Alex Guarnaschelli’s Fall Recipes Have One Key Ingredient

Fall coffee recipes
Photo: Folgers Simply Gourmet
Give autumnal flavors a boost.

Fall is one of the best food seasons if you ask us: pumpkin-flavored everything, all the Halloween candy and of course, Thanksgiving dinner. That said, we chatted with Food Network star and chef Alex Guarnaschelli, about her favorite fall recipes. Her secret ingredient? Guarnaschelli adds flavored Folgers coffee to her dishes because it bring out subtle, unexpected flavor notes. While it's not unusual to use the booster in sweet foods and chocolate, she takes it to another level and includes it in entrees like sweet potato. Check out a few her recipes below.

Sweet Potato Puree With Vanilla Coffee

This would make an incredible side dish for Thanksgiving dinner, or any meal really. Guarnaschelli recommends just saving some coffee from your morning brew.

What You'll Need:
Serves 8-10

  • 6 medium (about 4 pounds) sweet potatoes
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups Folgers Simply Gourmet Natural Vanilla Coffee, strongly brewed
  • Kosher Salt
  • The juice from 1 orange


Step 1: Preheat oven to 450 F.

Step 2: Roast the sweet potatoes: Place the sweet potatoes in a single later on 1 or 2 baking sheets. Put the tray(s) in the center of the oven and bake until the sweet potatoes are completely yielding when pierced on the center with the tip of a knife, about one hour.

Step 3: Finish the sweet potatoes: in a small saucepan, melt the butter completely over medium heat. Wait until it starts to turn a light brown color. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl. In a same pan over medium heat, reduce 3 cups brewed coffee until there is only 1 cup remaining, 15-20 minutes. When the potatoes are soft, fully cooked, place them on a flat surface and split lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh. Discard the skins and transfer the flesh to a medium bowl. Whisk vigorously to remove any large lumps and season with salt. Stir in the brown butter mixture, reduced coffee and orange juice.

Cinnamon Pumpkin Spice Latte

This recipe calls for another unexpected ingredient: sour cream. And since you're already adding dairy to the mix, you can use less milk and more coffee—the most important part.

What You'll Need:
Makes mix for 10-12 drinks

For the Pumpkin Spice Mix:

  • 1 can (about 1½ cups) canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk sour cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon “pumpkin pie" spice

For the Latte:

  • 1½ cup Folgers Simply Gourmet Natural Cinnamon Coffee, strongly brewed, HOT
  • ½ cup whole milk


Step 1: Make the pumpkin pie mix: in a medium saucepan, whisk together the pumpkin, sour cream, sugar, molasses, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice mix until thoroughly combined. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a storage container. Refrigerate.

Step 2: Make the lattes: in a small saucepan, heat the milk, whisking as it heats, until it simmers and becomes foamy. (Alternatively, microwave milk until hot and whisk). Divide the hot coffee between two cups, stirring in 3-4 heaping tablespoons of the pumpkin mix until smooth. Pour half of the milk over each.

For other recipes using flavored coffee, go to Folgers' website.

Recipes and images courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli for Folgers Simply Gourmet.