Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

It has been a crazy week here at the farm.  Last Sunday we had almost five hundred people here to carve over 1300 pumpkins for our annual Pumpkin Lighting.  Here are some of the pumpkins during the day.

Jack-O-Lanterns

Jack-O-Lanterns 2

Jack-O-Lanterns

I made a bunch of baked goods to share with our carvers and my favorite new recipe is for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.  They were nice and spicy with a good pumpkin flavor.  The filling was great tasting but I would want a firmer filling next time, maybe more cream cheese would do it.  I would definitely fill these and let them sit over night in the fridge.  They must have been good because they were gone in no time, luckily I had eaten two before they were put out for the carvers!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Adapted from Martha Stewart and Baked

FOR THE PUMPKIN WHOOPIE COOKIES

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp ground ginger

1 Tbsp ground cloves

2 cups firmly packed dark-brown sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

3 cups pumpkin puree, chilled

2 Tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE CREAM-CHEESE FILLING

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350*F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until well combined. Add pumpkin puree and whisk until combined. Add milk and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Sprinkle flour mixture over pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.  Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.  For the filling, sift confectioner’ sugar into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, beat just until smooth. (Filling can be made up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate; let stand at room temperature to soften before using.)

To assemble the whoopie pies: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer filling to a disposable pastry bag (or ziploc bag) and snip the end. When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Just another Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe…

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know what you are thinking, not another Chocolate Chip cookie!  But yes, it is another Chocolate Chip cookie.  This one owes something to both Kris at nom! nom! nom! blog and Alton Brown.  I also made a Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip version.  These are going to work with David tomorrow for his lucky co-workers.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks butter, melted

1 1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp milk

1 tsp cornstarch

2 1/4 cups white flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups chocolate chips

1 cup walnuts

Pre-heat the oven to 350*F.  Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugars.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the milk and add to the butter mixture with the vanilla, beat well.  Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt then beat in to the butter mixture.  Stir in the chips and nuts.  Best if chilled for a few hours but if you are in a hurry they will just spread a bit more in the oven.  Drop by rounded tablespoon on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.  Cool on pan for 5 minutes and then move to cooling rack until cool.  Make 2 1/2 dozen.

Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

1 stick butter

2 1oz squares unsweeted chocolate

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp milk

1 tsp cornstarch

1 1/2 cups white flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 2/3 cups peanut butter (1 package)

Pre-heat the oven to 350*F.  Melt together the butter and the chocolate (I used the microwave.)  Beat in the brown sugar.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the milk and add to the chocolate with the vanilla.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Beat into the chocolate mixture.  Stir in the peanut butter chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoons on parchment paper lined baking sheets and press down lightly on top of each cookie.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.  Let cool on pan for 2 minutes and then move to rack to cool completely.  Make 2 dozen cookies.

Cupcake Hero

Head over to I heart cuppycakes to see this months entries for the pumpkin Cupcake Hero.  My entry was my Pumpkin Nutella Cupcakes, you can vote for me while you are over there 🙂

Seven Layer Bars

Seven Layer Bars

Seven Layer Bars

1 stick of butter

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Pre-heat oven to 350*F.  Put butter in 9×13 inch pan and put in oven until melted.  Spread rest of ingredients on top of butter in order given.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until light golden on top.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Cut in to 24 squares.

Pumpkin Nutella Cupcakes

It is fall here at the farm and the pumpkins are glowing in the field.  We must have about three thousand pumpkins right now.  They are slowly finding new homes and hopefully we will have plenty left for the annual pumpkin carving the Saturday before Halloween.

Field of Pumpkins

I have been planning to do some pumpkin recipes and was excited to learn that the Cupcake Hero ingredient was pumpkin this month.  My first instinct was chocolate and pumpkin but I have seen so many chocolate chip pumpkin cupcakes lately that I want to put a different spin on it.  Then it hit me….Nutella!

This is my new favorite cupcakes ever.  They are moist and pumpkiny with a surprise hit of Nutella in the middle and a Cream Cheese Nutella frosting.  The pumpkin and Nutella go together really well, the hazelnut flavor really compliments the pumpkin and of course chocolate makes everything better.

Pumpkin Nutella Cupcakes

Pumpkin Nutella Cupcakes

3 Tbsp milk

1 cup oil

1 can pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups sugar

2 1/2 cups white wheat or all-purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup Nutella

Pre-heat the oven to 350*F.  Line two muffin tins with paper liners.  Mix together the milk, oil, pumpkin and vanilla.  Sift together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just mixed.  Put two tablespoons of batter in the bottom of each muffin cup.  In the center of each cup drop one teaspoon of Nutella and then top with an additional two tablespoons of batter.  Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for five minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Makes 24 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Nutella Frosting

1 8oz package of Cream Cheese

2/3 cups Nutella

Beat cream cheese and Nutella together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Use a pastry bag or a sandwich bag with the corner cut off to frost the top of your cupcakes.  I tried to make little witches hats in honor of Halloween on my cupcakes.  Make about 1 2/3 cups frosting, enough for 24 cupcakes.

Cran-Oat Cookies

Congrats! to Marillyn over at Just Making Noise for her win in the Foodie Fight battle.  I had such fun making up my recipe and hope that I get to fight again.

I went to Target last week and one of the many things that jumped into my cart was a cookie scoop.  I had wanted one of these handy utensils for a while now and  I decided to make some Oatmeal Cookies with cranberries to celebrate.  I started with the recipe on the Quaker Oat box and then did some modifications to make it vegan.  They came out great, very chewy and soft with a nice cinnamon flavor.  The cranberries are great in oatmeal cookies, they add a nice tartness that raisins don’t have.

Cran-Oat Cookies

Cran-Oat Cookies

1 cup margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup agave or natural sugar (I used agave)

1/4 cup applesauce

1 Tbsp ground flax seed

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup white wheat or all-purpose flour

1/2 cup wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

3 cups oats (quick or old fashioned, NOT instant)

1 cup Craisins

Pre-heat oven to 350*F.  Cream together the margarine and sugars.  Mix in the applesauce, flax and vanilla.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.  Add the oatmeal and the Craisins and stir to combined.  Drop rounded tablespoon fulls (or a handy cookies scoops worth) on to an ungreased cookie sheet (I like to use parchment paper on my cookie sheet) and bake for 14-15 minutes, or just golden brown on top.  Cool on pan for 2 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.  Makes 3 dozen cookies.

This is one of my entries in Madhuram’s Whole Grain Eggless Baking Event – Oats

Foodie Fight: Mexican Brownie Sundae

I was chosen to participate in this weeks Foodie Fight and the secret ingredients were Black Beans and Coconut.  I love both of these ingredients and was so excited to get started.  Of course I wanted to make a dessert and since I have heard about brownies made using Black Beans I figured that would be a good place to start.  After searching the internets, I tried one of the recipes but it was pretty bad, kind of like chocolate flavored banana bread but with a weird waxy texture.  So I decided to try to adapt my vegan brownie recipe.  I added some cinnamon and cayenne to the batter to give it a little kick and after a batch where I forgot the sugar (whoops!) I had a great recipe.

Next I wanted to top the brownie with a coconut ice cream.  I have not opened a fresh coconut since I was a little kid so I had no idea what I was doing.  After watching a really helpful video online, I took my knife and banged away until I opened my coconuts.  It took a while to get the meat out of the shell but it was was easier than I thought it would be and pretty fun overall.  I even managed not to stab or bash any of my fingers!   I made my own coconut milk, with actual milk and not water and then just added some sugar and froze it.  The first batch was good but not coco-nutty enough so I made it again with some coconut extract and it was perfect although kind of fluffy from all the coconut.

I figured that it would not be a real sundae with out a sauce so I mixed up a quick coffee chocolate sauce for the finishing touch.  The coffee gave it a nice bitter flavor that went really well with the sweetness of the ice cream and the heat of the brownies.

All together this is a amazing sundae if I do say so myself.  It is spicy and sweet, warm and cold, chewy and creamy, just perfect.  The brownie is a little too spicy for me on it’s own so if you are going to make just that part you might want to cut the cayenne in half.

Coconut Brownie Sundae

Mexican Brownies

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

1 Tbsp ground flax seed

1 can black bean, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 350*F.  Line a 8×8 pan with tin foil and grease lightly.  Mix together the flax seed and water in the bowl of a food processor, let sit.  Sift together in a large bowl the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, cayenne and salt.  Add the beans, oil and vanilla to the flax mixture and puree until smooth.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.  Pour in to the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, the middle will be set but you will have a few crumbs on a toothpick stuck in the center.  Serve warm.  Makes 9 brownies.

Coconut Ice Cream

Meat from half a coconut

2 cups whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1 tsp coconut extract

Mix the coconut and half the milk in a blender until the coconut is in very small pieces.  Add the rest of the milk, the sugar, salt and coconut extract and blend for 30 seconds.  Let chill overnight or at least four hours.  Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the directions.  Serve soft right out of the maker or chill for a few hours for hard ice cream.  Makes 1 quart.

Coffee Chocolate Sauce

1 cup chocolate chips

1 Tbsp instant coffee

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.  Mix the coffee in with the milk and heat until warm then add to the melted chocolate.  Stir until smooth and then add the vanilla.  Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Mexican Brownie SundaeMexican Brownie Sundae

Warm your brownie in the microwave for a few seconds, unless it is still warm from baking.  Top with a generous scoop of coconut ice cream and a drizzle of warm coffee chocolate sauce.  Enjoy immediately!

Time to vote!  Please check out everyone’s entry before voting.  http://www.foodiefights.com/