Health & Wellness

Yum! The Wonderful Desserts of Fall

Finally! We have reached the point of the year to pull out our best crewnecks, light jackets and trench coats and—my favorite—knee high boots! Not only do I love the weather, but, I love the fashion! Read More

pumpkin coffee

Fall has always been my favorite season.

Finally! We have reached the point of the year to pull out our best crewnecks, light jackets and trench coats and—my favorite—knee high boots! Not only do I love the weather, but, I love the fashion! This is a time of the year where it isn’t the treacherous hot summer that prevents us from wearing virtually anything because it may just melt off our bodies. However, we aren’t quite at the brutal coldness of the winter, with huge coats and boots to match, trying to cover up before our fingertips freeze off. Yes, fall is the perfect blend of those two seasons and, to me, is a magical part of the year. Fall welcomes in Halloween and Thanksgiving, two of the best holidays EVER. Six Flags’ has their annual fright fest and who doesn’t want to go excavating through a pumpkin patch?

Speaking of pumpkins…this is another reason why I love Fall so much.

Now, when we think of one of our favorite items to eat, chances are, not many people are going to say “pumpkin”. It’s super random and people forget about this super food until this time of the year. Now that we’ve finally reached the year of the pumpkin, we can remember how delicious and beneficial this food is. This winter squash isn’t only good to eat and make funny faces in, but can aid the body in various ways. As is surprising to many people, pumpkin actually contains many key health benefits. Pumpkins are highly nutritious. They are extremely rich with vitamin A, which is good for healthy teeth, bones, eyes, skin and hair. Additionally—along with containing many other essential vitamins and minerals—the pumpkin is fairly low in calories, being made of 94% water! This unexpectant superfood can aid in weight loss, lower your risk of cancer and benefit your heart health. Wow! Who knew that this rarely celebrated food could do so much?

So, what are some great ways to eat pumpkin?

I am so happy that you asked! One of the best ways to utilize the pumpkin is to create a dessert out of it. Dessert? You can’t possibly make many desserts with pumpkin, right? Wrong! There are so many ways that the pumpkin can be turned into a sweet treat, it’s scary yet wonderful; and no, not just plain old pumpkin pie. Though there are so many options, I’ve decided to share my top 2 favorite pumpkin concoctions; I’m sure you would’ve never thought to utilize pumpkin in these fun ways. All from Taste of Home, we have Pumpkin Whoopie Pies and Pumpkin Chip Cookies; are you as excited as I am? Let us dive into the dessert world of the pumpkin:

First, let’s tackle the all-time favorite…the cookie:

pumpkin cookiesINGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ cups of softened butter
  • 2 cups of packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 15 ounce can of pumpkin
  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of quick-cooking oats
  • 2 cups/12 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips
  • Mixer to blend all these lovely ingredients together; or a wooden spoon with a strong arm; and a whisk
  • Some bowls
  • Baking sheets

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your over to 350 degrees.
  2. Next, cream together the butter and sugars until they are beautifully light and fluffy; try not to eat it just yet. Then, add the egg and vanilla; then the pumpkin.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Then, once that’s all nicely blended, stir in the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients a little at a time. Once those are all nicely together, throw in those oats and chocolate chips.
  4. Now, we’re onto the real part: start forming those cookies! You can make them as small or big as you like…I’m greedy, so the bigger the cookie, the better for me.
  5. Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes, or until you see they are lightly browned.
  6. Try to wait for them to cool—I know it’ll be hard. Then enjoy!
Next, is the whoopie pie:

pumpkin woopie piesINGREDIENTS

For the cake-like part:

  • 1 cup of shortening
  • 2 cups of packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 ½ cups of canned pumpkin
  • Mixer; bowls; all those necessary items to make the ingredients come together

For the filling:

  • ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup of whole milk
  • 1 cup of shortening
  • 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Now, for the cake-like part, cream together the shortening and brown sugar until its fluffy. Then, add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Take the dry, mix is with the wet, gradually; then, add in the pumpkin. When going to bake, make sure to drop by rounded tablespoonfuls and keep each drop 2 inches apart. These should take about 10-12 minutes to bake.
  4. Now to the filling. Mix the flour and salt in a small saucepan; then gradually mix in the milk until it is nice smooth. Bring this concoction to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce to medium heat; cook and stir until thickened, which should take about 2 minutes. Once done, place it in the fridge until it’s cool.
  5. In another bowl, you’re going to beat together the shortening, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until they are nice and smooth. Add your chilled milk mixture and keep at it until its fluffy.
  6. Spread this lovely filling onto your cake-like circles, make them into sandwiches and BOOM! Enjoy!

A lot of steps? Might sound like it, but if I can make them and they turn out delicious, so can you! It’s fall; it’s time that we enjoy the pumpkin!

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