As the holidays grow closer, so do the array of treats that come with each season.

Autumn means food made with pumpkin, apple, cinnamon and chai, and winter means food flavored with peppermint, pralines, gingerbread and eggnog, to name a few. Everyone has their own go-to or favorite that they like to enjoy during these chilly seasons.

Working at a grocery store had its perks because when Sept. 1 approached, new, fall-themed products started showing up on the shelves. Apple cider and pumpkin spice coffee and giant bags of candy made their appearance.

One of the best things I found was pumpkin cheesecake caramel corn. It’s definitely a unique fall find, and my only complaint is that I didn’t buy more than one bag when I had the chance. Another unique find is pumpkin spice and maple flavor whipped cream. I can’t say I tried it, but it was definitely a popular item, and it’s something I haven’t seen anywhere else.

Something I also found at my Midwest grocery store was cookie butter flavored coffee creamer. It’s delicious and I thought it was a fun substitute to the pumpkin spice or peppermint alternatives.

In addition to grocery stores stocking their shelves with pumpkin and apple flavored goodies, places such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are joining in.

Right now, Dunkin Donuts is selling apple cider and pumpkin donuts as well as a variety of pumpkin flavored coffee such as lattes, cold brew, and regular coffee. Not only this, but Dunkin Donuts is advertising their chai lattes even more. This is not only my go-to order and personal favorite, but it is a drink that someone can get hot or iced and enjoy all year round, not just in the fall.

What I especially love is apple cider. There’s nothing better than going to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch for a few hours and having a cup of piping hot apple cider to stave off the cold. The best apple cider is the kind that’s made fresh at an apple orchard rather than the bottled stuff that grocery stores sell this time of year.

More autumn treats that we can enjoy year-round are apple pie and pumpkin pie. Apple pie is indeed an all-American dessert that’s not only good as dessert on Fourth of July, but is also good as dessert on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and at any family gathering. Baked goods are definitely a staple here in the Midwest, and either type of pie is always welcome at a get-together.

Caramel apples are another autumn treat that can be appreciated all year round. Whether it is whole apples being drenched in homemade caramel or apple slices being dipped in a bowl of caramel, it’s a snack that can be eaten any time, regardless of the season.  

Some of my favorite treats to make at home are pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pancakes, especially with pecans or chocolate chips added to the mix.

Another bonus that comes with the fall season is that those with a notorious sweet tooth can buy large, combination bags of candy without real reason because Halloween is justification enough. The variety of candy is endless, but some of my favorites are Sour Patch Kids, Kit Kats and Reese’s peanut butter cups.

With the abundance of yummy options to choose from, fall flavors are welcome to stick around. 

Tess Pickar is a staff writer. 

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