Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Cake

This perfect pumpkin cake brings back so many memories. The tender, moist texture reminds me of the pumpkin cake bars I used to make in junior high. I got the treasured bar recipe from an old children’s cookbook. I lent the cookbook to a neighbor and never saw the book or the recipe again. Through trial and error, I came up with this cake, which I think is even better! It’s so delicious it doesn’t need frosting, but the classic pairing with cream cheese frosting takes it over the top.

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Pumpkin Cake
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, pumpkin
Servings
Ingredients
Pumpkin Cake
Cream Cheese Frosting
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, pumpkin
Servings
Ingredients
Pumpkin Cake
Cream Cheese Frosting
Instructions
Pumpkin Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line the bottom of an *8-inch round cake pan with **parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin purée with an electric mixer, until smooth, about 1 minute.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture. Stir just until combined.
  5. Transfer batter to prepared cake pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
  6. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer, until creamy.
  2. Beat in vanilla extract and salt until well combined.
  3. On low speed, beat in powdered sugar.
  4. Beat in heavy cream a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. Stir with a spatula to smooth out any bubbles.
Recipe Notes

*To find the cake pan I used, click here. **To find the parchment rounds I used, click here.

Pumpkin Pasties

Pumpkin Pasties

Even though there’s a heatwave where I live at the moment, I’m dreaming about all the delicious fall treats I’ll be baking this year. Let’s look forward to cool, crisp weather, the smell of pumpkin or apples baking, and sipping a warm mug of something spicy while we wait for our bakes to come out of the oven.

Inevitably, every fall, the Harry Potter movies come on at my house and it’s nice to have some popcorn and sweet treats to enjoy while watching the movies. And these Harry Potter Inspired Pumpkin Pasties are perfect for that! If you’ve read the Harry Potter books, you may remember the Pumpkin Pasties being mentioned. There are many interpretations out there, but I imagined them to be crispy and flaky on the outside with a sweet pumpkin filling. I included a delicious flaky pie crust recipe here, but feel free to use store bought pie dough if you want to streamline the process. I sprinkled mine with raw turbinado sugar before baking which provides a sweet delicious crunch. You can also use maple sugar or sparkling sugar. To find the sugar I used, click here.

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Pumpkin Pasties
Harry Potter inspired sweet pumpkin filled hand pies
Course Dessert
Keyword pastry
Servings
hand pies
Ingredients
Pie Crust
Pumpkin Filling
Assembly
Course Dessert
Keyword pastry
Servings
hand pies
Ingredients
Pie Crust
Pumpkin Filling
Assembly
Instructions
Pie Crust
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Work shortening into the flour mixture with your fingertips until evenly dispersed throughout.
  2. Work butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips, creating flat dime size pieces.
  3. Mix ice water and vinegar together. Sprinkle over flour mixture a little at a time, stirring until dough comes together. You may not need all of the water depending on your climate.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough briefly by folding dough over onto itself a few times. Do not overwork dough! Form dough into two discs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour or up to overnight.
Pumpkin Filling
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together pumpkin purée, sugar, egg, heavy cream, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until well combined.
Assembly
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough into 12 5-inch rounds, re-rolling scraps as needed. Place dough rounds on prepared baking sheets.
  3. Place 2 tablespoons of filling on each round, leaving a half-inch border. Apply egg wash to edges of rounds.
  4. Fold dough over and press edges together. Crimp edges with a fork. If any filling oozes out, wipe it up with a paper towel or it will burn.
  5. Brush pasties with egg wash. Cut a half-inch slit into the top of each pastie. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  6. Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Herb Crust

Pot pies belong to everyone. They date back to ancient times and many cultures worldwide have various versions of savory pies. It’s a very popular comfort food dish here in the U.S. and many people already have a favorite recipe. The recipe I’m sharing here isn’t the only way to make a pot pie, but it’s one way to do it that happens to be delicious! I usually bake pot pies in a casserole dish, and you can certainly bake this one in a casserole dish if you want to. But I thought it would be nice to save a step and try baking one in a skillet. I love baking other things, such as cornbread, in a skillet so I had a feeling it would be good. I used an 8-inch cast iron skillet. Click here to find the skillet I used.

I had a ton of fresh herbs on hand, so they ended up in my pie crust on a whim. I was very pleased with the results. Feel free to switch up the herbs and use your favorites. Typically when you bake or roast something with fresh herbs, they tend to turn black and crispy. But don’t worry, they’ll be safely nestled inside the crust. And speaking of the crust, this one is tender and flaky due to my grandmother’s method of working the fat into the dough with your fingertips. You want to end up with flat dime size pieces throughout. A little vegetable shortening helps to add structure and flakiness and the butter makes it taste good. A touch of vinegar helps to inhibit gluten formation, so you’ll have a tender, flaky crust rather than a chewy one. And if you’re one of those people who tends to over work your dough, the vinegar can help with that. But please do yourself a favor and don’t over work your dough!!

Now I’m going to give you the best piece of cooking advice my grandmother ever gave me: Taste as you go! Taste everything as you are preparing it, not just when it’s done. So when you’re making your filling for this pot pie, add the herbs, salt, pepper and sage a little bit at a time until it tastes good to you.

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Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Herb Crust
Skillet chicken pot pie with fresh herbs baked into the crust
Course Main Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Herb Crust
Filling
Course Main Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Herb Crust
Filling
Instructions
Herb Crust
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Work shortening into the flour mixture with your fingertips until evenly dispersed throughout.
  2. Work butter and herbs into the flour mixture with your fingertips, creating flat dime size pieces.
  3. Mix ice water and vinegar together. Sprinkle over flour mixture a little at a time, stirring until dough comes together. You may not need all of the water depending on your climate.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough briefly by folding dough over onto itself a few times. Do not over work dough! Form dough into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour or up to overnight.
Filling
  1. In an 8-inch cast iron skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Sauté onions, celery and carrots until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with flour and cook one to two more minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Stir in chicken broth slowly. If your sauce seems lumpy, use a whisk and vigorously whisk until smooth. Simmer on low until thickened. Stir in heavy cream. Add herbs and seasonings to taste. Add a splash of chicken broth if your sauce seems too thick.
  3. Mix in chicken and peas. Remove form heat. Set aside until skillet is cool enough to handle.
Assembly
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a 10-inch round. Place dough over filling, tucking ends under and crimping with your fingers or with a fork. Brush pie with egg wash. Cut a 1-inch X in the center of pie to allow steam to escape.
  3. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cover edges of crust with strips of foil if they start to brown too fast.

Lemon Scones

Lemon Scones

Yellow is the color of happiness and sunshine. These adorable Lemon Scones will bring you a burst of lemony brightness even on the grayest day. The pretty, vibrant yellow sparkling sugar adds a pleasant crunch to the tops. It’s a nice contrast to the soft, tender interior of the scones. These little gems would shine on any breakfast or brunch table. I served them with blueberry jam and green tea, which was so delightful, I’m still smiling.

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Lemon Scones
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword lemon, scones
Servings
scones
Ingredients
Lemon Scones
Icing
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword lemon, scones
Servings
scones
Ingredients
Lemon Scones
Icing
Instructions
Lemon Scones
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  3. Work butter and lemon zest into the flour mixture with your fingers or with a pastry blender until pea size chunks form.
  4. Stir in heavy cream and lemon juice until a shaggy dough is formed. If your dough seems too dry, you can add 1-2 more tablespoons of heavy cream.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly, by folding dough over onto itself a few times. Do not overwork dough.
  6. Pat or roll dough into an 8-inch round, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut out rounds using a 2" or 2 1/4" inch round cutter.**
  7. Place scones about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush scones with heavy cream. Sprinkle generously with sparkling sugar.
  8. Bake until edges are golden brown, about 16-19 minutes.
  9. Cool completely on a wire rack. Decorate with icing.
Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream and enough lemon juice to form a stiff icing.
  2. Transfer icing to a piping bag or a plastic zip bag. Snip off the tip of the bag. Pipe lines in a spoke pattern onto the scones.
Recipe Notes

*To find the sparkling sugar I used, click here.

**To find the cutter I used, click here.

Blackberry Oatmeal Cookies

Blackberry Oatmeal Cookies by Brownie Mischief

We’ve all heard our parents telling their childhood stories of walking miles to school and suffering worse hardships than we ever had to. My mom used to tell me stories like that, but she had a sense of humor, so her stories were always fun to listen to. She used to tell me about her friend’s mother, who would make big, delicious oatmeal cookies. My mom would trade her baloney sandwich nearly every day to get one of those cookies from her friend. She reminisced about those cookies so much, that I set out to make her some when I learned to bake. She and my grandmother would taste test batch after batch of my cookies over the years. I have probably baked enough oatmeal cookies to circle the earth. Okay that’s an exaggeration, but seriously I have baked quite a few. Of all the oatmeal cookies I’ve baked, these are one of my favorites!

Most of the time when you see fruit added to an oatmeal cookie, it’s dried fruit, like raisins or cranberries. That’s mostly because if you just dump fruit into your cookie dough, the fruit releases water, leaving soggy spots in your cookies. To solve that issue, for this recipe, I macerate the blackberries before baking. The purple blackberry juice that’s released from the berries is used to make a beautiful lilac icing to drizzle over the cookies.

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Blackberry Oatmeal Cookies
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Brown Butter
Macerated Berries
Oatmeal Cookies
Icing
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Brown Butter
Macerated Berries
Oatmeal Cookies
Icing
Instructions
  1. In a small, light colored saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until dark golden and fragrant. You will see brown particles sink to the bottom. Keep a close eye on it. It can go from toasted to burned very quickly.
  2. Remove from heat and immediately transfer brown butter, including the brown particles, to a small bowl. Refrigerate until solid, about one hour.
  3. Place blackberries in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and toss to coat. Let sit for 30 minutes until berries release their juices.
  4. Drain blackberries and reserve the juice.
  5. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  7. In a large bowl, beat brown butter, softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  8. Add eggs and vanilla extract in three separate additions and beat until well combined.
  9. Stir in flour mixture just until combined.
  10. Stir in oats until combined.
  11. Gently fold in blackberries.
  12. Scoop 1/4 cup sized portions of dough, about 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets. *I used a #16 2 ounce scoop.
  13. Bake until cookie tops are set and edges are golden brown, about 13-15 minutes.
  14. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  15. Pass reserved blackberry juice through a sieve to remove seeds.
  16. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream and one tablespoon reserved blackberry juice until smooth. Add more blackberry juice, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  17. Drizzle icing over cooled cookies.
Recipe Notes

*To find the portion scoop I used, click here.

Raspberry Rose Shortbread Cookies

I don’t think I’ve ever created a recipe that delighted all of my senses as much as these cookies. If you decide to embark on this journey, you’ll start with your sense of smell. Whether you purchase dried rose petals or make them yourself, they’re pleasantly fragrant. I used dried rosebuds, but you can also use dried rose petals. To find dried rose petals, click here. To find dried rosebuds, click here. I pinched the calyx and stem off of the rosebuds to avoid large crunchy bits in the cookies, then I crushed the roses with a mortar and pestle. You can also place them in a plastic bag and roll over them gently with a rolling pin. Your sense of hearing will be satisfied with the crunching of the delicate, dried rose petals. Next, you’ll use your sense of touch to experience the fun rolling cookie dough into balls and maybe even trigger some childhood memories.

The finished cookies have a rustic, almost shabby chic look with their cracks, rose-speckled dough and beautifully imperfect dried roses. You’ll gaze at your beautiful handiwork. And of course, you’ll sample a warm cookie, before you’re supposed to. The cookies will taste tender and slightly sweet with a hint of rose. I like a more subtle rose flavor in my baked goods. But if you prefer a stronger rose flavor, feel free to add a small amount of rose water to your dough. Start with 1/8 teaspoon or 1/4 teaspoon, because a little goes a long way.

If you’re like me, you’ll taste a spoonful of the raspberry ganache because you can and should. Speaking of the raspberry ganache, please use a good quality white chocolate! In some recipes, it’s fine to use white chocolate chips or candy melts if you prefer, but NOT this one. In my humble, yet educated opinion, you should never use chocolate chips to make ganache. I studied chocolate in culinary school with a master chocolatier. I never use chocolate chips for ganache because they contain stabilizers that keep them from melting completely, which prevents you from having the smoothest ganache possible. They also contain less cocoa butter and tend to have a waxy mouth feel.

For this recipe, when it comes to butter, you should also be a little bit picky for successful baking. Low quality butter tends to contain more water and your cookies may spread too much. So make sure to use good butter. Your butter should be room temperature, but not warm. If the butter is shiny, it’s too warm. Don’t try to speed up the softening of butter with your microwave. That’s not a hack, in spite of what you may hear on the internet. Microwaves heat unevenly and will potentially melt your butter. The best way to speed up the softening of your butter is to simply cut it into cubes. By the time you get the rest of your ingredients ready, the butter should be soft enough to use. My last, but most important success tip, is to weigh your ingredients. U.S. Imperial weights are shown in parenthesis on the recipe.

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Raspberry Rose Shortbread Cookies
Rose petal shortbread cookies filled with white chocolate raspberry ganache
Course Dessert
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Cookies
Filling
Course Dessert
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Cookies
Filling
Instructions
Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth, with an electric mixer.
  3. Add crushed rose petals and beat on low speed until combined.
  4. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Beat until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Beat in flour in two additions, on low speed, just until combined.
  6. Roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place on prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 7 minutes, then remove from oven. Press indentations into each cookie with the flat top of a 1-inch diameter bottle cap, to form wells.
  8. Return cookies to oven and continue baking until edges are light golden brown, about 5-7 more minutes.
  9. If the wells in the cookies lose definition, press again with bottle cap while cookies are still hot on the baking sheet.
  10. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Filling
  1. Purée raspberries in a blender or small food processor. Pass through a mesh sieve to strain out the seeds.
  2. Place raspberry purée in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn down heat and simmer until purée is reduced by half, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Transfer purée to a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Place chopped white chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl.
  5. In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream over medium heat to a simmer, just until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Stir in raspberry purée and heat just to a simmer again. Do not boil.
  6. Pour cream mixture over white chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes, then stir with a spatula until smooth.
  7. Let ganache cool until slightly thickened. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon into the well of each cookie. Ganache will continue to firm up as it sits.
  8. When ganache in cookies has firmed up, decorate with dried rosebud or rose petals, if desired.
Recipe Notes

*To find dried rose petals, click here.

**To find dried rosebuds, click here.

Lavender White Chocolate Scones

Lavender white chocolate scone
Click here to watch the video of Lavender White Chocolate Scones

If you headed over here from TikTok or Instagram, welcome! Most of my recipes can be found here. I share some recipes in the caption on Instagram reels and some recipes are written in text on TikTok videos. I Iearned my lesson when I first shared this recipe on TikTok. I attempted to share the recipe in the comments, as some food creators do. The copy-paste action triggered something that caused me to get banned from commenting for awhile. One major drawback of sharing recipes in Instagram captions is that there’s a character limit. For these reasons and a few others, my preferred method of sharing recipes is here on my website. I’m able to provide detailed instructions with the option for you to print out the recipe.

Now, let’s talk a little bit about lavender. I used one teaspoon of lavender in these scones, which I think is the perfect amount to give a hint of lavender, without tasting too floral. You can adjust the amount to your preference. Just taste the cream before adding it to the scones. You can use any culinary lavender in this recipe. English lavender is usually used for culinary purposes. Spanish and French varieties tend to be too strong. People are enchanted by lavender because of its beauty and soothing scent. A little touch of lavender makes these scones magical.


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Lavender White Chocolate Scones
Servings
scones
Ingredients
Servings
scones
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream and lavender over medium heat, just until bubbles form around the edges. Turn heat to low and simmer gently for 1 minute.
  2. Strain lavender cream into a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
  3. Heat oven to 375º. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Work butter into the flour mixture with your fingers or with a pastry blender until pea size chunks form.
  6. Whisk together 1/2 cup of the chilled lavender cream with sour cream.
  7. Stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until a shaggy dough is formed. If your dough seems dry, add 1-2 more tablespoons of heavy cream.
  8. Fold in 1 cup of white chocolate chunks.
  9. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly, by folding dough over onto itself a few times. Do not overwork dough.
  10. Pat or roll dough into an 8-inch round, about 3/4 inch thick. I used a ***2 3/4-inch heart biscuit cutter to cut out 9 scones.
  11. Place scones about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush scones with remaining cream. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
  12. Bake until golden, about 15-17 minutes
Recipe Notes

*To find culinary lavender click here

** To find the lavender sparkling sugar I used click here

***To find the heart shape biscuit cutter I used click here