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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

The Best Pumpkin Recipes

Last month we celebrated apple season and now it’s time for apple’s Fall flavor cousin: pumpkin! It’s pumpkin season and whether you go and pick your own pumpkins to de-seed yourself or your buy the pumpkin puree in a can (like me) there are truly an unlimited number of recipes out there to try. Pumpkin can be used in both savory and sweet dishes but today we’ll be focusing on sweet recipes because they’re a bit more popular, even though the squash itself isn’t all that sweet. Pumpkin has a pretty mild flavor that leans toward the more savory side, which I believe results in many of us thinking it’s a vegetable, but pumpkins are actually fruits! The distinguishing factor here in that pumpkins grow on a vine which puts in squarely in the fruit category, and a versatile fruit it is.  Here are some of my favorite ways to use pumpkin during these months…

Image Credit: Food Network

Pumpkin Bars {via paula deen}
These are the ultimate pumpkin dessert and I can promise you that the first time you make them will not be the last. If you’re looking for a Fall themed go-to crowd pleasing, yet quick baked good these bars are it. Despite the name, these are actually much more of a cake than they are a bar. The pumpkin (and maybe the CUP OF OIL, but who is counting?) make these so incredibly moist and so incredibly addicting. There’s a frosting recipe included here but in the 30+ times I’ve made these I’ve never thought they needed it. I also love adding a tsp of pumpkin pie spice to these in addition to the cinnamon, or ¼ tsp nutmeg ¼ tsp cloves, ¼ tsp all spice, and ¼ tsp ginger. Bumps up the flavor of these even more.

Pumpkin Scones {via in jennie’s kitchen}
Scones are the unsung hero of the pastry world. They tend to get lost among the sweet cupcakes and flaky biscuits of the world and it really is a shame because they’ve got a lot to offer! These pumpkin scones are ones I tried for the first time last year and have been itching to make again. They are perfect next to an apple or banana for breakfast, or with that afternoon cup of coffee that we all need around 3pm. You’ll see the recipe calls for “natural cane sugar” which is great if you have it, but I never do, and plain ‘ole white sugar is fine. I’ve also replaced the buttermilk with pumpkin beer in these before to spectacular results. The beer provides a great depth to the scones that is especially apparent the day after you make them.

Image Credit: Maria Lichty

Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies {via howsweeteats}
If you’re new to baking with pumpkin here is an interesting tip that you might not know: it makes everything puffy, cake-y, and moist. For recipes like the pumpkin bars that I shared above, it’s a huge benefit and a huge part of the reason those things are so addicting. But if you are trying to make cookies with it and you happen to be a thin & chewy cookie type person…it makes things difficult. Turns out a way to avoid this is to use pumpkin butter in the batter as opposed to pumpkin puree, which is normally the go to way to bake with pumpkin. These cookies are not just delicious pumpkin cookies, but they are truly one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. There’s two recipes on this link so be sure to scroll down until you see “Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies made with Pumpkin Butter.”

Pumpkin Spiced Latte {via skinnytaste}
Oh, pumpkin spice latte, you are loved. You’ve become forever linked with this turn of season thanks to some marketing geniuses over at the local, niche coffee shop known as “Starbucks.” No matter how hard we try, we just can’t quit you and our wallets are the worse for it. If you’re currently going through the #PSL obsession but want to cut down on the amount of times a week you pay $5 for a drink that’s gone in 5 minutes, try this recipe to for making it at home. It’s surprisingly easy AND means you get that great pumpkin spice flavor without any artificially flavored syrups that the drinks bought in coffee houses normally use. A win all around!

Image Credit: Jessica Merchant

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars {via bake at 350}
Does the thought of pumpkin and chocolate freak you out a bit? In baking with it, I’ve noticed about half the time people don’t want to touch anything with pumpkin & chocolate mixed and the other half cannot get enough. I happen to fall into the latter category and if you do too, make these bars right up! They are much more of a typical “bar” then the pumpkin bars linked above and completely decadent and delicious.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Waffles {via two peas and their pod}
These are perfect for that ultimate lazy Sunday brunch. But I can’t be the only one who, no matter how much I sleep in, just does not want to get up and immediately stand in front of a waffle iron for an iron on a Sunday morning…right? If you understand then these will actually make the perfect Fall breakfast-for-dinner, which is exactly how I ate them last week. I don’t even have words for how good these are. And they are made with WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR people! They’re practically health food. Nutty brown butter + nutty whole wheat flour + moist pumpkin puree + fall spices = yes all day, everyday.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars {via sally’s baking addiction}
It’s fun to Fall-ify everything during these months, isn’t it? Fall-ify our coffees, our breakfasts, our hand lotions, our candles, our dinners, our desserts and – our snacks! These pumpkin oatmeal bars are totally a Fall-ifed version of that little something you grab when you can just feel your blood sugar dropping, your anger raising, and you need! something! IMMEDIATELY! In trying to keep these as snack-y as possible, I actually don’t add the chocolate chips (boo, I know) and these bars never miss them. With the oatmeal and the pumpkin they really fill you right up too.

Consider this the tip of the pumpkin recipe iceberg, do you have any favorite pumpkin recipes to share?

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