Fall is in the air, and nothing gets me in the fall spirit like cooking, especially since we live in California and don’t experience the seasons here like I did when I grew up. So, to help mark the changing seasons for my children, I have a few tried and true recipes that help us “fall” into the mood of the ‘ber months.
Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
YIELD: 4 dozen.
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract’
1. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy in a large bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add pumpkin; mix well. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in walnuts.
2. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
3. In a small bowl, beat the frosting ingredients until light and fluffy. Frost cookies. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
BBQ Chicken Baked Potatoes
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 6 hours
YIELD: 10 servings.
4-1/2 pounds bone-in chicken breast halves, skin removed
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 large red onion, sliced into thick rings
1 bottle (18 ounces) honey barbecue sauce
1 cup Italian salad dressing
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons liquid smoke, optional
10 medium potatoes, baked
Optional: Crumbled blue cheese and chopped green onions
- Place chicken in a greased 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker; sprinkle with garlic powder and top with onion. Combine the barbecue sauce, salad dressing, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and, if desired, liquid smoke; pour over chicken.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is tender.
- When cool enough to handle, remove chicken from bones, discard bones and onion. Skim fat from cooking juices.
- Shred meat with 2 forks and return to slow cooker: heat through. Serve with potatoes, 3/4 cup in each. Top with blue cheese and green onions if desired.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 11 hours
YIELD: 4 pints.
5-1/2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
4 cups sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Place apples in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt; pour over apples and mix well. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.
- Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until thickened and dark brown, 9-11 hours, stirring occasionally (stir more frequently as it thickens to prevent sticking).
- Uncover and cook on low, 1 hour longer. If desired, stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Spoon into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Cover and refrigerate or freeze.