan
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp orange zest
2 large eggs
2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole or chopped pecans

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a standard loaf pan with a bit of butter.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and orange zest together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and continue to beat until mixture is combined.
3. In a separate large bowl, mix together squash, yogurt and baking soda. Stir squash mixture into butter mixture.
4. In a medium bowl, mix to combine flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir flour mixture into butter and squash mixture until just until combined. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and evenly top with pecans. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.

From breakfast to dinner, discover a dozen more ways to use magical, healthy spaghetti squash in your favourite meals. 

The Best Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup

When the weather gets chilly and all you want to do is stay cozy inside, we know exactly what you’ll be craving: a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup! Our favourite childhood meal, this faux chicken noodle soup is made entirely from plant-based ingredients and we promise you won’t notice the difference.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 6-8

888_vegan-chicken-noodle-soup

Ingredients:
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
7 cups low sodium vegetable stock
170 g meatless chicken strips (approximately 2 cups)
200 g fettuccine noodles
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/4tsp ground pepper

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Directions:
1. Pull apart the meatless chicken strips with your hands to make smaller pieces that look shredded.
2. In a large pot, heat sunflower oil over medium heat and then add meatless chicken strips and brown for 1 minute.
3. Add basil, thyme, sage, sea salt and ground pepper, and continue browning the strips for another 5 minutes.
4. Add onion and sauté for another 2 minutes, allowing them to soften and sweat, stirring occasionally.
5. At this point, add a bit of vegetable stock to lift up the brown bits off the bottom of the pot, stir in celery and carrots and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
6. Add minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
7. Add all the vegetable stock and noodles (you can use any type of pasta, which may vary the cook time) and stir to combine.
8. Cover pot with lid, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until noodles are tender and cooked through.
9. In the last 2 minutes of cooking, add in parsley.
10. Serve immediately.

Must-Make Vegan Apple Crumble Tart with Salted Caramel

This delicious and decadent vegan salted caramel apple crumble tart is perfect for fall, but definitely one to add to your arsenal year round. Why not go apple picking with the family and then bake up this dreamy dessert together!

Vegan Baking Tip: use Earth Balance Buttery Spread as your vegan butter, not margarine. Margarine often has added or hidden ingredients that aren’t vegan friendly and unlike most margarine varieties, Earth Balance Buttery Spread acts the same as real butter in baking.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 1 tart (approximately 8 servings)

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Ingredients:

For the crust:
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp cold vegan butter
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt

For the filling:
3 apples
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon

For the crumble topping:
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp cold vegan butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp all-spice

For the salted caramel:
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
3 Tbsp vegan butter
1/4 tsp sea salt

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Directions:
1. In a food processor, blend almonds and pecans into a fine meal, then add the remaining crust ingredients and blend until well combined. It should stick together when you pinch it.
2. Press into a 9 1/2″ fluted pie pan with a removable bottom. Poke a few holes in the surface of the crust with a fork and bake in a pre-heated 350°F oven for 8-10 minutes. Time may vary depending on your oven, so watch it closely. It should be half-baked with a slight colour difference.
3. Remove pie crust from the oven and place on a cooling rack while you make the filling and topping.
4. Peel, core, quarter and thinly slice the apples. Mix apples and filling ingredients together with your hands in a mixing bowl until well coated.
5. In another mixing bowl, blend the crumble topping ingredients together with your hands until it comes together into large crumbs.
6. Layer apple slices in the crust and top with the crumble topping evenly. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes.
7. While the tart is baking, make the salted caramel by combining the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly for 7 minutes as it thickens. Remove from heat.
8. Allow the baked apple crumble tart to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
9. Just before serving, drizzle some salted caramel over the entire tart with a spoon.

Note: The caramel recipe makes extra so that you can bring it to the table for guests to add more!

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Halloween pumpkin

5 Tips to Make Your Halloween Pumpkins Last Longer

It’s the countdown to Halloween: the decorations are appropriately ghoulish and the kids are a quiver with anticipation of sugary excess. But wait — has the family Jack ‘o lantern gotten a bit too eerily rotten even for fright night? With a little bit of forethought, you can avoid a scare on Halloween with our five tips for putting your pumpkin’s best face forward this year.

Halloween Pumpkin

1. Choose Wisely
Even before the knives come out, starting with the freshest possible pumpkin is the best way to ensure longevity in your Jack o’ lantern. The best way to choose a pumpkin in the patch (or your local grocery store) is to look for plump and unblemished specimens with a vibrant orange colour and an intact stem. Avoid gourds that are mushy or have soft spots, indicating that spoilage is already occurring or will occur shortly.

2. The Power Of Procrastination 
Sometimes, it’s OK to leave some things to the last minute. Waiting until the day before Halloween (or the day of, if you’ve got the day off and are super ambitious) delays the start of the clock in terms of rot and decay. Rushed for time or trying to keep those costumes pristine? Consider using stickers, glue-on adornments and markers instead of — or to complement — the decorative cutting.

3. Keep It Clean
Making sure your hands  are clean when prepping your pumpkin will keep yesterday’s pudding out of the middle of your creation and inhibit mold. Also wipe down your surfaces as well as the outside of the pumpkin, and dry it thoroughly. A mild bleach solution, vinegar or lemon juice may help keep bacteria and fruit flies at bay. Scrape the inside of the pumpkin and remove all the gooey innards, and be sure to give it a wipe out as well.

4. Polished Presentation
To keep your pumpkin perfectly plump, you can use petroleum jelly or oil to coat the insides and cut edges and wrap the whole thing well (or rehydrate it with a quick soak before trick or treaters arrive, but be sure to drain it completely to avoid pumpkin puddles).

5. Think About Temperature
Pumpkins are like most people: happiest when it’s not too cold or too hot. Bring your pumpkin indoors if the weather falls below zero to avoid a cycle of freezing, thawing and rotting, but avoid making them too toasty lest they shrink. To prevent mold, keep them away from high humidity. If storing your gourd outside, concrete may add heat and the potential for spoilage, so consider giving it a cushy seat with a piece of cardboard until the big night.

Prefer to eat pumpkin? Try these 25 Tasty Pumpkin Desserts.

Wild rice

Delicious Ways to Enjoy Canadian Wild Rice This Fall

As the leaves turn colour and the air gets crisper, it’s the perfect time to bring the harvest’s bounty to your table. Along with fall classics like butternut squash soup and pumpkin pie, why not include wild rice on the menu? This quintessential autumn dish has been a staple food for indigenous communities for thousands of years, and it’s traditionally harvested in the fall season.

“In late August and early September, people would gather together at the rice beds, and harvest it in canoes,” says Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, a member of Alderville First Nation who often harvests rice. “There’s nothing more beautiful than being out on a lake in the fall, gently knocking the grains of wild rice into the canoe.”

Surprisingly, this chewy, elongated grain is not actually a member of the rice family. It’s a semi-aquatic grass that grows annually from seed, mostly in the upper freshwater lakes of Canada, and produces a valuable grain that’s low in fat but high in protein, fibre, B vitamins and minerals.

It’s also incredibly tasty; when cooked properly, wild rice gives off nutty and smoky flavours that blend beautifully with soups, salads, stuffing or as a stand-alone dish.

Wild Rice

“I really like that you can get earthiness out of it, but also an umami flavour,” says Chef Rich Francis, a member of the Tetlit Gwich’in and Tuscarora Nations, and a former Top Chef Canada contender.

As Francis says, wild rice is a longstanding delicacy among indigenous peoples, usually mixed with bear grease or duck fat and then added to soups or stews. Aside from being delicious and nutritious, this flavourful food holds cultural significance for many indigenous communities in Canada, many of which celebrate the crop with traditional songs, stories and dances.

“A lot of our food is based around tradition and ceremony,” says Francis. “Every harvest, they’ll be a rice ceremony. We could trade [the wild rice] and it could be used as currency for our people. It was something that was valued, because it was plentiful.”

Of course, there are many ways to eat this versatile grain, and Francis has created some sumptuous dishes that fuse old and new culinary traditions.

“I’ve used it in sushi, as an Asian-Aboriginal fusion,” says Chef Rich. “Or I’ll make a stock out of sweet grass and medicinal sage, and then cook the rice with the stock and water in the oven.”

Wild Rice Pancakes

Ree Drummond’s Wild Rice Pancakes.

If it’s your first time cooking wild rice, start simply by boiling a batch in water. Just follow Francis’ advice and have “lots of time on your hands” — wild rice requires ample water (approximately 2 cups of cold water per half cup of wild rice) to cook, and it takes anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour for the grain to split and become tender.

“Coming into the fall season, cook up a little bit more and then store it in the fridge,” he says. “Then incorporate it into a soup, or serve it in a cold presentation, like in a salad with blueberries.”

One of his signature ways to enjoy it is as a Wild Rice and Steel-Cut Oat Risotto. Rich and creamy, it’s cooked with wild game stock, double smoked bacon, wild mushrooms and herbs, and is best served with a fillet of herb-crusted salmon on top.

Looking for more easy entrée ideas? Shake up meals by adding cooked wild rice to a main, like this Wild Rice Chicken Skillet simmered in mushrooms, spinach, basil, and chili flakes. Or, try a Wild Rice, Artichoke and Kale Salad topped with a protein, like grilled halibut or chicken. You can even add wild rice to pancakes or stuffing for the Thanksgiving turkey. But no matter how it’s served, wild rice is sure to be a fall favourite at any table!

Giant Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

How to Make a Giant Skillet Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

Everything is popping up pumpkin these days, and this recipe is no exception. Let’s be honest; there’s nothing that helps us get over the heartbreak of losing those long summer days like warm, cozy pastries and spiced treats. Summer has been fun, but we’d gladly trade in shorts for long pants if it means getting to enjoy a slice of this Giant Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll — especially if it’s dripping with a sweet cream cheese glaze.

Soft cinnamon roll dough kneaded and spiraled in a large skillet or pie pan, this giant treat is just like the traditional version, but with the addition of seasonal pumpkin and much bigger. Instead of individual buns, serve up this dramatic and playful version like a cake and cut into wedges. Try a slice while it’s still a bit warm, and enjoy as the cream cheese glaze melts between the layers. Yum!

Giant Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Total: 2 1/2 to 3 hours
Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

Dough:
1/3 cup warm milk (110ºF)
2 1/4 tsp yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, slightly whisked
2/3 cup pumpkin purée
3 Tbsp melted unsalted butter, cooled

Filling:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, very soft
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze:
4 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
1 to 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 to 4 tsp cream or milk

Giant Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

Directions:
1. Warm the milk to 110ºF. Stir in the yeast and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. The yeast should foam up a bit and bubbles should float to the surface.
2. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, sugar and salt in large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer.
3. Once the yeast has bubbled up, stir it into the dry ingredients. Add in the egg, pumpkin purée, and butter. Mix with a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment until combined.
4. Using a dough hook and electric mixer or by hand, knead the dough until it is soft and smooth. If sticky, add in 1 tsp of flour at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
5. Oil a large bowl and place the kneaded dough inside. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or piece of plastic wrap and place in warm corner of the kitchen for 1 to 2 hours, or until the dough rises and doubles in size.
6. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down and knead a few times. Butter a 9-inch skillet or pie pan and set aside.

Giant Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

7. Slightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to about a 14 by 16-inch rectangle. Use an offset spatula or the back of spoon to spread on the softened butter over the entire top of the dough. Sprinkle the butter with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Pat down the sugar mixture to make sure it is pressed into the butter.
8. Using a paring knife, pastry cutter, or pizza wheel, cut the dough into 2-inch wide strips. Roll-up and coil the first strip around itself and place in the centre of the prepared skillet/pan. Using the other cut strips, wrap around the centre roll. Continue with the remaining strips, until done. Loosely cover with a piece of plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes. As the dough puffs and bakes, the strips may move around slightly.
9. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Once the dough has raised again, place in the oven and bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly on a wire rack.
10. For the glaze, stir the cream cheese with a rubber spatula or spoon until smooth and soft. Add in confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and cream. Mix until combined and desired consistency is achieved. Spread over the pumpkin roll while it is still slightly warm. Cut into slices and serve warm.

Giant Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

Looking for more delicious fall treats? Try one of these 33 Perfect Pumpkin Spice Recipes

Cauliflower Pizza

The Best Cauliflower Crust Rainbow Pizza

You can roast it, rice it, steam it or purée it, but our new favourite way to enjoy seasonal cauliflower is pizza. Quicker than making your own pizza dough from scratch, you’ll love this crispy, chewy cauliflower crust that serves as a sneaky way to eat more veggies.

Once you have the base down, you can customize your toppings based on the season. Use up those last few end-of-summer tomatoes with fresh basil, or pair roast squash with creamy Gorgonzola cheese. Try shredded, roast Brussels sprouts with pomegranate seeds for a comforting cool-weather dinner. Get creative with the toppings and turn this recipe into a satisfying, veggie meal for you and your family.

Cauliflower Pizza

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4 (makes 2 pizzas)

Ingredients:

Cauliflower Crust:
1 1/2 lbs (1/2 large) cauliflower, broken into small florets
3 large eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup light spelt flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp psyllium powder
1 tsp salt

Toppings:
1 cup diced yellow pepper
1 cup shredded radicchio or red cabbage
1/2 cup tomato sauce or 2 fresh tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil or ¼ cup broccoli
1/4 cup red onion
1 large carrot, julienned or shredded
1 Tbsp balsamic reduction (balsamic glaze), for drizzling

Rainbow Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Directions:
1. Arrange oven racks to accommodate 2 trays. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, pulse cauliflower until finely chopped. Add eggs and cheese; blend until combined. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add flour, psyllium and salt; blend until combine. Place dough onto baking sheet and spread into 8-inch circle or rectangle. Bake for 10 minutes.
3. Arrange fresh toppings into any pattern you desire (get creative!). Slice and serve with a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

apple poke cake

Super-Moist Apple Poke Cake with Maple Caramel

Savour the season with this ultra-moist cake packed with morsels of tender autumn apples. The tasty made-from-scratch cake puts the boxed version to shame, and packs a sticky-sweet surprise as soon as you cut it. Each slice of soft, sour-cream based cake is injected with a rich maple caramel sauce, and topped with a whipped maple cream for even more Canadian flavour.

Apple Poke Cake
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:
Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 apples, such as McIntosh, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Caramel Sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbsp water
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup 35% cream
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

Topping:
3/4 cup 35% cream
3 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp sour cream

Apple Poke Cake

Directions:
Cake Base:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. Butter and flour a 9-inch square pan.
3. Whisk flour with baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
4. Combine butter with eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat mixture until smooth. Stir in half the flour mixture, then half the sour cream. Repeat additions. Stir until well mixed. Fold in apples, then scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth top. Bake in centre of oven until a cake tester inserted into centre of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Caramel Sauce:
1. Stir sugar with water in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Place over medium-high heat and let caramelize, without stirring, until sugar turns a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Gradually whisk in maple syrup and cream, being careful to avoid splatters. Boil, until mixture is smooth. Whisk in butter, then remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature.

Whip Cream Topping:
1. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream until firm peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in sour cream, then maple syrup.

Assembly:
1. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes in cake, staggering each about 1/2-in apart. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of caramel over top of cake, smoothing with a spatula. Top with whip cream mixture, then drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of caramel.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Blend at Home

‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice-ing just about everything edible. Well, maybe not everything, but fall is the perfect time for those warming spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to really shine, all of which are involved in the spice blend that goes into the popular PSL.

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Making your own pumpkin spice blend is simple. In fact, it’s so easy you might even be embarrassed that you’ve never done it before. And those pumpkin spiced drinks that you pay extra for at the café? Well, you can do that at home, too. Here’s how!

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Pumpkin Spice Blend

One of the best things about making your own pumpkin spice at home is that fact that you can cater to your tastes. Not fond of cloves? Add less of them. Think that cardamom might be an interesting addition? Try it out! This is just a guideline, so feel free to make it your own!

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Makes: 1/2 cup pumpkin spice blend

Ingredients:
3 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

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Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in a small container. Stir, cover and store in a cool, dry place.
2. Use as desired.

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How To Use It

Fruit pies: This spice blend needs a new name. With the word “pumpkin,” it implies it’s only good for one thing: pumpkin pie. Fruit fillings, made primarily of apples, pears, plums or peaches, are perfectly suited for this spice mix as well. I’d recommend using 1 teaspoon per 2 cups of filling.

Overnight oatmeal or hot porridge: Oatmeal and porridge can always use a little sprucing up, so why not use this blend add some coziness to your morning meal.

Squash soup or beef stew: While we tend to think of the ingredients in pumpkin spice as sweet, for many cultures around the world, it’s quite the opposite. Adding some of this spice blend to a pureed squash soup or tomato-based beef stew adds a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to savoury dishes. Consider it your secret ingredient!

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Variation: Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup

Use this easy-to-make simple syrup in your morning coffee, or mixed into whipped cream for extra autumn flavour on top of your pumpkin or apple pie.

Total Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 2 1/2 cups pumpkin spice simple syrup

Ingredients:
2 cups water
2 cups cane sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole allspice
2 whole cloves
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root
1 piece nutmeg

pumpkinspice_syrup_cooking

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in a medium pan and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat.
2. Once sugar has dissolved, reduce to low heat and let steep on stove for 20 minutes.
3. Strain mixture through fine mesh strainer into a heat-safe container or Mason jar and discard aromatics.
4. Store in fridge to use as desired. Will keep in the fridge for up to one month.

pumpkinspice_syrup_finished

 

Looking for more ways to use your pumpkin spice? Try these 33 Perfect Pumpkin Spice Recipes.

Halloween Pumpkin Pasta

With fall upon us, out come the sweaters, colourful leaves, and tons of Autumn-inspired eats, like this Halloween pumpkin pasta.

This tasty dish is perfectly suited for the season; Halloween farfalle pasta covered in a creamy pumpkin sauce spiced with fresh rosemary, paprika and nutmeg.

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Halloween Pumpkin Pasta
Adapted from the Martha Stewart recipe.

Ingredients:
250 grams Halloween farfalle pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1 can (400 ml) pumpkin purée
1 clove of garlic (minced)
1/2 cup of half-and-half cream
1 Tbsp white-wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2-3 pinches of nutmeg
1 shallot (minced)
Salt and pepper

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Directions:
1. Start off by cooking your pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until the pasta reaches its desired tenderness.
2. While the pasta is cooking, in a large sauce pan, fry the fresh rosemary in olive oil for 1-2 minutes on medium heat. Once is begins to brown remove the rosemary from your pan onto paper towel.
3. In the same pan, add in the pumpkin purée, garlic, half-and-half, white-wine vinegar, paprika, nutmeg and shallot. Cook the sauce, stirring regularly for about 3-5 minutes until the ingredients have combined and the sauce has warmed through.
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper (feel free to add more half-and-half if the sauce is too thick).
5. Once the sauce has finished, add in the rosemary and pasta, stir and serve!