Fall is pumpkin season. It’s the time when pumpkin farms do a booming business as people flock to them to pick out the pumpkins they want to carve into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween or put on display on their fall table centerpieces. But pumpkins don’t just make great decorations. They’re wonderful for eating, too!
Pumpkins make delicious soups, side dishes, and desserts. I mean what would Thanks-giving be without pumpkin pie? Well, this is an old recipe for the yummiest pumpkin cake you’ll ever bite into! Iced with cream cheese frosting and cut into squares, it’s a family favorite that’s ideal for taking to potlucks and office parties, too. It’s moist and delicious and my cream cheese frosting is the perfect showcase for the rich, not-too-sweet cake underneath it.
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 can (15-oz.) pumpkin
1⅔ cups sugar
1 cup cooking oil
¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and oil.
Add the flour mixture and beat till well combined.
Stir in chopped nuts, if desired.
Spread batter in an ungreased 9×13-inch baking pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1 pkg. (8 ozs.) cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.
Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.
I make these bars a lot during zucchini season. The zucchini is like a “surprise ingredient” that fools everybody. They all think it’s apple and don’t believe me when I tell them it’s zucchini. These bars are delicious, and best of all, are so easy to make. My family loves to eat them warm with a scoop of ice cream. Give them a try and see if they don’t surprise you, too.
ZUCCHINI CRUMBLE BARS
For the Filling:
8-10 cups zucchini, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 4-5 lbs.)
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2-3 tbsp. cold water (this is called a slurry)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook zucchini, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg, stirring occasionally until zucchini is crisp-tender, about 15-20 minutes.
While stirring constantly, pour in slurry (cornstarch water mixture). It is important to keep stirring as the slurry will thicken the mixture very quickly.
Continue to cook and stir, 1-2 minutes more, until mixture is thick and glossy.
Remove from heat and set aside.
For the Crust:
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 cups cold butter, cut in cubes
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Set aside about 3 cups of the crust mixture for topping.
Press remaining crust mixture into bottom of prepared baking pan.
Pour zucchini mixture over crust, spreading evenly to edges.
Crumble remaining crust mixture over zucchini mixture.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top crust is golden brown.
I love dulce de leche. It’s so delicious, I can eat it by the spoonful! I thought it would be fun to make some kind of bars with dulce de leche in them. So I made up this recipe with a blondie base and ready-made dulce de leche. It turned out great! The kids loved them. I’ll definitely be making these again!
This strange sounding recipe is one of Trisha Yearwood’s. I watched her make it on TV and immediately rushed to the kitchen to try making it myself. O-M-G!!! It was sooo good! The family loved it! Such an unusual recipe and surprisingly yummy! And the best part…. it was super easy to make. You’ve just got to try this one.
SWEET AND SALTINES
35 to 40 saltine crackers
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 cup light brown sugar
8 ozs. semisweet chocolate chips (about 1⅓ cups)
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Line 1 large or 2 small jellyroll pans with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Arrange the saltines salt side down in a single layer.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and boil for a few minutes until it turns a caramel color.
Remove from heat and pour over the crackers, covering them evenly.
Put the jellyroll pan into the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until just bubbly, watching carefully so as not to burn.
Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crackers.
Wait a minute or so and when the heat melts the chips a bit, spread the chocolate over the crackers with a knife or an offset spatula.
Place the pan in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely cold. They will form one solid sheet.
Break up into pieces.
Store in an airtight container. That is…… assuming you have any left to store!