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Candied Yams Recipe

Candied Yams Recipe

Picture courtesy of jillmotts om Creative Commons.

Delicious Candied Yams Recipe

Yams are basically the dark orange fleshed variety of sweet potatoes. They are commonly used to make Candied Yams here in the South and they are enjoyed every year during Thanksgiving at my house. Candied yams are seasoned with butter, dark brown sugar, and other spices and baked to yummy perfection. Some people add nuts while others choose not to.

Still, a lot of people debate on whether to add bake marshmallows on the top of their candied yams. No matter how to choose to finish off your candied yam recipe, the basis for the recipe is the same. You can dress them up any way you like. Pile them on a plate with turkey and green beans and you have a plate full of Southern deliciousness. Happy Thanksgiving ya'll!

Picture courtesy of Cat on Creative Commons.

How To Make Candied Yams

Candied Yams Ingredients

What you'll need: 5 yams or sweet potatoes, unpeeled, about 4 pounds total weight

For the Topping:

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice,

(or substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and allspice)


Candied Yams Directions

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F.

Wrap each yam in aluminum foil, pierce all over with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake the yams until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 1 hour.

Remove the yams from the oven, and reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Unwrap the yams immediately and let cool. Using your fingers or a sharp knife, peel the yams and cut crosswise into slices 1 inch thick.

FOR TOPPING: In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, walnuts and pumpkin pie spice. Using a fork or your fingertips, mix until coarse and crumbly.

Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Place half of the yam slices in the prepared dish, arranging them in a single layer. Sprinkle evenly with half of the topping. Layer the remaining yam slices on top and sprinkle with the remaining topping. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet. Bake until the topping melts and is bubbling, 15-20 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of

Invited To Someone Else's House for Thanksgiving?

Don't Forget The Hostess Gift!

If you've been invited to a friend or family members house for Thanksgiving, don't forget to bring a little something to show just how much you appreciate all their hard work. They've probably spent endless hours in the kitchen whipping up an amazing Thanksgiving feast so buying them a little thank you gift is the least you can do.

Think about baking up a batch of brownies and presenting them in a fall themed tin or buy some gourmet cookies online or from a local bakery to give to the hostess. He or she will appreciate your thoughtfulness!

Scandinavian Rosette Cookies

Scandinavian Rosette Cookies

Light and Crispy Deep-Fried Cookies!

No, they're not some kind of rose cookie, but they are just as pretty! Rosettes are special crisp, tender pastries that are traditional in Scandinavia. An intricately designed heated iron is dipped into the batter, then immersed in hot oil to create a crisp shell around the metal. Once the cookie is golden brown, it is separated from the iron then sprinkled with powdered sugar or dipped in a glaze for a wonderful treat!

Rosette irons can be found in a wide variety of shapes. Your best resource for finding unique rosette irons is online. There are shapes for holidays, along with general shapes (star and flower shapes).

Rosette Recipe

Making Rosettes is a great family tradition around the holidays and is a unique addition to your traditional Holiday cookies! Here's what you'll need to get started...


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Making Rosette Cookies

I find that watching instructional videos really does help when trying your hand at making rosettes for the first time. Below are a couple great ones from YouTube.

Step 1: Prepare Your Ingredients

Heat your oil in a large pan or deep fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. I prefer to use a Deep Fryer since it regulates temperature so there's no guessing if your oil is too hot or not hot enough. You will want to use about 8 cups of oil so you can cover the complete cookie iron without touching the bottom of the pan.

Combine eggs, sugar, and salt; beat well. Add remaining ingredients; beat until smooth.

Step 2: Dip Iron Into Batter

Heat rosette iron in deep, hot oil (350 to 375 F) for two minutes. Drain excess oil from iron then tap the iron on paper towels. Dip in batter to 1/4 inch from top of iron, then immediately into hot oil.

*Important - make sure you only dip the iron about 3/4 of the way into the batter. Any further and your cookie may stick to the iron.

Rosette Baking Tips

  1. You can substitute lemon extract for the vanilla
  2. Do not add sugar toppings until you are ready to serve, they get soggier if they have sugar on them when stored.
  3. Soggy rosette? It should be fairly crisp as soon as it is slightly cool. Your fat may be too cool or you are not frying long enough.

Step 3: Fry Your Cookie

Fry rosette until golden brown - about 30 seconds. Lift out; tip upside down to drain. With fork, push rosette off iron onto rack placed over paper towels.

Reheat iron 1 minute; make next rosette. (Reheat iron for 1 minute between each cookie.)

*Some people tap their iron while it is in the oil which causes the cookie to fall off the iron. If you want to try this, make sure you have some tongs handy to lift out cookie. Depending on how seasoned your irons are, this may or may not work for you.

Rosette Toppings

To finish off your cookies, you can sprinkle rosettes with sugar, cinnamon, or powdered sugar. I prefer mine with a glaze that adds an extra sweetness that my whole family loves!



  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Food color, if desired


Mix all ingredients until smooth. Dip completely cooled cookies in glaze.

Anti-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Go ahead, start a new tradition

I really have nothing against pie.  It is a frequent guest to our Thanksgiving, and it's always welcome.

Maybe you're not a lover of pie, or maybe you would like to end your meal with something new this year.  Well you've come to the right place!  After this introduction there will be no more mention of pie!

Below are a few of my favorite dessert recipes that perfectly complement a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  After your dinner guests get a taste of these, they'll be saying "Pie who?"

Turkey Cupcake Flickr Photo Credit: Bisayan lady

Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin doesn't have to lay flat - let it roll!

Pumpkin Roll Cake Recipe


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipped topping
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs on high for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in white sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Add pumpkin and lemon juice.

3. In another bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg; fold into the pumpkin mixture.

4. Grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan; line with waxed paper. Grease and flour the paper. Spread batter into pan; sprinkle with walnuts.

5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

6. Immediately turn out onto a linen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Peel off paper and roll cake up in the towel, starting with the short end. Cool.

7. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup whipped topping, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.

8. Carefully unroll the cake. Spread filling over cake to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up again. Cover and chill until serving. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar, if desired.


Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

If the bowl was any bigger you would dive right in

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle Recipe


  • 2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
  • 1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
  • 1/2 cup gingersnap cookies, optional

Picture credit: Colleen Greene on Flickr


1. Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool.

3. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding.

4. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a trifle bowl.

5. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping.

6. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping.

7. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight.

Don't let the shape fool you... It's a cake.

Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake



  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cups finely ground ginger cookies
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 4 - 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.

2. Butter (or spray with a non stick spray) an 8 inch spring form pan.

3. For Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, finely ground ginger snap cookies, sugar, and melted butter. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared spring form pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the cheesecake filling.

4. For Cheesecake: In a separate bowl, stir to combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.

5. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), on low speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth (about 2 minutes).

6. Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until creamy and smooth (1 to 2 minutes).

7. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition.

8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree.

9. Pour the filling over the chilled ginger crust and place the spring form pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips.

10. Place a cake pan, filled halfway with hot water, on the bottom shelf of your oven to moisten the air.

11. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue to bake the cheesecake for another 10 - 20 minutes, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center is still wet and jiggles when you gently shake the pan.

12. Meanwhile whisk together the sour cream, vanilla extract and sugar.

13. Pour the sour cream mixture over the top of the baked cheesecake and rotate the pan slightly to evenly distribute the topping.

14. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake about 8 minutes to set the topping.

15. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Loosen the cake from the pan by running a sharp knife around the inside edge (this will help prevent the cake from cracking). Then place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan so the cheesecake will cool slowly.

16. When completely cooled, cover and refrigerate at least eight hours, preferably overnight, before serving this gourmet cheesecake.

Anti-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Maple Praline Cheesecake Recipe

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup English toffee bits or almond brickle chips


  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • 1/4 cup English toffee bits or almond brickle chips


1. In a bowl, combine the pecans, coconut, flour, and brown sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack (leave oven on).

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Combine brown sugar and flour; add to cream cheese. Add the cream, syrup, vanilla and salt; beat until smooth. Beat in the eggs just until combined. Stir in toffee bits. Pour over crust. Return pan to baking sheet.

3. Bake until center is almost set, 50-55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

4. Remove sides of pan. In a small bowl, combine the syrup and whipped topping; carefully spread over cheesecake. Sprinkle with toffee bits. Refrigerate leftovers.

Bake a perfect cheesecake - Give your cheesecake a bath

I'm Thankful for Chocolate

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart Recipe

Shell Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Bleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, preferably superfine
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 large egg (beat before measuring)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

Shell Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine well.

2. In a food processor, with the metal blade, process the sugars for several minutes or until very fine.

3. With the motor running, add the butter cubes then add the peanut butter and process until very smooth and creamy, about 10 seconds.

4. With the motor running, add the egg and vanilla extract and process until well blended, scraping the sides of the bowl.

5. Add the flour mixture and pulse until just combined.

6. Scrape the dough into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

7. Press dough evenly into pan.

8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

9. Bake shell in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden. It will puff at first and then settle down toward the end of baking. The sides will be soft, but spring back when touched gently with a finger.

10. Cool on wire rack.

Peanut Butter Mousse Ingredients:

  • 7 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 liquid cup heavy cream, softly whipped

Peanut Butter Mousse Directions:

1. In a mixer bowl, preferably with the whisk beater, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar until uniform in color.

2. On low speed, beat in the vanilla. Beat in 1/4 cup of the whipped cream just until combined.

3. With a large rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the whipped cream until blended but still airy.

4. Scrape the mousse into the prepared tart shell and smooth the surface so that it is level.

5. Refrigerate the tart while preparing the ganache.

Milk Chocolate Ganache Topping Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces milk chocolate finely chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 1/3 liquid cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Milk Chocolate Ganache Topping Directions:

1. Chop chocolate until very small.

2. Bring the cream to a boil.

3. Pour cream over chocolate, let sit for a minute, then stir until emulsified.

4. Add vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.

5. Pour the ganache over the peanut butter mousse in a circular motion, so that it does not land too heavily on any one spot and cause a depression.

6. With a small metal spatula, start by spreading the ganache to the edges of the pastry, then spread it evenly to cover the entire surface.

7. Refrigerate the tart for at least 2 hours to set.

Store at room temperature up to 1 day, refrigerated up to 5 days, frozen up to 3 months. (Wrap after freezing to preserve shiny coating on ganache).

How to Send a Cookie Care Package to the Troops

How to Send a Cookie Care Package to the Troops

Make the Holidays Brighter for the Brave Men and Women Overseas

With so many of our courageous armed forces serving overseas (and right here in America) today, it's a great idea to send a care package to them.

You can include toiletries, candy, socks, or anything you think they might like or needs, but a great way to put a smile on a soldier's face is to send a cookie gift basket care package!

You don't have to know a soldier personally to brighten their day. Below I show you how to get shipping information for soldiers who would love to receive a care package to let them know someone's thinking of them!

Pick Your Cookie

How to Send a Cookie Care Package to the Troops

You can bake them yourself or send store bought cookies. Just consider the fact that the cookies will be jostled around countless times in the mail. So select a bar cookie or other stable cookie that won't crush as easily.

You can make chocolate chip bar cookies using the recipe on the Nestle Toll House Morsels package (shown below). Or you can search your favorite cook book for different recipes for bar cookies that are able to take the bouncing.


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Nestle® Toll House® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

How to Send a Cookie Care Package to the Troops
Flickr Photo Credit: WI Guard Pics

Finding a Soldier's Information

Many people hesitate to send a cookie box to the soldiers because they don't know how. They think it's hard or that they will do it wrong and it won't get there. It's actually very easy to send a care package to our armed forces. Here's how:

Go to and you will see how easy it is. You select the branch of the service you'd like to send to from Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard. Then, you will find a list of soldiers who you can send packages to. You can sort the list by state that the soldier is from, how many requests have been made for that soldier's name, the date the soldier signed up, where he or she is stationed and more. It's up to you. Select your soldier's name and a screen will show what he or she has requested, or you can send any cookies you like.

Next, you'll enter your address on a form that pops up. The site will then send you an email with the soldier's contact information. You can request up to three names a day.

How to Send a Cookie Care Package to the Troops
Flickr Photo Credit: WI Guard Pics


How to Send a Cookie Care Package to the Troops

Once you have selected your cookies, select your packaging. Using current newspapers is a great idea because the soldier can then read them after he unpacks the cookies. You can also use unbuttered popcorn as packing material as it will cushion the cookies. Bubble wrap works as well.

Your box should be sturdy and you should tape it securely. Once the box is closed, you shouldn't really hear much move around when you lightly shake the box. It's better to choose a bigger box with more packaging.

Shipping your Package

When your box is all packed, clearly write the full name and address of the soldier including the site name. When you get to the post office, you will need to fill out a simple customs form. The clerk will give you the right form when you tell her you're shipping to a soldier.

Fill it out with the address of the soldier and your name. Where it asks for the contents you will put "cookies." Where it asks for the value, you can put "$0."

It's as simple as that. Just hand your box to the post office clerk and pay the shipping. It's not as expensive as you might think to ship overseas. And what you're doing is brightening the day of a soldier (and their regiment if he or she will share!). Send a bunch of boxes to different soldiers if you like or send to the same soldier each time. It's up to you.

Image by expertinfantry on Flickr

The Best Pumpkin Desserts Ever

The Best Pumpkin Desserts Ever

Whenever Autumn rolls around, I start baking up all sorts of goodies with fall favorites like apples and pumpkins. My family enjoys the classic pumpkin desserts such as pie for Thanksgiving, but over the years, we've found some truly amazing dessert recipes that incorporate pumpkin. In this post, I've put together my list of favorite pumpkin desserts with plenty of instructions so that you can be successful whether you are an expert or novice baker. As a special bonus, I put in some personal tidbits about where the recipes came from too. I hope that you enjoy the recipes as much as my family has over the years!

Paul's Classic Pumpkin Bars

These super moist bars taste great and they work well when you want to feed a crowd of people. When my family gets together for Thanksgiving or Christmas, it ends up being about 50 people with all my Aunts, Uncles, cousins and their kids, plus my immediate family so whipping up these bars for the potluck is a no brainer. I simply double the recipe and make two big jellyroll pans full of bars.

Pumpkin Bars:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-15oz can pumpkin
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil (I use canola)
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • Pecan halves for decorations

In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients including the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, soda and salt. Set aside. In another large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, pumpkin, sugar and oil with a hand mixer on medium speed. Add the dry mixture to the wet one a little at a time until well combined. Stir in the chopped pecans (optional).

Spread the bar batter in an ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool bars completely and then frost with cream cheese frosting. Cut the bars into squares topping each square with one or two pecan halves. Store unserved bars in the refrigerator. Makes about 24 bars.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a medium bowl, beat together one 3 oz package of softened cream cheese, cup softened butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Gradually add 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar beating until smooth. Spread on cooled bars. Store bars in an airtight container or pack them up to give to the party host as a Thanksgiving or Halloween gift!

Did You Know?

According to, the word pumpkin comes from the word pepon which is Greek for "large melon".

Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

A while back, we had a cleaning lady named Pat that came by once a month to help with housework. She was a godsend and every year for Christmas, she gave all her clients (including us) one of her delectable pumpkin rolls as a little thank you gift. Well I've been hooked ever since so today I'm going to share that favorite recipe with you.


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)


  • 1 - 8 oz package softened cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Grease and flour a 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly roll pan and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer on high speed until thick and pale. Gradually add 1 cup of sugar and beat for 5 minutes on medium speed. Stir in the pumpkin and lemon juice by hand.

Combine together the flour and next five ingredients. Then gradually add the dry flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture mixing well between each addition. Spread the batter evenly in the jelly roll pan. If you choose to use nuts, evenly sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top of the batter. Bake at 375°F for 12 minutes.

The following step is a MUST in order to prevent the cake from splitting and breaking when you roll it up with the filling. On a large flat surface, spread out a thin cloth kitchen towel and sprinkle it lightly with some powdered sugar (maybe 1 to 2 tablespoons). When cake is removed from the oven, immediately loosen it from the sides of the pans and turn it out onto the powder sugar sprinkled towel. Starting at the narrow end of the cake, roll up the cake and towel (TOGETHER). Cool completely on wire rack with the cake seam side down.

To make the filling, beat together the cream cheese and butter on high speed. Mix in the vanilla and gradually add the powdered sugar beating until thoroughly combined and smooth. Unroll the cooled cake and remove the towel. Spread the cake with the cream cheese mixture and carefully re-roll. Present to guests on a plate with the seam side down. You can garnish with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, cinnamon or a large dollop of whipped cream. Be sure to store in the refrigerator.

How To Make A Pumpkin Roll Video

If you've never made a jelly or pumpkin roll before, I highly recommend watching this video for some great tips on how to keep the sponge cake from cracking when you roll it up.

Pumpkin Dessert

Pumpkin Dessert

My husband and I have been making this dessert since we were in college... guess that was 20 years ago. I loved it then for the same reason that I love it now... it is super easy to make and it tastes great. It is kind of like a light and fluffy upside down pumpkin cake.

Photo is courtesy of Betty Crocker


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 - 29 oz can pumpkin
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • tsp. ginger
  • tsp. ground cloves
  • tsp. salt
  • 1 - 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix (no pudding added)
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • 4 Tbsp. melted butter
  • Carton of Cool Whip, Vanilla Ice Cream or Homemade Whipped Cream


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13 pan with wax paper. Set aside.

2. Mix together the sugar, eggs, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and milk. Pour the mixture into the wax-lined pan.

3. Sprinkle the DRY cake mix on top, then evenly sprinkle on the chopped nuts. Pour the melted butter evenly over the cake mix and nuts.

4. Bake for 1 hour or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

5. Cool. Cut into squares and serve with cool whip, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Praline Sauce

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Praline Sauce

Personally I'm not a big fan of cheesecake which is good because I'm lactose intolerant. However my husband LOVES eating and baking up a gourmet cheesecake. This is one of his favorites for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. It is a nice change from traditional pumpkin pie.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Foley at Food & Wine


  • 1 cups finely chopped pecans
  • cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter


  • 4 - 8 oz packages of softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • cup flour
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 - 16 oz can pumpkin (or 2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin)

Pecan Praline Sauce

  • 1 sticks unsalted butter
  • cup dark brown sugar
  • cup heavy cream
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans (8 ounces)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9" springform pan with some softened butter. In a medium bowl, combine the dry crust ingredients and then drizzle the melted butter over the mixture, tossing to combine. Press the crust mixture into the bottom and sides of the springform pan and refrigerate.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese using a mixer on medium speed until it is smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in the brown and white sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the five eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed just until blended. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin, mixing well. Gradually add this to the cream cheese mixture beating until smooth. Pour the filling into the crust-lined springform pan.

Place in the center of the 350°F oven baking for 1 hour 20 to 1 hour 30 minutes or until the center is set. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake stand in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and run a sharp knife around the sides of the pan. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

For the sauce, preheat the oven to 350°F to toast the pecans. Spread the 2 cups of chopped pecans on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 8 minutes. Keep your eye on them. You want them lightly browned and fragrant (not burned). Transfer them to a bowl to cool. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat stirring constantly until smooth. Then stir in the heavy cream and salt, bringing the mixture to a boil. Then boil it until it thickens (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and let it cool slightly. Stir in the toasted pecans and serve over individual wedges of cheesecake.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Video

I prefer to use my cheesecake recipe (rather than the one shown in the video). However if you'd like tips on how to keep your cheesecake moist and crack free... give this video a watch!

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting

We've made these yummy cookies for several of our annual Halloween parties and they have always been a big hit. I stumbled across this recipe one year when I decided we needed something besides the usual pumpkin cake or bars to serve at the party. The brown sugar frosting gives them an extra special finishing touch and turns them into a truly gourmet cookie.

Photo courtesy of Betty Crocker


  • cup sugar
  • cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • cup milk
  • 1 to 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, and egg beating well. In another bowl, mix together the rest of the dry ingredients (except the nuts). Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet pumpkin mixture mixing until well blended. Stir in the walnuts. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Leave about 2" spaces between the dough balls so that cookies don't run into one another. NOTE: I use a small #90 scoop instead of "rounded teaspoons" to achieve uniform sized cookies.

Bake cookies at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Immediately remove cookies from baking sheets and cool them completely on cooling racks. Recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies.

To make the frosting, combing the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat for 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Be sure to stir constantly. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the milk beating until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar until you achieve the desired consistency for spreading on the cookies. Frost the cookies and let them sit until the frosting sets up.

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