Tag Archives: Fall

Pumpkin Spice Magic Bars

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It’s been a while since I posted but I’m back! I made this recipe for our Halloween Party at my new job. (Ok it’s not so new anymore) Everyone knows how much I LOVE to dress up (NOT!) so instead I made a dessert. Normally dessert is not my go to recipe realm but I keep trying! Never give up! Anyway…. I found this recipe on Taste of Home. It was originally called Pumpkin Delight Magic Bars. After reading the reviews I decided it would be a good choice. Though as the reviews do state, the toppings do tend to fall off a bit after it’s baked. Not a big deal but even when I was determined to ‘fix’ that by making sure I pressed the toppings into the cake before baking, it did no good. Oh well! I think the next time I make it I may put some of the topping inside instead. Either way, this recipe came out amazing! I didn’t have any leftovers at work! Score for the newbie! The recipe says it makes 24 bars. I thought they might be too big so I cut them in half and got 48 small bars. Worked out great. But what to do about keeping the topping under control? I put each bar into a cupcake liner! This way it kept everything neat! Easier to transport and display as well.

 

I kept the recipe the same except instead of the 1 cup of white baking chips it called for I used 1 cup of pumpkin spice chips. AMAZING! So experiment with different flavors! I think for Christmas I will use cinnamon morsels and maybe throw some toffee bits on as well! Can’t hurt right! And yes even though I am doing WW again, and yes these are many points I did eat a few. How could I not? And I definitely recommend keeping them in the refrigerator if you’re not going to devour them at one sitting. Chilled is definitely better! They will not disappoint! Moist, sweet, nutty, rich bites of heaven…

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INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 package vanilla wafer cookies (11 ounces)
  • ½ cup butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (½ a brick)
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin (NOT Pumpkin Pie filling)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup pumpkin spice baking chips (or white if you choose)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Great a 13×9 inch baking pan.
  2. Place the vanilla wafer cookies in a food processor* and pulse until coarse crumbs form. 
  3. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse until blended. Press into the bottom of the baking pan.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin. Stir in cranberries.
  5. Pour over crust. Layer the coconut, baking chips and pecans.
  6. Bake 45-55 minutes (it took my oven 45 minutes) or until golden brown. Cook in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes
  7. Loosen the sides from pan with a knife of spatula. Cool completely. Cut into bars**and refrigerate leftovers.

* If you don’t have a food processor you can just put the cookies in a large Ziploc type bag and smash them until they are crumbs. 

** I recommend cooling completely in the refrigerator and then cutting them. Makes it easier to cut.

NUTRITION FACTS: (like we really care at this point)

1 bar: 299 calories, 17g fat (8g saturated fat), 25mg cholesterol, 144mg sodium, 35mg carbohydrates (28g sugar, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

Makes 24 bars (or 48 if you cut them in half)

 

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Apple Cranberry Martini

So the calendar says it’s Fall. I have to say it has been cooler than normal here in south Florida. Remember, it’s cool for us. In the mid 70s! The weather people say it’s cooler than normal for this time of year. I think they’re right. I’ve gotten used the Fall weather arriving in time for Thanksgiving! Halloween is usually pretty warm here. But either way, it’s Fall. I remember years and years ago when my family would go up to Maine for a long weekend. We have a house in Naples, Maine. A summer “camp” as they call it. No heat. No insulation. Indoor plumbing! But you don’t go up there in the winter or after the lake freezes. Yes, the house is on a lake as well. So Columbus Day weekend was usually the last time we went up. One of the traditions we had, for a few years anyway, was to go apple picking. No matter how sullen or grumpy some of were we always had fun. We ate more apples than we picked sometimes! The weather was always beautiful. Cool but not cold, sunny and clear.

 

October 1976: Me (red jacket upper left), Dad, Billy, Warren, Michele & Mom

 

I do miss that part of being up north this time of year. We have pumpkin ‘fields’ here. They are usually on a corner lot on the road or church yard. Places where in another month or so we’ll see Christmas trees. It’s just not the same to go pumpkin picking here! So all this talk of  “Fall” weather had me thinking of a seasonal martini. Did the pumpkin one already. And since I associate apple picking with the Fall this martini sounded perfect. Sort of like an apple cosmo! Anyway, give it a try and enjoy the Fall weather however you can!

 

 

 


INGREDIENTS:

2 ounces cranberry vodka

1 ounce green apple vodka

1 ounce cranberry juice

apple slices (red or green) for garnish

fresh cranberries for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with an apple slice or cranberries on a toothpick.

Makes 2 drinks

Pumpkin Pie Martini

Well according to the calendar Fall is officially here. I’m sure it’s cooler in some part of the country! It’s actually cooler here in Florida too! Ok it’s 83 degrees (it’s after 5pm here), but it was close to 90 not too long ago! It’s cooler! Really! Anyway…Before I get into the recipe, I am wondering if this bothers anyone else besides me. There are some stores who have Christmas decorations out already! No joke! Last Saturday we were in BJ’s Wholesale Club and there they were! Christmas decorations, trees, lights, etc! Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas! It’s my favorite holiday but NOT IN SEPTEMBER!!! I can deal with the Halloween decorations in August just before school starts but this is so wrong! Maybe it’s just me. For me, the Christmas season starts with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and not until I see Santa on his sleigh! Then I can begin the madness  celebration! Ok, now that I’ve vented here’s the recipe for today.

Pumpkin Pie Martini! There are quite a few recipes and variations on this but I found this one to be very tasty. A few years ago our local paper had a recipe for a pumpkin pie martini and it called for Pumpkin Schnapps. Let me just say this, it was nowhere to be found. And pretty much every local liquor store had people coming in asking for it since they’d seen the recipe! I ended up ordering online from DaVinci Syrups. They have every flavor you can think of in a syrup. So I ordered a bottle and we used that. But since then we’ve found Pumpkin Liqueur. (My husband also has another recipe he uses but I can’t find it right now. )

This recipe today is actually from the Skyline Bar & Grill, atop the Hilton Americas-Houston in Houston, TX. It was in their online edition several years ago.

INGREDIENTS:

1 ounce vanilla vodka

2 ounces pumpkin schnapps/liqueur

1 ounce Frangelico

1 ounce Bailey’s

2 ounces cream

Nutmeg, cinnamon or all-spice for garnish

cinnamon stick for garnish (optional)

crushed graham crackers for rims (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

In a shaker with ice add all ingredients. Shake well and pour into chilled martini glasses. Sprinkle with nutmeg, cinnamon or all-spice.

Makes 2 martinis

**If you use pumpkin flavored syrup instead of the liqueur add a little more of the other ingredients and add 1 ounce of the flavored syrup. Adjust as needed!

***Found my husband’s recipe: Basically the same just leave out the Bailey’s and Frangelico. Less calories this way too! Your decision!

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