baking

The most delicious pumpkin bars EVER!

These are the most delicious pumpkin bars that I have ever made and tasted. This recipe belongs to Paula Deen. I’ve made it many times. They are always a hit. I’ve made them as pumpkin bars, which is the original Paula Deen recipe and I’ve also made them as cupcakes. Click here to view the original recipe by Paula Deen. I used this recipe to enter a Halloween cupcake contest last year and I won!

For Paula Deen’s pumpkin bars, you will need the following ingredients:
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy.

2. Stir together the flour (don’t forget to sift the flour, very important!), baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.

4. Fill the batter in a  9.5 x 13.5 x 2 inch pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let it completely cool before frosting.

Today, I am grateful for Octobers, pumpkins, and love.

pumpkin love instagram 2012

Goodbye October, Hello November!

baking

Creepy Halloween Finger Cookies

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Making creepy halloween finger cookies is fun and easy! I made these cookies a few years back for a halloween party and they were perfect for the occasion. Last time, I added green food coloring to the cookie dough, didn’t dye the “nails” (almonds) and then baked. This time around, I didn’t add green food coloring to the cookie dough, but I dyed the almond slivers in red food color. I like this version much better. It’s just so much creepier!

Here are the ingredients you will need:

about 3 to 4 tablespoons red food coloring
about 48 slivered almonds
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
5 tablespoons of granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 and 2/3 cups all purpose flour

Heat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place food coloring in a small shallow bowl. Place almond slivers into the bowl and toss until color is evenly distributed. Set aside.

Separate 1 egg. Set aside the white. In a small bowl, whisk together the yolk of the first egg with the second egg and vanilla. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add the egg mixture. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

When dough is chilled and ready, roll each piece back and forth to form finger shapes about 3 to 4 inches long.

Pinch the dough in two places to form knuckles. Score each knuckle lightly with a butter knife. To make the fingers more creepy, make them crooked and uneven. Perfection is not necessary here! The more imperfect the better! Make the fingers extra skinny because they will puff out when baking.

When all fingers are formed, brush lightly with egg white. Place and push colored red almond nails into the dough to attach.

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Transfer fingers to prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely. Enjoy!

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I made these cookies for a Halloween themed birthday party. Here’s a picture!
Sewing

Simplicity 8393- Yay or nay?

I made a tunic blouse using Simplicity 8393. I used one yard of fabric, which is one winning point for this pattern (yay). Any pattern that calls for just one yard of fabric is always a win! Although I’m not too sure about the collar (nay).  I also had difficulty with the button closure, so I ended up omitting it (nay). Instead of the button closure, I sewed the top all the way up and it made the collar look very high. (nay). If you like high collars, then this blouse will work for you (yay).

I sewed view B which is the tunic version. There is also an option for a regular length blouse, view C. The blouse was easy to see together (Yay). The collar was actually really easy and fun to put together. (Yay)

I think the reason I’m not to excited about this blouse is because of the fabric I chose. I believe that it’s a polyester blend, which was easy for sewing, but I’m not too happy with the print. I bought the fabric on a whim because I visited a mom and pop fabric store, all the fabrics were $5 a yard and I didn’t want to leave empty handed. I bought one yard knowing I can use it for this pattern.

I would try this pattern again, but I will be more conscientious of the print I chose, maybe even opting for a solid color. I will also use view C for the regular length blouse. I’ll try hard to make that button closure work because it looks much better with it, as intended.

Final vote: 4 yays and 3 nays. I’ll give this blouse a try.

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