17 Pumpkin Recipes! Pumpkin Cake, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Bars, Pumpkin Pasta and more

I posted these last month before Halloween - but with Thanksgiving just around the corner this week, I think they are worth posting again, don't you?

Autumn is here!  The perfect time to celebrate the awesome pumpkin.  Don't wait for Thanksgiving to make a pumpkin pie and call it 'done' for the season.  Here are over a dozen recipes from my website that I've posted over the years.  From cakes to cinnamon rolls, pasta to griddle cakes.  There is something here for everyone - as I even have an amazing pumpkin bread that can be served to those doing sugar free or low carb way of eating.    Enjoy!!

Pumpkin Cake with Broiled Coconut Topping
Perfect Pumpkin Bread
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Cupcakes
Mexican Pumpkin Dip
Flaxseed Pumpkin Bread (sugar free and low carb too!)
Pumpkin Butter Pie
Pumpkin Pie with an Oatmeal Crust
Homemade Pasta
Pumpkin Bars
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Griddle Cakes
Pickled Pumpkin
Pumpkin Dessert
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Two Ingredient Pumpkin Cupcakes
Pumpkin Pie Print Friendly and PDF


Cheesy Bacon Biscuit Pull-Apart Bread and an Elegant Garlic Herb Pull Apart Bread

One of my favorite pull-apart breads is one I posted about a year or so ago, a beautiful folded, ringed bread with lots of garlic, butter and parsley.  When I think of a cheesy, bacony bread, I immediately wanted to marry the 'biscuit' version with this folded, bread dough based version.  So, I'm putting both here in one post as a reminder to myself - and also to keep the recipe handy - as I plan to make it this upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday week, when my college daughter is home on break and I know will absolutely love this bread. 

Cheesy Bacon Biscuit Pull-Apart Bread

2 T melted butter
One roll refrigerated biscuit dough, 8 count
6 thin slices fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick
1 c Smithfield cooked, crumbled bacon
1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and brush a 9-inch cast iron skillet with melted butter. Unroll biscuits from can and place into bottom of skillet. Top with slices of mozzarella cheese, bacon crumbles then shredded cheddar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and biscuits are cooked through. Serve warm.

Elegant Garlic Herb Pull Apart Bread

I loosely based my idea for a pull apart bread on this recipe - which you can find in the Taste of Home Christmas 2010 edition as I liked the idea of using eggs in the dough, however I didn't want to make them into rolls, nor did I want to use their idea of an Italian Herb base.  Instead, I pictured the buttery, garlicy, delicious pull apart bread our family loves.  This recipe made a nice large batch of dough.  So much so that I made this folded, garlic, herb bread as well as individual garlic and black pepper flat breads (recipe coming soon!).   So use it to make 2 loaves, use it for something else or half the recipe when you are mixing it up.

Elegant Garlic Herb Pull Apart Bread

4 1/2 t - (2 pkg.)  active, dry yeast
1/2 c warm water
1 t sugar
1/3 c additional sugar
1 1/4 c warm milk
1/2 c butter, melted
2 eggs
1 t salt
6 c flour (additional 1 cup on stand by)
1-2 T fresh, minced garlic
2 T fresh, chopped parsley or 2 t dried
1 t garlic salt (optional - cut out if you need to cut down on salt)
4 T butter, soft

In a large mixing bowl, place the yeast and warm water with the 1 teaspoon sugar.  Stir gently and let set about 1 minute to dissolve.  Add the milk, melted butter, eggs, salt, 1/3 c sugar and about 3-4 cups flour.  Stir by hand or use your bread dough hook on the electric mixer and stir to form a soft dough starting with 3 cups flour and adding more to get the dough to form.  This should be a total of about 6 cups.   Knead by hand on a floured board 6-8 minutes or by mixer with dough hook, about 4-5 minutes.  In a greased bowl, turn once to cover the dough with oil or grease, cover and let raise until doubled in height.  This could be 25 minutes to an hour or more depending on how warm the area you are letting it raise is.

Punch down dough and place on a floured surface.  Divide dough into 4 portions.  The bread I made above was using just 2 dough portions of the dough and using the other two for something else.

Roll each portion into a rectangle about 14 inches by 6 inches.  Spread about 2 tablespoons of the butter over the rectangle and use half your garlic, garlic salt and parsley to sprinkle over the dough.   Fold the dough up accordion style (back and forth, back and forth) about every 2 inches.  Cut the folded dough into slices about 1 1/2 inches wide with a very sharp knife.  Place them standing up in a round, greased pan with the folds showing upwards.  Continue with your dough to fill a round circle in the pan.

Cover loosely and let raise in a warm place about 15-20 minutes just until it starts to raise and get puffy.  Bake at 375 degrees about 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the bread is done.  Let cool about 3 minutes in the pan before turning out to a wire rack.  Let cool about 5-10 minutes before serving warm.

A nice, tender bread dough

Rolling out to a rectangle shape

Covering with fresh, minced garlic, garlic salt and parsley

Folded accordion style and sliced

Placed in a greased baking pan to form a ring

Let raise

Baked and ready to serve


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Really Quick: Pumpkin Pie Bars

This photo is the bar with a dry cake mix crust instead of the simple butter, flour & sugar below

I've recently posted these bars using a dry yellow cake mix - but this crust is more 'real' like a pumpkin pie and I actually like it better as I can taste the 'cake mix' flavor in the other version. The filling is the real winner. Pumpkin Pie. This version of the bar is more like what your great grandma makes. Simple, easy and good.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

1 c butter
2 c flour
1/2 c sugar

2 c canned pumpkin
2/3 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cloves
3 eggs
1 c heavy cream

Mix like pie crust and pat into a 13X9 pan. Try to bring he sides up the pan just alittle to prevent the filling from seeping under. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and pour filling over crust, before returning to oven.

Combine pumpkin, sugar and spices. Add eggs. In a separate bowl whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the cream into the pumpkin mixture. Spread over crust. Bake at 375° for 35 to 45 minutes or until filling is set!Print Friendly and PDF


5 Chocolate Cookies: From Caramel Chocolate Thumbprints to Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am not a fan of chocolate.  I'm not really even a fan of cookies.  But I know I'm an oddball and that most people love chocolate, and love cookies!  Including my own family! 

These are some recipes I've posted through the years on An American Housewife previously, but with Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, I decided to start featuring some of the recipes from 2006 - 2013 that deserve to see the light again and not stay hidden in the back files.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies

1 1/2 c flour
1 c. sugar
1/3 c cocoa
1 c peanut butter
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/3 c margarine
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t vanilla
2 c chocolate chips
2 eggs

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Melt 1 cup chips in the microwave or in a saucepan over the lowest possible heat till smooth.

Beat sugar, 1/3 cup peanut butter and butter and vanilla in a large bowl, until creamy. Beat in melted chocolate, add eggs one at a time. beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in remaining chips. Cover and chill just until firm.

Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Press 1/2" deep centers with thumb. Fill each center with about 1/2 teasspoon peanut butter.

Bake in preheated 350° F. oven about 10-15 minutes or until sides are set but centers are still slightly soft. Let stand for 2 minutes.

Remove to wire racks to cool completely.  You should be able to get about 32 cookies from this.


Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

1 c real butter
2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
2 c flour
3/4 c cocoa
1 baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 c peanut butter chips

Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Don't over mix. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt all at once and slowly start the beater to mix it in together. Stir in the chips. Drop by tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes. They will be puffy and moist when they come out of the oven. Let them set for 1-2 minutes, remove from the pan to cool completely. They will flatten as they cool. If you like a crisp cookie, bake them 1-2 minutes longer. 


Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c real butter
2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
2 c flour
3/4 c cocoa
1 baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 c mini chocolate chips

Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Don't over mix. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt all at once and slowly start the beater to mix it in together. Stir in the chips. Drop by tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes. They will be puffy and moist when they come out of the oven. Let them set for 1-2 minutes, remove from the pan to cool completely. They will flatten as they cool. If you like a crisp cookie, bake them 1-2 minutes longer.


Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

1 egg
1/2 c butter, softened
2/3 c sugar
2 T milk
1 t vanilla
1 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 t salt
16 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
3 T whipping cream
1-1/4 c finely chopped pecans
1/2 c (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate pieces
1 t shortening

Separate egg and place yolk and white in separate bowls. Cover and refrigerate the white portion until later. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat well. Beat in egg yolk, milk, and vanilla.

In another bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until well combined. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or until easy to handle. In a small saucepan heat and stir caramels and whipping cream over low heat until mixture is smooth. Set aside.

Slightly beat reserved egg white. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in egg white, then in pecans to coat. Place balls 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 or until edges are firm. Repress the thumbprint if it baked out and puffed up again. Spoon melted caramel mixture into indentations of cookies. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool.

In another saucepan heat and stir chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly. Drizzle chocolate mixture over tops of cookies.


Homemade Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

oil cooking spray
3/4 c flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 t salt
6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 large egg
1/2 t vanilla extract

Cookie Filling

Makes 1 cup (enough for 15 sandwich cookies)

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar (sifted)
peppermint or vanilla extract

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in one of the flavorings.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper; lightly coat with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating to combine. Divide dough in half; form into disks, and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. (Dough can be frozen up to 2 months; thaw in the refrigerator before using.)

Working with one disk at a time, roll out dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a 1 1/2-inch square biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out shapes, transferring to prepared sheets (1 inch apart) as you work. Chill in freezer until firm, about 15 minutes. Brush off excess flour. Gather together scraps; roll, chill, and cut out more shapes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are firm, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer cookies, on parchment, to a wire rack to cool completely.

Spread a small amount of filling on the bottom of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies; gently press to adhere. Assembled cookies can be refrigerated up to 2 days in an airtight container.

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7 Layer Salad (Seven Layer Salad)

This might be as old school as you can get but I love it!  
Seven Layer Salad

Frozen peas (if you use fresh, blanch and chill them first - but don't cook them)
Celery and or onions, diced
Mayonnaise sweetened with sugar, salt and pepper
Bacon, crisp and crumbled
Hard boiled eggs, sliced or diced
Cheddar Cheese, grated

In a container start with a layer of lettuce.  Top with a layer of frozen peas.  Add your optional celery, onions and green pepper if you wish to use them.  Mix about a cup of mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon sugar or substitute. A dash of salt and pepper (not much!).  Stir, let it sit about 3 minutes and do a tiny taste test.  You won't want it 'too' sweet but just enough to cut the tang.  If you've added too much sugar, just add another dollop of mayonnaise or even a little sour cream.  The amount of dressing you use is up to you!  I like a nice thick layer so I use about 1 1/2 cups for a 9X13" pan or a large bowl.  Add this and spread with a rubber spatula.  Top with your hard boiled eggs, bacon and cheese.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5-6 hours if you can.  Overnight is fine.  Serve with almost anything.

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Using up leftover Halloween Candy Corn to make Homemade Butterfinger Candy Bars

Last weekend I was shopping at our local membership warehouse and saw this big bag of candy corn on clearance.  $1.81.  What the heck!  I threw it in the cart.

Well, if you've been around An American Housewife for a few years, you might remember a recipe I posted back in 2007 when we used up candy corn in a "Butterfinger Candy Bar"  recipe.  Come to think of it, that may have been the last time we bought candy corn.

That recipe came to mind as one of the few ways I could use a lot of candy up, in a new edible product that didn't resemble or even really taste like the 'real deal'.   This time I added the crushed cereal to help give it some of the texture it was missing last time.

Homemade Butterfinger Candy Bars

3 c candy corn candies
1 1/2 c peanut butter (I used creamy)
1 c crushed flake cereal (I had grape nut flakes on hand)
12-16 oz. chocolate for melting and dipping

Basically just melt the candies in a microwave safe bowl.  About a minute, stir, and another 30 seconds if they aren't warm enough to melt yet.  Then add your peanut butter and cereal.  Press into a lined or greased 8X8 pan and press.  Chill about 40 minutes and slice with a knife or pizza cutter into the shapes you want.  I refrigerated mine overnight because I was busy.  I then had a heck of a time cutting them (rock hard!) until I warmed them up in the microwave just a bit.  You can slice them however you wish (cubes, patties, etc.)   Melt your chocolate and dip each candy.  Let set up to harden and serve.

I happened to have these particular brands on hand

Getting ready to melt them down

Melty melty

Peanut butter and cereal added

Slice how you wish - whatever shape you like

And here is where I STOP.
Why no finished product photo?
Because I am saving THAT post for my Christmas candy posts.  I liked these so much that it's now going to be one of our Christmas Candies on the trays this year.  So, you'll have wait to see the finished, chocolate covered product in a couple weeks!

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What's for dinner? Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Last night was a "I don't want to cook anything time consuming" kind of night so the chicken I had planned went back into the refrigerator and out from the freezer came a bag of shrimp and a package of bacon. 

Within minutes I had sliced the bacon into 4 pieces per strip and wrapped each around a shrimp.  Laying it on a foil lined pan, I placed it about 6" from the broiler to start and after it was golden, flipped them over and placed the pan about 3" under to finish and crisp.  I served with caramelized Brussels sprouts and it was easy, quick and good!

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