• Kaya Long

Reviewing Cozy Recipes for this Fall Season

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Whether you are a breakfast enthusiast or not, you will likely enjoy indulging in these fluffy and flavorful pancakes, as they are packed with the iconic flavors of fall.


PHOTO BY KAYA LONG


Review

From start to finish, these pancakes were quick and fun to make. The batter can be easily whipped up within 10 minutes and it has a velvety consistency perfect for scooping onto the sizzling pan. They did not take very long to cook and when they were done they were perfectly golden brown and the aroma of cozy fall spices were floating around the stove. Texturally, the pancakes were unique and reminiscent of fluffy pumpkin pie filling. The pumpkin puree resulted in an extremely moist and somewhat dense pancake. Coupled with the toppings (see notes and suggestions below), they had the perfect bite and sweetness level.



Notes and Suggestions

  1. Toppings - Instead of the recipe’s suggested “maple syrup, cinnamon sugar, and/or whipped cream” topping, I elected to serve the pancakes with some strawberries in addition to the maple syrup. This combination of the fresh tartness of the berries and the sweetness of the syrup worked in unison to pleasantly accompany the pancakes, while still allowing for the pumpkin spice flavor to shine through. If you do not have any strawberries on hand, I am sure that other berries like raspberries and blueberries would work well too. Personally, I feel that cinnamon sugar and maple syrup would be too sweet, but to each their own.

  2. Add a splash of vanilla extract - Although it was not a part of the recipe, I chose to add ¼ tsp of vanilla extract to enhance the pumpkin spice flavors

  3. Dietary Restrictions - These pancakes can also be easily made gluten free if needed by replacing the 1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour with gluten free flour like I did. They could also be made vegan simply by replacing the 1 large egg with a vegan egg substitute (although I have not attempted this, so I can not guarantee that it would work out).


Summary

These pancakes are a great breakfast option for the fall season, as well as a convenient opportunity to use leftover pumpkin puree from making a pie. With that said, this recipe might not be for you if you do not care for pumpkin pie. Overall I would rate this recipe a 4/5!


Try this recipe: Pumpkin Spice Pancakes



Creamy Potato Soup

This is a hearty and flavorful soup that is sure to warm you up during the cold holiday months.


PHOTO BY KAYA LONG


Review

The preparation for this recipe was straightforward and took barely any time at all. After approximately 20 minutes, everything was simmering in the pot and not much more effort was required from there. While it was simple to make, it was a little bit on the heavy side when it was done. The starchy potatoes make a very different kind of soup opposed to other vegetable soups like cauliflower, broccoli, and carrot soup. In small quantities it nicely warms you up, but in a normal soup serving it is too much. Flavor wise it was decent, but I was not particularly impressed. It was rather acidic and one-note compared to some of my other soup favorites, but the recipe does mention that “it tastes even better on the second day.”


PHOTOS BY KAYA LONG


Notes and Suggestions

  1. Consistency adjustments - After simmering for 30 minutes like the recipe suggested, the soup needed more liquid. To thin it out, I simply added the remaining ½ of vegetable stock and that worked well.

  2. Blending Options - The recipe suggests that you blend half of the soup in a blender until smooth and then “return the pureed soup back to the pot” before “[using] a potato masher to gently smash the potato chunks and beans.” I found it much easier to simply use an immersion blender directly in the soup pot if you have one on hand.

  3. Toppings - I topped the soup with some fresh cracked pepper, paprika, and chopped green onions instead of the traditional baked potato toppings mentioned in the recipe. This allowed to flavor to shine through more and made the soup lighter.

  4. Dietary Restrictions - This recipe can be enjoyed by nearly everyone, as it is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free!


Summary

All in all, you might enjoy this recipe if you are looking to make a simple and warm hearty soup. However, there are probably better recipes out there that fulfill this desire. While I am glad that I tried it out, I do not think that I will be making this soup again. Overall I would rate this recipe a 3/5.


Try this recipe: Creamy Potato Soup



Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Last, but not least are these delicious chewy pumpkin oatmeal cookies, which are the perfect fall treat to enjoy accompanied by a steaming cup of tea.


PHOTO BY KAYA LONG


Review

Conveniently, all the ingredients are commonly found at home during the holiday season. Combining the ingredients into the dough was a relaxing and simple process. With aromatic fall spices lingering in the air, the thought of the freshly baked cookies became increasingly enticing throughout the preparation for baking. The dough held its shape well and proved to be an ideal consistency for scooping onto the baking sheet. While baking, the cookies filled the kitchen with the inviting and nostalgic aroma of sweet gingerbread. One thing I will say is it takes a bit of time after they come out of the oven to be fully ready to eat because they need to cool down to room temperature which takes about 30 minutes, and then an additional 20 minutes are needed for the icing to dry and harden.


PHOTOS BY KAYA LONG


Notes and Suggestions

  1. Decrease the sugar - I elected to use ¼ cup of granulated sugar opposed to the ½ cup, and the cookies had the perfect amount of sweetness even with the icing drizzled on top.

  2. Make less icing - I only used a little more than ⅓ cup of powdered sugar and a tablespoon of almond milk instead of the ¾ of powdered sugar and 1 ½ tbsp of almond milk and it was a perfect amount to adequately ice all the cookies. However, I do think that the viscosity would have been more ideal for drizzling if I had a greater powdered sugar to almond milk ratio. I would recommend only using 2 tsp of almond milk to start off with the ⅓ cup of powdered sugar and adjust as needed.

  3. Monitor the cookies while baking - Since there were two trays of cookies, I baked one on the top rack, while the other baked on the rack below. After 11 minutes in the oven, both sheets were done baking, but the cookies on the top rack were more golden brown in color while the cookies on the top more similarly resembled the orangey golden color depicted in the recipe. Both bakes were equally delicious and very similar in texture. If you want both all the cookies to be uniformly baked, I would recommend baking each sheet one at a time and checking them at the 9 minute mark.

  4. Dietary Restrictions - These cookies are vegan and can again be easily made gluten free if needed by replacing the 1 ½ cup of all-purpose flour with gluten free flour like I did.


Summary

These cookies are delicious, comforting, and simply fun to make! They can be enjoyed by anyone, and I would definitely recommend making them if you are looking for a freshly baked taste of fall. I plan on making these cookies again closer to Thanksgiving. Overall I would rate this recipe a 4.5/5!


Try this recipe: Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies


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