I know it is early to be thinking of the holidays, but if I don’t start planning now I won’t get everything done. All of the magazines are showing Thanksgiving turkeys and holiday cookies. This is truly my favorite time of year because baking takes center stage. Just thinking about all the pies, cakes and cookies I can get started on puts me in a good mood. I really enjoy reviewing the recipes I made last year for the holidays, deciding what will be on the list again this year and looking for new recipes to fill the void for those that didn’t make the cut. Some things I am considering this year include caramel brownies, pumpkin pie with a streusel top and a cranberry cake.
Last year I made a pumpkin cake, so I dusted off the recipe, made a couple of tweaks to it and made cupcakes instead. To change this recipe, I reviewed several different pumpkin pie recipes for the right combination of allspice and cloves and debated about adding nutmeg and cinnamon. I ended up using allspice and cloves in the cake and made a cinnamon butter cream frosting. Enjoy!Beth McDonald is a wife and mother and works full time in Des Moines.