Do you think they brought the mug and tablescape to Starbucks, or is this just an PSL imposter?

Ah, fall. We've been waxing poetic pretty much nonstop since the first leaf turned, as has the rest of the country. Everywhere you look it's knitwear this, plaid that, and pumpkin everything. Including, of course, the infamous PSL - Starbucks' OG basic betch beverage, the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Now, I'm not judging, I can be pretty basic myself (hello, entire SATC collection on DVD). And like the rest of the country, I love a good sugary caffeine fix. My usual double shot of espresso is more utilitarian than social; if I'm going to sit and sip I prefer a latte, and if I'm going bougie a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato will do just fine. But a PSL? I'll pass.

It's not the hipster in me, demanding obscurity even in my choice of beverage. It's not that it's been made into cult-like hashtag and that's kind of weird for a corporate coffee drink. If I'm being totally honest, the PSL...just isn't super good, or at least not the best PS food item out there. Pumpkin and the super vague "spice" taste great in many things, but burned coffee just isn't one of them. And that's ok.

We know giving up the PSL can be difficult, so HI-STYLE is here to guide you to PS Salvation - two recipes, two delicious ways to enjoy pumpkin spice without giving up your taste buds.


I've talked about mixes before, and I'm doing it again - because this is a seriously dope mix from Williams-Sonoma (I promise it goes on sale occasionally, which is how I snatched it up). But for the Suzy Homemakers out there who want to get a little more DIY, there are ways to make this from scratch as well.

The recipe calls for an oven preheated to 350, 1 stick's worth of melted butter, 1 cup of water, and two eggs mixed well in a medium-sized bowl. And of course, the mix. 

I followed the directions exactly, but added an extra handful of chopped walnuts for more crunch. 

And I turned them into cupcakes, because cupcakes need frosting, and frosting is the best.

I left the tins in for 10 minutes, rotated their locations in the oven and flipped them around, then left them in for 10 more minutes and kept an eye on them. Perfect-o.

Now, for the important part - the cream cheese frosting.

This is a very simple frosting, but WARNING: this is scientifically the exact opposite of healthy.

You'll need one stick of butter, one loaf of cream cheese, a teaspoon of vanilla and 4 cups of powdered sugar. Mix the first three ingredients til smooth, then add the sugar a cup at a time and get the frosting nice and voluminous.

To pipe the frosting, scoop it all into a Ziploc bag and work it all the way down to the bottom. Squeeze the air out before you seal, then cut the tip off one side and pipe away.

You can sprinkle more chopped nuts on top if you like (I like). 

Now enjoy! but you better hide these suckers, they are small and easily smuggled away. Pairs well with regular, well-brewed coffee and a cozy nook to curl up in. 


Today, you will learn how to make pumpkin brownies with the easiest chocolate ganache ever. It combines two of my most favorite things -- chocolate and pumpkin.

I found this recipe by the fabulous My Baking Addiction a few years ago in the peak of my Pinterest days. It was a go to recipe for my roommates and me when we wanted something pumpkin-y, and it's seriously easy to whip up on the fly. I've added a few adaptations, including a very watchful eye towards the end of their baking time - because if you overcook these bad boys even by a second, you might as well dump them in the trash. These are delicate brownies - but so worth it!

For the brownies, you will need...
4 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

And for the pumpkin... 
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

And finally, the ganache. 
4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

The usual suspects
First, start with the brownie. You want to melt your butter and unsweetened chocolate together-- microwave or double boiler, whatever suits your fancy. Mix the two together until the chocolate and butter are completely melted--there will be a lot of butter. Add your 3 eggs, sugar and vanilla, and then incorporate 1 cup of all-purpose flour.

For the pumpkin side of things-- mix together your canned pumpkin, sugar, and mascarpone until smooth. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Voila!

Now for the fun. Add half the brownie batter to a greased 8x8 tin, and then dollop the pumpkin all over. Add the rest of the brownie batter and swirl around with a knife!


Pop them into a 350 degree oven and turn your timer on for 27 minutes. When the timer goes off check them with a fork or wooden skewer. Then put your chair in front of the oven and wait until they are finished -- about 5 more minutes.

Time to start on the ganache. Heat up your heavy cream until tiny bubbles form and then pour it over your chocolate and let it sit.  After 3ish minutes mix the two together.

Now, to get the optimal amount of ganache to brownie ratio, you are going to want to poke holes all over the brownies and pour that ooey-gooey deliciousness all over. Then enjoy!


We'll be whipping these up well into winter, I'm sure. What do you like to bake in the fall? 


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