Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Yay more pumpkin recipes! I've been finding even more ways to use pumpkin. I usually use them in desserts, but lately I've been thinking about using them in main dishes. There's lots more pumpkin recipes to come, I want to try them all before the season is over.

I've always wanted to make whoopie pies. The name sounds fun and they always look really good. I've made sandwich cookies before but they were the hard kind that aren't good after they harden too much. This cookie is great because it's almost cake-like. It's very soft and it never gets hard. This was also another great way to use pumpkin! The recipe called for 3 cups of pumpkin but I only used two cups and it was still delicious. Everyone loved them and I'm sure they'll be gone soon ;)

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
recipe from Annie's Eats

for the cookies
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup canola oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the cream cheese filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the pumpkin cookies, preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (I used aluminum foil). In large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Set aside. In separate bowl, whisk sugar and oils together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined. (Batter should be smooth. Not doughy.)

Use a small ice cream scoop to drop pumpkin mixture onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 4 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining pumpkin mixture.

To make the filling, in a bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth with no visible lumps. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Be careful to not over beat the filling or it will lose structure.

To assemble, turn half of the cookies upside down. Pipe filling onto the flat side of the overturned cookies. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Yield: about 21 sandwich cookies

Saturday, October 23, 2010

MM Blondies

Blondie's have always been a favorite of mine. I've always liked them better than regular brownies because they're not too chocolaty and there's not too much vanilla flavor either. You can add however much chocolate or nuts you want to the recipe and it tastes great either way.

This recipe was fairly easy. Very simple and easy to make. I would definitely make this again- everyone loved them! It was so hard to take a picture of them because they kept wanting more. There's only 5 left now(: The only thing I would do differently next time is double the recipe. The bars were only a little bit thin and I think doubling the recipe would make them more thick and chewier.

M&M Blondie's
adapted from Kayte's Kitchen

2 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup (10 tbsp) butter
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup M&M's (use the orange, yellow, and red ones)

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Grease and Line a 13x9 baking pan. Set aside.

In medium sauce pan heat brown sugar and butter over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture is smooth, stirring constantly.

Cool for 4 minutes. Stir in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with M&M's. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center. Cool slightly on wire rack. Cut into bars while warm.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween Dog Treats

Patiently waiting for her treats to be done.

I've always wanted to make my dog treats. I did make her treats a few months ago, but it was kind of a fail. I didn't have many ingredients and I didn't have cute cookie cutter like I do now. I haven't made a Halloween recipe yet, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity!

These treats are super easy to make and my dog Baily loved them. I kept trying to take a picture with the treat in front of her but as soon as I put it in front of her, she ran away with it! She ended up eating three of them, but they're small so I'm sure it isn't that bad for her.

The funniest part about me making them for her was she knew I was making them for her! She hovered around the kitchen the whole time, patiently waiting for her treats to be done. This is very messy so if you make them, don't wear white! You can put any ingredients you want in them but if you make them, make sure to use a lot of peanut butter.

Halloween Dog Treats
from the
Dog Treat Kitchen

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk (fat free/skim is preferred)
1 cup peanut butter (use all natural or sugar free)
1 tablespoon black strap molasses

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.

Whisk the flour, oats, and baking powder together in medium bowl.

Gradually stir in the milk, peanut butter, and molasses. (I mixed this part with my hands, it blends better that way!)

Turn onto a floured surface and knead until soft dough forms.

Roll out to 1/2" thickness and cut with cookie cutter. Brush with egg paint icing and top with sprinkles (see below for egg icing)

Bake for 12-20 minutes.

Let cool completely on wire rack. Treats can be stored for up to 2 weeks in container, 3 weeks in fridge, and 6 months in freezer.

Egg paint icing

One egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
food coloring

Pour the egg yolk in a small bowl. Add the water and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Add desired amount of food coloring. Remember to put the egg paint icing on BEFORE you put the dog treats in the oven.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Ready for more pumpkin recipes? Because there's even more to come after this! I used to not like pumpkin very much at all. I would just eat the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and that was it. Now I think I might be a little obsessed with it. But there is a lot you can bake with pumpkin! Pumpkin can be used in so many different way which is great. I might even make pumpkin cake pops one day.

This was a fairly good recipe. But unfortunately, the directions were way off. And some of the ingredient measurements were off too. But the end result was pretty good! They don't taste like most donuts do, but that's what makes them different. I used a cinnamon sugar topping on half of them and used a cinnamon glaze on the other half. I think I liked the cinnamon glaze ones better but the cinnamon sugar ones were pretty good too. If you don't have a doughnut pan, these can easily be made as muffins too.

Baked Pumpkin Donuts
adapted from Culinary Cory

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in medium bowl. Set aside. Cream together the butter and light brown sugar. Add the other wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated. With your mixer at medium speed, slowly add the dry sifted ingredients to the wet mixture. Mix until barely just combined. Do not over mix.

Spray the doughnut or muffin pan with cooking spray and fill each mold all the way with the pumpkin batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the exterior springs back when touched. Allow to cool completely before topping each doughnut with glaze or cinnamon sugar.

Cinnamon Glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix all ingredients together until mixture is slightly hard. Glaze should spread on evenly and should not be runny.

Cinnamon sugar

1 stick butter, melted
1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon mixed together.
Dip doughnuts and butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.

Recipe Yield: makes 9 Donuts

Friday, October 15, 2010

Red Velvet Cake Pops

Ever since I saw these on bakerella, I've wanted to make them. But I never had any lollipop sticks, candy melts, or cake mixes. But you don't really need a cake mix to make it, but it's just easier using one.

I thought these were going to be fairly easy to make. And I was right. They were easy.. until I started putting the chocolate on them. I learned a few things while making cake pops.
1. Make the cake pops small. If they're too big, they won't stay on the stick.
2.When you put the stick in, don't push it down all the way. If you do, it will fall off when it gets harder
3.Make sure the chocolate isn't too thick! If it is, the cake pop will become too heavy and fall off the stick.
4.Don't use too much frosting. The recipe said use a whole can, but that's too much. I only used half a can and it was still a little too much.

All in all, making cake pops was a.. learning experience. Some were good and some were falling off the sticks.

But in the end, it was actually pretty fun. And you can use any kind of cake, frosting, and chocolate. I used white chocolate melts, milk chocolate, and mixed some together. Next time I think I'll use less chocolate and a different cake mix.

Red Velvet Cake Pops
recipe from Bakerella

1 box red velvet cake mix (and ingredients to prepare mix)
1/2 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz)
1 package candy melts
lollipop sticks
cardboard box

Prepare cake as directed on box and let cake cool completely on wire rack in pan. After cake is cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.

Mix thoroughly with 1/2 can cream cheese frosting. Mix until slightly moist and slightly doughy. You can use your fingers for this part, but it may get messy.

Roll mixture into quarter size balls, lay on cookie sheet, and stick lollipop sticks slightly into cake balls. (You can do this by using a mini ice cream scooper but it's easier to hand roll them)

Chill for 2-3 hours. This can be done faster by putting them in the freezer.

Once cake pops are chilled, melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.

Roll pops in chocolate and prop up in Styrofoam or cardboard box. (Make holes in a cardboard box and stick them in, make sure the cardboard box isn't too short.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Apple Pie Cupcakes

And the pie cupcakes continue! So far, there's three pie cupcakes. And, this one is actually perfect for fall. I've never made an apple pie before. They always seem very hard to make and I don't really like apple pie very much either. These were perfect because I love apples and cupcakes! You can top these cupcakes with either vanilla buttercream or whipped cream. Both are great with the cupcakes. And they're great to make in advance for a get together or family event. I still liked the Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes better, but these come in a close second.

Apple Pie Cupcakes
recipe from Annie's Eats

For the cupcakes:
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk
For the apple filling:
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
3 large apples, peeled, cored and diced

To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Line two cupcake pans like paper liners.

In medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In separate bowl with electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well to combine. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the paper liners, filling them about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

To make the apple filling, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for a minute, until the mixture begins to bubble. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples. Mix well. Cook until the apples are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. While the apple mixture is cooling, use the cone method to remove a chunk from the center of each cupcake, making sure to leave a rim around the top of the cupcake. Fill the holes with the apple mixture. To decorate, top each cupcake with a swirl of vanilla buttercream or whipped cream.

Vanilla Buttercream
recipe from Annie's Eats
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoon milk

In a small bowl with electric mixer, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add the powdered sugar and salt. Beat at medium speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds. Scrape bowl, add vanilla and milk, beat at medium speed until Incorporated, about 1o seconds. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping the bowl down once or twice.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes

Is it just me, or do I seem to make a lot of pie themed cupcakes? I've already made the Boston cream pie cupcakes and I have a lot of other pie cupcakes in mind. Maybe it's because they're different. I like different recipes that no one has ever thought of or heard of before. And I like classic recipes that can be tweaked or modified the way you want them.

These cupcakes aren't like any other banana cupcakes. They're probably like banana cupcakes x 10. The filling is perfect, the cupcake is nice and moist, and the frosting is just great. The frosting was probably my favorite part of the cupcake. I think this is also one of the best things I've made. That goes along with the Mocha pumpkin cheesecake, whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, and the homemade lofthouse sugar cookies. Which one go you think is best?

Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes
recipe from quick & simple


for the cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup plain yogurt
for the filling:
1 package instant banana pudding
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the frosting:
1 package instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 container (8 oz) cool whip
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
banana slices (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter with granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with bananas and yogurt, mixing on low speed until just moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Do not over mix.

Fill each muffin cup about three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes 5 minutes in pan, then remove cupcakes to cool completely on wire rack.

Meanwhile, prepare frosting and filling. Mix banana pudding with milk according to package directions, adding vanilla. Chill for at least 30 minutes. For frosting, mix vanilla pudding with milk and vanilla. Fold in cool whip and powdered sugar until frosting is creamy. Chill for at least 30 minutes until set.

Once cupcakes are cool, insert a paring knife into top of cupcake, making a small hole in center. Spoon filling mixture into zip-top plastic bag. Snip off a small corner of the bottom. Squeeze about 1 tablespoon filling into top of each cupcake. Swirl frosting on top of cupcake. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Top each with banana slices if desired. Keep chilled.
Yield: 20 cupcakes

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Blizzard

I know I just posted a pumpkin pie recipe, but this is different! And it's in season, so we might as well eat it now right?

This recipe is exactly like the one at dairy queen. I made sure it was. And it tastes exactly like pumpkin pie! Except in yummy, ice cream form. You can also use any kind of ice cream you want, but vanilla tastes best with it. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Blizzard

1 pint vanilla ice cream
Libby's canned pumpkin pie mix
Nilla wafers
Cool whip


Using a blender, add two scoops of vanilla ice cream to the blender. Whole milk ice cream with a high butter fat content tastes and blends the best. Add one scoop of the pumpkin pie mix to the blender. Next, add 1/4 cup crushed Nilla wafers to the blender. Do not crush them finely, only barely crushed into big chunks in your hand. Blend the ingredients on a pulse setting for 20 seconds. Do not over blend. Scoop the contents into a glass and top with a dollop of cool whip and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mocha Pumpkin Cheesecake

I've always loved cheesecake. It's such a rich dessert and it's always really good. And there's so many things you can do with it too. You can make cheesecake cupcakes, bars, low fat cheesecake. There's endless combinations of flavors too. Which is why when i saw this, i knew i had to make it.

This cheesecake is pretty different than most. When I was looking for a great pumpkin cheesecake recipe, this one jumped out at me because it was so different. I thought it would taste a little strange at first because of the different flavors, but it works! It works great. It's rich, but it's not too rich. It also takes a while to make, but the end result is great! And you can decorate it and put whatever toppings you want on it.

Mocha Pumpkin Cheesecake
recipe from The Daily Green

5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers, or chocolate graham crackers
3 tablespoons finely ground coffee beans
3 packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
2 cups cooked pumpkin puree or 1 can (16 ounces) solid pack pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips, melted
4 tablespoons hot coffee
2 oz semisweet chocolate chips
chocolate-covered coffee beans or chocolate-covered raisins

Heat oven to 350 Degrees F. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Combine with crushed graham crackers and ground coffee. Press into bottom and partially up the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Use electric beaters at medium speed to cream the cream cheese for 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar and continue beating 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Add the melted chocolate and beat until combined.

Pour filling into crust. Bake until instant thermometer inserted in center reads 160 degrees F, 70 to 75 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours or up to 3 days.

Melt 2 oz chocolate and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in double boiler, or a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Remove from heat. Whisk slightly, then whisk in hot coffee. Cool 10 minutes. Press top of cheesecake to even out the surface and "mend" and cracks. Spread glaze over cheesecake.

Decorate with chocolate-covered coffee beans or raisins and whipped cream. Chill to set topping.