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Now that Summer is pretty much over, it’s time to put away the sunscreen and flip flops and dust off my favorite boots and cardigans. With the days getting a little bit shorter and the winds carrying cooler temperatures, Fall is right around the corner. I’m sad to see Summer go, but as that ends it makes way for the gorgeous colors of changing leaves, cool nights by the fire, and the most delicious few months out of the whole year! That’s right – from September through December I kick my kitchen chops into high gear and bake the season away. I love coming up with new recipes, but there are a few that I bring back year after year, and since I’m starting to feel a little festive I decided to whip up some of them and stage a “Fall Favorites” mini party to welcome in the new season. Check out the recap and how-to below, plus get the recipe for my amazing layered cookie bars AND enter the #Bakeinthefun sweepstakes to win a KitchenAid mixer!
I am a sucker for Fall themed decor, so when I went shopping for this party I was super happy to see that Walmart was already fully stocked in plastic pumpkins and leaf garlands, so I snatched up a cart full (with some for later) and pressed on to find my ingredients.
Isn’t that adorable? I’ll share more decor later, but now let’s move on to the star of the show: the treats! Remember when I said I like making new recipes along with old favorites? Well for this spread it’s all about giving the love to the tried and true, so I featured a classic pumpkin cake made from Pillsbury™ Moist Supreme® Cake Mix and Pillsbury™ Creamy Supreme® Cream Cheese Icing. It was really simple – I just followed the instructions on the package, cut it up and piled it on a cake stand. It was easy peasy to make, and this is a classic staple that I make every year.
Next I created some classic chocolate bark. If you have never made this, it’s SO easy to whip up. It takes minutes and there is no baking involved. Just melt the chocolate, pour on a piece of freezer paper and let it harden. Repeat with a layer of white chocolate and sprinkles and you’re all set!
My last (and favorite) sweet treat is an updated version of my favorite gooey brownie bars that I like to call Pecan Pie Gooey Bars. It features layers of chocolate and pumpkin cake, a little Mott’s® apple sauce for creaminess, melted caramel, chocolate chips, M&M’s® Pecan Pie and a drizzle of melted white chocolate. Can you say heaven on a plate? I can!
This was the most involved recipe, but it still wasn’t too much work to create. I will include the recipe at the end of this post, but for now let’s just drool over these babies for a minute.
Oh goodness, those layers? That caramel? The M&M’s Pecan Pie??? It’s just too much to imagine, but oh so perfect. I had never heard of M&M’s® Pecan Pie until I saw them at Walmart while I was shopping for this party, so of course I had to grab a few bags to test out and oh.my.goodness. they are delicious!
Moving on to refreshments, I kept in the Fall theme by serving apple cider made with Mott’s® apple juice in hollowed out apples. It was super easy to make my apple cups – I just sliced the tops off, grabbed a spoon and started digging! *Tip: to keep apples from browning, rub with a little lime juice until you are ready to serve.*
I wanted to make sure I had a variety so I also picked up some Snapple® Apple singles, added some cute decorations too them and set them out at the end of my table.
And that’s it! Here are a few more random shots of the party setup and the things I used – I’m super happy with how it turned out!
Now that you’re drooling and bursting with ideas, here is how to make my amazing Pecan Pie Gooey Bars!
You will need:
- 1 box Pillsbury™ Moist Supreme® Cake Mix in pumpkin flavor.
- 1 box brownie mix.
- Whatever ingredients are called for on the boxes of cake/brownie mixes.
- 1/3 cup Mott’s® applesauce (optional)
- 1 cup caramel chips
- 1 bag M&M’s® Pecan Pie
- 1 cup white melting chocolate.
Here is what you do:
- Preheat your oven to 350 and then in separate bowls mix up your cake mix and brownie mix.
- Add your applesauce to the cake mix (optional).
- Pour brownie mix into a baking pan and set in the oven for around 8 minutes or until the very top isn’t liquid anymore.
- Pour your pumpkin cake mix on top of that and spread in a flat layer. Be careful you don’t disturb your brownie layer!
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cake is done.
- Remove from the oven, then sprinkle on your caramel chips and M&M’s® Pecan Pie generously in a single layer. Now melt your white chocolate and drizzle it over the entire cake.
- Let set for at least 30 minutes and serve!
You can find everything you need at your local Walmart.
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