Step-Up Your Dessert Game

by Family Features

Pumpkin Loaf
Fill your house with the aroma of fall with warm slices of this Pumpkin Loaf dolloped with butter.

• Nonstick cooking spray
• 4 eggs
• 3 1/2 cups flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 sticks butter
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
• 1 cup chocolate chips
• 1 cup walnuts, chopped

1. Heat oven to 350 F.
2. Prepare loaf and muffin pans with cooking spray.
3. In bowl, whisk eggs. Set aside.
4. In separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together. Set aside.
5. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add whisked eggs and mix until blended.
6. Alternately add flour mixture and pumpkin puree to egg mixture, beating until blended. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.
7. Pour batter into loaf and muffin pans. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
8. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans.

Whoopie Pies
If you’re looking for an easy dessert, this Whoopie Pie recipe is the perfect way to cap off weeknight meals.

• 1 box spice cake mix
• 1 1/2 cups apple butter
• 1/2 cup canola oil
• 2 eggs
• 8 ounces cream cheese
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 3 cups powdered sugar
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350 F.
2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. In large bowl, whisk spice cake mix, apple butter, oil and eggs.
4. With ice cream scoop or large tablespoon, spoon batter into rounded heaps, about 2-3 inches in diameter, onto parchment paper. Space spooned batter 2 inches apart.
5. Bake 14 minutes. Let cool.
6. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add milk and vanilla; beat until blended.
7. Frost flat sides of pie halves and place halves together.
8. Refrigerate and store in sealed container.

Chocolate Caramel Pie
When it comes to dessert, it’s hard to beat chocolate as the main ingredient for dishes of all kinds. Add a twist to your next treat with the sweet taste of caramel in this Chocolate Caramel Pie.

Filling Ingredients
• 1 package (15 ounces) pie crust
• 24 caramels, unwrapped
• 1/3 cup water
• 2/3 cup brown sugar
• 2/3  cup sour cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
• 1/3 cup grated sweet baking chocolate, divided

Topping Ingredients
• 1 cup white chocolate chip morsels
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1 cup whipping cream
• 2 tablespoons grated sweet baking chocolate

1. Heat oven to 450 F. Prepare pie crust in 9-inch glass pie dish. Bake 8-9 minutes, or until lightly brown.
2. To make filling: In medium bowl, combine caramels and water. Melt in microwave, stirring frequently. Stir in brown sugar, sour cream, vanilla extract, eggs and walnuts.
3. Reduce oven to 350 F. Pour filling into cooled pie shell. Return to oven. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until edges of filling are set.
4. Cool 15 minutes. Sprinkle 3/4 cup grated chocolate over pie. Refrigerate 2 hours.
5. To make topping: In small glass bowl, combine white chocolate morsels and milk. Melt in microwave, stirring frequently. Set aside.
6. In small bowl, beat whipping cream until peaks form. Fold in melted white chocolate mixture. Spread over cooled filling. Sprinkle with remaining grated chocolate.
7. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cinnamon-Apple Crostata
Need a dessert that is not only delicious but easy to make? You’ll have a hard time waiting to sink your teeth in to the flaky crust with a burst of cinnamon and apples. Recipe adapted from Pillsbury.

• Pie Pastry (we used Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts)
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 4 teaspoons cornstarch
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 4 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples (4-5 medium sized)
• 1 teaspoon sugar (for sprinkling)
• 2 tablespoons chopped pecans

1. Heat oven to 450°.
2. In medium bowl mix together 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.  Stir in peeled and sliced apples until well combined.
3. Place flattened pie crust on an ungreased cookie or pizza sheet.
4. Spoon apple mixture onto the center of the crust, spreading the mixture to about 2 inches from the edge of the crust.
5. Fold crust over mixture, pleating along the way.
6. Brush edges of crust with water.
7. Sprinkle sugar over crust and apple mixture.
8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is a golden brown.
9. Sprinkle pecans over apple mixture.
10. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

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