Favorite Fall Recipes

Who doesn’t just love fall? For me, fall means scarves, a full moon, the buzz of corn bins, pumpkin candles, rustling leaves while I sew, and combine rides. And, of course, it means fall recipes! I thought I’d post two of my favorites here.

The first is for pumpkin cookies. These come out perfect every single time! And, they are incredibly easy to make. The second is a delicious squash soup recipe. Seriously, you can’t go wrong!

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting (makes about 30 cookies)

pumpkin cookiesThis is a Betty Crocker recipe, so I take zero credit! All I do differently than the original recipe is add a bit of nutmeg to the cookie, and I sprinkle cinnamon on top, mainly to make them pretty. But seriously, everyone loves these cookies. They are a bit muffin-like, compared to other cookies, but this works for their benefit. They are sweet, but not at all too sweet. I guarantee that if you bring a batch of these to a get-together, you won’t bring any home.

Ingredients:

For the cookies:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (from 15-oz can) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup butter (not margarine)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, 3/4 cup butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until well blended. Beat in pumpkin and eggs until well mixed. On low speed, beat in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, 3/4 cup butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until well blended. Beat in pumpkin and eggs until well mixed. On low speed, beat in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  2. On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls. On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls.
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched in center. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 45 minutes.
  4. In medium bowl, place powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3 tablespoons milk. In 1-quart saucepan, heat 1/3 cup butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until light brown.
  5. Pour browned butter over powdered sugar mixture. Beat on low speed about 1 minute or until smooth. Gradually add just enough of the remaining 1 tablespoon milk to make frosting creamy and spreadable. Generously frost cooled cookies. Sprinkle frosted cookies with cinnamon.

Curried Squash Soup (serves 4-6)

squash soup 2This is another (and healthier) fantastic recipe, perfect for this time of year. This one’s from Simply Recipes, and I’ll just take a minute to recommend practically everything from that site. If you haven’t explored her recipes before, do it! I’m wowed almost every time. This soup is not complicated to make, which I love. I think the key to its flavor is roasting the squash first. I’m amazed at how roasting vegetables can bring out their flavor!

Ingredients:

1 2-lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes, yielding about 6 cups of cubed squash
Olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
Salt
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds (if you substitute ground mustard, only use 1/4 teaspoon)
A dash of ground cumin
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream (can substitute plain yogurt)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (can substitute parsley)

Directions:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed stock pot on medium heat. Add a dab of butter to the olive oil. Working in two batches so as not to crowd the pan, add the cubed butternut squash to the pan. Toss to coat all sides with oil. Sprinkle a little salt over the squash. Then spread out in an even layer and let cook, stirring only occasionally, so that the edges and sides get lightly browned. You may need to adjust the heat up to ensure browning, or down to prevent burning or drying out. Add more oil and butter for the additional batches. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the pot, on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring now and then, until softened. Add the curry powder, mustard seeds, cumin, and fresh ginger, and cook for a minute or so longer. Use a flat bottomed wooden or metal spatula to scrape up any browned bits.
  3. Return the butternut squash to the pot. Add the chicken stock and a teaspoon of salt. Increase the heat to bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer, cover the pot. Cook for 40 minutes until squash is completely tender. Use an immersion blender (or a stand up blender in which case work in batches) to blend the soup smooth. Add more salt to taste if needed.
  4. Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped cilantro.