Pumpkin Nut Cups

I got the cutest cookbook from my sister-in-law last year (thanks again Lisa), Gooseberry Patch Taste of Autumn. In this cookbook are so many delicious looking Autumn recipes! This is where I got this recipe for Pumpkin Nut Cups. I served these for a fundraiser I hosted at my house for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). We all loved these! They would be perfect for the holidays as well. I made some with Pecans and then made smaller ones in my mini muffin pan without nuts. This is a very versatile recipe, that can be changed and adjusted to fit anyones taste! The ingredients are:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed and divided
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 T. half-and-half
  • 1 T. plus 4 t. butter, melted
  • 1/4 t. rum extract
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, blend 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until well blended; stir in flour. Divide dough into 24 balls, one inch in diameter, and press the dough evenly into the bottoms and up sides of twenty-four, 1-3/4 inch muffin cups. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, pumpkin, egg yolk, half-and-half, 4 teaspoons butter, extracts, cinnamon, and nutmeg; spoon evenly into warm dough cups. Stir together nuts with remaining brown sugar and butter; sprinkle over pumpkin mixture. Bake for 25 additional minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; loosen and remove from pans. Serve warm or cool.

Makes 2 dozen

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Apple Pie Bars

I made these yummy Apple Pie Bars the other night when the family came over for dinner. I found the recipe in an old Taste Of Home magazine. It won the grand prize for their Dessert bar contest and I definitely now know why. These Apple Pie Bars had all of the delicious goodness of a home-made apple pie in the form of a bar cookie. This is a very good way to serve apple pie to a larger crowd. My very bad picture-taking skills does these no justice, (to dark) sorry! Anyway……. Here’s the recipe..

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 to 10 Tablespoons cold water

Filling:

  • 7 cups finely chopped peeled apples
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • dash ground nutmeg

Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  1. In a bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, lemon juice and water; gradually add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide in half. Chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll out one portion of dough between two large sheets of waxed paper into a 17-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Transfer to an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Press pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of pan; trim pastry even with top edge.
  3. In a bowl, toss the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; spread over crust. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pan; place over filling. Trim edges; brush edges between pastry with water or milk; pinch to seal. Cut slits in top. Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients until smooth; drizzle over bars before cutting.

Strawberry Lovers Pie

Well, here is the last of our fresh picked strawberries! Sitting on top of a cream cheese filling with semisweet chocolate drizzled on top of them. This pie was delicious! As I’m sitting here thinking of how to describe to you the taste of this pie this is what comes to mind, a chocolate covered strawberry with a little cream filling, oh and throw in a bit of a flakey crunch from the pie crust! That is how it tasted to me. Everyone loved this pie and it did not last long. I will be making this many many more times. I adapted the recipe from my cookbook Taste of Home’s Contest Winning Annual Recipes 2006.

The ingredients are:

  • 3 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet chocolate, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1/3 cup strawberry jam, melted
  1. In a saucepan, melt 2 ounces chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring constantly; spread or brush over the bottom and up the sides of pastry shell. Chill.
  2. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over chocolate layer; cover and chill for about 1 hour.
  3. Arrange strawberries, tip end up, atop the filling. Brush jam over strawberries. Melt the remaining chocolate and drizzle over all.

Yield: 6-8 servings