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If there’s one thing that’s almost as certain as death and taxes, it’s that as soon as the fall season hits, most folks go into Pumpkin Overload Mode, and for good reason. These popular gourds are not only a timeless symbol of Halloween, but they also offer up a wonderful flavor that’s great with savory and sweet treats. With that in mind, I rounded up these 10 pumpkin-themed recipes that should satisfy any cravings you may be having this October.

Double Trouble Pumpkin Brownies

If you’re looking for brownies with a bit of a kick to them, then you’ll undoubtedly want to conjure up a batch of these Double Trouble Pumpkin Brownies (via Wilton) this month. A vodka-infused caramel sauce makes them a favorite amongst grown-ups, but don’t worry—there’s not enough in here to make them a troublesome treat for youngsters.

Ingredients:

Caramel:

  • 3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/3 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter, Divided
  • 2 Tablespoons Vodka
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt

Brownies:

  • 1 Package (10.25 oz.) Fudge Brownie Mix
  • 1/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Egg

Pumpkin Mousse:

  • 2 Tablespoons Cold water
  • 1 Teaspoon Unflavored Gelatin
  • 1/2 Cup Confectioners' Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions (via Wilton):

  • For the caramel: In small saucepan, heat granulated sugar, corn syrup, cream and 2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat until sugar melts, whisking continuously.
  • Once the sugar begins to boil, stop whisking. Continue heating, without stirring, until it turns light caramel color, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, then the vodka, vanilla and salt. Do note that the mixture will bubble up, and then allow it to cool completely.
  • For your brownies: Preheat oven to 325°F and prepare your brownie pan with vegetable pan spray.
  • In large bowl, combine brownie mix, 1/4 cup pumpkin, oil and egg. Bake 12-14 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center is clean. Cool in pan 8 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely.
  • For the mousse: Combine the water and gelatin in small microwavable bowl; let it stand 1 minute. Microwave for 30 seconds and cool to room temperature.
  • In a large bowl, whip cream, confectioners sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together with electric mixer on high speed 1-2 minutes or until soft peaks form.
  • Gradually add in the gelatin mixture; whip until firm peaks form.
  • In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup pumpkin and vodka; fold into whipped cream. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until thickened.
  • Cut your brownies into smaller pieces, and spoon about 1 teaspoon caramel sauce onto each brownie. Top with the mousse and any additional caramel sauce you desire.

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée 

I’ve yet to attempt to make crème brûlée myself, but these Pumpkin Crème Brûlée (via My Organized Chaos) desserts look like the perfect final course to serve up this fall (I’m going to be trying this recipe out on Thanksgiving), and aren’t nearly as complicated as they seem. Just be sure you don’t accidentally use pumpkin pie filling, because the sugar content will throw off the consistency of the mixture as it bakes, and won’t set properly.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree {not pumpkin pie filling}
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice or Allspice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

Directions (via My Organized Chaos):

  • First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Arrange 4-6* ramekins inside of a baking dish {you may need 1 or 2 baking dishes depending on the size of ramekins} and set them aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar and egg yolks. Slowly add in the heavy cream, whisking to combine.
  • Add pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; whisk until completely combined.
  • Pour pumpkin mixture into each ramekin, filling about ½-¾ the way full.
  • Next, add warm/hot water to the larger baking dish, allowing water to come up about halfway up the side of each of the ramekins (do not put water inside the ramekins with the pumpkin mixture).
  • Place the ramekins into the oven, and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until they have set. The mixture will jiggle a little, but will not be hard.
  • Remove them from the oven, and let them cool a few minutes.
  • Place ramekins into the fridge, and allow them to sit for at least 4 hours (up to overnight).
  • Remove the ramekins from the fridge and add an even layer of granulated sugar to the top of each ramekin, spreading carefully and covering each top completely.
  • Using a cooking torch, heat your sugar until it’s melted and starting to crisp. If you do not have a torch, you can place them under the broiler for a few minutes until sugar is liquefied and bubbling (2-3 minutes MAX).
  • Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve cold.

Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds

The second best thing about carving pumpkins (next to the cool designs you get to bestow on your gourd of choice) are all the great seeds you can bake and snack on throughout October. And if you’re looking to do something different this month, why not try out these Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds (via Cooking with My Kid)? They’re super easy and sure to be a big hit with kids, too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 Cups Fresh Pumpkin Seeds, cleaned and patted dry
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray

Directions (via Cooking with My Kid):

  • Place pumpkin seeds in a dry non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Toast them in the pan, constantly shifting them around so that they roast evenly and don’t stick to the pan.
  • When they start to pop and peel, take one out and taste it (make sure it’s cool enough first). If it’s crunchy it’s done.
  • Turn the heat down to low, and spray the seeds with the olive oil cooking spray and then spoon sugar into pan and stir seeds up as sugar melts and sticks to the seeds.
  • Turn the heat off and sprinkle with salt. Let them cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bar

Chocolate chip cookies will always remain a classic treat, so why not incorporate a little pumpkin in there to create these delicious looking Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars (via Diary of a Recipe Collector). And these are even easier to make than individual cookies, because you just bake all your dough together in one pan, making for easy clean up, too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sticks Butter, Softened
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 8 Ounces Canned Pumpkin
  • 2 Teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, divided

Directions:

  • First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a 13" x 9" pan with foil, leaving about 1 inch over the sides for easy removal. Spray foil with cooking oil spray.
  • Next, beat together the butter with both sugars on medium-high speed until well combined and fluffy.
  • Then, add in the eggs, canned pumpkin, and vanilla, and beat again until combined.
  • Add in your pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon and beat again until combined.
  • Finally, add the salt and flour and turn mixer on low to combine. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips, and increase the speed to medium and beat until combined.
  • Spread batter into foil-lined pan. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or just until center is set and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting into squares for best results.

15-Minute Thai Pumpkin Soup

If you love the flavors of Thai food, you’re going to want to try out this 15-Minute Thai Pumpkin Soup (via Healthy Seasonal Recipes) this October. I tried a similar recipe with squash earlier this year, and it was surprisingly great, so I can only imagine how pumpkin flavoring would really add a whole new dynamic to this classic-style Thai soup recipe. Plus, it’s good for you, too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Teaspoons Coconut Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Teaspoons Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 15-Ounce Cans Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 14-Ounce Can Light Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup (Dark), or Brown Sugar (Dark)
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Scallions

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add in the garlic and cook, stirring until the garlic is fragrant but not starting to turn brown.
  • Stir in the Thai curry paste until hot, and then immediately add broth to stop the garlic from toasting too much.
  • Next, add in the pumpkin, coconut milk, maple syrup, lime juice, and salt, and whisk until smooth.
  • Increase your heat to high, and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Serve hot, garnished with the cilantro and scallions.

Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake Bars

While perusing Pinterest earlier this year, I probably stared at these Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake Bars (via Chelsea's Messy Apron) for a full five minutes, because dear lord, they look amazing. I’m always a big fan of putting a twist on an old classic—and in this instance, we’re talking cheesecake—and I’m excited to see how well they come out once I get to make them sometime in the next few weeks.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter, melted

Cheesecake:

  • 2 8 Ounce Packages Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup and 2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Canned Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup White Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, softened (not melted)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Caramel Topping

Directions (via Chelsea's Messy Apron):

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper (leave an overhang to be able to pull out these bars easily) and set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the crust ingredients and mix until a thick dough forms. Press evenly into the bottom of the 8 x 8 baking pan.
  • In another bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Note: It is VERY important that the cream cheese is at room temperature for a smooth texture. Leave out for at least an hour before baking. If you microwave the cream cheese, it will give it a bumpy texture.
  • Beat with hand mixers until completely smooth and creamy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until each is combined.
  • Remove 1 and 1/2 cups of this mixture and pour on top of the prepared crust.
  • Add the canned pumpkin, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice to the remaining cheesecake mixture and stir until completely combined.
  • Careful not to combine the two layers, pour the pumpkin layer on top of the plain cheesecake layer.
  • To create your streusel, you can use the same bowl you used for the crust, and stir together the brown sugar, white flour, quick cooking oats, and cinnamon.
  • Add in the butter and vanilla and mix together until well combined. Avoid melting the butter entirely as it makes the streusel too wet. Sprinkle this streusel topping evenly over the pumpkin cheesecake layer.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the cheesecake has set.
    Allow to cool for about an hour and then place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  • Top each bar with caramel topping of choice when you’re ready to serve.

Pumpkin Hummus

Much like the crème brûlée I mentioned earlier, I was also equally surprised to learn just how easy it is to put together hummus, which means if you’re looking for a fun and festive dip to share this October, this Pumpkin Hummus (via Kim's Cravings) should do the trick. All you need are the ingredients, a blender, and something to serve alongside it (pita chips or veggies would work great!), and you are good to go.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 15 Ounce Can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons Tahini
  • 4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt, plus more to taste as desired
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin, plus more to taste as desired
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Directions (via Kim's Cravings):

  • Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender. Process or blend until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl or pitcher. Allow mixture to set for one hour before serving
  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over the top and serve with raw veggies, chips and/or crackers.

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Balls

For those of you who may be intimidated by the idea of baking a cheesecake (I get it!), but would still love to do something fun for Halloween, why not give these No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Balls (via Who Needs a Cape?) a try? The hardest part of this recipe is melting your white chocolate properly, so “bakers” of ANY skill level can whip these up with relative ease.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 1/2 Cups White Chocolate (either chips or broken into pieces)
  • 3/4 Cup Vanilla Wafer Crumbs (plus additional 1 cup for rolling)
  • 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 6 Ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions:

  • First, melt 1/2 cup of the white chocolate in the microwave, checking it every 20 seconds.
  • Next, mix together the wafer crumbs, puree, cream cheese, sugar, and spices and add in the melted white chocolate. Blend everything together again for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Place the mix into a bowl and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes until dough is hard (30 minutes in the freezer can also do wonders).
  • Start assembling your cheesecake balls, and once you have them all rolled out, refrigerate them again before rolling them in the additional 1 cup of wafer crumbs.
  • After you coat the treats in the crumbs, refrigerate them for 30 minutes. While they set, melt the remaining amount of your white chocolate in the microwave, checking it every 20 seconds.
  • Once everything is ready, dip each of the cheesecake balls in the melted white chocolate, and allow them to set for 2 hours in the fridge on wax paper before serving.

Pumpkin Chili

Fall is always a great time of year for chili, and it makes for a dinner that you can get some real mileage out of over the course of a few nights, too. And if you count yourself amongst the vast number of pumpkin enthusiasts out there, you’re going to want to give this Pumpkin Chili (via Tidy Mom) a whirl. Also, if you’re someone who loves to use your crock pot (like I do), this is a recipe you can set up early in the day, and just let the crock pot simmer all day, really allowing all the flavors to soak in over the course of several hours (I usually go 6-8 hours for stews and chili).

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pounds of Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
  • 1 (15 Ounce) Can Black Chili Beans
  • 1 (15 Ounce) Can White Chili Beans
  • 1 (15 Ounce) Can Pure Pumpkin
  • 3 Cups V8 Vegetable Juice
  • 1 (10 Ounce) Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 (4.5 Ounce) Can Green Chiles
  • 1 Packet Chili Seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • In a large pot over medium heat, cook the meat until brown and drain.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients with your browned meat and seasonings. Let everything simmer together for one hour over a low heat.

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Every Christmas in our house, we make a French Toast Casserole (thank you, Pioneer Woman!), which has become a delicious tradition we’ve enjoyed for several years now. With that in mind, I thought this Pumpkin French Toast Casserole (via Little Spice Jar) would be something fun to try, and even though you need to prepare it 24 hours in advance (trust me, it’s so much better that way), it’s super quick to assemble, making it a low-hassle endeavor.

Also, if you’re feeling super adventurous, you could crumble cooked bacon on top right before serving, which is a little trick I discovered last year. It’s beyond delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Loaf of Day Old French Bread, diced
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Streusel:

  • 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Cold Salted Butter, diced
  • 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • 2 Teaspoons Pumpkin Spice

Directions (via Little Spice Jar):

  • Spray a 9"×13" pan with nonstick cooking spray, and then place the diced bread inside the baking pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and pie spice. Pour the prepared custard over the bread in the prepared baking pan.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours before baking, but preferably overnight (the longer it soaks in, the better).
  • To make your streusel, combine together the light brown sugar, butter, all-purpose flour, pecans, and pumpkin spice in a small bowl.
  • Using your finger tips, mix together until the butter breaks down into smaller pieces. Sprinkle the streusel mixture over the French Toast Casserole.
  • When ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked. If your streusel starts to brown too much at any point, you can tent the pan with a piece of foil.
  • Let your casserole cool for a few minutes before serving. Best served with warm maple syrup, butter, and powdered sugar.

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[Photo credits: All photos are from the respective links for each recipe. Top photo is from Wilton.]

In case you missed it, check here to read our other special features that celebrate the Halloween season!

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