Autumnal Baking

Jessie Vander

The weeks leading up to the start of a new season always get me craving some kind of stereotypical seasonal treat: in summer I imagine swimming outside and eating my favorite ice cream and in winter dreams of warm brownies and hot chocolate. Either way, there’s always some kind of fantastic comestible that comes to mind.

Fall might bring the most scrumptiously drool-worthy treats, since beside the gorgeous color change in the leaves, autumnal flavors are unparalleled: pumpkin pie, apple cider, cider donuts, and probably more pie. As a baker, this is also a time for trying out those seasonal recipes (and then some), but it’s even more exciting for people around bakers to eat all of those delicious attempts.

I just had to try out these coffee-cake donut-muffins. I whipped up a batch, dunked each individual muffin in a full bowl of melted butter before rolling them like snickerdoodles in an ocean of cinnamon sugar, and then of course had to restrain myself from eating all but my first. The recipe can be found at: http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/2010/08/02/cinnamon-sugar-crusted-coffee-cake-muffins/

There’s only so much time to bake, and once school starts it becomes increasingly difficult to find it. Impressively, a large portion of the people that I know also love baking as much, if not more, than myself. I’d be surprised if even a single week would go by without someone bringing in cupcakes or cookies to school. These ‘noms’, otherwise referenced to as ‘delicious foods’, are so lovely to have around for reasons more than obvious. It fulfills part of our social culture.

Below are a few tips concerning autumnal baking:

● Try some pumpkin pancakes for a epic gourmet start to your day by leaving the batter in the fridge the night before and reserving 10 minutes to cook, flip, and cook. It’ll give time for the batter to set and won’t steal away an hour of glorious sleep you would otherwise have in the morning.
● Drink some hot cider with snack. You can even just buy the refrigerated kind from the grocery, pour a mugful into a saucepan in the oven (microwaves work too) and heat it up! If you want to get fancy, throw a few cinnamon sticks or a grate of nutmeg into the pot for that homey mulled flavour.
● Butternut squash soup is one of the easiest things to make. Don’t be intimidated by the large bulbous gourd. Cut off the ends, slice in half, roast in the oven, take off the skin, and with just a little more seasoning, put it all together in a blender. It makes one of the easiest and hearty fall meals.
● Homemade pumpkin pie rocks, but in case you don’t have time to make it from scratch, my family has found a frozen store-bought kind that I honestly believe tastes just about as good as the real deal: Marie Calendar’s pumpkin pie (I swear no plugging intended) is super delicious. Of course, nothing beats homemade whipped cream that you can dollop on top.

Try some of these things out! Or even better, share them…with me! Enjoy the fall season of baking!