Cranberry Orange Sweet Roll


Yikes! It’s the week of Thanksgiving! Do you know what you’re having for breakfast that day?

Cranberry Orange Sweet Roll. No yeast, no rising, no waiting! Just fluffy biscuit dough filled with cranberry sauce and flavored with fresh orange zest.

What?!? You haven’t even thought about it? Let me help you out with that…How about this Cranberry Orange Sweet Roll?

Why am I thinking about breakfast for the big day? Well, for the first time in quite a few years, I am not hosting the big meal. I have, however, been requested to bring a dessert :) And I’ve been thinking about that for that past couple of weeks. You know I’ve been on a pumpkin streak with all kinds of treats, and wouldn’t you know that the hosts already have pumpkin covered? That’s… Continue reading

One Pan Green Beans, Mushrooms and Shallots


Friends, this is the story of how One Pan Green Beans, Mushrooms and Shallots came to be.

One Pan Green Beans, Mushrooms and Shallots. The flavors of traditional green bean casserole in a lighter, fresher tasting side dish. One pan easy!

What’s one of the most popular green veggies that lands on a Thanksgiving table? I’m going to guess it’s green beans. Why? Because we pretty much all grew up on traditional green bean casserole, no? It’s graced more Thanksgiving meals than not in my life. And, I’ll admit/confess that I’ve always enjoyed it, with it’s frozen green beans, canned cream of mushroom soup and crispy fried onions.

There came a time, though, that I decided I wanted to make it from scratch. So for the next few years, I bought fresh green beans,… Continue reading

Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Bars


I thought you might like some pie, but packaged a little differently.

Pumpkin Pie Shortbread Bars. Instead of making a traditional pie crust, bake your pumpkin pie on top of a layer of tender shortbread.

But first, can we talk about this super cute pumpkin? (No, the pie isn’t in the pumpkin, although that’s a fun idea!) I’ve been crazy over this little pumpkin ever since I picked it (and it’s brother :) up at a fall festival a few weeks ago. I love the little yellow speckles and the long rebel stems that have a mind of their own. You’ll see them used as props in my recent pumpkin posts, One Bowl Fudgy Pumpkin Brownies and Pumpkin Ricotta Bundt Cake. (I would have used them in Pumpkin Biscuit… Continue reading

Pumpkin Ricotta Bundt Cake


I originally was going to call this Pumpkin Ricotta Bundt Cake, “Pumpkin Ricotta Custard Bundt Cake.”

Pumpkin Ricotta Bundt Cake. Pour a sweet ricotta custard over the batter before baking. It will magically bake into a lovely swirl in this delicious cake.

But, that’s a mouthful of words that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. So, I took, “Custard,” out of the title and made peace with it. Or not. Because custard is the highlight of this cake, the pièce de résistance. Aaand, that custard forms magically for you in the oven! Yep! You just pour the custard on top of the cake batter and it travels nicely down to the bottom of the cake baking into lovely swirl. There’s no layering of filling and batter; just pour it on top and science takes over and… Continue reading

Flashback Friday: A Hershey Hedwig Halloween


About 18 months ago, I launched a new series called, “Flashback Friday.” Here’s the introduction I wrote to that first post…

“Welcome to Flashback Friday, a new series on The Merchant Baker. Here, I hope to share some of our creative endeavors… projects that we worked on well before the blog.  Most of the pictures in these posts will likely be home photos that were never taken with the thought that they’d be published, so I’ll need a little leeway on judging picture quality.  (Although some are much better quality than my early recipe posts, so there’s that ;)”

Flashback Friday: A Hershey Hedwig Halloween

I was pretty good about keeping up with the… Continue reading

One Bowl Fudgy Pumpkin Brownies


I’ve been working on testing out a cake for you for the past couple of weeks, but until that’s ready, I’ve got One Bowl Fudgy Pumpkin Brownies!

One Bowl Fudgy Pumpkin Brownies uses pumpkin puree and a hit of pumpkin spice. The texture is reminiscent of flourless chocolate cake mashed up with a pumpkin pie. So good!

I figured Halloween is just days away, and brownies probably trump cake this week. Hopefully, you’re making some other fun treats like Halloween Brownie Bark or Peanut Butter Cut Out Cookies. But maybe you need something a little less whimsical…something that doesn’t have eyes or a face :)

As a blogger, I have tried to accept that I don’t have time to make old favorites as often as I used to. I’ve read about bloggers who say they rarely made anything twice.… Continue reading

Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce


I promised you an easy idea for topping that spaghetti squash I just posted.

Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce. Thick sliced fresh tomatoes are roasted with garlic, onion, olive oil and herbs for a fresh and flavorful tomato sauce.

There’s a million things you can do with spaghetti squash, but today, we’re going classic and topping it with a deliciously easy roasted tomato sauce. Roasted? Yes. Roasted. Do you know what that means?!? You can roast your spaghetti squash and your tomatoes and boom! Dinner is done. It’s a two for one deal.

When we were deluged with tomatoes at the end of the summer, I roasted up trays and trays of this stuff. And then I froze the sauce in zip top freezer bags. Now I’ve got tomato sauce ready and waiting for spaghetti… Continue reading

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash


Do you have a “go to” method for cooking spaghetti squash? No? I think I can give you hand with that…

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash. This is an easy way to cook tender spaghetti squash. Try my secret tip that you do right after it comes out of the oven.

I remember years ago when I first discovered spaghetti squash. It was touted to be the great spaghetti substitute. Low carb, full of vitamins and fiber and a texture that was reminiscent of noodles. Well, at least in looks, right? Anyone who expected to sit down to a bowl of spaghetti squash and experience a carby al dente bite of pasta would have been sorely disappointed.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash. This is an easy way to cook tender spaghetti squash. Try my secret tip that you do right after it comes out of the oven.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash. This is an easy way to cook tender spaghetti squash. Try my secret tip that you do right after it comes out of the oven.

But that was then, and this is now, and now we are making “noodles” out of all of our veggies. I love it!… Continue reading

Pumpkin, Squash and Halloween Recipe Round Up


I’m here with another recipe round up. It’s not that I don’t have another new recipe post ready for you…because I do. Well, at least the recipes and photos are done…but I thought timing wise, I should get this Pumpkin, Squash and Halloween Recipe Round Up out this week instead of next, because the clock is ticking on October and these recipes are just what you need to make right now. We’ve got no time to waste, so let’s start with breakfast, shall we?

Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Cinnamon Spiced Yogurt. Slightly crispy yet tender waffles, topped with sweet maple cinnamon yogurt and toasted pecans.

Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Cinnamon Spiced Yogurt– I love a good waffle and there’s nothing quite like one that’s been homemade. These are slightly… Continue reading

Pumpkin Biscuit Sticky Buns


I made these Pumpkin Biscuit Sticky Buns as redemption for a handful of recent apple recipe fails.

Pumpkin Biscuit Sticky Buns. No yeast, no rising, no waiting! Spiced and fragrant with orange zest, pecans and maple caramel sauce top it off!

I had planned to share one new and wonderful apple recipe before I started down the road into pumpkin land, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Yep, grand plans. It all sounded so good in my head, but I had a couple of disasters…edible disasters, but disasters none the less.

In one case, I took my gorgeous apple creation out of the pan and even started to shoot it…until I realized that the middle did NOT fully cook and was just a mess of raw dough. Ugh! I looked at it and… Continue reading