Friday, October 17, 2008

The Lovely Smell of Fall Treats

I see, when I bend close, how each leaflet of a
climbing rose is bordered with frost, the autumn
counterpart of the dewdrops of summer dawns.
The feathery leaves of yarrow are thick with silver
rime and dry thistle heads rise like goblets plated
with silver catching the sun. ~Edwin Way Teale

I love fall food; the smells, the spices, the fruit and of course, the eating. We also love tea at our house, and baking goodies to go along with the tea. I thought you would like these fall recipes to try this weekend.

Harvest Spice Tea Cake

1/2 cup water
2 cinnamon tea bags (see note)
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract -

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring the water to a boil in a small pan,add the tea bags, and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Mix the other ingredients in a large bowl. Add the tea, carefully squeezing excess liquid from tea bags before discarding the bags. Mix the batter well. Pour into a 8x8x2-inch greased baking dish that has been buttered. Bake for 25 minutes. When cooled slightly, spread a little butter on top to melt and sprinkle with the nutmeg. Note: Any spicy type tea will work great--even a chai.

Ginger Cranberry Tea

2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh, rinsed cranberries
pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup cranberry juice
2 mint sprigs
Sugar or honey to sweeten

In a medium sized bowl, pour boiling water over ginger and cranberries. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Strain, add nutmeg and cranberry juice and stir. Add sugar or honey to taste. Serve warm. Garnish with mint.

Pumpkin Dip

4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese; softened
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin, or cooked pumpkin- pureed
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix together all the ingredients. Serve with teddy bear
shaped crackers, apples or ginger snaps.

Lina, one of my long time friends, shared this recipe from Libby's. These are fun to make and give as a hostess gift, autumn birthday gift or just to make and eat.

Mini Pumpkin Muffin Mix

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins, sweetened dried cranberries
OR chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 can (15 oz.) Pure Pumpkin

COMBINE all ingredients, except pumpkin, in large bowl.Pour into 1-quart container, resealable plastic bag will work; seal. Wrap muffin mix and a can of pumpkin in fabric; tie with ribbon or twine.

Pour muffin mix into large bowl. Cut in 1/2 cup vegetable shortening with pastry blender until mixture is fine. Add 1 cup LIBBY'S 100% PURE PUMPKIN, 1 cup milk and 2 large eggs; mix until just moistened. Spoon into greased or paper-lined mini-muffin pans, filling 2/3 full. Bake in preheated 400 degree F oven for 15 minutes; remove to wire racks. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Makes about 60 mini muffins.

I hope your weekend is lovely. ~Brenda

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