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RECIPES: Pumpkin Flavors for Halloween

Keep your eye on the storm, but don't forget it's almost Halloween. Here are some pumpkin-flavored recipes to keep you in the holiday spirit.

Halloween appears to be taking a back seat this year as people are focused on the potential super storm, Hurricane Sandy.

So while you're prepping for the potential arrival of Sandy, be sure to take some time to enjoy the holiday and get into the Halloween spirit with these simple, festive recipes.

These recipes come from Nancy Loughin, an award-winning food writer for the Patch site in Reston, Va.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast

8 cups (1-inch) whole wheat bread cubes
7 large eggs
3 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar for batter
4 tablespoons brown sugar for topping
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cut whole grain bread into 1-inch cubes. If using sandwich bread, use 7-9 thick slices. Then, spread into a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, brown sugar for batter, vanilla and pumpkin spices until well combined. Pour over bread and push down with a spoon or your hands until it’s all soaked and mostly covered. Cover with saran wrap or lid and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees, uncover and top with brown sugar and nuts. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Serve immediately with maple syrup. Store leftovers in the refrigerator covered for up to a couple days.

Carolyn's Pumpkin Pie Crunch

16 oz. can pumpkin
12 oz. can evaporated milk
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 box yellow cake mix (dry)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup melted butter
1 large tub Cool Whip 

Mix first six ingredients. Pour in a greased 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Then sprinkle one box of the yellow cake mix (dry) over the top, and then sprinkle the pecans on top. Drizzle with 1 cup melted butter (over all). Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. Cool in refrigerator and when chilled, cover with a layer of Cool Whip over the top, not too thick, and cover and refrigerate.  Slice and serve.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
15-oz. can real pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Ingredients for the topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

Make topping first, and refrigerate while making cake. In a bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add cold butter in small slices and combine with fingertips until mixture is crumbly. Don’t rush this step, take your time.

For cake, preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a 9-by-13-inch cake pan. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, applesauce, pumpkin, vanilla and both sugars until well mixed. Whisk in eggs. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined; do not over-mix. Pour batter into cake pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with reserved topping.

Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack at least 20 minutes.

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