Taste of Central Iowa

Autumn goodness

October means fall recipes … here are three:

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

1 pkg. pound cake mix

3 eggs, divided

2 Tbls.. butter, melted

4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. chopped nuts (optional)

In large bowl, with an electric mixer, combine cake mix, 1 egg, butter and 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and mix on low speed until crumbly. Press into the bottom of a greased 15- by 10-inch baking pan. In same bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in milk, the remaining 2 eggs, pumpkin, remaining 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and salt. Mix well. Pour over crust in pan. Sprinkle nuts over top, if using. Bake 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on wire rack and chill in the refrigerator. Cut into bars to serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Cracker Jack Popcorn

1 c. butter

2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. light corn syrup

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

5 quarts popped corn

In saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup and stir until mixture comes to a boil; let boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla and soda and pour over popped corn. Stir to coat evenly. Bake in large roaster pan for 1 hour at 225 degrees, stirring about every 15 minutes. Let cool, breaking apart, if necessary. Store in a airtight container.

NOTE: You can add a handful of peanuts to syrup before pouring over popcorn.

Jiffy Cake Cornbread

1 box (8.5 oz) Jiffy Corn Muffin mix

1 box (9 oz) Jiffy Golden Yellow cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 c. milk

1/2 c. water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 by 8-inch pan. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients with a whisk. Pour into pan. Bake for about 40 minutes, until set, and browned. Cut into slices, and serve with honey butter.