Pumpkin Spice Playdough

One of my fabulous readers, Kristine, sent me this scrumptuous smelling Pumpkin Spice Playdough recipe. So the kids and I made it the other night and spent a couple of hours playing with it. It was so soft and smelled divine!  It is one of our new favorite Play Dough Recipes.


My daughter said, “It smells like I am making gingerbread pie!” Is there such a thing? If not, someone should get to work inventing one. This time of year I love everything pumpkin and this was no exception. It took a total of 10 minutes to make and has provided hours of entertainment so far!

Pumpkin Spice Playdough:

2 cups water
orange food coloring (or combine yellow and red)
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 cup salt
4 tsp. cream of tartar
3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 cups flour

Combine all ingredients in large pan on stove. Over medium heat, stir until most of the lumps disappear and it thickens up to a dough-like consistency. Put on countertop and knead like bread dough. Store in a air-tight container.


This would be perfect for entertaining the kids in the kitchen while you are prepping for Thanksgiving Dinner. I purchased a cute little play dough set from IKEA a couple of years ago and the kids have loved playing with it.

If you like this you might want to try our other Play Dough Recipes:

Home Made Play Dough

Peppermint Play Dough

Halloween Play Dough


Dinner in a Pumpkin

Do you have any left-over pumpkins from Halloween that didn’t make it into a Jack-O-Lantern? Or are the local grocery stores or fruit stands selling pumpkins at a big discount? Why not make your family a fun dinner in a pumpkin!

This was our 2nd annual dinner out of a pumpkin. For some reason, the kids get a big kick out of this dinner. Believe it or not, there were no complaints at the dinner table this time around :)!

There are several recipes that you can use in your pumpkin including soups and meatloafs. Here is our recipe:

1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery or water chestnuts
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 cup cooked rice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 medium pumpkin

Cut off the top of a pumpkin and clean the insides out. Brown your meat in a large skillet with the onions and celery (water chestnuts). While the meat mixture is browning cook your rice according to it’s package directions. In large bowl mix meat mixture, rice, soup, soy sauce and brown sugar. Spoon into pumpkin and replace the lid. Set the pumpkin on a cookie sheet to capture any spills. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour or until pumpkin insides are soft. Leave the lid on the pumpkin while it is baking to hold in the heat.

Usually, I let the kids draw a face on the pumpkin. Another fun idea would be to get several small sugar pumpkins and clean out one for each person (or let your kids clean out their own). Then fill each pumpkin with a single serving size. Then each person could eat out of their own pumpkin. But perhaps the best part of this idea is that you can actually eat the “meat” of the pumpkin for your vegetable side dish!

1. a warm home
2. a modern stove
3. kids that love to clean out pumpkins


Candy Corn Popsicles


Okay…so we did not actually make these with candy corn, but they kind of look like candy corn right? These are very similar to our Fourth of July popsicles but made to look like candy corn. A fun new twist for a theme of Candy Corn Treats.  We used a recipe from Kraft which can be found here and made a few of our own changes. Or you could make your own using colored juice or Kool-Aid.

Here is the recipe from Kraft with our changes included…

Candy Corn Popsicles:

1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Orange Flavor Gelatin
1 cup sugar, divided
2 cups boiling water, divided
ice cubes 2 cups cold water, divided
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Gelatin
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed

Make It!
COMBINE dry orange gelatin mix and 1/2 cup of the sugar in medium bowl. Add 1 cup of the boiling water; stir at least 2 min. until gelatin is completely dissolved. Add enough ice cubes to 1 cup of the cold water to measure 2 cups. Add to gelatin; stir until ice is completely melted. Pour evenly into 16 (5-oz.) paper or plastic cups, adding about 1/4 cup of the gelatin to each cup. Freeze 1 hour.

MEANWHILE, combine dry yellow gelatin mix and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in medium bowl. Add remaining 1 cup boiling water; stir at least 2 min. until gelatin is completely dissolved. Add enough ice cubes to remaining 1 cup cold water to measure 2cups. Add to gelatin; stir until ice is completely melted. Refrigerate 1 hour.

SPOON about 3 Tbsp. of the whipped topping over orange gelatin in each cup; top evenly with yellow gelatin, adding about 1/4 cup of the gelatin to each cup. Freeze 1hour or until almost firm. Insert wooden pop stick or plastic spoon into center of each cup for handle. Freeze an additional 4 hours or overnight. To remove pops from cups, place bottoms of cups under warm running water for 15 sec. Press firmly on bottoms of cups to release pops. (Do not twist or pull pop sticks as you may separate the white layer from the others.) Store leftover pops in freezer.

Chocolate Dipped Candy Corn Cookies

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I first saw these cookies featured here on Be Different, Act Normal. On Saturday, we had a couple of sick kids laying on the couch. Since I was now stuck at home, I decided to whip some of these up. (In case your wondering, I made the candy corn kiss cookies the weekend before and gave a lot of them away. Now we needed some to eat for ourselves :)!

These were so easy. I just made up our favorite Sourcream Sugar Cookie recipe and added some orange food coloring. When the cookies had cooled, I dipped one end in some melted milk chocolate chips and laid them on some wax paper. After an hour or so, I dipped the top ends into some melted white chocolate chips. Then I placed them in the refrigerator so the chocolate would set up. We enjoyed them that night as an after dinner snack with a tall glass of cold milk. Yummo! They would be great to give as a gift because they look so pretty too…that is if you don’t eat them all first!

Candy Corn Kiss Cookies

We love making regular Hershey Kisses Cookies at our house but when I saw Candy Corn Kisses at Target the other day, I knew just what to do with them…make some Candy Corn Cookies.


Here is our recipe:

Candy Corn Cookies

1/2 cup butter or shortening, room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar (this is optional and used to roll the balls of cookie dough in; I do not do this)
48 Hershey® Kisses® chocolate candies, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, cream butter or shortening and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beating until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla extract; beat well. Add flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into creamed mixture until well mixed.

Roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets.


Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie (cookie will crack around edges). Remove from cookie sheet and let cookies cool on wire racks.
Yields 4 dozen cookies. For a downloadable version of the recipe click here.

Instead of using Candy Corn Kisses, you could just simply top them with a piece or two of candy corn! We also made a version of Chocolate Candy Corn Kiss Cookies using our favorite chocolate drop cookie recipe.

Candy Corn Bark and Peppermint Bark

Remember when I shared this yummy treat? Well, if you liked that…your gonna love our Fall and Christmas versions.


Do you like candy corn? I have a friend with a serious candy corn addiction. So this one is for you. You know who you are!


Candy Corn Bark:

1.  Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and place a layer of milk chocolate (or white chocolate chips) and melt in a preheated oven at 250 degrees for 5 minutes.

2.  Spread melted chips in a smooth thin layer.

3.  Place in refrigerator for 20 minutes till chilled.

4.  Then add your next layer of white chocolate.

5.  Melt the chips in the microwave for 20 second intervals stirring the chips between each turn.

6.  Let cool till warm but still spreadable. Quickly spread over first layer.

7.  Add candy corn and sprinkles and place back in the refrigerator to chill.

8.  Once chilled break into bite size pieces.

9.  Store in a tupperware container and keep refrigerated to prevent melting.


Now…my absolute favorite bark is the Peppermint Bark! I love it. I make 2 batches and hide one of the batches for myself! If you have not tried it, you are seriously missing out! You are probaby thinking…why does she do this to me…where am I going to find candy canes this time of year. Sorry about that! As luck would have it, when I was cleaning out my son’s drawer, I found two perfectly good, wrapped candy canes. After a fair trade for the candy canes, I whipped up a batch of Peppermint Bark as fast as I could! Hopefully you won’t hate me too much! Candy cane season is right around the corner!

Peppermint Bark:

12 oz chocolate chips
1 pound white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (I used 3/4 teaspoon)
1/2 cup peppermint candy, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 250. Line a 9×13 pan with foil, letting it hang over the sides. Spray foil. Pour the chocolate chips in an even layer on the foil. Place in oven for 5 minutes or until almost melted. Remove from oven, smooth with an offset spatula or knife. Place in refrigerator until cold and firm, about 20 minutes.

2. Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a metal bowl over simmering water (don’t let bottom of bowl touch water), until chocolate is almost melted. You can use your microwave for this if you’re brave! Remove bowl from water and stir until completely melted, stirring in extract. Let cool a little bit so it does not melt the chocolate layer when you pour it on top. Pour this over chocolate layer, and, working quickly, spread to cover.

3. Sprinkle with crushed candy.

4. Chill until both layers are firm. Lift foil out of pan and shake off excess candy. Trim edges. Cut into 2” wide strips. Peel bark from foil and cut each strip as desired. Chill in covered container. Makes about 2 pounds.

Make these at your own risk. I am not responsible for your ensuing addiction!


Pumpkin Shaped Bread Bowls

One of the reasons Fall is my favorite season is that I love soups. Soups of all kinds. Not only do I love soup, but I love eating soup with a good piece of bread. So what could be better than eating soup out of a bowl of bread?

I saw some pumpkin bread bowls in a store last fall and just attempted making some from scratch recently.


I used one of my kids favorite recipes for French Bread.

1/4 cup warm water
1 cup tepid water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 package yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1 beaten egg white

Pour the yeast in the 1/4 cup of warm water. Let it sit for a few minutes to activate the yeast. Once the top is foamy with bubbles, pour the yeast mixture into your mixing bowl. Also add the other cup of water and the salt. Mix this together. Add some drops of food coloring to color the water a nice orange color. I used liquid food coloring and put about 4 drops of red and 6 drops of yellow.

Next, attach the dough hook to the mixer. Add the flour a little bit at a time. Keep kneading the dough for another 2 minutes after all the flour is in. You’ll see a soft, slightly sticky dough.

Spray a large bowl with oil. Place dough into the oiled bowl and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Place in a warm place and let rise for 1 hour. It should double in size.

Flour your surface and rolling pin. Punch down the dough and remove it from the bowl. Remove a small handful of dough and add some green food coloring to it. Knead the dough to mix the color as thoroughly as possible and set aside. Knead the rest of your orange dough. Separate into 5 small round balls (for kid sized bread bowls) or make 4 round balls for a larger bread bowl.

Set your round dough balls on a greased cookie sheet. Take the green dough and make 4 or 5 small stems by making little round balls. Place the stems on the top and middle of your orange dough balls. Cover it again with oiled plastic wrap and let it rise for another 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When the dough is ready, beat the egg white and brush the top of the dough.


Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. When you tap it, it should sound hollow. Allow it to cool before slicing. Slice the top of the pumpkin bowl off and hollow out the inside of the pumpkin to make a hole for your soup to sit in. Now, fill with your favorite soup!

**Updated–Click here for the printable version of the recipe and instructions! If you have Word 2007 and older, download the recipe with the (.docx) and anything older than 2007, download the recipe with (.doc).


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