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Next time the grands come to visit, why not spend part of a beautiful fall day in the kitchen whipping up some spicy pumpkin treats?

Children love to aid in the cooking process. They’re able to help read recipes, measure and stir, hand Grandma or Grandpa the next ingredient, help set timers and oven temperatures, and, of course they’re great at tasting a finished product.

Here are some relatively simple spicy fall recipes. So pull out those aprons, and get busy in the kitchen.

Sweet and Spicy Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Begin with two cups of washed and dried pumpkin seeds. Set the oven to 150 degrees and place the seeds on a parchment paper lined tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile mix up the following: 2 t. salt, 3 T. sugar, ¼ t. each of cumin, cinnamon and ginger. Add a pinch of cayenne. When seeds are baked, heat 2 T. of olive oil in a pan on top of the stove. Add the seeds plus 2 T. of sugar, cooking for two to three minutes. When the seeds are coated, stir them into the spicy mixture and toss. Cool and enjoy.

Pumpkin Meltaway Cookies


¾ cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 t. vanilla

1 t. pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves)

¼ t. salt

¼ t. baking soda

¼ t. baking powder

2 ¼ cups flour

For Icing

2 cups powdered sugar

1 t. maple extract

1 t. pumpkin pie spice

1-2 T. milk

Cream butter and sugar, then add puree and vanilla. Add in the spices. Combine with the dry ingredients. Form into one inch balls and bake on parchment paper-lined pans at 350 degrees for six to seven minutes. Don’t overbake. Cool slightly, then spoon icing onto warm cookies.

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

This is a very easy recipe and the grandkids can help measure, mix and spoon batter onto the waffle iron. It’s always fun to see the batter transform into breakfast!


1 cup pancake/waffle mix

2 t. cocoa powder

3/4cup pumpkin puree

1/3 cup maple syrup

One egg

Mix ingredients and cook on non-stick waffle iron.

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Make your favorite hot chocolate, either from scratch or instant. Mound whipped cream on top of a cup and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Grandkids will love this treat.

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn

Begin with ten cups of popped corn. Remove any unpopped kernels. In a saucepan, combine ½ cup butter, 1 cup light brown sugar, ¼ cup light corn syrup, 1 ½ t. cinnamon, ¾ t. nutmeg, ¾ t. ginger and ¼ t. cloves. Add 1 t. vanilla and ¼ t. baking soda. Bring this mixture to a boil and cook for four minutes. Toss the dry popcorn with the cooked syrup, mixing well. Bake for one hour at 250 degrees, turning every 15 minutes.

Don’t forget that the grandkids can also help with clean-up. They can rinse dishes and place them in the dishwasher, hand wash silverware and wipe down counters.

And then it’s on to the real fun: enjoying the finished products!

For some more fun fall cooking with the grandkids visit:

Fall Snacks