If you want my opinion, the very best part of a pumpkin pie is the crust—to be specific, that gooey caramelized piece of crust right where the pumpkin pie filling and the dough meet and get all golden. Ya, that’s the happy place. If like me, you love yourself some pie crust, pie pops will definitely be your new favorite dessert.
Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Pie Pops are basically mini pumpkin pies (with double the crust) baked on a stick for easy and portable munching. Not a bad idea for Halloween parties if you ask me! And while you may think this recipe is all looks, think again. This just so happens to be a DE-licious pie recipe. Sweet and extra tender homemade pie crust is the magic behind these pie pops accompanied by a sticky honey sweetened pumpkin center. Of course you could always use a store-bought pie crust but if you have the time, I beg of you to try this dough! It’s totally worth the extra effort.
To make these sweet little jack-o-lantern faces you could either use a cookie cutter like this one or cut “carve” up your pumpkins with a small paring knife like I did. And don’t worry about being perfect! These funny faces take on their own little personalities after baking. The one-tooth grin has to be my favorite.
To serve, stick pie pops into a container filled with candy corn for a cute and edible center piece on your Halloween table. Is it just me or do these pies look like they’re having a party? I couldn’t help but smile photographing their funny faces…and eating them too!
photos by Leah Bergman
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 sticks butter, chilled and diced
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg, beaten mixed with 2 Tbsp milk for egg wash
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup honey
- * 3-inch pumpkin shaped cookie cutter
- * 24 wooden popsicle sticks
- Make the pastry: Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and mix on high for 10 seconds or until the mix resembles cornmeal. Put the egg yolk in a bowl and pour in 1/4 cup ice-cold water. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the egg mixture to the butter and flour and pulse 20-30 seconds until the mixture starts to come together. It should stick together easily when gathered into a ball. Wrap in cling wrap or a plastic bag and chill in the fridge 30 minutes or overnight.
- To make the filling: heat the pumpkin puree and spice in a saucepan set over medium heat, just long enough for the spices to become fragrant. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl to cool. Wen the filling comes to room temp. whisk in the egg, salt and honey and chill in the fridge.
- Put the pastry on a floured work surface and roll out to a 1/8" thickness. Stamp out 48 pumpkins and chill in the refrigerator 30 minutes until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Take half of the pastry pumpkins out of the fridge, and cut out jack-o-lantern faces using a small paring knife. *note: this is easiest if dough is nice and cold/firm. If needed, chill again before moving onto the next step.
- Remove all of the pumpkins from the fridge, and arrange whole pumpkins baking sheets 1" apart.
- Brush the edges with egg wash and top each with a popsicle stick. Add 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie filling and cover with a jack-o-lantern pumpkin.
- Crimp the edges with a fork and brush with egg wash.
- Bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve at room temperature.
- Note: The original recipe says to bake for 15-20 minutes. My pies needed to bake for about 25 minutes to brown properly.
Happy Friday friends! This week has been wickedly busy for me between work and my sister’s upcoming wedding in December but I’ve been trying my hardest to get in some book club reading time in at night. Have you been reading The Silent Wife?
So far, it’s not as creepy as just down right sad and twisted. What do you think? Later this month Amy and I will be hosting a discussion of the book so you have plenty of time to still grab it and read along!
But whether you’re planning to host your own book club this month to discuss The Silent Wife, or you simply need the perfect Halloween cocktail, these Black Licorice Widow Martinis are just the drink to try!
Blueberry pomegranate juice shaken with black vodka and Jägermeister then garnished with black widow “legs” is utterly to-die for! You don’t need to be a murderous vengeful wife to enjoy sipping on this drink. For your pregnant girlfriends at the party, make a virgin round with blueberry pomegranate juice and sparkling water…just don’t forget those widow legs! Cheers!
photos by Leah Bergman / Recipe via Candy Cocktails: Fun and Flirty Drinks with a Sugar-Kissed Twist
- 2 ounces black vodka
- 1 ounce Jägermeister
- 1 ounce blueberry pomegranate juice
- black licorice rope for garnish
- Shake the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain the mixture into a martini glass.
- Garnish with 4 black licorice rope pieces cut into 3-4 inch long "legs" on each side.
By a show of hands, who feels extra nesty once fall hits? I certainly do! That means lazy days bumming around our house in Brooklyn—chunky sweaters, cozy socks and lots of coffee breaks.
Admittedly, I’m not a Starbucks girl. But I do get psyched about making new Pumpkin Spice Latte creations each year (like this swanky cheesecake and this copycat recipe). This fall, I’m taking the sweet-spiced flavor combo to a whole new place..waffle town! That’s right.
With only five ingredients, you can whip up these warm, fluffy waffles in no time. They’re perfect for at-home brunching because they’re incredible easy to make (read: you don’t have to be totally awake to totally ace ‘em!) and chances are you already have most of these ingredients in your pantry.
While I don’t often make recipes for a mix, pancake-waffle mix is a lazy-girl staple I always have in my cupboard. You never know! What if you’re hungover and the only cure is a pancake? What if the girls are craving late-night waffle sundaes during movie-night? You get my point!
We actually conducted a huge “Pancake Mix Taste Test” at my job this past year. The winner: Hungry Jack Buttermilk Mix. Those babies come out super buttery, which obviously tastes amazing. The grocery store in our building only had Aunt Jemima’s so that’s what I went with this morning. During out test, we found that this mix yielded the sweetest pancakes/waffles—that’s AMAZING when it comes to these #PSL waffles, you want them to be sweet.
Speaking of which, most pumpkin recipes you see here on Freutcake—like Leah’s incredible pumpkin cookies—call for plain pure pumpkin. For these waffles, I went for canned pumpkin pie mix, instead. It already has the sugar and spices mixed in, saving you the trouble of buying/measuring/adding them yourself. Score, girl!
photos by Erin Phraner
If you’re willing to splurge on a few extra ingredients, soft butter and good-quality REAL maple syrup are a given for serving. I hope you try these waffles!
- 1 cup pancake-waffle mix
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 3/4 cup pumpkin pie filling
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 200˚F.
- Whisk the waffle mix and instant espresso powder until combined. Add the pumpkin pie filling, maple syrup and egg. Stir with a spatula until just combined—it’s okay if the batter’s a little lumpy!
- Preheat a waffle iron and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add one-fourth of the batter and cook until golden brown, then transfer the waffle to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining batter.
This past weekend Jason and I took in a little fresh air and a whole lot of champagne at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic held at Will Rogers State Historic Park.
It was my first polo match and I have to say, not a bad way to break into the spectator sport, considering Nacho Figueras was playing!
Shortly after arriving we headed to the tents for a bottle of ice-cold Veuve to sip as well watched the match. With champagne in hand we headed down to the lawn to grab a seat in the sun and wait for the match to begin. To be quite honest, I had no idea what to expect. As a little girl I rode English hunter/jumper and seeing the horses up close and personal was probably the most thrilling part of the entire day for me.
At half-time we walked out onto the field for the traditional stomping of the divots. Think…that scene in Pretty Woman, minus the obvious lady-of-the-night story line and the fact that this was a much rowdier crowd of spectators!
Blame it on the champagne, or (more likely) on the steep inclined hill we were sitting on, but I ditched my espadrilles along with most of the other women in the crowd, and frolicked in the grass like a regular show pony. Looking back, I realize this could have been monumentally disastrous considering the horses had just left the field! Oh, and how amazing are these two gentlemen and their mini-horse champagne decorations? (Yes, they brought those along.)
The horses were truly a thing of beauty. Athletes in their own right, trim and muscular, glossy and beautiful. Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that approximately 50 horses are used in one polo match? Amazing!
In the end I got the chance to meet one of these beautiful polo horses up close and personal. Highlight of my day? Oh, I definitely think so. That being said, the champagne and polo weren’t bad either!
photos by Leah & Jason Bergman / See more pictures on Instagram
I’ve decided that Mother Nature and I should be friends. After all, she created the Concord grape with its jam-like flavor, beautiful deep purple skin, and sweet aroma. She’s a genius and I want to hang out with her, share a cocktail or two and discuss the Concord grape. So it’s only fitting that I take this beautiful berry (yes, grapes are technically berries, who knew) and turn them into a luscious weekend cocktail to enjoy!
Black Concord Martinis are my ode to this beautiful fruit, a jubilee of grape goodness with a little help from black currant, vodka and lime, all the best party companions. This martini starts by cooking down fresh concord grapes with water and sugar to make the base. A thinner version of quick homemade grape jelly, that when cooled and strained, gives this drink it’s vibrant fuchsia color and sweet grape flavor.
Just a splash of black currant liqueur and a hit of fresh lime make the grape flavors sing. It’s just that simple. No complicated ingredients, processes, or supplies needed. Pure sweet grape goodness just as Mother Nature intended had she liked a having a cocktail or two.
To compliment this cocktail, serve alongside a simple cheese platter. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more fitting companion for cheese than grapes and this Black Concord Martini does just the trick! Enjoy your weekend and happy sipping my friends.
photos by Leah Bergman
- CONCORD GRAPE SYRUP
- 3 cups concord grapes
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 5 oz vodka
- 4 oz concord grape syrup (recipe above)
- 1 oz cassis liqueur (black currant)
- juice of one lime
- small clusters of concord grapes for garnish
- MAKE THE GRAPE SYRUP: In a sauce pan, combine grapes, sugar and water. Cook over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently until grapes have burst and syrup has become thick and bubbly.
- Remove from heat and press syrup through a fine mess sieve. Discard pulp and refrigerate syrup until cool or ready to use.
- MAKE THE MARTINI: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, 4 oz concord syrup, cassis liqueur, and lime juice.
- Shake until well chilled and pour into two glasses.
- Garnish with a small cluster of concord grapes.
- Note: This cocktail tends to be on the sweeter side where cocktails are concerned. You can always adjust the sweetness by lessening the amount of sugar in your Concord Grape Syrup if you prefer.
Little ghouls will howl in delight! Wormy caramels apples that can be eaten? What a fright!
When I was in grade school I used to BEG my Mom to make us “dirt n’ worms.” That childhood favorite that circulated the third grade class rooms every time a classmate had a birthday. Basically it was chocolate pudding in a cup topped with crushed Oreo cookies and sour worm candies. My Mom would roll her eyes, (ok maybe I imagined that) and pack us a healthy snack. I never did have a cup of dirt n’ worms show up in my lunch box. Now as an adult I’ve decided that while a chocolate pudding cup may not be the healthiest of snacks, a nice crisp Granny Smith apple rolled in caramel and decorated with worms might just be the perfectly AWESOME solution to an after-school snack…especially close to Halloween.
To get started, I found gnarled twigs at the craft store which I used as my sticks. Of course if you don’t want to use these or you can’t find them, simply substitute popsicle or cake pop sticks. With a little help from store bough soft caramels, you can forgo the whole candy thermometer nonsense and get straight to the caramel apple eating! Nothing wrong with homemade caramel, I make it on occasion, but let’s be honest…this is way too easy not to try.
Once the caramel is properly melted, simply dip and swirl apples in the golden, buttery goodness. And never, ever dip your finger in that tempting melted caramel. You HAVE been warned.
Now, you could most certainly finish your caramel apples at this step, lovely and regal with a sophisticated air about them. Very “Charlize Theron” in Snow White and The Huntsman, don’t you think? Or you could take the fun, playful route and cover them with sour worm candies. Either way they are sure to be a rotten-good treat this Halloween! Enjoy.
photos by Leah Bergman
- 5 medium Granny Smith apples, washed and well dried
- 1 bag (11 oz.) soft caramels, I used KRAFT
- 2 Tbsp. water
- Using a small paring knife, cut a small hole in the top of each apple to remove stem.
- Insert one wooden twig into hole of each apple, pushing down into the core. Cover plate or serving dish with waxed paper; spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place caramels in medium saucepan with water. Cook on medium-low heat 3 min. or until caramel bits are completely melted, stirring constantly.
- Dip apples into melted caramel until evenly coated, spooning caramel over apples if necessary. Allow excess caramel to drip off. Scrape bottoms of apples; place on prepared plate.
- Press sour worm candies into caramel while warm. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Remove from refrigerator 15 min. before serving. Store any leftover apples in refrigerator.
If you are craving a simple Halloween pumpkin craft to sink your teeth into (sorry, not sorry for that toothy-pun)…I’ve got just the thing! These creepy-cute Vampire Pumpkin Candles will bring a playful and festive flare to any Halloween table without all of the gore.
It may come as a surprise, or if you have been a reader for a long time common knowledge, that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. But I cringe at the blood and guts decor that most people associate with this holiday. My neighbor’s front porch for example…eek! For me it’s all about fluffy spiders, witches cauldrons and the occasional fanged pumpkin in my house. So break out the candy corn and get to carving these sweet and sinister Vampire Pumpkin Candles.
small white pumpkins
red votive candles
pumpkin carving tools
black Sharpie marker
Let’s get started:
1. Using the sticker base of a votive as a guide, trace a circle on the top of each pumpkin.
2. Cut and remove the traced circle “lid” and discard.
3. Using a small spoon, scoop out the contents of each pumpkin.
4. Cut out two small curved “fangs” and draw on two beady-eyes.
5. Fit each pumpkin with a candle, light and enjoy!
As the candle burns, red wax drips down the pumpkin creating a delightfully creepy effect! I’m curious, do you prefer gore-less Halloween decor like me or does your house turn into a regular fright night for Halloween?
photos by Leah Bergman
If it’s October, it’s time for Hot Toddies! For extra Autumn flavor, today I’m turning to persimmons. I confess I only became familiar with these golden orange gems when we started getting a CSA basket. Thankfully, they appeared in the basket with instructions (this may seem a bit silly, but I wouldn’t have even known what fruit to search for on the internet!). Since then I’ve used them in all manner of cooking and baking projects, but not for cocktails. Let’s change that!
Exotic hybrids and crossbreeds aside, persimmons generally come in one of two shapes, and the shape dictates when it’s ripe and ready to eat. For example, today I’m using what is known as a Nishimura Wase persimmon. It has a round shape, similar to that of a tomato, and you should eat these little guys when they’re firm like an apple. You may very well find the more popular Fuyu type at you store– again, it has a tomato-shaped body: eat it firm. On the other hand, if you have a Hachiya, the shape is more conical, like a giant strawberry. Those conical persimmons should be eaten when they’re super squishy. Are we good on this? Cool, let’s continue.
Persimmons have a mildly sweet flavor that varies on the type you’re using. With my Nishimura Wase, also known as the “coffeecake persimmon” (um, yum!), the flavor has hints of chocolate, spice, and cinnamon that go deliciously with Fall flavors. For the cocktail, I turned this fruit, along with a few added spices, into a flavorful syrup that’s just as good poured on some warm waffles as it is in this drink. Paired with bourbon and a splash of tart lemon juice, this warming cocktail is just what you need in your rotation this Fall!
Do you have a cold weather cocktail that’s your go-to fav of the season? Let us know in this comments section below! Enjoy!
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup persimmon, cubed and seeded
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 allspice berries, whole
- 1-½ ounce bourbon
- 1 ounce persimmon syrup (see recipe above)
- ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 ounces hot water
- persimmon slice for garnish
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine all the ingredients, stir and bring to a boil. As soon as a boil is reached, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cover, and let stand about an hour.
- Strain and store in an airtight container.
- In a heatproof mug, combine bourbon, syrup and lemon juice.
- Pour hot water over the mixture.
- Garnish with a persimmon slice.
My favorite month of the year has finally arrived and all I can think about is crisp weather, oversized sweaters, pumpkin spice chai tea, and curling up with a good book. In honor of October, I’ve selected a thriller for this month’s Freutcake Book Club read and I have a feeling it’s going to get us all in the Halloween spirit. The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison is being called the next Gone Girl, and many critics are saying it’s even better! Those who have read the book say they could not put it down and after reading the first chapter I can see why.
This suspenseful novel tells the story of Jodi and Todd, a couple experiencing marital problems. Todd is described as a committed cheater and Jodi, a woman with nothing left to lose which eventually leads to her murdering her husband. With the story told in alternating voices between the two main characters, readers have access to their inner most thoughts, motivations, and delusions. Figuring out what is going to happen next adds to the suspense and a twisted sense of pleasure.
photos by Leah Bergman
Personally, I can’t wait to throw myself into the dark depths of this psychological thriller and I encourage you to do the same. Mid-month, we’ll suggest a way to incorporate the novel into your own book club meeting and then present questions for discussion as October comes to close. So get your hands on a copy now and join Freutcake Book Club as we read The Silent Wife!
Get the book: The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison