Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Whoopies Pies

In our house we love the flavors of fall, from pumpkin breads and muffins,apple tarts, to cranberry,and our favorite pear pie. While we are lucky enough to have our summer weather last well into September, it does make our fall season seem a little short. It feels like just a quick month before we are already into our Christmas cookies and peppermint treats. We try our best to get in plenty of fall baking, and these pumpkin whoopie pies are a great way to celebrate the cooler days and changing leaves. 
These cake sandwich cookies really deliver on the fall flavors. They are full of pumpkin and warm spices, and the sweet and tangy cream cheese filling makes these almost like an inside out cupcake, that is portable and easy to eat. 

The recipe for these came from the Baked Cookbook, and the guys behind the famous bakery explain that cold pumpkin is key to making these whoopie pies. It makes your whoopies easier to scoop and gives them a domed top, so be sure to plan ahead for these. The cookies and filling can both be made ahead and stored separately for a day or two, and will also last a few days assembled in the refrigerator.  I made 1/2 the recipe and using my tablespoon scoop I got 18 whoopies (36 cookies)

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Baked New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Whoopies pies
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon cloves
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin purée
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt (my addition)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats

In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together the brown sugar and oil, until combined. Add pumpkin purée and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.

Sprinkle flour mixture over the pumpkin and whisk until completely combined.

Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to droop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about one inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on the top and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cookie comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the pan while you make the filling.

Make the filling:

Sift powdered sugar into a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is completely smooth, with no visible lumps. Add cream cheese and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt and beat until smooth. Be careful not to over beat the filling or it will loose its structure. (The filling can be made 1 day ahead. Cover the bowl tightly and put it in the refrigerator. Let filling soften at room temperature before using)

Assemble the whoopie pies:
Turn half of the cookies upside down (flat side facing up). Use an ice cream scoop or tablespoon to drop a large dollop of filling onto the flat side of the cookies. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the cookies. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up before serving. The whoopie pies will keep for up to 3 days, in a tightly covered container, in the refrigerator.
printable recipe

Foodie Friday

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Brazilian Chocolate Truffles and A New Cookbook

A new cookbook, Sprinkles! Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts by Jackie Alpers is is hitting the shelves this week. At Mimi's kitchen we love sprinkles so this book was made for us. You don't have to be an avid baker to enjoy using this book; there are plenty of ideas for food projects that don't require baking. This book is beautifully photographed, full of vibrant colors that making each recipe come to life.
 From martini's to candy Jackie has a sprinkle idea. The best part is that you can customize any sprinkle recipe to your event. Use holiday colors, team colors, favorite shapes... the options are endless! 
We chose to make these Brazilian Chocolate Truffles because they were something completely new to us and sounded delicious. With only 3 pantry ingredients, plus your choice of sprinkles, a recipe can't get any easier or faster. These chewy, chocolatey candies had a flavor reminiscent of homemade stovetop chocolate pudding, which we absolutely loved. They were rich without being too sweet and the coating of sprinkles added a nice bit of texture. We will definitely make these again, maybe with a pinch of espresso powder or cayenne pepper, and change up the sprinkles for a fun festive look this coming holiday season. 

 Brazilian Chocolate Truffles
Sprinkles! Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts

1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan and hands
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sprinkles.

 1. Coat a large shallow pan or platter with butter or cooking spray (I used an 8 inch square pan). In a large saucepan bring condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter to a boil, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula (I also added a pinch of salt) . Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. It should have the consistency of thick frosting. 
2. Pour mixture into prepared pan; let cool completely and become firm (you can refrigerate it to speed up the process). 
3. Grease your hands with butter and shape pieces into 1 to 11/2 inch balls. Roll each ball in sprinkles. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.