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Hump Day Snack: Kabocha Squash Ice Cream with Maple Pecans

Tired of hearing about pumpkin-flavored everything? Then go for a slightly less popular gourd that is just as tasty and versatile. Instead of serving it savory, transform creamy kabocha squash into Kabocha Ice Cream with Maple Toasted Pecans. The golden ice cream has a velveteen texture and flavor of ginger-infused coconut milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and maple syrup. Swirl in simple homemade cranberry sauce and three-ingredient maple-toasted pecans to add tartness and crunch. Then scoop it into waffle cones for an all-star autumn dessert — no pumpkin or pie-making necessary!

Find out more uses for the season’s squash and gourds with these recipes from Cooking Channel:

Hump Day Snack: Caramel Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Caramel Apple Cake

Although Mother Nature may still be confused, we’re certain that it’s officially the season of crisp red apples, warm spices and changing leaves. Take advantage of early apples to make this gorgeous baked take on classic caramel apples.  Besides embodying all of the colors of fall, this Caramel Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream hits on the flavor, too, combining applesauce, cinnamon, brown sugar and caramel. For a sweet, surprising finish, top the cake with homemade caramel apples!

For more ways to use apples this season, check out some of Cooking Channel’s favorite fall recipes:

Hump Day Snack: Soft Pretzels for Oktoberfest

Soft Pretzels

You don’t have to fly to Germany or even attend an Oktoberfest party to get the authentic experience. Channel the spirit of a Bavarian beer hall at home with this recipe for homemade soft pretzels. Start your from-scratch dough with yeast, sugar, white flour, baking soda and butter, leaving time to let it rest and double in size. When the dough is ready, roll each piece into a rope and form it into a pretzel shape. (Perfect pretzel tip: Make a smiley face holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press them down to connect at the bottom of the “U.”) Then bake them and prepare some spicy mustard and also perhaps sausage, schnitzel and an ice-cold stein of German beer.

Complete your Oktoberfest meal with Cooking Channel’s best German recipes:

Hump Day Snack: Psychedelic Rainbow Swirl Lollipop Cake

Lollipop Cake

Summer, fall or whatever season it may be, there’s one dessert that’s satisfying no matter what the weather: cake. We like it layered, frosted, drizzled or stuffed, and this recipe for Psychedelic Rainbow Swirl Lollipop Cake has it all, plus a spectrum of eye-catching color and a crackling surprise! The base of the three-layer masterpiece is a simple vanilla bean cake, but the twist comes from tingly, fizzy tablet candies mixed into the royal vanilla icing. Use gel food coloring to achieve the vibrant drips and drizzles of tie-dye, and top the cake with different sizes of giant, swirly lollipops. When it’s finished, the lollipops will look like they are melting into the cake, and you’ll have a dessert that looks as zany as the weather.

For more layered cakes that will wow a crowd, check out these recipes from Cooking Channel:

Hump Day Snack: Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Spice Syrup

Whether you’re ready or not, the beginning of September undoubtedly means pumpkin spice fever: lattes, muffins, pastas, cookies, breads, pies, smoothies — the list is neverending! Get a head start on the spicing with your own homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup. Fall’s classic spices — cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg — star in a blend of sugar, water, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree to create the perfect — and natural — pumpkin flavoring, but the best part is what you decide to do with it. From pancakes and ice cream, to coffee and oatmeal, the options are harvest-ready.

Start to transition into autumn with more seasonal recipes from Cooking Channel:

Hump Day Snack: Homemade Toaster Pastries

Toaster Pastries

While you’re stocking up on new pencils, notebooks and back-to-school shoes, don’t forget cool new things for your kid’s (or your own) lunchbox. In lieu of store-bought finds, try this recipe for homemade Pop-Tarts. Toaster pastries are ideal for racing-out-the-door breakfasts, but taking the time in advance to make your own pastry dough is worth the extra effort. As the autumn nears, use the season’s first batch of apples to make a delectable pie filling, then make a cinnamon glaze to top the squares. Serve them at room temperature or gently warm them in the toaster or microwave, and we can bet you won’t miss the packaged equivalent. Happy snacking!

For more ways jazz up your snacks in September, check out some of these recipes from Cooking Channel:

Hump Day Snack: Mini Burger Cupcakes

Burger Cupcakes

Ah, Labor Day. That bittersweet moment of conflict between a blissfully long weekend and the end of lazy days, white jeans and vacation. Savor the final lazy days of backyard barbecues with these Mini Burger Cupcakes. The first trick to authentic-looking sliders is a golden cupcake muffin topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, to resemble the soft bun. The meat patty can be made with chocolate icing, or if you’re feeling adventurous, a pan of brownies cut into circles. Add shredded lettuce (green-tinted coconut flakes) and swirls of ketchup and mustard (red and yellow icing) for a well-dressed burger that you can make long after barbecue season is over.

Celebrate Labor Day and the final days of the season with more spectacular summer desserts from Cooking Channel:

Hump Day Snack: Raspberry and Vanilla Dobos Torte with Pulled Sugar Ribbons

RaspberryThis year’s 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, August 25, has the theme “Kaleidoscope of Color.”  Since, when you get down to it, awards shows are as much about what you’re wearing as they are about who might win, plan an impressive, colorful-packed party menu. (If you really feel daring, you can make exactly what the attendees will eat. Otherwise, try this stunning and elegant Raspberry and Vanilla Dobos Torte with Pulled Sugar Ribbons.

Continue Reading Hump Day Snack: Raspberry and Vanilla Dobos Torte with Pulled Sugar Ribbons

Hump Day Snack: Individual Whole-Peach Pies

peach pie

The only thing undesirable about peach pie is having to share it with other people. Enter this beautiful single-serve whole-peach pie to save the day. The recipe starts with very ripe, halved peaches and sweetens the deal with a spoonful of straight-from-the-farm honeycomb (or just regular honey) right in the center cavity of the fruit. Place the two halves together and completely wrap the whole fruit with pie crust. Sprinkle on turbinado sugar for texture, cut small slits on top, then place the pastry-wrapped peaches into muffin tins to bake until golden brown. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla frozen yogurt, and everything will be just peachy!

For more ways to serve summer’s best fruit in a pie shell, take a peek at some of Cooking Channel’s favorite recipes:

Hump Day Snack: Mojito Pie

Ever wish you could have your cake and drink it too? This Mojito Pie attempts to grant that wish. Start off with a traditional mojito-making method by muddling fresh mint leaves and lime juice together to release all of the flavors. (Pro tip: Make some extra for an actual mojito to drink while you work.) As you sip your icy cocktail and dream of island beaches, mix together the custard, which is similar to a key lime pie base, plus a splash of rum. For the finishing touch, add decorative garnishes of whipped cream, lime zest and mint leaves. Cheers to that!

Create more cocktail-inspired treats with these recipes from Cooking Channel:

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