With the temperatures starting to drop I’ve been craving something warm and hearty for dinner.  My criteria is the dish has to be hot, filling, seasonal, and something good enough (and big enough) to have leftovers.  I ended up with the following:

 

The Pumpkin Dinner Rolls are homemade.  Sure, you can buy store-bought rolls if you prefer but there is something about the smell of bread baking in the oven that gets me every time.  The bread is fresh (literally right out of the oven), warm and so easy to pull apart to eat.

I recommend using a stand mixer to make these rolls but it’s OK to mix by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer – you’ll just get quite the arm workout!

Heat the milk in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute.  You want it to be warm but not boiling.  Then add to the bowl of a stand mixer.

Add the sugar and salt to the bowl with the milk and stir to combine.  Sprinkle the package of yeast on top, you don’t have to stir, and let it sit for about 5 minutes.  The yeast might get a little frothy from the warm milk.

Add the softened butter, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla to the bowl of the stand mixer.  Mix until well combined.

 

Next, add the flour, one cup at a time until you’ve added 4 ½ cups of flour.  The dough should start to pull away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball.  If the dough is too sticky, add another ¼ cup of flour.

Remove the dough and knead by hand for a few minutes.  The dough should be moist but not sticky.  If it’s sticking to your fingers you should put it back in the bowl of the stand mixer and add another ¼ cup of flour.

Spray the inside of a bowl with cooking spray.  Place the ball of dough in the bowl, cover with a towel or loosely cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.  You want the dough to double in size.

Remove the dough and split into 15-18 equal sized pieces.  Form each piece into a ball and place in a greased 9×13 pan.  Cover with a towel or loosely with plastic wrap (again) and set in a warm place to rise for another 20 minutes.

Remove the towel and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and brush the tops with melted butter.

These rolls are amazing out of the oven!  I love how they are warm and immediately melt the butter you spread on the inside, and the spiced taste is hard to beat this time of year 🙂

The recipe can be found here.

Apple Cheese and Beer Soup combines a few of my favorite fall things; apples, cheese, and you guessed it… beer.  It’s sweet from the apples, creamy from the cheese, and a little bitter from the beer…all that in just one bite!  Are you hungry yet?  This soup is incredibly rich in taste but also incredibly worth making.

Start by prepping all your ingredients.  Chop the bacon, onion, apple, carrot, celery, and green onion.

In a Dutch oven or large pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove the bacon to a plate and set aside but leave the drippings in the pan.  The grease adds a great flavor to the veggies and liquid base of the soup.

Add butter to the pan with the bacon drippings and melt completely.  Then add the onion, apple, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.  The smell amazing!

Next, add the mustard powder, smoked paprika, cayenne powder, and garlic.  Stir to combine and cook for another 5 minutes.

Then, add the flour and stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to low and stir in the chicken stock, beer, and milk.  Increase the heat to medium high and heat through.  Now your kitchen will smell just like fall!

Use an immersion blender to blend and remove most of the large pieces (you can do this right in the pan).  You want smaller pieces of apple/vegetable in the soup, but you don’t want to puree all ingredients.  If you don’t have an immersion blender you can use a food processor or blender, just make sure to be careful to not burn yourself as the soup will be quite hot as you pour it from the pot.

With the soup in the Dutch oven or pot, add the cheddar and gouda cheese and stir until melted and smooth.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with the cooked bacon.  Add some chopped green onion and shredded parmesan cheese as well.

The bacon and green onion give the soup a nice crunch while also adding great flavor.  The soup is great to refrigerate and serve as leftovers the next day.

The recipe can be found here.

Banana Cookies with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting are soft, gooey, and moist.  It’s like eating banana bread in cookie form.  The perfect amount of banana flavor in each bite!  My favorite is the brown sugar cream cheese frosting.  It’s rich and creamy, and complements the banana cookie quite nicely 🙂

I recommend using a stand mixer to make these cookies as well but it’s OK to mix by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer.  The batter isn’t quite a hard to stir by hand as the rolls would have been 🙂

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugar, and mix together.  Then add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

Mash the bananas on a plate using a fork.  Then add to the stand mixer along with the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves.  Mix until well combined.

Next, add the flour, one cup at a time, until well combined.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Scoop the cookie dough into 2 cookie sheets, about 2 Tbsp in size for each cookie.  I like to use a cookie scoop to ensure my cookies are approximately the same size.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  The cookies will be gooey but that’s OK!  Let the cookies cool completely before adding the frosting or it will melt.

While the cookies cool, make the frosting.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the softened cream cheese and butter.  Mix until combined.

Add the vanilla and brown sugar and mix until combined.

Then add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and mix until combined.

Spread the frosting on top of each cookie.  Sprinkle with fall themed sprinkles and enjoy!  Super yummy!

Make sure to store the cookies in an airtight container in the fridge to ensure freshness.

The recipe can be found here.

Happy Cooking and Happy Fall!

 

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