Pumpkin Cookies: Revisited

My pumpkin adventures continue.  I think pumpkin is just something I have to get out of my system in order to move on to more enticing Fall foods.  With these cookies, a version of some other out of this world pumpkin cookies, I can fairly say that I’ve got pumpkin out of my system.  All is well.

Here’s what’s going on with Joy the Baker.  I’m gearing up for NaBloPoMo.  What’s that!?  It’s a full month of daily blog posts in November.  Joy the Baker will become a combination of amazing baked treats, holiday baking tips, and a fine cheese oasis.  Cheese?  Yes, I’ll explain more in November.

I’m going to San Francisco this weekend.  It’s sure to be a dangerous collision of food, drinks, Halloween costumes, and the madness of my little sister.  I’ll bring my camera and share the debauchery with you.

What are you doing this weekend?  Besides baking these (insanely easy) Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies?

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Sit and Stay Awhile Apple Crisp

Some recipes are good enough to serve at the church picnic. Some recipes are fine enough to take to the family barbecue. Other recipes you know will satisfy your office coworkers. Those savages will eat just about anything.

Then there’s the recipe that you pull out of your back pocket when you’re looking for love.

This beautifully simple Apple Crisp recipe is that “get a man (or woman!) and hold on to him (or her!) recipe”. If you already have that man, consider this your “it’s time for a ring” recipe, or your “sorry I scratched the bumper of our new car” recipe, maybe even the “thanks for working so hard today honey… I made the house smell like warm apples with this apple crisp just for you” recipe. See, I’m looking out for you.

This recipe is the perfect balance of warm memories and good love. The warm apples tossed with sugar and cinnamon beautifully collide with the toasted, crunchy topping.

It’s a dream come true.

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Blood and Bones

I come to you with these pictures and recipes not knowing whether this combination of treats is awesome or terrifying.  Blood and Bones.

Before we get down to the treats, can I share something with you?  I’m not a big fan of Halloween.  Honestly,  it scares me a bit.  The whole night seems unpredictable and slightly unstable to me, even as an adult.  It’s the costumes.  See, there are two categories of Halloween costumes that just chill me to the bone.

One one hand, there are the girls that use Halloween as an excuse to wear as little clothes as possible.  Are you one of these girls?  Are you dressing up as a ‘sexy boy scout’ this Halloween?  What on earth is a sexy boy scout??  I’m scared.  I also don’t like the medical and other uniformed professions you make sexy for Halloween.  I don’t agree, and frankly, I’m frightened.

There’s also the teenage boys that dress up as murderers with bloody plastic knives and masks.  Teenage boys dressed as murders in the darkness of a Halloween night?  Is it just me being old, or do these kids seem totally out of control?  They seem waaaay too old to be dressing up and run the neighborhood with a pillow case scooping up candy from everyone they can.  Not ok.  Just not ok.

Wow!   Halloween makes me sound like a grumpy old lady.

To celebrate my inner old lady and to embrace any hidden desires to be a hussy for Halloween, I’m going to be Blanche from the Golden Girls.  It’s going to be a perfectly ridiculous Halloween getup.

What are you going to be for Halloween?

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Thanks For Being a Fan

Thanks so much for playing along and being a fan of Joy the Baker.  All your love on Facebook and Twitter really means a lot to me.

I’m cookin’ up another post for you.  It’s going to be a winner.

In the meantime, enjoy this picture of a slide of my parents at their wedding reception.  You’ve got wedding cake, my Dad’s afro and my Mom’s seventies wedding dress.  What more could you want?  Rhetorical question.

Follow Joy the Baker!

The Internet sure is a big place.  Let’s make it just a bit smaller.  You and me.  Whaddya say?

You know you can’t get enough Joy the Baker.  Why not follow me on Twitter and become a fan of Joy the Baker on Facebook?

All of this Internet socializing is pretty new to this kitchen junkie, so I’m not as popular as the prom queen yet.  Oooh but with a little help from you, I’ll get there in no time!

Aren’t on Twitter or Facebook?  That probably makes you a far more focused and disciplined person than I.  I salute you.

Thanks for letting me shamelessly plug myself.  You’re dreamy.  Now, come on!  Follow me!

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Pumpkin is upon us.

It’s a fact friends.  Deal with it.

I went a little pumpkin crazy at the store this week.  Something comes over me when the seasons change.  Because I live in a city where the weather insists on staying virtually the same temperature all year round, and the palm trees know nothing of seasonal changes, I feel like I’m forced to express the change of season in very outward, often very expensive ways.

When early October hits, and the hint of a cool night beckons me to turn my bedroom fan off, inevitably, the next day I’m out shopping for scarves, tights, knee high boots, and yes….. pumpkin.

We had a chilly night this past weekend (I’m talking low 60’s) which prompted me to take out my winter coat (yes I have one, and it’s fantastic).  This also prompted me to go on a pumpkin bender at the grocery store.

I’m giving you the heads up.  It’s pumpkin time people.  Are you with me?

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The Great Doughnut Hunt

There are endless things for a young, single girl to do in a big city like Los Angeles.  There’s shopping on Melrose.  There are afternoons at the beach in mid October.  There are concerts, countless happy hours to attend, and an array of ridiculously pretentious clubs to try to get into.

Yea…. those are all things that most normal twenty something girls might find the time to do.  I’d like to consider myself a special breed.  When I had a free morning a few days back I decided to go doughnut hunting.  Yes, I made up a new sport.  It involved just a few things:  doughnut shops, milk or coffee, and an empty and willing stomach.

Wanna play?  The beauty of this game is that you can do it in any city on any given morning.

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To You. From Me.

An open letter year book response to you. Yes, you. Imagine it’s written in uncomfortably large bubble letters.

Hey! (Read: Dear Darling Most Wonderful Reader,)

It was so fun getting to know you this year in Ms. Roger’s class (Read: Thanks for reading my blog even when I don’t update it for four days) Isn’t Mark HOT!?!!? (Read: Isn’t Mark HOT!?!!?) Thanks for sitting next to me and letting me copy all you Spanish homework. (Read: Thanks for reading even when I just post a picture of an old stove.)

I hope we get to hang out this summer. (Read: I’ve got a date with WordPress and photos later tonight. Promise!)

You’re awesome. KIT (insert hand drawn hearts and flowers and peace signs) xoxxo- Joy

(Read: You’re awesome. KIT. For reals. Love, Joy the Baker)

Is it time for Spice?

What is going on in the world?  Is Al Gore messing with the global temperature again?  We’re sneaking into mid October and here I am in Los Angeles trying to talk myself out of using my air conditioner.  It’s as hot here as it was in July.  We’re talking 90’s people.  90’s!  That’s just not normal.

All I want to do is get the cider going, maybe curl up with some pear upside down cake or anything filled with pumpkin flavor.  What’s stopping me?  All this blasted sunshine and heat.  I know… I know… I shouldn’t let a little sunshine get in the way of my dreams.

Incidentally, just as I’m writing this, I have my neighbors glorious barbecue smells wafting through my window.  I suppose I can’t be all that grumpy about a little sunshine.

Are you having more cozy, spice friendly  weather?  Here are some of the deliciously spiced recipes I’ve played with here on Joy the Baker.  No doubt this Fall (as soon as it kicks in)  I’ll share some new goodies with you.

Now I’m going to go see if I can snatch some barbecue scraps from my neighbor…..

Gingerbread Pancakes with Homemade Pancake Syrup Yes.  More pancakes.  Don’t act like you’re the least bit surprised.

Zucchini Sweet Potato Bread This is one of my Dad’s favorite breads.  A grated raw sweet potato adds amazing moisture and flavor to this bread.  Also throw in nuts and dried fruit as you see fit.  It’s totally customizable.

Super Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies These are easily one of my favorite cookies of all time.  They fall somewhere in between cake and cookie.  Perfect.  And the combination of pumpkin and chocolate is just so dear to my heart.

Cranberry Orange Almond Oatmeal  This breakfast oatmeal is so good you might not mind dragging yourself out of bed ten minutes early to make it.  Between the oats, dried fruit and almonds, this is one delicious balanced breakfast that would keep any normal person full well into the lunch hour.  I’m a maniac though, so no matter what I eat for breakfast, by 10:30 in the morning I’m ready for second breakfast…. yes… second breakfast.

What spiced goodies are you baking up for Fall (or Spring, if you’re on the other side of the planet) ?

Butterscotch Pudding with Bourbon Whipped Cream and Toffee

I was trying to come up with some charming childhood anecdote to accompany these butterscotch puddings, when I came to the blunt realization that I didn’t like pudding as a child. In fact, I may have purely despised the stuff. My only exposure to pudding came in the occasional lunch time trade with a friend for her chocolate pudding cup. I seem to remember a goopy, brown, almost plastic flavored dessert. Even when I was eight I knew that there had to be a better way.

A mere twenty years later I’ve decided on the perfect pudding solution: mix together cream, brown sugar and bourbon whiskey (among a few other ingredients) and call it Butterscotch Pudding. Glorious! Top that pudding with Bourbon whipped cream and toffee and life just got that much sweeter.

If I could talk to eight year old Joy the Baker, I’d tell her not to trade her all natural fruit snacks for the chocolate pudding. There’s something much better lying ahead. I’d also tell her that she won’t have horribly frizzy hair forever, and it really is ok that precious, blonde, adorable Hayden likes Alison and not her. It really is ok.

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Things I Want To Put In My Face

What a week.  What a week.  Financial crisis. Bail out.  Katie Couric interviews.  Vice Presidential debates.  So much has gone on this week I literally feel exhausted by all of the news.  I do know one thing.  I need the phrase “Joe Six Pack” out of my life forever.  Seriously.  Out.

I thought I’d treat you all to some blog love.  Why?  Because it’s free, and free is a long long way from 700 billion.

Smoky Barbecue Sauce-  I know it’s not a dessert and I also know that summer is over but I could eat barbecue sauce by the spoonful.  Really?  Ok… maybe not.  But I love the idea of homemade barbecue sauce, especially if I get to use those darling flippy top jars.  Check out Cooking for Seven to figure out what they heck I’m talking about.

Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread–   Yes!  The perfect introduction into Fall.  I’m also thinking hard about pumpkin and chocolate combinations.  It’s not too early, right?

Double Chocolate Layer Cake–  Oh Amanda, you know just how to speak to my heart.  Yes.  My answer is Yes!  I’ll marry you.  Wait…. did you ask?

Sweet Cherry Pie–  Are there still cherries?  Is it not too late?  Maybe there’s something magical in Florida where Mike of Mike’s Table whipped up this pie.   Warm cherry pie with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream- I could die a happy happy girl.

Banana Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies–  Abby, what have you done?  Would these be a proper breakfast food, because I’m seriously considering these with a glass of milky coffee in the morning.  Please and thank you.