Sunday, November 27, 2011

#45: Turtle Pumpkin Pie

Okay, I caved. I decided to make ONE MORE pumpkin recipe before Thanksgiving and autumn came to a close. Although the calender says it's still fall, Christmas always starts for me the day after Thanksgiving, and my baking will reflect that. However, I knew I wanted to bake a pie of some sort for my dinner with the Bairds last Thursday. I love pumpkin pie, but knew that was completely overdone- luckily for me, I found the following recipe in my mother's Taste of Home magazine. No baking is actually involved in this dessert, but the results are pretty phenomenal. There wasn't a slice left, and I got MANY compliments. Another one for the future family cookbook, if you ask me!

#45: Turtle Pumpkin Pie (as found in Taste of Home magazine. Again, it was in another advertisement; this one states that the recipe can be found at


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 graham cracker pie crust, 6 ounces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, divided
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) vanilla flavor instant pudding
1 cup cold milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 8 ounce tub of cool-whip, thawed, divided


1. Pour 1/4 cup caramel topping onto crust; sprinkle with 1/2 cup nuts.

2. Beat pudding mix, milk, pumpkin, and spices with whisk until blended. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cool-whip, spoon into crust.
     - I used an electric mixer. I am a convert to the power of electricity in the kitchen.

3. Refrigerate for one hour. Top with remaining cool-whip, caramel topping, and nuts before serving.

That's it. Oh my goodness, so good though. I recently saw a recipe for a pumpkin dip that incorporated the pudding, milk, pumpkin, and spices in this recipe, and to be completely honest, I could eat that filling alone with a spoon. DELISH.

Unfortunately, I haven't learned from past mistakes. Stephen and I were running late to his parents' for dinner, so I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the pie prior to eating, and by the time I thought of grabbing a camera and taking a picture WHILE we were eating, it was already gone. So... here is a TERRIBLE cell phone picture of the picture the magazine provided. Classy.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

#44: Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

In an effort to broaden my fall baking horizons, I spent some time scouring the internet and my mother's cooking magazines to find a treat that contained ingredients OTHER than pumpkin. For Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to bake more than one dessert, and this is the first I chose to make. Inspired by my FAVORITE Starbucks pastry of ALL TIME, I found this recipe in one of my mother's TASTE OF HOME magazines, and knew I needed to give it a shot. Although I love cranberries, I'm not one to want to dump a ton of cranberry sauce on my plate at Thanksgiving and eat it straight like that. This incorporates one of my favorite "healthy" snacks and makes it a little LESS so...

#44: Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies (as found in Taste of Home magazine. The recipe was actually on a recipe card in an Ocean Spray ad, which says it can be found at


2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 6-ounce package Craisins original dried cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well.

2. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.

3. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
     - Teaspoonfuls? No, no, no, momma likes a BIG cookie. Try tablespoonfuls. And yet, the cookies still turned out pretty small.

THAT'S IT. I'm under the impression these days that once you make ONE kind of cookie, you can more or less make any kind of cookie. This recipe was a QUICK one too. I think the prep work was done in 10 minutes, and the baking in about 40, so you could whip these cookies out FAST. Be forewarned though- this isn't nearly as sweet as most of my other creations are. My instincts are telling me I want to add more sugar or white chocolate chips or SOMETHING to them, but my dad is insisting they taste just fine the way the are. Try them!! OH, and the very happiest of Thanksgivings to you and yours!

I NEVER claimed to be a photographer... but check out my sparkly, festive Thanksgiving nail polish!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

#43: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies

Ugh. You should smell my house now- it smells JUST like pumpkin pie. But it's not. As an active pinner on Pinterest, I have multiple amazing recipes for pumpkin brownies, and I was DETERMINED to chug out one more variety of said treats prior to the end of the Thanksgiving holidays. Considering the next two days will be our ever-challenging-enlightening-draining-thank goodness to be over with them BEFORE Thanksgiving break-parent/teacher conferences, I decided there was no better time to bring in treats to Lori and Nichole. Especially when you consider the bunch of students we have to conference about this year- it's going to be a doozie telling some of those parents the news about their students' grades. What better way to soften the blow than with delicious fall time treats? I bring you my SECOND brownie recipe, which is just as good as the last I made for you all, and probably a little healthier.

#43: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies (as found on "Chef in Training, a blog on blogspot. URL


1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Line an 11″- x 7″-inch pan with parchment paper.
     - I didn't use parchment paper, but I DID use tin foil. I learned my lesson after the gigantic mess those last brownies made.

2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs and oil until smooth.  Set aside.
    - See, look! Healthier! Only 1 tablespoon of oil, I think that's pretty good, considering all of the butter I typically use!

3. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt and brown sugar.  Add to the wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
     - All Spice terrifies me. I've never used it prior to this recipe, and the recipe included on the bottle was for a MEATBALL recipe. I trusted the recipe, but what exactly IS all spice?

4. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until passes toothpick test.  Cool completely before cutting.

That easy, and with DELICIOUS results. I'm pretty pumped to share these guys tomorrow. Take a look at them... and I apologize ahead of time for the shotty lighting. I couldn't tell you WHY these pictures turned out the way they did...


Sunday, November 6, 2011

#42: Gooey Pumpkin Butterscotch Brownies

Well it's a good thing I have devoted myself to working out again, because this brownie will tighten your waistbands, let me tell you. Delicious though. It is my goal to try all of the recipes in my Pinterest which contain pumpkin prior to the Christmas holidays... since it is my belief that Christmas cookies should be full of peppermint and chocolate, rather than pumpkin. I might be alone in that, but with it being said, I decided to take on my fall FAVORITE recipe I have gathered. I had originally wanted to make this last weekend with Stephen to eat while we were carving pumpkins and watching "The Nightmare Before Christmas," but it didn't happen (probably for the best- the Crown Burger trip we had probably had us loaded up on enough calories to last a week, let's be honest). So I opted to make it this weekend instead.

This is a good one. EXTREMELY gooey. So much so, I made a mess of my parent's oven (oops). The Bairds have gotten me into a bad habit of putting brownies and cake into a bowl, and surrounding it with milk prior to eating it with a spoon... and this is a GOOD ONE to do just that with. TRY ME... at least after your Thanksgiving dinner. Seriously.

#42: Gooey Pumpkin Butterscotch Brownies (as found on


1 family size brownie mix (I used Pillsbury Family Size Chocolate Fudge)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 bag butterscotch chips (it was a struggle not to eat what was in the bag before using them for the brownies...)
1 small box instant butterscotch pudding mix (it's the box that says it contains 4 1/2 servings in it)
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (of course, now I have like 1/2 a cup of unused pumpkin sitting in my fridge)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butterscotch ice cream topping (I used caramel... explanation to follow)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl mix brownie mix, water, oil, eggs, chips, pudding, pumpkin and cinnamon. Mix until well combined. 

I HAD to put this on the blog... because even though these brownies are delicious, they look like a messy situation prior to baking. But the batter is AWESOME! Reminds me of Mexican hot chocolate.

2. Pour half of mix into a 11×7 inch baking pan that has been lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. 
     - Heads up, that step about making sure you coat your pan in foil AS WELL AS cooking spray is important. These brownies will stick to everything, including the pan. In fact, when I was ripping them out of the pan, the foil actually got stuck to the sides. I am currently soaking the baking dish trying to remedy this problem.

The next following steps= pure, unadulterated food porn


3. Pour 1/2 Cup butterscotch ice cream topping over brownie mix. Pour remaining brownie mix over top and bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes mostly clean from center. Let cool for 1 hour before removing from pan and cutting into squares.
     - All right, first thing, I used caramel topping because it was about a $1.50 cheaper than the butterscotch. NO IDEA WHY. They both contained the same amount of topping, maybe it's because the caramel was Smucker's and the butterscotch was Mrs. Richardson's? Who knows... second thing, place a cookie sheet below the baking dish. When I opened up the oven after an hour, the caramel had overflowed the sides of the pan, getting all over the bottom of the oven. The resulting mess was filling my kitchen with smoke... luckily the brownies were done. And delish. And that's what's really important here.

Here you be. Try not to drool all over your laptop, eh?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

#41: Scarecrow Crunch

This was my laziest recipe to date. In fact, I don't even know if I should it include it in a baking blog because there was literally no baking involved, let alone any effort. But for the sake of my "challenge" (which we know with my current deadlines and wedding weight loss schedule, I will NEVER meet), here comes recipe #41. I obviously love baking, and sharing the goods, and I knew I wanted to make something for my kiddos for their Halloween party. Little did I know that not only would I be missing the party for my trip to Utah, but I'd also have NO TIME to bake... thank goodness for PINTEREST. I found the easiest, adorable fall recipe, and even though my kids were BAMBOOZLED by my absence from their party, my party mom assured me one girl shouted at her- "MISS PETERS MUST REALLY LOVE US! SHE MADE US STUFF!"

#41: Scarecrow Crunch (as found on Just Make Stuff- URL


8 cups crunchy oatmeal square cereal
8 cups tiny twist pretzels
2 22-ounce bags of Autumn Mix honey candies (Albertsons was out, so I used my own personal favorite stand-in: CANDY CORN!)
4 cups Reese's Pieces
4 six-ounce boxes of Crunch and Munch
2 6.6-ounce bags of Goldfish chocolate graham crackers


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl; serve as desired.

HA HA, that's it! So easy, but I used these adorable cellophane Halloween goodie bags with orange ribbons tied around them, and the mix looked gourmet. It clearly wasn't, but that was my little secret. This recipe easily made 26 bags of about 1 1/2 cups of the mix in each of them. If I was smart, I would've taken a picture as proof... but I'm not, so here is a picture from the website I snatched the recipe from, complete with the recipe tacked on to the bottom:

Next time, I vow to actually bake. PROMISE.