Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tastes of Fall

Nyakers Pepparkakor (Gingersnaps) in Their Pretty Tin
Oh, friends ... it finally happened!

After a record-breaking summer of unearthly heat and drought, the weather in north Texas has finally turned.  As I type this, I'm gazing out the window at a skim of platinum clouds, a blanket over my lap and a cat nestled against my side.

[Okay, technically the blanket is overkill.  It's 67 outside, not exactly freezing.  But compared to Monday's 107, this feels absolutely awesome.]

With the first breath of autumn in the air, my mind has turned to flavors of fall:  butternut squash, crisp apples, barley soups, crusty bread, Shepherd's pie ... I can't wait to share autumnal recipes with you all over the coming months.  These are the flavors and foods I love the most, hearty and comforting.

Today, though, I'm sharing an unusual fall recipe I picked up when I was checking out of a World Market a few years ago.  It's a recipe for pumpkin dip created by Nyakers (a Swedish company that makes the most intensely flavored, delicately textured gingersnaps).  It's a wonderful addition to any fall potluck or party:  it's an unusual vehicle for the familiar flavors of pumpkin pie, and it gives people the ability to have just a tiny portion of dessert (if, for some reason, they want to skimp on dessert ... personally, that kind of restraint is utterly foreign to me).

While this creamy, sweetly spiced dip goes beautifully with Nyakers pepparkakor (and the Nyakers tins look so fancy when you present them to a hostess), any gingersnaps will do.  You can also serve the dip with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, or (if you're being virtuous) slices of apple and pear.

Nyakers Pumpkin Pie Dip

15 oz. pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 1/2 Tbs. orange juice

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy and smooth.  (Or, in the alternative, mix all ingredients with a hand mixer.)


Wendy is the author of the Mysteries a la Mode. Visit her on the web or on Facebook.


  1. The Texas Panhandle had a few days of ultra cool weather too, and even some rain. It was so wonderful; I had the windows open and the covers pulled up to my ears Wednesday night!

  2. 107. Crazy! I'm so glad things are cooling off for y'all. And...why don't I know about Nyakers? I'm going to have to get some gingersnaps. Thanks for the dip recipe...looks tasty and easy!

  3. You had me at pumpkin and cream cheese. It seems so obvious! What a great combination, Wendy!

    The weather cooled off so much that I could smell fireplaces in use yesterday. My sugar maples are beginning to turn, too. Must be fall.

    ~ Krista

  4. i love the sound of this dip :)

  5. Elizabeth - they're tough to find in non-Swedish-intense communities. In MN, we could get them anywhere ... everywhere else I've lived, I've had to go to World Market. They're so yummy.

  6. This time of year I want Pumpkin Bread. But I love Gingersnaps, too. That dip sounds interesting, but don't think my Aunt would care for it. Of course, I love pumpkin pie, too. Would probably add a little more spice. Like spicey pumpkin pie. Come to think of it, I like alot of spicey things. LOL!!!

  7. I personally would just put this in a bowl, grab a big spoon and chow down!! This sounds deliciously decadent...Thanks!

  8. I'm very glad to hear you (and your fellow Texans) are finally getting some relief, Wendy. The pumpkins are now piled high in our local grocery stores, and the nippy nights are starting. This dish would be a delicious ending to any fall dinner from down-home to high-flying. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    ~ Cleo

  9. Nanc - you are so right ... it's really good. If it's too "pumpkiny" for you, you can add additional cream cheese. And the light stuff works just fine. :)

    And thanks for the cool wishes, Cleo. We can use it ... fingers crossed our triple digits are solidly behind us for now.