Caramel Pumpkin BlondiesWell, it’s official. Fall is finally here. So, in true food blogger fashion I wanted to celebrate by sharing my first pumpkin recipe with you guys for the year! I came across these Caramel Pumpkin Blondies on Pinterest a couple weeks ago, and pretty much had to have them going into my mouth immediately once I saw them.

A basic blondie batter is loaded with pumpkin puree, then studded with white chocolate, dark chocolate, and toffee pieces. Then a swirl of caramel sauce is layered into the blondies before being baked to perfection.

They turned out a little fluffier and more cake-like than most blondies I’ve had, but I think I liked it better. Dense and moist, yet light and fluffy too – this cake has all the flavors of fall that I adore. Cinnamon, pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, caramel…what’s not to love?

Do yourself a favor and make these soon. I can’t think of a more perfect way to welcome autumn into our kitchens!

Source: adapted from Taste and Tell

Under The Sea Cupcakes

Now that all the little ones are back to school, I thought it would be appropriate to share this fun kid-friendly treat. Aren’t they adorable? I made them a few months ago for my girlfriend’s baby shower, which had an “Under the Sea” theme, and they were really a hit.

I tinted my standard buttercream frosting in hues of light blue and green, and piped on with a Wilton 2D tip to create sea-colored waves on the cupcake. Then I topped them with Swedish Fish, and a few stalks of green and yellow colored sour straws for seaweed.

I ended up finding the sour straws at my local Dollar Tree, as they have the best selection of just about everything when it comes to candy. I was able to find a multi-pack that had hues of greens, yellow, and dark blue that worked out perfectly.

Use whatever flavor of cupcake you like, I stuck with the classics – chocolate and vanilla. These turned out so great, and were so well received that I’m already looking forward to making them again. Would be a great treat to send in with your little one to celebrate their birthday with their classmates.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tropical Lemon Curd Bars

There is just something about lemon flavored desserts. I don’t know whether it’s their bright yellow hue, or their tart flavor that makes you pucker – but they’ve always been a favorite of mine. My great aunt always made a really good lemon bar, and these definitely reminded me of them. But with wonderful tropical flavor from the addition of toasted coconut on top instead of powdered sugar.

A basic bar dough is pressed into the bottom of the pan, then it’s filled with a rich fresh lemon curd and topped with a combination of almonds and coconut. The almonds give it wonderful crunch that was great next to the softness of the lemon filling.

I happened to have some of the larger dried coconut shreds, so I used those and they really held up well here. I’d suggest looking for those if you can find them. I’m usually able to find them in natural food stores, or if you’re feeling ambitious – make your own!

Source: adapted from Taste of Home via Oh Sweet Basil

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Have you guys been taking advantage of all the glorious blueberries that are in season right now? I need to make some time for a trip up to our local pick-your-own-blueberry place soon. We’ve also got our Chincoteague Blueberry Festival coming up in the next couple weeks. We always make a “girls trip” of it with my best friend and her daughter.

It’s not very big in terms of most folks idea of a festival, but there’s always lots of unique vendors and great blueberry-centric things to try. Not to mention a blueberry vendor from New Jersey that sells them by the box. I usually buy one and freeze half of the berries, and then we brew a blueberry beer with the other half. Good stuff!

So, this coffee cake. Tender, moist cake is studded with juicy fresh blueberries and chunks of cream cheese throughout, then topped with a delicious crumble topping that is the signature of any good coffee cake. I’d imagine it would also be wonderful with raspberries or strawberries as well. Perfect for any breakfast or brunch get together – as well as a sweet treat for after dinner. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Source: adapted from Taste of Home