Autumn In My Kitchen

Autumn In My Kitchen

by Amanda Formaro

The wonderful smell of autumn is here. From simmering cinnamon to the addictive aroma of fresh baked apple pie, nothing could be finer than Fall. To help you celebrate the tastes of this marvelous time of year, try some of these seasonal breads, muffins and loaves. Don't forget the flavored butters to add that final touch.

Apple Sauce Loaf

1/2 c. shortening

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 3/4 c. flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 c. applesauce

1/2 c. nuts

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Sift together dry ingredients and gradually add to mixture. Stir until well mixed and add applesauce and nuts. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Mix together 1/2 c. powdered sugar and 1 tbsp. water and pour on cake while still warm.

Apple Bread

1/2 c. margarine

3/4 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. flour

1 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 c. sour milk or orange juice

1 c. chopped cooking apples (no need to peel)

1/3 c. chopped walnuts

In mixer, cream margarine and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, soda and salt. Add to mixture and alternate with liquid. Add apples and walnuts. Turn into greased 9x5 loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour at 350.

Morning Glory Muffins

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 1/4 cup flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3/4 cup raisins

4 large grated carrots (2 cups)

1 apple, shredded

8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together the sugars, flours, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the fruit, carrots, nuts, and stir to combine. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, oil, and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to blend well. Spoon mixture into cupcake tins lined with muffin papers. Fill to brim of each cup. Bake in preheated 350? oven for 35 minutes. Toothpick inserted into the middle of muffin will come out clean when muffins are done. Cool muffins in pan for 10 minutes then turn out on rack to cool. Yield is 16 muffins. Muffins improve even more after 24 hours. Freezes well.

Golden Herb Rolls

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine

1/4 cup water

4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 package quick-rising yeast

2 teaspoons dried savory leaves, crushed

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed, crushed

1 cup canned pumpkin

4 eggs, divided

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 20 to 24 muffin cups. Combine milk, butter and water in small saucepan; heat until butter is melted. If necessary, cool to 120º F. to 130º F. Combine 3 cups flour, sugar, yeast, savory, salt, thyme and dill in large mixer bowl. Add milk mixture and pumpkin; beat for 2 minutes. Stir in 3 eggs and remaining flour. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place for 10 minutes or until doubled. Spoon into prepared muffin cups, filling 1/2 to 3/4 full. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place for 30 to 40 minutes or until doubled. Beat remaining egg and brush on top of rolls; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until rolls are golden and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans; serve warm or cool on wire rack.

Pumpkin Muffins

3/4 cup natural bran

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup raisins

1 cup mashed or canned cooked pumpkin

2 eggs (unbeaten)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk

In bowl, combine bran, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and raisins; toss to mix. Add pumpkin, eggs, oil and yogurt; stir just combined.

Spoon batter into paper-lined or nonstick muffin tins. Bake in 400 degree F oven for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Makes 12 muffins.

Pumpkin Pie Muffins

2 cups flour

3/4 cups packed brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

3/4 cup chopped dates (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease twelve muffin cups. In a large bowl, stir together 9 ingredients. In another bowl, stir together pumpkin, butter, buttermilk, eggs, molasses and vanilla until blended. Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add pumpkin mixture and stir just to combine. Stir in pecans and dates.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups; bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean. Remove to wire rack. Cool 5 minutes before removing muffins from cups; finish cooling on rack.

Apple Muffin Mix

A great morning starter. Tuck this mix into a wooden apple basket lined with a coordinating napkin. Dried apples can usually be found in airtight pouches near the raisins in the supermarket.

2 cups self rising flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup chopped dried apple

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Place the mix into an airtight container.


1 package Apple Muffin Mix

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 muffin tins. Place the Apple Muffin Mix in a large bowl and add the egg, milk and oil. Stir the ingredients until they are just blended. Do not overmix. Spoon the batter into greased muffin pans, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Autumn Butter

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup whipping cream

1 cup butter, softened

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Spread onto your favorite muffins, quick bread, sweet crackers, or drop a dollop onto morning pancakes.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Butter

4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

4 tbsp canned pumpkin puree

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp freshly grated or dried nutmeg

1/8 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Keep tightly covered in the refrigerator up to three weeks.

* 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice can be substituted for cloves, ginger and nutmeg.

Cinnamon Butter

2 sticks butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve over sweet bread, muffins, or morning waffles. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Raspberry Butter

1 cup raspberries

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon blackberry liqueur

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Boil raspberries, water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until syrupy, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Strain through sieve to remove seeds. Cool. Process with remaining ingredients until smooth and well mixed. Can be prepared one day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature and stir before serving.

Apple Spread

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 c. grated cheddar cheese

1/4 c. mayonnaise

dash of sugar

1 c. chopped apple with peel

1/2 c. chopped celery

1/2 c. chopped pecans

Mix together the cream cheese and cheddar cheese until well blended. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve with crackers or fresh vegetables.

Jack-O-Lantern Cheese Ball

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

4 oz. package cream cheese, softened

1/4 c. solid pack pumpkin

1/2 c. pineapple preserves

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 pretzel rod, broken in half

Decorations: Dark rye bread, red pepper, black olive slices, parsley sprigs

Assorted crackers

Beat cheeses, pumpkin, preserves and spices in a medium bowl until smooth. Cover; refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or until cheese is firm enough to shape. Shape mixture into a round pumpkin; place on serving plate. Using knife, score vertical lines down pumpkin. Place pretzel rod in top for stem. Cut 2 small triangles for the eyes. Small triangle of red pepper for nose. Slice olives slices in half for the mouth. Cover loosely; refrigerate until serving time. Serve with crackers.

Copyright 2000, Amanda Formaro

About the Author

Amanda Formaro is the entrepreneurial mother of four children. She and her husband live in southeastern Wisconsin. She is also the owner of Magazine at from which she operates several free newsletters, including her favorite, In The Kitchen. To subscribe send any email message to

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