Autumn is known for a few different things: the beginning of sweater weather for the year, the smell of cinnamon, the crunching of leaves… but most of all, pumpkin.
For about three months, the pumpkin reigns above all other fruits: carved and put on display on front porches everywhere, made into spiced lattes, and of course, baked into an array of cozy desserts.
A favorite fall treat of many is the pumpkin muffin, which takes the flavor of the pumpkin and turns it into a dense, fluffy pastry. One of the best pumpkin muffins comes from Panera, with its powdered-sugar topping and hearty flavor.
However, a dozen of these muffins can be made at home with only a few ingredients: enter, the Panera Pumpkin Muffin recipe from Savortheflavour.com. These muffins taste just like the real thing, and the recipe yields 24 regular muffins, or 12 jumbo ones. A perfect fall dessert, these muffins are made with canned pumpkin and taste right out of a bakery. They take a few hours and a few dishes to make but are most definitely worth the trouble.
Because pumpkins are so versatile, they can be made into just about anything, with the right amount of cinnamon and brown sugar. One such recipe is from Cookingclassy.com: “Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting.” Even without the optional icing, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies are soft and decadent, best enjoyed fresh out of the oven. They’re sweet while not being too sweet and are the perfect fall dessert.
Though the cookies look nothing like the photos on the recipes’ website (although this could also be attributed to a lack of skill on the baker’s part, not a fault of the original recipe), their unassuming appearance gives no indication of the rich flavor and texture—and their smell while baking makes up for anything their appearance might lack.
“Sheet Pan Libby’s Pumpkin Bars” from Simplyhappenings.com are pumpkin in the form of brownies, with the icing on top adding an extra layer of comfort. The bars are easy to make, only taking a few minutes to mix together, and can be enjoyed with or without the frosting. They’re made with a shallow sheet pan and are easy to stir together and toss into the oven. They’re fun to decorate too, and the white icing acts as a blank canvas for an array of designs. The hardest part is undoubtedly waiting for the bars to cool before icing.
All recipes use canned pumpkin, and are made with generally the same ingredients.
This will be Margaret Korte’s first year on ECHO staff. She made several contributions while taking journalism class her freshman year.