Category Archives: pumpkin

Pumpkin Spice Granola

I brought back my love for pumpkin just enough to whip up some pumpkin spice granola. Granola is one of my favorite things to make because its healthy (aka less than 2 sticks of butter), easy, and a big batch will provide me with breakfast or snack for weeks! This particular granola is especially healthy because the pumpkin takes the place of most of the oil used in regular granola recipes. It also uses pumpkin seeds in place of nuts so I can bring it for breakfast at my nut-free school. Score and double-score!

Here’s what I did:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together:

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds

1 cup dried cranberries

In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk:

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp salt

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Spread out over a large baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until golden brown.

At around 25 minutes, I also added 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut to add a bit more flavor.

That’s it! Easy as pie…

pumpkin pie 😉

The Time I Fell Out of Love with Pumpkin

This is a true story.

Two weeks ago I fell out of love with pumpkin.

I KNOW! I know. Take a second to pick your jaw up off the floor, gather your thoughts, and get ready to believe it…

It all began with some pumpkin, some caramel, and a weekend with too many hours spent in the kitchen. I had two recipes I want to tackle: this one for cupcakes and another for salted pumpkin caramels. I did in fact make both treats.

It goes without saying that the caramels were PHE-nomenal. Top ten best caramels I’ve ever tasted. Like pumpkin cookie dough batter minus the raw egg and fear of salmonella. So, SO delicious.

So I ate two. Then two more. Then some cupcakes. Then some frosting. Then some more caramels.

Before I knew it my tummy was a-rumblin’* and my brain was on overload telling me: NO. MORE. PUMPKIN. THINGS.

And that’s how it happened. I fell out of love with pumpkin.

I blame it on the extreme deliciosity of this recipe and my utter lack of self control. So here is my message to you:

Make these caramels. Despite the fact that this recipe yields 64 treats, limit yourself to one or two – three if you’ve had a small breakfast. Share half the caramels with people at your work. Then have a loved one hide the rest in the freezer and CALL IT A DAY. Don’t look back.


*Understatement of the year

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Well, my friends… I really outdid myself this time. I have a new favorite cupcake combination. It *almost* rivals the best cupcake I’ve ever had from Praline.

Fluffy pumpkin cake.

Buttercream.. but not just ANY buttercream.

Salted caramel buttercream.

Did I just blow your mind?

Nom nom nom nom. I’m going to eat another.

These are PHE-nomenal. Sweet. Salty. Buttery. Pumpkin-spicey. Creamy. Caramel drizzles.

Like Mr. Pumpkin Spice Latte and Miss Caramel Frappucino had a baby it was these cupcakes. And then they sprinkled salt on top.

Nom nom nom nom.

Here‘s the recipe.

I have roughly 8 different kinds of halloween baking decorations (obvi), so I decided it was high time I used them.

Happy Halloween week!


Pumpkin Sticky Buns

OhEmGee. These sticky buns. THESE STICKY BUNS. Pumpkin sticky buns with pecans and brown sugar glaze.


Another life-changing food event. These buns took no less than 3 hours and 3 sticks of butter. Well worth the effort and cellulite.

Since this recipe took SO much time and brain power, I’m going to walk you through it step by step.

Step 1. The Dough


1/4 cup water
1 scant tablespoon yeast (1 package)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit a few minutes until the yeast is dissolved.

Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan on the stove top until the butter is melted. Combine this with the sugar in a large heat-proof mixing bowl and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Let the milk mixture cool until it is just warm to the touch – NOT HOT. Then stir in the yeast and the pumpkin. Add the salt and five cups of the flour all at once, stirring until all the flour has been absorbed. Squish it between your hands if you’re having trouble incorporating the last of the flour. The dough will be sticky, but should come together in a shaggy ball. If it’s still more the consistency of cookie batter, work in an additional 1/2 cup of flower.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 1-3 hours. During this time, it should double in bulk. At this point, you can punch the dough down and refrigerate it overnight or continue shaping the rolls.

To shape the rolls (either immediately or with the refrigerated dough), sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and dump the dough on top. Pat it down into a rough rectangle and then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a rectangular shape about a half an inch thick, longer than it is wide. If the dough gets sticky, sprinkle a little more flour on the dough’s surface and on your hands.

Step 2. The Filling


1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups pecans – toasted, chopped, and divided in half (optional)


Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the brown sugar and the spices. Spread this over the rectangle of dough, leaving an inch of bare dough at the top. Sprinkle one cup of the toasted pecans over the dough, if using. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch it closed at the top.

Step 3. The Cutting


Cut the cylinder of dough into 1 1/2 inch rounds. Place them in two 9×13 pans or  two round cake pans.

Step 4. The Rise


Allow the dough to rise for 20-30 minutes, or until the dough is “fat and puffy”. I couldn’t wait until the fat and puffy stage so I put them in the oven after 20ish minutes.

Step 5. The Bake


Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees, until the tops are golden brown.

Step 6. The Glaze


1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
pinch salt
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar


In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter. When the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and salt. Stir until the brown sugar has melted. Remove from heat and strain into a mixing bowl to remove any sugar clumps. Stir in the powdered sugar. This should form a thick but pourable glaze.

Let the baked rolls cool for about five minutes and then pour the glaze on top.

Step 7: The Eating



Recipe found here.

Pumpkin Blondies

Have I ever told you guys how I have the funnest job ever? How I get to hang out with ridiculous four-year-olds all day? And sometimes teach them things?

Yeah… I think I’ve mentioned it a time or two.

Part of the fabulousness of my job is Baking Fridays. Each Friday I gather up a few of the least snotty kiddos, allow them to dump some flour in a bowl, and sometimes, if they’re really good, hold the bowl and stir. Sometimes I try to teach them math, like 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup = 1 cup. Mostly they like sneaking chocolate chips when I’m not looking.

Because we are in the month of October, all Baking Fridays have revolved around pumpkins. Duh.

This Friday we made Pumpkin Blondies. As a general rule, I judge recipes based on how easy they are to follow when 5 pairs of teeny tiny hands are trying to steal chocolate chips behind my back. These Pumpkin Blondies score an A+ on this scale. And an A for taste and texture.

We used this recipe. As Anna, age 4, put it….

“These pumpkin blondies fill Melanie’s heart with love”

Yeah, pretty much.

Pumpkin Farm

I just spent a glooorious hour at Iron Kettle Pumpkin Farm, only the best and weirdest pumpkin farm in upstate NY.

We checked out the pumpkin displays..

Harry Potter, Harry Potter. Harry Potter, Harry Potter. Ron, Ron, Ron, Ron WEASLEY.

Then we visited the animals.

Took the obligatory face-in-hole photo.

And picked out some pumpkins to take home!

I can’t WAIT to carve mine!