Written by Alexa Abrams, edited by Cristina Lupo.

Pumpkins are one of the most popular fruits in the fall (Yes. It’s a fruit).  It decorates every home for Halloween and then makes every dessert imaginable for Thanksgiving.  Since it is a fruit, I can justify eating every single dessert made with pumpkin for an entire two months – October through the end of November.  You would think it would get old but with thousands of pumpkin recipes online, it is never a dull moment.  So I thought I’d share some pumpkin recipes I found for this pumpkin season with all of you as Thanksgiving approaches.  For a full list of other recipes check out Better Homes and Gardens!


Pumpkin Bread French Toast

From my own master chef kitchen (hah! Just kidding, I burn toast!), I came up with the idea of Pumpkin Bread French Toast. Genius, I know. Over Family Weekend, my aunt brought me four loaves of pumpkin bread. (Sidenote: She made it using the Libby’s boxed brand.) What could I do with four loaves of pumpkin bread?! Turn them into my favorite meal of the day, of course! Here’s how I did it:

Slice the loaf into 1 inch thick slices. Crack two eggs into a bowl, scramble them with a fork, and add a splash of vanilla extract. Once your pan is around medium heat, grease the bottom of the skillet with butter. Using a fork (and maybe some help from your fingers too) dip the slices of pumpkin bread into the egg mixture and place them on the skillet. Be careful because the pumpkin bread is more delicate than other breads so it may crumble! Once the slices are on the skillet, dust the top side with some ground cinnamon. After 3-4 minutes, flip them and allow the other side to brown. And WAH-LA! I sprinkled some chocolate chips on top and they melted into gooey deliciousness! Try it!


Pumpkin-Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Makes: 24 servings

Yield: 24 to 36 bars

Prep: 25 mins

Bake: 55 mins 325°F

Cool: 30 mins


▪    1 1/4
 cups  graham cracker crumbs ▪ 1/4
 cup  sugar ▪ 1/3
 cup  butter, melted ▪  2 
 8-ounce packages  cream cheese, softened ▪ 1 3/4
 cups  sugar ▪ 3 
eggs ▪ 1 
 cup  canned pumpkin ▪ 1/2
 teaspoon  pumpkin pie spice ▪ 1/2
 teaspoon  vanilla ▪ 1/4
 teaspoon salt ▪ 6 
 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut up, or 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces ▪ 2 
 tablespoons  butter ▪ 1 1/4
 cups sour cream ▪ 1/4
 cup sugar ▪ Grated fresh nutmeg


1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup sugar. Stir in the 1/3 cup melted butter. Press mixture evenly into bottom of the prepared baking pan; set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and the 1-3/4 cups sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt on low speed just until combined. Remove 1-1/4 cups of the mixture.

3.  In a small heavy saucepan, combine the 6 ounces chocolate and the 2 tablespoons butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Whisk chocolate mixture into the 1-1/4 cups pumpkin mixture. Pour over crust, spreading evenly. Bake for 15 minutes.

4.  Carefully pour the remaining pumpkin mixture over baked chocolate layer, spreading evenly. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes more or until filling is puffed and center is set. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

5.  In a small bowl, combine sour cream and 1/4 cup sugar. Gently spread over cookies. Cool completely. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Cut into bars.* Before serving, sprinkle with nutmeg and/or chocolate curls. Makes 24 to 36 bars.

Milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate curls

Pumpkin Fudge

Makes: 96 servings

Prep: 10 mins

Cook: 20 mins

Cool: 2 hrs


▪    3 
 cups  sugar ▪  3/4
 cup  butter ▪ 1 
5  ounce can  evaporated milk ▪ 1/2
 cup canned pumpkin ▪ 1 
10-ounce package cinnamon-flavored pieces ▪ 1 
7-ounce jar  marshmallow creme ▪  3/4
 cup chopped walnuts, toasted


1.  Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter foil; set pan aside.

2.  In a 3-quart heavy saucepan combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and pumpkin. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 234 degrees F, soft-ball stage (20 to 25 minutes). (Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.)

3.  Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer from saucepan. Stir in cinnamon-flavored pieces until melted. Stir in marshmallow creme and walnuts.

4.  Immediately spread fudge evenly in prepared pan. Score into squares while warm. Let fudge cool to room temperature. When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan. Cut into squares. Cover tightly and chill for up to 1 week. Do not freeze. Makes about 96 pieces.


Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies

Makes: 60 servings

Yield: about 60 cookies

Prep: 30 mins

Bake: 10 mins 350°F per batch


cups  butter, softened ▪ 2 
 cups  granulated sugar ▪ 2 
 teaspoons  baking powder ▪  2 
teaspoons  baking soda ▪ 1 
 teaspoon  salt ▪ 1 
teaspoon  ground cinnamon ▪ 1 
teaspoon ground nutmeg ▪ 2 
 eggs ▪ 2 
 teaspoons  vanilla ▪  1 
15  ounce can  pumpkin ▪ 4 
cups all-purpose flour ▪ 1/2
 cup  butter ▪    1/2
 cup  packed brown sugar ▪ 1/4
 cup  milk ▪ 1 
 teaspoon vanilla ▪ 2 3/4
 cups  powdered sugar and Ground cinnamon (optional)


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat 2 cups butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

2.  Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

3.  In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread frosting on cookies. If desired, sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Makes about 60 cookies.

Enjoy these fall favorites! And Happy Halloween!

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