Oven S’Mores

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing quite as satisfying as the taste of graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate and melted together in a gooey sandwich of amazingness. Okay… maybe I love s’mores a little too much, but they really are good!

The only down side is that they are a summer treat. You have them when you’re out at a campfire or having a bonfire on the beach. When winter hits, the campfires go inside, and the s’mores go into hibernating. Or do they?

Personally, I like to be able to enjoy s’mores all year round. So I had to figure out a way to make them in my kitchen that didn’t involve a real fire on my counter, or killing my microwave with marshmallow slime. This is what I’ve come up with. I hope you get a chance to try it out this winter. If you think s’mores are amazing all on their own, just wait until you have one paired with a steaming mug of hot chocolate!

Oven S’mores

Ingredients:

12 graham cracker squares
6 large marshmallows
3 Hershey’s chocolate bars

Directions:

First, turn on your broiler to its lowest setting. If you set it too high, you’ll end up with burnt marshmallows that aren’t even warm on the inside. Let the broiler preheat for about five minutes.

On a cookie sheet, place 6 of your graham cracker squares down. Then, top it with half a Hershey bar. Finally, add a marshmallow on top of that. Put it flat side down so that it doesn’t roll around when you move the tray. Place the cookie sheet in the oven, and allow it to heat for about 4 minutes. Pull the s’mores out, and immediately top them with the remaining graham cracker squares!

If you want to be even more creative, substitute the regular squares for other candy bars. Reese Cups work really well, and you can even try Kit Kats, or whatever your favorite candy bar might be.

I hope you enjoy!

Apple Hand Pies

Hand pies are so much fun to make, and they are a great recipe to try with the kids. Let them practice rolling out the dough or forming the pie shapes. They can use small bits of dough to personalize their own little pie, as well, which is really fun for them.

This is a bit more for the advance baker, so, if you aren’t very confident with your baking skills, I recommend buying a pre-made pie dough, then jumping in on the recipe where you start making the filling. This way, you can be sure that your pie dough won’t break or fall apart during assembly or baking.

I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

Pie Crust:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cups butter
4 tbsp. water

Filling:

4 apples, peeled and sliced
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup white sugar

1 egg for an eggwash

Directions. 

First, combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Then, using a pastry cutter, mix in the butter. It will be kind of lumpy, but that’s okay. Then, add the water. The goal is to ensure that all the flour gets wet, without making the dough overly moist. If you still have some dry flour, continue adding 1/2 a tablespoon until the problem is resolved. Cover your dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour.

Then, in a pan, melt the butter with the cinnamon and nutmeg on a medium heat. Add the apples, and pour the sugar evenly over the tops. Saute them for about 8 minutes. You want to get the apples to be soft, but not mushy. To check, push a fork into one. It should go into the apple slice easily, but not slip out of the fruit’s flesh.

After your filling is ready, set it aside. Roll out your dough on a floured surface to about 1/2 an inch thick. Then, cut out circles approximately 5 inches in diameter. You can use a cookie cutter, a bowl, or even just a knife. Then, scoop a small amount of filling onto one half of the circle. Fold the other half of the dough over the top, and press the edges to seal it. Then, scramble an egg, and brush it over the tops of the pies. Cut three diagonal slits along the top.

Bake the pies at 375 for about 12-15 minutes, or until the dough is a golden brown color.

Enjoy!

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

One of the best things about fall is that everything turns pumpkin flavored. I even saw pumpkin bagels at the store the other night! Nothing seems to be off limits.

I like to stick to the more traditional foods when it comes to adding pumpkin, and these cookies make a great fall treat. They are perfect to add some frosting and some orange sprinkles to, and send to school with your kids. Or, maybe you want a special treat for your pumpkin carving night. I really like to have these cookies on hand while we’re getting ready for trick-or-treating. They make putting costumes on a bit more festive, in my opinion.

For those with a serious sweet tooth, you can add chocolate chips or small candies to the batter, or you can top the cookies with extra sprinkles. No matter what your choice, you are sure to love the autumn cookies.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients:

2/3 cups white sugar
2/3 cups brown sugar
3/4 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease your cookie sheet.

In a mixer, blend the sugars and butter until fluffy. Then add the vanilla, pumpkin, and egg. Beat the mixture really well, about three minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Be sure that everything is incorporated well. Then, slowly add your flour mixture to your pumpkin mixture. Mix the ingredients until they are combined.

Using a small spoon, measure out 1/2 inch dough balls and place them on your cookie sheet. They should be about three inches apart to allow for spreading. Baking the cookies for about 10-12 minutes, and cool them on a wire rack.

Enjoy with a cinnamon spiced hot chocolate or a chai tea!

Zucchini Bread

With fall coming, vegetable filled breads are becoming very popular. Things like pumpkin, carrot, and zucchini are all being baked into delicious loaves, and the added cinnamon, cloves, or all spice make your whole house smell amazing.

I have a special place in my heart for zucchini bread. It definitely reminds me of home during the fall. We always had a loaf or batch of muffins during that time of year, and I loved grabbing some on my way to school for an easy breakfast. I also like the idea of adding a little nutrition to cake. Like, if it’s healthy, I can completely justify eating it for an entire meal, and I can just wash it all down with some cold milk. Yum!

So add a little health to your cake, and enjoy!

Autumn Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degree, and grease your bread pans.

To grate the zucchini, be sure to use the smallest holes on your grater, and keep the skin on. It will add some color and texture to your bread.

Using a mixer, beat together the zucchini, vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs. Then add the vanilla, and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. You want them to be mixed really well.

Slowly add your flour mixture to the zucchini mixture. You want to mix it just until it is combined. If you over mix, you could end up with a tough bread, which won’t be that great. Pour the batter into your bread pan. If you would like, top the batter with the walnuts. You can also use pecans or other similar nuts if you prefer.

If you’re making loaves, it should take 55-60 minutes. Test with a toothpick to be sure. However, if you’re baking in a muffin pan, it should take between 18-22 minutes. Again, you can test with a toothpick to see if they’re done.

Let cool on a wire rack.

For later eating, add a little butter to the top of the bread, and microwave for about 25 seconds. It will be the best thing you eat all day!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread

With the fall season coming up, it’s only fitting to share something that’s “pumpkin” flavored. Autumn brings pumpkin everything along with it, and I, for one, am so excited to have that scent filling my home. It makes everything seem so cozy and welcoming, and I always splurge on extra pumpkin spice or cinnamon candles during the holiday season. They are my favorite!

This is definitely a high-altitude recipe, and I’ve made it more times than I can count. It took me several tries to get it right. I find that the bread turns out much more moist if you make it in small loafs or even in a cupcake pan. However, making a single, large loaf can turn out well. Just keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t over cook and dry out.

I hope you enjoy!

Autumn Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

3/4 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 (15 oz) cans of pumpkin puree
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Directions:

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease the pan you would like to use.

In a large bowl, combine oil, eggs, sugars, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Then add the nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Be sure that the ingredients are mixed very well. Then, add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Using your electric mixer, combine the ingredients. Pour your batter into the desired baking dish, and put in the oven. For large loafs, bake for 60 minutes. Cupcake-sized tins should bake for 25-30 minutes.

To check the doneness of the bread, put a toothpick into the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, then it’s ready. If you don’t have a toothpick, simply touch the top of the loaf. If the center dents, then rises back to it’s original shape, the bread is done.

Cool on a wire rack and store in the refrigerator.

When serving, nuke it in the microwave for about 20 seconds and spread with a little honey butter. Enjoy!