Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

This buttery, soft Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is so easy, foolproof and delicious! Perfectly spiced, ultra moist and a cinch to whip together, it tastes like fall! Are you ready for me to pumpkin ALLTHETHINGS?!

Because pumpkin season is in full swing, I have a week’s worth of pumpkin recipes for you guys this week. And this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is starting us off right.

I’ve already told you about how I’m the worst packer. Well now I’m officially the worst unpacker because I’ve been back from a Seattle conference trip for almost a week and I still have yet to unpack.

My suitcase is just lying open and unwanted in the living room and has remained untouched for days. In it, contents of swag, a couple pairs of shoes, receipts piled up everywhere and conference materials strewn about.

But when I walk by it, I just can’t muster up the desire to unpack it. I just walk by it and shoot resentful daggers at it from my eyeballs because unpacking is like, the worst chore ever. Aside from emptying the dishwasher. And putting away laundry. And dusting. And every other chore because let’s face it, I’m no Cinderella.

And at this point the suitcase has become like a focal point in our living room. I imagine it’d look great with a pile of pumpkins surrounding it for Halloween, and come Christmastime, it’d look lovely draped in a half-assed pile of colorful Christmas lights.

Just kidding. Kind of.

This buttery, soft Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is so easy, foolproof and delicious! Perfectly spiced, ultra moist and a cinch to whip together, it tastes like fall! Anyway, instead of cleaning up my suitcase I have made this Pumpkin Bread and I have to say, making pumpkin bread was much better. This bread is moist, super soft, plush and has amazing texture. Plus, it’s a cinch to make and even easier to eat. You don’t wanna miss this!

This buttery, soft Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is so easy, foolproof and delicious! Perfectly spiced, ultra moist and a cinch to whip together, it tastes like fall! *from my pumpkin bread recipe

4.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is soft, fluffy and ultra moist, and bursting with chocolate chips! The ultimate comfort food breakfast or snack!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease an 8-or-9" loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine all of the bread ingredients except for the chocolate chips and stir until just barely combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Do not overmix as this will lead to tough bread. Spread into the prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake for approx. 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to slice and serve.

This buttery, soft Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is so easy, foolproof and delicious! Perfectly spiced, ultra moist and a cinch to whip together, it tastes like fall! Tender, moist, packed with pumpkin flavor and studded with sweet chocolate chips, this super fluffy bread will soon become a family favorite in your house! Spread it with butter, toast it up, or top with Nutella for an extra indulgent treat. Either way, make this bread happen, please?

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts

These Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts are easy, foolproof and taste like fall! You don't want to miss this delicious recipe!So, I was super excited to make this recipe for many reasons.

One, because these nuts epitomize fall. Sweaters, scarves, boots, PSL’s, crunchy red leaves on the ground… you know. The whole dealio.

And two, because they taste like pumpkin spice, are super crunchy and coated in caramelized sugar heaven. You know, the usual.

And then I made them, stirred them every twenty minutes, pouring my heart and soul into this recipe with painstaking attention to detail.

And then, only then, did I realize after spreading the wet nuts out to dry on a baking sheet, that I forgot to grease my slow cooker.

STICKY SAUCE. STICKY SAUCE EVERYWHERE.

If you’ve never made what is essentially caramel in a hot slow cooker without baking spray, it’s basically hell on earth. And if you’ve never tried soaking said slow cooker liner in hot water and soap, it’s basically impossible to rinse off. So my all-purpose slow cooker just became a candied-nuts-only slow cooker in a matter of three hours. Oops.

And while we’re here, can we talk about the word ‘oops’ for a moment? Lately I’ve seen people spelling it like ‘opps’ and I’m thoroughly confused. ‘Opps’ doesn’t even sound like ‘oops’ does. Oops means there are two O’s – OOps. ‘Opps’ sounds like opportunities, or operations, or like you don’t know how to spell oops.

So there you have it. My tragic story and a spelling lesson all at once. You guys are so lucky to have me, right?

ANYWHO. Let’s talk more about these nuts, shall we?

These Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts are easy, foolproof and taste like fall! You don't want to miss this delicious recipe!So the premise is pretty simple for making homemade candied nuts. Simply pour your nuts of choice into a GREASED (!!!) slow cooker and toss with some egg whites and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together brown sugar and white sugar along with your spices. For these, I’m using Pumpkin Pie Spice primarily for that warm, hearty, pumpkin-y flavor. Cook on low for three hours, stirring every twenty minutes to coat the nuts in that heartwarming spice and sugar mixture. Then, during the last twenty minutes of cooking, toss in some water – just a little bit – to help create a glaze on these sticky, sensational nuts. And lastly, toss ’em with some peanut M&M’s for color and because chocolate.

The end. The delicious end.

These Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts are easy, foolproof and taste like fall! You don't want to miss this delicious recipe!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 cups
 
These Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts are delicious, easy and great for gifting! Make a big batch and serve 'em up whenever your sugar craving strikes.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 2 cups shelled walnuts
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 bag peanut M&M's, optional but recommended
Instructions
  1. First and foremost, liberally grease your slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the nuts in the slow cooker and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and vanilla until combined. Drizzle over the nuts in the slow cooker and use a spoon to toss the nuts in the egg white mixture until coated.
  3. Meanwhile, in a larger bowl, combine the sugars and spices and stir to combine. Pour over the nuts and gently toss to coat.
  4. Turn the slow cooker on LOW and cook for 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. During the last 20 minutes of cook time, drizzle in the water and toss to coat. Once nuts are done, spread onto a foil-lined baking sheet to dry and cool. Sprinkle with M&M's as they cool or after, up to you. Break into clusters and serve.

These Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts are easy, foolproof and taste like fall! You don't want to miss this delicious recipe!You guys have to give these nuts a try! Crunchy, sugary, sweet and loaded with delicious pumpkin spice and chocolate, they’ll soon become a new favorite around the holidays!

Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Pumpkin Spice Sheet Cake

This Pumpkin Spice Sheet Cake is AMAZING! Moist, rich and packed with pumpkin flavor and topped with a cream cheese icing. Perfect for feeding a crowd! By the time you’re reading this, I’ll have just come home from a B-52’s concert in Los Angeles.

The concert was awesome! I definitely loved seeing them perform ‘Rock Lobster’ live. Who doesn’t love that song?

Anywho, if you don’t know, I live in Sacramento, which is about 6-8 hours away from LA. And we drove down Saturday morning and drove back Sunday morning, leaving a very small window of being in LA.

And I have to say, I loathe road trips. Absolutely detest them.

Road trips are the most awful of all travel. I hate seeing the open road, I hate not being able to read, and I loathe sitting around in a cramped seat.

I’d much rather fly since it’s faster to your destination AND since you get peanuts or pretzels. I mean yeah, I could totally buy my own pretzels for the car but where’s the fun in that? And seeing the flight attendants perform their millionth demonstration of how to fasten a seatbelt… priceless.

On a side note, who doesn’t know how to fasten those seatbelts? I mean, seriously. Insert the metal tip into the buckle. It isn’t rocket science. Maybe that’s why they charge so much for airfare – because of people’s stupidity.

And I almost – almost – sprang for us all to fly down to LA; a measly one hour flight. But then I wouldn’t have money for spending on delicious Mexican food and margaritas while I was down there. Priorities.

Anywho, when we came back from our quick jaunt we *thankfully* still had some of this Pumpkin Spice Sheet Cake leftover… mostly in part because my dad detests pumpkin. Bad for him, good for us. And by good, I mean great. 

This Pumpkin Spice Sheet Cake is AMAZING! Moist, rich and packed with pumpkin flavor and topped with a cream cheese icing. Perfect for feeding a crowd! This sheet cake is so moist, delicious and packed with spicy pumpkin flavor. Scented with vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and allspice – or as I like to use, pumpkin pie spice – it’s absolutely heavenly and tastes even better when topped with a light-as-air cream cheese frosting.

You guys. Make this cake! It’s worth it…even if you have to somehow road trip to get it.

This Pumpkin Spice Sheet Cake is AMAZING! Moist, rich and packed with pumpkin flavor and topped with a cream cheese icing. Perfect for feeding a crowd! *adapted from Taste of Home recipes

Pumpkin Spice Sheet Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
This Pumpkin Spice Sheet Cake is absolute heaven on a plate! Smothered in cream cheese icing, it's delightful and so easy to make!
Ingredients
  • 1 & ½ cups sugar
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (make sure you don't buy pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch salt
  • FOR CREAM CHEESE ICING:
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbsp heavy cream, as needed
  • About 4 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 15x10" jelly roll pan. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the sugar, pumpkin, oil, vanilla and eggs until blended. Gradually add in the flour, baking powder and soda, and spices and beat to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until cake springs back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. Once cake has cooled, prepare your icing. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until creamy and blended. Add in the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. You may need to use the cream to thin out the frosting a little.
  5. Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake, cut into slices and serve. Store leftovers covered in the fridge.

This Pumpkin Spice Sheet Cake is AMAZING! Moist, rich and packed with pumpkin flavor and topped with a cream cheese icing. Perfect for feeding a crowd! Heaven on a plate, people! So moist, rich, pumpkin-y and perfectly spiced with those heartwarming spices. You and your family will love this cake!

Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

Pumpkin Gooey Bars

These Pumpkin Gooey Bars are FANTASTIC! So amazingly easy to prepare and taste like fall! A couple days ago, I was invited to a blogging event at Seasons 52, a restaurant in Sacramento.

(Side note: have you been there? It’s an amazing chain with excellent food).

I was allowed to bring a guest, so naturally I brought my BFF, my mom. It was the first time my mom had been to a blogging event with me, and frankly I was really excited about it. Finally, someone who will understand what I do all day and why the sink is never empty!

Actually.. she’ll probably never understand why the sink is never empty. But I digress.

A couple of my blogging friends were there so we all gathered around and snacked on hors d’oevres before dinner. I was kinda nervous for my mom since I have once been the outsider to a group and know how awkward it can be when everyone else is yammering about their own inside jokes and subjects, especially since my mom knows virtually nothing about blogging except why there’s always dirty dishes in the sink and why most of my clothes are covered in a thin veil of powdered sugar.

But ultimately my mom came in and took names. She was schmoozin’ with the best of them and making her rounds, meeting all the new people like she was an old pro or something. Maybe it had to do with the fact that they were serving wine, but either way, mom was at it and I was impressed.

And that is the story of how my mom continues to surprise me.

Like when she dropped a flatbread pizza on the floor last night. True story.

And after stuffing ourselves silly, we came home and still had a Pumpkin Gooey Bar. Because it’s September now and pumpkin is fair game.

These gooey bars are so fantastic! They’re eerily similar to my regular Best-Ever Gooey Cake Bars, but with one special orange ingredient: Pumpkin! These have an amazing, warm, fall-inspired flavor bursting with cinnamon spice and everything niiiiiice. They’re ultra rich, gooey, and utterly spectacular.

Make them now! Impress yourself.

These Pumpkin Gooey Bars are FANTASTIC! So amazingly easy to prepare and taste like fall!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Gooey Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These Pumpkin Gooey Bars are fantastic! Loaded with buttery pumpkin flavor and sweet spices, you'll love these fall-inspired bars!
Ingredients
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 sticks butter, melted & divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (make sure you get canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (16 oz) pkg powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, one (1) stick (1/2 cup) of the melted butter and one (1) egg together until blended; dough will be thick. Press evenly into the prepared pan and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese, pumpkin, pie spice and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer on medium speed until blended and creamy. Beat in the remaining ½ cup melted butter, & the remaining 3 eggs until blended. Lastly, beat in the entire pkg of powdered sugar.
  4. Pour the mixture evenly over the bar base and bake for 45 minutes or until the center is just about set (slightly jiggly is okay). Cool completely, then refrigerate for at least an hour to set up. Store bars in fridge.

These Pumpkin Gooey Bars are FANTASTIC! So amazingly easy to prepare and taste like fall! Pumpkin-y. Spicy. Sweet. And absolutely heavenly! These bars will soon become your new fall favorite!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

The BEST Pumpkin Bread with Brown Butter Maple Icing

This is truly the BEST Pumpkin Bread EVER! Moist, fluffy, soft and with a tender crumb, it's topped with an incredibly easy Brown Butter Maple Icing. Great for breakfast, brunch or dessert! It’s still in the 90s here in Sacramento.

But because I’m stubborn (and in denial) I’ve been rocking my boots, flannels and leggings and sweating profusely while doing so… only until I crank up the AC in October(!!!) and then I feel a little more fall-ish.

I’ve lit pumpkin candles around the house. I’ve purchased logs of wood for fires. I’ve even draped throw blankets back on over the couches to invite fall into Sacramento. But it’s still Daisy-Duke weather and I’m about to lose it.

The rest of the world is blissfully sipping PSL’s while they bundle up in peacoats and scarves and break out their Hunter boots for impending thunderstorms. Me? I’m digging through my closet for the tiniest shorts I own in an attempt to stay cool and the only thunderstorm in Sacramento is the thunderous sobbing by yours truly over the fact that it’s ALMOST ONE HUNDRED DEGREES STILL.

Like, WTF Mother Nature? What did I ever do to you? Don’t you know PSL’s are seasonal? Don’t you know they GO AWAY SOON?! I cant very well sip on them blissfully while red leaves twirl at my feet when I’m still wearing a bikini and slapping on sunscreen.

Life can be so unfair at times.

This is truly the BEST Pumpkin Bread EVER! Moist, fluffy, soft and with a tender crumb, it's topped with an incredibly easy Brown Butter Maple Icing. Great for breakfast, brunch or dessert! But despite the weather hiccup, I’m completely in the midst of my fall baking. Pumpkin and caramel apple errthang, people. And I couldn’t very well usher in my fake-fall without pumpkin bread! Pumpkin bread is one of those warming, comforting carbs that I simply cannot resist. Whether it’s topped with a glaze, studded with nuts, or plain nekkid, I love it any which way and prefer a thick slice for breakfast with my coffee. This bread is perfectly fluffy and moist without being too wet, has a soft and tender crumb, and is topped with the best brown butter maple glaze that drips down over the top of this well-spiced loaf.

Even if the outdoors feel like July, at least you can eat fall!

***NOTE: Some people have had issues with the glaze separating. I highly suggest letting the brown butter cool completely before whisking in the remaining glaze ingredients. This should help prevent the glaze from separating.***

This is truly the BEST Pumpkin Bread EVER! Moist, fluffy, soft and with a tender crumb, it's topped with an incredibly easy Brown Butter Maple Icing. Great for breakfast, brunch or dessert! *adapted slightly from Land O Lakes Baking & More Cookbook

4.7 from 22 reviews
The BEST Pumpkin Bread with Brown Butter Maple Icing
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Perfectly spiced, moist and tender, this Pumpkin Bread will soon become a family favorite! Leave it naked if you wish, or stud it with nuts - however, I prefer mine with this simple brown butter maple glaze. I'm sure you will, too!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, softened (I used Land O Lakes)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (the puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 & ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • FOR GLAZE:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 - 1 & ½ cups powdered sugar (start with one cup and add more if glaze is too runny)
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ cup milk, optional if glaze is too thick
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9" loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine all of the above bread ingredients and beat at medium speed with a handheld mixer, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until well-mixed.
  3. Pour the bread mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for approx. 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean or with a couple moist crumbs (not wet). Cool for about 15 minutes, then very gently remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. While bread cools, make your glaze: in a small saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Continue cooking, watching butter carefully, until it sizzles and begins to turn amber in color, about 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook because it can quickly burn! When butter looks caramel-colored and smells kind of nutty, it's done. Remove butter from heat and cool completely. Then stir in the powdered sugar and maple syrup until a soft glaze has formed.
  5. Pour the glaze generously over top of the pumpkin loaf and let it set, about 30 minutes. Cut into slices and serve!

 

This is truly the BEST Pumpkin Bread EVER! Moist, fluffy, soft and with a tender crumb, it's topped with an incredibly easy Brown Butter Maple Icing. Great for breakfast, brunch or dessert! A simple, delicious, moist and tender bread packed with pumpkin flavor! Perfectly spiced throughout and topped with that sinful, warm & rich brown butter maple glaze – it doesn’t get better than this!

Have a fantastic day!!

xo, Hayley

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkinwhoopiesAs a kid, we always went to this local pumpkin farm whenever it was open for the season.

It was a family owned farm, but it was pretty obvious it was owned by a family who really didn’t care too much about appearances, nor pumpkins.

The pumpkins to pick from were mildly attractive at best and they charged like $100/pound per pumpkin so my parents never let us get any from there. I didn’t realize that gigantic orange squash that grow from the earth would cost an obscene amount of money to purchase and then mutilate in the name of Halloween.

However crappy the pumpkin farm was, I was always deathly frightened by their ‘Haunted House.’ It was basically a glorified longer-looking shed filled with remotely creepy odds and ends that were brutally scary to a child but were actually really poorly strewn about to an adult. So the morbid weirdo in me begged my parents to walk through it with me and I would jump and shriek at the poorly tossed plastic skeleton bones and clumpy clouds of fake spiderwebs.

Because I was so spooked out over the house, I had these memories that convinced me that this house was truly terrifying. So one year I insisted to my then-boyfriend that this local pumpkin farm had the creepiest haunted house and we had to go.

We get there and eagerly anticipate walking through that same beat-down shed and the ticket lady was looking at us like, ‘seriously?’ but I had these fond memories of being truly terrified of the badass animatronics and decor, so we entered the haunted house.

A vague monster-music soundtrack crackled in the distance and the scariest thing about it was probably that the mixtape on the tape player (!!) they used still worked. The first few feet of it were those light-up lawn decorations that are usually Christmas-time deer but they were tinted with red lights to look like… red deer? They also peppered in some light-up lawn deco ghost to truly delight their guests with fright.

Later on we entered some mummy tomb where a mannequin in the corner was half-assed draped with bandage tape. Shortly following that was a graveyard scene with foam skulls stabbed onto wrought-iron fencing and an animated skeleton-hand-popping-from-the-grave thingie that creaked with desperation when you walked past.

Lastly, you walked through a fog sequence because fog is the international symbol of fright, and then you were greeted with daylight and $80 pumpkins.

Pretty sure I was dying of embarrassment forever and wasn’t allowed to pick out “awesome dates” for awhile after that one.

Anyway. I still love pumpkin patches and have since found some other local ones who don’t charge an arm and a fake-skeleton leg for some lopsided misfit pumpkin. My fond memories of the pumpkin patch was the inspiration for these whoopie pies, and after seeing similar ones on Lizzy’s blog, I was convinced I had to make some!

These couldn’t be easier to make and make for such a great presentation for parties or just because 🙂 Pumpkin Whoopies get dressed up like pumpkins in the patch with a simple Tootsie Roll ‘stem’ and a minty green gummy ‘leaf.’ Easy-peasy!

…and they don’t cost an arm or leg!

DSC_0509A

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Author: 
Recipe type: Whoopie Pies, Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These adorable whoopie pies are made to look like pumpkins in the patch and taste as good as they look!
Ingredients
  • 1 box pumpkin cake mi (if you cannot find pumpkin mix, use spice cake)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • About 15 Tootsie Rolls
  • About 8 Mint Gummy Leaves (if you can't find these (usually in a package with the orange gummies), you may substitute green AirHeads shaped like leaves
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cake mix, buttermilk, pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and eggs with a rubber spatula until blended.
  2. Scoop ¼ cup-sized balls of dough and place them 1-2" apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for approx. 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time, until whoopie pies look set and spring back lightly when touched. Cool for about 10 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla with the paddle attachment until creamy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy.
  4. Spoon frosting into a disposable piping bag attached with a large open circle tip (I like Atecco 807) and pipe the frosting high onto the flat side of a whoopie. Top with another like-sized whoopie. Repeat with remaining cookies.
  5. Very gently press a Tootsie Roll into the top of each whoopie pie to create a stem, then attach a half of a green mint leaf to the whoopie pie with a little frosting. Serve immediately!

DSC_0512ANothing beats the classic combination of luscious, light cream cheese frosting and soft and perfectly spiced pumpkin whoopies! I have a feeling you’ll agree! 🙂

Have a fantastic day!!

xo, Hayley

The BEST Chewy Pumpkin Chip Cookies

chewypumpkinchipCan you believe there was a time when I disliked pumpkin?

I know. It’s like I was abducted by aliens or under some terrible influence of pumpkin-hating hallucinogens or something. Thank goodness I found my way down the appropriate pumpkin-loving path because had I not, I would have never discovered the joy that are these cookies.

A couple weeks ago, a reader named Holly wanted to know if I had a recipe for a chewy pumpkin cookie. Pumpkin cookies are notoriously soft and cakey since pumpkin tends to have the tendency to fluff and cake-ify things once its baked inside. While cakey pumpkin cookies are good, they’re more muffin-tops than cookies and it’s kind of a let-down when you want something soft and chewy… a real deal cookie.

So with my personal challenge ahead of me, I sought to create the perfect chewy pumpkin cookie. And folks, I have a winner!!

DSC_0636AThis cookie has the texture of a chocolate chip cookie: soft and chewy, with slightly crispy edges that’s packed with buttery goodness in every bite. It has the perfect chips-to-cookie ratio and is the perfect size and plushness.. you won’t even get cookies this perfect in a bakery, I promise you that! And the pumpkin flavor, while present, isn’t overpowering — this would be a great “intro to pumpkin” cookie for a skeptic. Sweet, buttery, spicy and rich, these cookies fit the bill of perfection.

Easily enough, they’re adapted ever-so-slightly from my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. Since my Chocolate Chip Cookies are my favorite (and the best, in my oh-so humble opinion), I knew I’d be able to tweak this base recipe to make a perfect pumpkin cookie as well. Here are the main differences:

* this recipe has no egg, simply because eggs tend to fluff things up, too. The pumpkin has plenty of moisture, so it replaces the egg in this recipe.

* there’s a higher sugar to brown sugar ratio. Why? Brown sugar tends to soften and moisten cookie dough which is why I adore it in my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, but why I switch up the ratios for this particular cookie. Don’t get me wrong; these cookies are soft and chewy — but by using more granulated white sugar, it helps cut down how cakey and chewy they may be had I used all brown sugar.

* the butter is melted rather than softened. Softened butter tends to lend to a creamier (read: moister!) cookie, so melted butter helps cookies with spreading. While these don’t spread much, I was aiming in that direction since I wanted them to be flatter (read: crisper!) than puffy and cakey. It worked! However, you do still need to chill these for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to baking.

DSC_0645AAnd a family friend deemed these the best cookies she’s ever tasted. Ever. And has already requested me to make another batch. So clearly, these cookies are awful 😉

So, friends. The wait is OVER! Cakey pumpkin cookies no more. Introducing the BEST Chewy Pumpkin Chip Cookie. You’re welcome!

DSC_0660A

*adapted from my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe

4.8 from 4 reviews
The BEST Chewy Pumpkin Chip Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Nothing says "fall" quite like pumpkin, but pumpkin cookies tend to be cakey and more muffin-top like than cookies... until now. These soft and chewy cookies have a cookie texture you'll LOVE and are packed with pumpkin flavor and sweet white chips for contrast and flavor. They've been deemed a friend's FAVORITE cookie EVER, and I know they'll be yours too!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup white granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch cloves
  • Pinch ginger
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips (may also use cinnamon chips, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, seasonal pumpkin chips, or semi-sweet chocolate chips if desired)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer affixed with the paddle attachment, beat together the melted butter, white sugar and brown sugar until combined. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin to combine. Lastly, add in the spices, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and flour until a soft dough has formed. Stir in the chips.
  2. Refrigerate the cookie dough for AT LEAST 30 minutes, up to 1 day, until chilled. (I typically refrigerate mine for at least an hour). Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with silicone liners or mist the baking sheets with cooking spray.
  3. Drop rounded Tablespoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheets, about 1" apart. Bake for approx. 8-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Cookies may appear slightly puffy and underdone, but do NOT overbake! Absolutely do not cook them longer than 10 minutes; the cookies will continue to cook slightly on the baking sheets as they cool.
  4. Remove the cookies from the oven. If cookies are puffy, slightly flatten them with the bottom of a glass. Top with a couple of remaining chips, if you'd like (to make them look pretty). Let them sit on the baking sheets for about 10-15 minutes before carefully transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

DSC_0654A

DSC_0659Alove how easy and versatile this recipe is! Who knew pumpkin cookie dough could be a new staple cookie dough base?! Feel free to substitute other flavored chips to change up the flavor, or add in chopped nuts or dried fruit for a different texture. Cranberry + white chocolate chips would be festive for Christmas, even — or peanut butter chips and chopped honey roasted peanuts! Even chopped candy, like Butterfinger or candy corn, would make an excellent and delicious mix-in for this one-of-a-kind, perfect pumpkin cookie!

AAHave a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Pumpkin Snack Cake

pumpkincakeIf you’re looking for an easy and impressive pumpkin cake recipe, look no further! This is quite possibly one of my new favorite recipes for its ease in preparation and how it’s positively packed with pumpkiny goodness!

So as you guys know, I was in NYC for a week and was pretty MIA on my blog. I apologize for that – I was plenty absorbed in the city lights, pretzel croissants and freedom from the internet for seven days and I have to say, it was pretty awesome!

But now it’s back to reality and my reality at the moment is pumpkifying everything. Because even though I was kinda blog MIA, I instagrammed like craaaazy and happened to see everyone and their mothers, their mom’s moms, and their dogs posting IG pictures of pumpkin goods everywhere.

I’ve never felt so uncool and so far behind than I did in NYC. While everyone was whipping up picture-perfect pumpkin pies and chewy pumpkin snickerdoodles, I was in my dingy apartment across the country battling a monster-sized cockroach and was positively freaked to even step foot near the fridge, much less bake in it. So I admitted defeat and went woefully pumpkinless for awhile.

Now I’m back home and in my cockroachless kitchen (thank the friggin’ LAWWWWD), I am putting pumpkin in everything. Pumpkin in cookies. Pumpkin in spaghetti. Pumpkin in bread, cinnamon rolls, aaaaand snack cake. This cake is divine, y’all. And I was shocked at how simple it was to whip up! Something easy on my time-zone-dead mind and to finally feel like a cool kid on Instagram. I swear I’m hip!!

If dry pumpkin goodies give you the shudders (and uh, I don’t blame you; they’re blasphemous) this cake will cure your nightmares. There’s no dry crumbs in sight, thanks to the pumpkin, sour cream and oil that help plump up and moisten this fantastic cake. Then it’s topped with a creamy maple glaze that’s to diiiie for. 

Trust me, the cool kids and I think you must make it.

DSC_0358AA*adapted from the Ultimate Cake Mix Cookbook

4.8 from 4 reviews
Pumpkin Snack Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Snack cakes have a tendency to be dry and crumby, but not this one! My Pumpkin Snack Cake is packs a pumpkiny punch and is super moist, thanks to the sour cream secret ingredient. The maple glaze tops it off and makes it extra delish!
Ingredients
  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (NOT pie mix!)
  • ¾ cup sour cream (I used full-fat, but low-fat would probably work)
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch ginger
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Gold or fall-themed sprinkles, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, sour cream, eggs, oil and spices with a handheld electric mixer for 2 minutes or until combined completely. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for approx. 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool the cake completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the maple syrup, cream and powdered sugar with a spoon until a glaze has formed. If the glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar; if too thick, a little more cream at a time. Pour the glaze evenly on top of the snack cake, spreading it out to the edges if needed. Top with sprinkles if desired.
  4. Allow the glaze to somewhat set on the cake (about 15 minutes) before cutting into squares. Store leftover cake slices airtight at room temperature, up to 3 days. Tastes great with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream as well!

DSC_0360ASoft, plush, moist and packed with pumpkin flavor, this snack cake will surely become a new family favorite in your house! It’s perfect for dessert of course, but it could easily work for a snack or breakfast — I won’t tell 🙂

Can’t get enough PUMPKIN?! Check out these delish pumpkin recipes from the blog!

pumpkincheesecakePumpkin Cheesecake Bars

pumpkinpiefrostedPumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Frosting

pumpkinblondiePumpkin Toffee Blondies

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Pumpkin Pie Brownie Bombs

punkinbombA few days ago, I was invited to one of my best friend’s son’s birthday party.  He was turning 3.

Prior to the event, however, I was having irrational anxiety about a 3 year old’s birthday.

I spent a good hour browsing the boy toy aisles in Target trying to find the perfect toy for a child I didn’t really know.  Actually, I don’t really know any children and always make it painfully obvious when I unknowingly ‘insult’ the children and/or parent.

Example: a parent will say “Oh, Billy is starting to crawl now!  He’s only 11 months old!” and I’m like “really?  He’s crawling at 11 months?” and then the parent proceeds to give me the death glare like how dare you insult my crawling baby.

Or they’ll say, “Sasha is finally potty trained!  It came two months after her third birthday!” and I sit there like “she was finally potty trained at three?  Dude, isn’t she supposed to be like, writing novels and collecting paychecks at three?”

Just so you know, I know nooooothing about babies.  When they’re supposed to crawl.  When it’s prodigal of them to read.  When the typical walking time frame is, etc.  If I question your baby, it’s just because still pooping your pants at two seems too old, or walking at six months or whatever seems insane.  I have no clue.  I promise I am not insulting your child.

So you can imagine my fear as I shopped for a toy for a three-year old.  What do three-year olds like?  The last time I shopped for a little boy toy was when I was buying Hot Wheels and Thomas the Tank Engine stuff for my younger brother… about fifteen years ago.  And even then, I was too stuck up in glittery Barbie-girl world to even notice what boys played with.  GI Joes?  Legos?  Hell if I know, just pass me my Skipper doll, dammit.

Anyway, I asked approximately 14 strangers in the toy aisle what typical three-year olds liked, and all of them looked at me like I was a scary weirdo who drove a windowless minivan.  Would NERF guns be too violent?  Would puzzles be too advanced?  Are standard Legos a death-sentence for a three year old?  I DON’T KNOW MAN.

Eventually, I found a little handheld video game thingie based off of one of Disney’s latest movies and figured it was pretty safe for a three year old.  No potential choking hazards, nothing rocket science-y, and most importantly, not a Barbie which I was pretty much 99% convinced I would buy him instead because I had just about given up on this boy toy thing.  But as I walked around with it in my cart, I began to second guess my gift-buying abilities.  I did what any sane person would do: text the mother of said child and unknowingly insult her.

“Hey…” I typed, “do you think a video game thing would be too advanced for him?  I mean, it says 3 and up but I’m not sure.  It has them do puzzles and reading.  Can your kid read yet?  I mean, not yet, but can he?  I mean, I’m not judging him, I just wondered.  Would he have the capacity to understand puzzles?  Or technology?  I didn’t mean that he’s not capable, I just don’t even know what a three year old can do.  Wait, he can walk, right?”

Thankfully, we’re good enough friends that she didn’t think I was totally making her kid out to be some inept weirdo who sat on his hands all day.  Aaaand he loved his present, which was more important.  I only had to accost 27 people in Target regarding appropriate gift-giving for toddlers.

DSC_0626AAllll this shopping & stuff makes me think of the holidays, holiday shopping and of course, holiday fooooood.  I am a total fan of everything holiday related but holiday food is my favorite by far.  Turkey and stuffing sandwiches loaded with cranberry, mashed potatoes smothered in rich brown gravy, green bean casserole topped with crispy onion strings, and of course — PIE!  While pumpkin is traditional for Thanksgiving, I thought of taking this classic Thanksgiving table staple and twisting it up by stuffing it inside of one of my famous brownie bombs.  The result of luscious, creamy pumpkin pie stuffed inside of a rich, fudgy brownie and coated in chocolate is simply heavenly — especially when topped with a flaky, buttery pie crust leave for embellishment.

These brownie bombs are sure to be a huge hit after the big feast — just make sure you save room for one or five 🙂

DSC_0630A

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Pie Brownie Bombs
Author: 
Recipe type: Brownie Bombs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Skip the pain of making a pie from scratch and make these heavenly Pumpkin Pie Brownie Bombs instead! They get some help from a store-bought pie and turn this classic staple into a fun, holiday twist!
Ingredients
  • 1 store-bought pumpkin pie (I used a slightly thawed one from the frozen section)
  • 1 13x9" pan fudge brownies, baked and cooled
  • 1 pkg white chocolate Candiquik
  • Fall sprinkles (I used yellow & orange non-pareils)
  • Prepared pie crust (refrigerated or homemade -- you only need about ½ of a sheet)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with foil and mist it lightly with cooking spray. On a floured work surface, cut out the pie crust using small cookie cutters into desired shapes. For this, I used a miniature leaf, but a small pumpkin would be cute, too! Space the cut-out pie crust evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for approx. 10 minutes or until just lightly browned. Cool completely.
  2. Prepare another foil-lined baking sheet. Using a cookie dough scoop, scoop out Tablespoon-sized balls of the pumpkin pie -- crust and all, if you can. Place the balls on the baking sheet -- you should get around 10-15 or so. Discard or eat remaining pumpkin pie. Freeze the pie balls in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until firm.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the brownies into approx. 1" squares. Flatten each square in the heel of your hand and wrap it around each pie ball, covering the ball completely with brownie. If some of the pie peeks out, that's okay too. Return the brownie-covered balls to the freezer to set for another 10-15 mins.
  4. Prepare the Candiquik according to package directions until smooth & melted. Stir in the sprinkles if you'd like. Dip each brownie bomb into the chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Return to the baking sheet and immediately top with a pie crust leave. Allow the chocolate to set before serving. Store refrigerated or frozen.

DSC_0637A

 

DSC_0642AIf you are looking to switch up this year’s Thanksgiving spread, these brownie bombs are the perfect alternative to classic pie.  Instead of slaving over the perfect pie (just crimping the crust is enough to give me anxiety), get a hand from a store-bought pie and jazz it up with a layer of fudgy, rich milk chocolate brownies coated in smooth white chocolate.  If you want to spice things up, consider adding a pinch of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the white chocolate after melting to give it a nice, warm hint of flavor.  Or if you’re short on time, save any remaining pie crust from the actual pumpkin pie and crumble it on top of the bombs for a rustic garnish — no baking necessary!  These bombs are sure to please family & friends this holiday season!!!

Have a delicious day!!

xo, Hayley

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Frosting

pumpkinpiefrostedNow that I’m single and being thrown into the dating world like a helpless rag doll, I am seeking advice high and low from anywhere I can get it.  I haven’t really had the chance to be in the adult dating world yet, and I’m finding that honestly, it’s not all that it’s cracked out to be thus far.

Who knew there were so many rules?!  Not I.

And knowing me, rule-breaker extraordinaire, I don’t take well to people telling me what I can and can’t do in fear I’ll scare someone away.

Um, if just looking at me doesn’t scare them away, I’m pretty sure texting them immediately afterwards won’t.  Right?  Please say yes.

Cause this whole “feigning disinterest” thing is really not my jam.  If I like someone, I want to show them and tell them.  That doesn’t mean I start decorating their car with stuffed animals and call them names like ‘pookie’, but it just means that yeah, I’m enthusiastic to text them back and yeah, I do want to hang out this Saturday.  What’s the big deeeeeeeal?

And the whole “you can’t text them immediately back” thing is totally not cool.  You mean to tell me that I can’t text someone immediately after they text me?  What kind of sadist came up with these lame-ass rules?  Clearly it was not a woman, as I am all about the immediate response.  And also, they must have had the patience of a friggin’ angel, because I am basically punching the keyboard on my phone because I can’t get my reply sent fast enough.  Psycho?  Maybe.  But I’m deffffff not going to wait three hours to respond because no one in real life does that.  Do they?  Plus, I don’t want him to think whatever he last said to me wasn’t interesting or cool enough for me to reply to, because other people worry about that don’t they?  DON”T THEY?

I don’t know, I guess I’m a straight-shootin’ kinda girl who tells it like it is and doesn’t hide who she is.  I’ve never been one to conform to the rules of dating or the rules of well, anything, so it’s no surprise that these ‘dating secrets’ are kind of troubling me.  Why can’t we all just get coffee tonight at six and talk about our favorite pizza toppings?  People still do that, right?  Crap, the elementary school game M*A*S*H clearly taught me nothing.

Anywho, straight-shooters don’t like to sugarcoat anything (except actual sugary-coated food-related items), so I’m gonna tell you like it is.  These are your normal pumpkin spice cupcakes with a not-so-normal frosting.  And they break pleeeeenty of rules, y’all.  Pie inside of frosting?  Shut up.  So fetch.

DSC_0558AI don’t know about you, but these cupcakes want a date tonight.

DSC_0555A

5.0 from 6 reviews
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Frosting
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Outrageously moist pumpkin cupcakes topped with a sinful pumpkin PIE frosting!
Ingredients
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • FOR FROSTING:
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or milk
  • 1 (32 oz) bag powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of pumpkin pie spice
  • About ⅓ of a prepared pumpkin pie (likewise, you could also use those pumpkin hand pies that are like a dollar at the store, or the Lil Debbie pumpkin "cookies" which are basically pumpkin pies, or miniature pumpkin pies at Trader Joe's), roughly chopped into smallish pieces -- you want around a cup total
  • Caramel sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners; set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, pumpkin & spices with an electric mixer and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes.
  2. Evenly portion the batter among the muffin cups, filling about ¾ths full. Bake for approx. 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, vanilla and heavy cream until light. Gradually add the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. If frosting becomes too thick, add a little more milk at a time.
  4. Beat in the chopped pie pieces and the spices, just barely folding them in. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag attached either with a very large tip, or just frost by hand (otherwise, the pie pieces will clog your cake tip).
  5. Top the frosted cupcakes with a drizzle of caramel sauce, and serve.

DSC_0564AImmediately after sacrificing a cupcake for this shoot (and obvi eating the results), I was shocked & amazed that my pumpkin-iffy self was SOINLOVE with these incredible cupcakes!  The cake itself is springy and moist, packed with all that hearty pumpkin goodness and those pinches of spices flecked within the airy layers.  But the frosting is the real star here, boasting all that creamy, spiced pumpkin gooey goodness swirled into that thick, luscious buttercream.  And the bits of pie crust add that nice saltiness and texture that complements the sweet, unique frosting so well.  My coworkers devoured these cupcakes and are still talking about them weeks later.  A true favorite and a fun way to put a spin on traditional pumpkin pie (or use up leftovers!)

Have a delicious day!!

xo, Hayley

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