Savor season with home-baked treats

What do you all think about when it comes around to October and November? Of course, I think of food and cooking – and I definitely think of pumpkins and sweet potatoes. Here are three of my favorite recipes:

Pecan-Pumpkin Bread

Makes two (8×4-inch) loaves

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

¾ cup sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup pecans, chopped and divided

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray two loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. I use cast iron with baking spray with flour.

In a large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, about three or four minutes, stopping to scrape sides. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla until well combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking, cinnamon and salt with an electric mixer on low speed. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined.

Stir in 1/3 cup of pecans.

Divide batter between prepared pans.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely on a wire rack.

In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and two tablespoons water. Drizzle glaze over cooled loaves. Sprinkle with remaining pecans.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

2 1/2 cups self-rising flour

2 tablespoons sugar

½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

¾ cup mashed sweet potato, chilled

½ cup cold whole buttermilk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Honey and butter to serve

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl stir together flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Add sweet potato and buttermilk, stirring just enough to combine.

Turn out dough onto a heavily-floured surface and shape dough into a flat log. Fold dough into thirds like a letter. Fold a 10×9 rectangle. Using a 2 ½-inch round cutter dipped in flour, cut dough without twisting cutter. Reroll scraps as necessary.

Place biscuits two inches apart on prepared pan.

Brush tops with melted butter. Freeze 10 minutes.

Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Brush tops with honey and butter before serving.

Sweet Potato Pie

4 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes

2 sticks softened butter

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

½ teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Combine sweet potato, butter and eggs and mix well. Add nutmeg and cinnamon and pour into two unbaked pie shells.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, 10 minutes, or until set.

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