Seasonal Sweets to Celebrate National Dessert Day

On October 14, celebrate National Dessert Day with some tasty treats. These recipes are fun and fall-flavored, and a few are perfect for Halloween!

Autumn Treats
Apple Crisp
From Martha Stewart

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and cut into1/2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Cut butter into flour, using a pastry blender or two knives, until mixture is the texture of coarse meal.

Add oats and toss and squeeze mixture until large, moist clumps form.

Transfer to freezer to chill while you cut the apples. In another large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart baking dish, and sprinkle with topping mixture. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin-Chocolate-Chip Squares
From Martha Stewart

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree.

Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Add chocolate chips.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool and cut into 24 squares.

Praline Pull-Apart Bread
From Southern Living

1 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 (2-lb.) package frozen bread roll dough
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Stir together granulated sugar and 3 teaspoons cinnamon. Coat each roll in butter. Dip rolls in sugar mixture. Arrange in a lightly greased 10-inch pan. Sprinkle with pecans. Cover and chill 8 to 18 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stir in brown sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Pour mixture over dough. Place pan on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes.

Apple-Maple Cake
From Real Simple

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
Granny Smith apple
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups maple syrup
3 eggs
½ cup milk
½ cup chopped walnuts
3-ounce bag Granny Smith Apple Chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt. Set aside. Peel, core, and grate the apple.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter with a mixer until smooth. Add the maple syrup and continue beating about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and increase speed to medium-high. Beat until the batter is smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the flour mixture, then the milk, until smooth. Stir in the grated apple and walnuts, then pour into a greased 10-inch cake pan.

Bake until lightly golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Top the cake with the apple chips.

Halloween Goodies
White Chocolate Ganache Eyeballs
From Real Simple

1 ¼ cups white chocolate chips
¼ cup heavy cream
Pinch fine salt
30 chocolate chips
1 tablespoon red food coloring

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper

Place the chocolate, cream, and salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted.

Place the chocolate mixture in the refrigerator and chill until firm, at least 1 hour 30 minutes.

Roll the chocolate mixture into small balls (about 1 teaspoon each) and place on the lined baking sheet. Press one chocolate chip, pointed-side down, into the top of each ball.

Dip the tip of a toothpick in the food coloring to draw veins around the chocolate chip.

Frozen Banana Ghosts
From Real Simple

8 ice pop sticks
4 bananas, peeled and halved
4 cups white chocolate
3 teaspoons canola oil
16 mini chocolate chips

Insert the ice pop sticks into the cut end of the bananas and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour.

Place the chocolate and canola oil in a medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted.

Dip the frozen bananas in the melted chocolate.

Press two mini chocolate chips into each banana to create the eyes.


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