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

Pumpkin Sticky Buns

Yes, I know I sound like a hypocrite right now. The other day I said that I needed a break from pumpkin and here I am, posting yet another pumpkin recipe.
What are we at now, 3 or 4 pumpkin recipes in the last month or so? Let’s see, pumpkin sticky toffee pudding, vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and vegan peanut butter pumpkin bites. But those don’t really count because they just have pumpkin seeds, no puree. Fine, we’ll count it. So 4 recipes including this one, that’s pretty reasonable. It is fall after all. Look at me rhyming it up.
I would say that this is going to be the last pumpkin recipe but I won’t lie to you, there will probably be at least 1 more. I still have a container full of pumpkin puree in the fridge and I am not one for letting things go to waste. Pumpkin muffins were still on my to-do list but I feel as though I should make something more creative. I guess I’ve got some brainstorming to do. Post-It Notes can be handy for when I come up with more ideas on what I should make next.
Any suggestions?
In the meantime, let’s talk about pumpkin sticky buns. See how I strategically planned this post for Friday so that you have a breakfast idea for the weekend? I look out for you guys.
The dough itself is just your basic white bread dough with the addition of pumpkin puree. It doesn’t add pumpkin flavour as much as providing moisture to cut back the fat content and lends to a beautiful, rusty colour. I know, I know, fat content is the first thing we all think about when eating sticky buns. And frankly, I don’t think it really matters when you still go ahead and smear them with butter and soak them in cream-filled caramel sauce. But you can’t say I didn’t try.
A breakfast like this is perfect for feeding a crowd. Get everything prepped the night before and man do you look like you have it together. I used to think that all cinnamon/sticky buns needed cream cheese icing but now I would choose caramel any day. You could do both, in which case I would highly recommend cutting back on the sweetness of the cream cheese, unless you want to go into diabetic shock. But I mean, if you are going to eat a breakfast like this anyways, why not go all out? I won’t judge.
Pumpkin Sticky Buns
Pumpkin Sticky Buns
Pumpkin Sticky Buns
Pumpkin Sticky Buns
Makes 12
Ingredients
2 tbsp. instant yeast
¾ cup warm water
¼ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
4 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups white sugar
¾ cup whipping cream
1/3 – ½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ – 2 cups brown sugar
2 tbsp. cinnamon
Instructions
1. To make the dough, whisk together the yeast, water, sugar, eggs, oil, pumpkin, cinnamon and salt.
2. Add the flour all at once and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Place the dough in a well oiled bowl and allow it to rise for about 30 minutes or until double in bulk.
4. While the dough is rising, you can make the caramel sauce for the bottom of the pans (hence the “sticky” part of sticky buns). Put the 1 ½ cups sugar in a pot with a splash of water. Cook on high until the sugar dissolves and caramelizes. Do not stir. Once it reaches a light, golden brown color add the whipping cream (don’t let it get to dark as it will continue to cook when you bake the buns). Do this off the heat so it does not boil over and watch yourself as the steam will be hot! Stir until it forms a cohesive sauce and divide the caramel equally between 2 9×13 pans (or whatever pans you have on hand that will hold a total of 12 buns). Set aside.
5. Once the dough has risen, flip it out onto your counter. Stretch it out to form a rectangle about 10×15 inches, or until the dough is approximately ¼ inch thick.
6. Smear the dough liberally with softened butter. Use closer to ½ cup if you want them extra rich. Then douse on the brown sugar, again the sweeter you want it, the more sugar you should add (I definitely used at least 2 cups). Finally, sprinkle on the cinnamon.
7. Time to roll up the sticky buns! Start at one end and roll gradually, keeping it as tight as possible. Slice into 12 buns.
8. Arrange the buns in the caramel-lined pans. Allow some room for them to rise and expand. In other words, make sure they aren’t directly touching.
9. Cover the buns with Seran wrap and allow them to rise again, 30-45 minutes. Or you can make them the night before and refrigerate them to bake off for breakfast.
10.Either way, shortly before the buns are ready to bake off, heat the oven to 350F. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool slightly before flipping them out onto a sheet tray so that the caramel soaks into the dough. Serve immediately, warm pumpkin sticky buns are where it’s at!

Pumpkin Sticky Buns
Pumpkin Sticky Buns

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay we have to be quick today ladies and gents. 3 midterms in the next 24 hours so I better get to some last minute studying! Of course it’s crucial to have some energy bites (ie. cookies) to keep us going through these times of stress and anxiety. Actually there’s not too much stress and anxiety for me right now and the fact that it is absent is almost causing me stress and anxiety in and of itself!
Thankfully we’ve got some soothing vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to get us through it all! I think I’m just going to eat these and crank up some Andrea Bocelli while I study and it will make for complete relaxation. Opera and cookies, I’m starting a trend with this people. You just wait and see, it’s going to catch on as the next big thing in relaxation techniques!
Ok but seriously now, I have to go. Peace, love and happiness friends! Oh and we can’t forget vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!!!
**An update as of October 10th – I survived. I wrote 3 tests, handed in 3 papers and even managed to blog yesterday, woot!
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 56
Ingredients
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Instructions
1. Heat your oven to 350F.
2. Beat together the melted coconut oil, brown sugar and maple syrup.
3. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and pumpkin puree, beating until smooth.
4. Stir in the remaining ingredients until fully incorporated. It will be thick so make sure that all of the flour is completely mixed in.
5. Portion the cookies using a mini scoop, 12 per parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes.
6. Cool and enjoy. The cookies keep well in an airtight container for 3-4 days and can be frozen if you need some treats for later!
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Canadian Food Experience Project: Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding

Here we go, my first post for the Canadian Food Experience Project! As I mentioned the other day, I decided to join the project and participate in sharing various Canadian recipes with different themes each month. It started back in June so I have a bit of catching up to do. This first recipe for pumpkin sticky toffee pudding is based on the theme “My Canadian Food Hero”.

For various reasons, I chose to adapt a pumpkin sticky toffee pudding recipe from Lynn Crawford. Way back when I actually had the chance to meet Lynn in PEI while I was attending culinary school. She just seemed so genuine. Whenever you see her on TV she is always full of life and exploding with energy and she was really no different in person. She was willing to open her heart to an aspiring culinarian and provide advice, while remaining totally open about the reality of life as a chef.

Not only does Lynn seem like a pretty down-to-earth person, she is also invested in local food, coming straight from the farmer to the plate. On her show “Pitchin’ In” she travels around to different farms where she works for a bit and then makes an amazing meal using the products she learned to grow/raise/harvest/etc. She also became the first Canadian chef to compete on Top Chef Masters. Way to represent! For all of her contributions to the Canadian food scene (and for being a really nice human being), Lynn Crawford is my Canadian Food Hero.

*Photos updated Oct. 23, 2013
 
Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding
Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding
Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding
Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding
Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding

Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding
Adapted from Lynn Crawford

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk

2 cups white sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt

dried cranberries, to garnish

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 375F. Prepare a 9″ square pan by lining it with parchment paper. In a medium to large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, eggs, canola oil and milk. Add in the dry ingredients (the flour, baking powder, salt and all of the spices). Mix until just incorporated. The batter will be thick and gloomy, for lack of a better word, but don’t be tempted to over-mix it. Pour it into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

While the “pudding” (it’s really more of a cake, isn’t it?) is in the oven, you can make the caramel sauce. Put the white sugar in a pot with a splash of water. Cook it on high heat, swirling occasionally. Once the sugar dissolves the mixture will start to bubble and thicken. Watch for the bubbles to get bigger and bigger. Gradually it will start to turn colour around the outsides of the pot. Swirl it to encourage even cooking. When all of the melted sugar turns a deep golden brown, remove it from the heat and stir in the heavy cream and salt. Careful as it will bubble up furiously, to say the least. You’re adding cold-ish cream to molten hot sugar so it’s quite reactive. Initially you’re probably going to notice the sugar clump together and separate itself from the cream. Never fear, we are going to keep cooking it to melt the sugar back down. Stir with a wooden spoon and remove the pot to medium heat. Keep stirring until it forms a cohesive sauce. Look at you, you’ve made caramel sauce. Just set it aside until the pumpkin cake is ready.

Once the pumpkin cake/pudding/whatever we are choosing to call it is out of the oven, use a skewer or toothpick and poke some holes in it. I know this seems like that last thing you should do to a freshly baked cake but go crazy. All of those holes are going to help it drink up the delicious caramel sauce you just made. Pour the caramel over the top, reserving 1/2 cup to drizzle over the top when you serve it. Cut the pudding (we are officially calling it pudding now that we’ve added the caramel sauce into the equation) into 9 slices. If you are not serving the pumpkin sticky toffee pudding immediately, you can refrigerate both the pudding and the extra caramel. Just reheat both before you are ready to serve. Enjoy!