12 Dessert Recipes for Fall

dessert recipes for fall

On my run this morning I had a little brainstorming session. Does it count as brainstorming if you are all by yourself? Well that is what I am calling it.

No I did not have some world-changing, life-altering revelation. I am not quitting my blog or dropping out of school. Nor am I getting married and having a baby. Although that seems to be the thing to do lately, I am content with my independence.

Anyways, what I really thought about was how whether we are conscious of it or not, there has been a shift from fall to winter, which means a shift from fall desserts to holiday desserts. And by “holiday” what I actually mean is Christmas. This was pretty darn apparent as I jogged along, concentrating on dry pavement to avoid slipping on the ice and cracking my head open. In Calgary we have two seasons; winter and everything else. Believe me, I am not complaining, I love it. I am at the point in my life where if the weather was such a deal-breaker, I would move. But I can take snow in July so I am staying put.

Back to the dessert thing, man I am all over the map today! As I was saying, we are slowly phasing out fall things like pumpkin and moving into gingerbread-y, peppermint-y, shortbread-y, eggnog-y Christmas treats. Before I complete the switch, I wanted to do a compilation of all of my dessert recipes for fall. We have already had our Thanksgiving here in Canada but I know that many of my American readers are still planning out their Thanksgiving menus. So if you are still trying to decide what to serve for dessert, or have yet to be exposed to winter and are still enjoying the bounties of fall, here are 12 dessert recipes for fall. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Sticky Buns

PUMPKIN

Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding
Pumpkin Sticky Buns
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin Creme Brûlée Tartlets

Vegan Apple Pear Streusel Bars

APPLE/PEAR

Vegan Apple Pear Streusel Bars
Apple Cinnamon Blondies
Vegan Baked Apples with Oat Crumble
Apple Pear Crumble

Pomegranate Brownies

CHOCOLATE (because although it is fall, we can always do chocolate)

Pomegranate Brownies
Marble Chocolate Bundt Cake
Chocolate Caramel Tartlets
Chocolate Chai Panna Cotta

The Canadian Food Experience Project: Vegan Apple Pear Streusel Bars

Time for this month’s Canadian Food Experience Project challenge, the Canadian Harvest in….Alberta!
Vegan apple pear streusel bars
Maybe I’m following a stereotype here but harvest time in the prairies is very indicative of grains. Wheat, oats, barley; they are all grown here. Along with a lot of dry peas, lentils, soybeans and mustard seeds. But I’m not too keen on the sounds of any of those in dessert.
Let’s go back to talking about oats for a bit. Specifically these oats, my favourite oats, from Highwood Crossing. They hold a special place in my heart the folks at Highwood Crossing. Back when I baked at Boxwood they would come in, cowboy boots and all, with my weekly delivery of flour and oats. Not only did I know where the food was coming from, I made the connection that there were real people behind it. By supporting local producers like Highwood Crossing, not only do you promote community, you also contribute to the livelihoods of the people in it, rather than CEOs of industrial agribusiness. The food you get might be a little more expensive but it makes up for it in taste, nutritional value and simply knowing that you made a sustainable choice.
These vegan apple pear streusel bars are my take on apple crisp in a sliceable format. BC apples are sandwiched between an oatmeal cookie crust and an oat streusel topping, for a double whammy of oat goodness. Speaking of goodness, they are pretty darn healthy too. I always love myself a dessert that can double as breakfast the next morning. Especially when that dessert/breakfast is made from oats like these!
Vegan apple pear streusel bars
Vegan apple pear streusel bars
Vegan apple pear streusel bars

Vegan Apple Pear Streusel Bars
Makes 9 portions

Ingredients

Base

– 3/4 cup flour
– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 2 tablespoons canola oil
– 2/3 cup brown sugar
– 1/4 cup pumpkin puree or unsweetened applesauce
– 1 cup rolled oats

Filling

– 2 apples, peeled and sliced thinly
– 1 pear, peeled and sliced thinly
– 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
– 1/8 tsp. each allspice and cloves
– 2 tbsp. maple syrup
– 1 tbsp. flour

Topping

– 1 cup rolled oats
– 1/2 cup flour
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1/4 cup slivered almonds
– 1/4 cup canola oil

Instructions

1. Heat your oven to 350F. Line a 9″ square pan with parchment paper.
2. To make the base, mix together the canola oil and pumpkin puree (or applesauce). Add the brown sugar and stir until it forms a paste of sorts.
3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and oats. Stir until combined and press into the bottom of your prepared 9″ pan.
4. For the filling, mix the sliced apples and pears with the cinnamon, allspice, cloves, maple syrup and flour. Pour this on top of the base.
5. Finally the topping. Mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, almonds and oil. It should be crumbly but moist enough that when you squeeze a handful of it, it somewhat holds together. Sprinkle this over top of the apples in a nice, even layer.
6. Bake at 350F for about 30-35 minutes.
7. Cool for at least 20-30 minutes before removing the vegan apple pear streusel bars from the pan. Slice and serve!

Vegan apple pear streusel bars
Vegan apple pear streusel bars

 

Apple Cinnamon Blondies

What’s new with you guys? Are you all settled back into school and work and everything else now that it is October? I know, we are done with September. How crazy is that?
Apple Cinnamon Blondies
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for me, that’s for sure! Not only is there school, I also happened upon a research position working in the Cognitive Sciences Lab at the U of C. So I’m running study participants, entering data; all that fun stuff!
Then last Friday we had our official office warming at Defining Solutions, the psychology practice where I work as office administrator. Naturally I volunteered myself to contribute something food-wise.  Last Thursday I spent a good 5 hours and made a total 84 apple cinnamon blondies, 70 pumpkin cheesecake bites and 60 chocolate caramel tartlets. If you are keeping track that’s 214 pieces in all.
Now, it’s time to share the recipes! I will scale back the quantities for you though, unless you are baking for a crowd too, in which case feel free to triple or quadruple them!
We’ll start off with the apple cinnamon blondies, adapted from Mark Bittman’s, “How to Cook Everything”. They could not be simpler to make. Melt butter, whisk in sugar, whisk in eggs, whisk in dry ingredients. That’s it, that’s all. Don’t you just love recipes that only require 1 bowl? When making over 80 mini blondies, I sure know I appreciated this.
Apple and cinnamon is a classic flavour combo for fall but you can add just about anything to these blondies. Dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, booze, the sky is the limit! You don’t have to make these mini either. Just swap the mini muffin tin for an 8 or 9 inch pan and up the baking time to about 20-25 minutes. Now we’re talking.
They also freeze really well. If you’re like me you know it’s always good to have some baking handy. You never know when you might want to bribe a prof or suck up to the class by feeding them sweets before your group presentation. Just because I’m in university doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to do that right? And little does anyone know that they were a cinch to make. Well I guess they do now. Next time I may have to up my game…
Apple Cinnamon Blondies
Apple Cinnamon Blondies
Apple Cinnamon Blondies
Makes 20-24 mini blondie bites
Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla (paste or extract)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup apple, finely diced
Instructions
Heat your oven to 350F.
Whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar. Then whisk in the egg and vanilla, followed by the flour, salt, cinnamon and chopped apple. Once you add the flour you may want to switch to a spatula. Stir just to combine.
Spoon the batter into mini muffin tins that have either been greased or lined with wrappers.
Bake at 350F for about 12 minutes or until a skewer comes out fairly clean. Just like brownies, you can under-bake these slightly if you prefer them extra gooey.
Cool slightly before removing the apple cinnamon blondies from their tins. Enjoy!
Apple Cinnamon Blondies
Apple Cinnamon Blondies

Vegan Baked Apples with Oat Crumble and Cognac

Fall is almost here and that means apples. Lots and lots of apples. Even more apples than I eat during the rest of the year (and let me tell you, that’s a lot of apples). Come to think of it, I may even go to the grocery store and buy an entire case like I did last year. Because that’s how much I like these babies.
Apples are great straight out of the refrigerator but why not fancify things a bit and bake them? Swap butter for oil and voila, vegan baked apples. We want everyone to be able to eat our baked apples, don’t we? Or maybe we would rather just keep them all to ourselves.
If you are trying to cut back on dessert, these vegan baked apples are a great way to get your sweet fix without loading up on calories, sugar and fat. See I told you we are all about eating dessert… and feeling good about it!. With a dessert like this there’s even room for a couple squares of dark chocolate afterwards too. But wait, isn’t there always room for dark chocolate? There sure is in my world!
Vegan Baked Apples
Vegan Baked Apples
Vegan baked apples
Vegan baked apples

VEGAN BAKED APPLES WITH OAT CRUMBLE AND COGNAC
Prep time – 10 minutes
Bake time – 45 minutes to 1 hour
Serves 6

Ingredients

3 apples, cored and halved horizontally
3 tbsp. cognac
1 cup whole oats
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup AP flour
¼ cup canola oil
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Instructions
Heat your oven to 350F. Place the halved and cored apples in a baking dish (there should be 6 pieces if you did the math right, right?). Mix together the oats, brown sugar, flour, canola oil, cinnamon and nutmeg to make the crumble. Divide this mixture equally amongst the 6 halves. Pack it in to form a mini dome on top of each apple. Drizzle the works with the cognac. Cover and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the apples are soft. Allow the baked apples to cool slightly before serving with icecream (vegan or otherwise) or just as is! These can be made ahead of time and reheated before you serve them.

Vegan baked apples
Assembling Vegan Baked Apples
Vegan Baked Apples
Vegan baked apples
Vegan baked apples

Food for Thought: My Apple Dilemma

Summer is kind of a traumatic time for me. Especially by the end of August, I’m basically losing it. Why is this you ask? What is traumatic about sun and warmth and all of the plump, juicy cherries (and other fresh produce) you could possible ask for? Well with all of these things comes a trade-off. There’s no apples. And apples are my life. I eat at least one a day, but usually two or three. When I don’t have one, I go through withdrawal. It may not be physiological, although sometimes I can feel the cold sweats starting to come on. But it is definitely psychological. I am so habituated to eating apples all day everyday that when I don’t, I just feel out of sorts. No joke, it makes me grumpy. See, anything can be addictive (even weed my friends, even weed – and I’m not saying that from experience).
What’s the cure for my problem? Sadly I end up buying apples all the way from New Zealand. It goes against everything I believe in. New Zealand is about as far from local and sustainable as you can possibly get (unless of course you live in New Zealand, in which case Canada is as far from local and sustainable as you can possibly get). They are also quite unsatisfactory in taste by the time they make it all the way to me, on the other side of the world. Go figure.
But my need for apples seems to trump all else. If it was oranges, I wouldn’t bat an eyelash. Apples though, they are my kryptonite. So I guess I will have to suck it up, or resort to eating crunchy nectarines or something instead. Thank goodness September is almost here…harvest time!!! I can taste those BC Ambrosias already. In the meantime, I will have to figure out how to deal with this apple dilemma.