Friday, October 10, 2008

Autumn and Halloween Treats & Sweets

I love trying new recipes and CookingLight is a great place to get them. Autumn is one of my favorite seasons and I love seeing the leaves change and sipping on hot apple cider. I have been sad because the weather in Arizona has been so hot. I plan to take a trip back home (Mid-West) and will hopefully see all the beautiful leaves. Here are a few recipes I am going to make for some upcoming parties. They are simple, but fun and I think you will enjoy them!

Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins

These moist muffins get a burst of sweet and sour notes from the cranberries. This recipe doubles easily to feed a crowd. These are best warm, but you can make ahead to jump-start holiday cooking. Bake up to one month in advance, and place in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Let the muffins thaw at room temperature, and then microwave at MEDIUM-HIGH about 30 seconds to heat through.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg
2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped (such as Crasins)
Preheat oven to 375°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and next 5 ingredients (though cloves); stir well with a whisk.
Combine granulated sugar and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Fold in cranberries.
Place 12 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into prepared cups. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack. Makes 1 dozen!

Witches' Hats

1 (4.25-ounce) tube orange or red decorating frosting
1 (11 1/2-ounce) package fudge-striped shortbread cookies (32 cookies)
1/2 (13-ounce) package milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped (32)
Pipe a small mound of frosting in center of each chocolate-covered cookie bottom; press a chocolate kiss on frosting. Pipe a frosting band and bow around base of each kiss.

Caramel Apples

6 large Granny Smith apples
6 wooden craft sticks
1 (14-ounce) bag caramels, unwrapped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate morsels
Pecan halves (optional)
Wash and dry apples; remove stems. Insert craft sticks into stem end of each apple; set aside.
Combine caramels, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave on HIGH 90 seconds or until melted, stirring twice.
Dip each apple into the caramel mixture quickly, allowing excess caramel to drip off. Roll in chopped pecans; place on lightly greased wax paper. Chill at least 15 minutes.
Microwave chocolate morsels at HIGH 90 seconds or until melted, stirring twice; cool 5 minutes. Pour chocolate where craft sticks and apple meet, allowing chocolate to drip down sides of apples. Press pecan halves onto chocolate, if desired. Chill 15 minutes or until set.


Curt said...

Wow!! Those look great. You will have to make some and Chelsea and I will come over and be the taste testers :) Hopefully the weather will change soon.
Congratulations again on meeting and surpassing your goal weight! That is no small feat. I know how hard it is and how hard you worked at it. Way to go!! You should be very proud of yourself ;) I am!
It is truly amazing what we can do with God when we set our minds to something.

Kurtis said...

I love your good cookin! Can't wait to make some treats with you!

emily said...

Those recipes look so yummy! I'm especially a sucker for anything pumpkin. I'm definitely going to try the pumpkin cranberry muffins. Thanks for sharing!

AZChelsea said...

I love anything pumpkin too so maybe I will have to surprise Curt with those cranberry pumpkin muffins....they're probably not W.W. friendly though, huh. Oh well, one time of baking them won't kill us!
Cute new top picture on the blog!

Amanda Baca said...

mmmmmm yummy!!

Ben and Erin said...

Thanks for this! I am going to try at least one of these. They all look delicious! Have a great rest of the week Lara. :)

Alicia said...

Thanks for sharing - I have a tray of these in my oven right now, and they smell AWESOME!!