Fall desserts: September succulence

Aug. 30, 2014, 4:44 p.m. | By Zoe Johnson | 9 years, 3 months ago

If you enjoy cooking and baking, every season is an opportunity for experimenting with the fruits, spices and types of food specific to that time of year. And, if you have a sweet tooth, that experimenting is all the more fun. With that in mind, SCO will be bringing you monthly updates on seasonal and festive desserts. Happy baking!

Skillet apple pancake

This delicious apple pancake can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. Photo courtesy of Wednesday Chef.

Oh, breakfast. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals (other than dessert, of course) because you can so often pass off delicious, carbohydrate-heavy, sugary dishes as 'real food.' The apple pancake is no exception—and, because it includes apples, you can even pretend it's healthy.

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 large sweet apple (Gala, Golden Delicious), peeled, cored and cut into slim wedges
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat, then transfer 2 tbsp into a blender. Put the apple wedges to skillet and cook, turning over once, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. While the apples are cooking, add milk, flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt to the blender and blend until smooth. Pour the batter over the apples and put the skillet in the oven. Bake until the pancake is puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.

Pumpkin cupcakes

Pumpkin cupcakes are the perfect fall treat.  Photo courtesy of The Cake Blog .

For a more traditional dessert, go for the cupcakes. Pumpkin-y, cream-cheese-y and spiced, they're good for anything from a fancy dinner party to an afternoon snack. But if you're planning on serving them at a particular time, make sure to hide them away—they tend to disappear pretty fast.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
5/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3/8 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray or line muffin tins. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. With an electric mixer, cream 1 stick of butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beat until combined. Add pumpkin and beat until combined. Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out the cupcakes onto the racks and let them cool completely.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the other stick of butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and then vanilla, and mix until smooth and combined. Use a spatula to top the cupcakes with frosting.

Peanut butter candy pretzels, courtesy of Just About Baked

These candies may be small, but they pack a big and very sugary punch.  Photo courtesy of Miriam Plotinsky.

One of the many joys of being in Blair English teacher Miriam Plotinsky's Creative Writing class is that, every now and again, she brings in goodies. In honor of the beginning of school—and the subsequent lack of sleep and time—she created these incredibly quick and super yummy treats. Fast enough to make without feeling like you're neglecting your homework, and sugary enough to give you the boost you need to get that homework done, these are the perfect back-to-school snack.

1 package Reese's miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped
1 package Reese's miniature Oreos
1 bag square pretzels

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Place a peanut butter cup upside-down on top of each pretzel. Place the pretzels in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pretzels from the oven and, working quickly, press a mini Oreo gently but firmly into the top of the peanut butter cup. Cool the pretzels until set.

Tags: fall desserts Just About Baked Plotinsky pumpkin cupcakes skillet apple pancake

Zoe Johnson. Hey there! I'm Zoe, and my spirit animal is a lioness, which sums up my personality pretty well, actually--though I do try not rip people from limb to limb if I can help it. But hey, we've all got our growth areas, right? I really … More »

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