Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies...

These last two days I have found myself in the kitchen baking. I love trying new recipes as well as bringing out the old familiar favorites. Yesterday, I made a pot of Chicken Noodle Soup to take to a sick friend along with some Blueberry Muffins and it didn't stop there. What is a girl to do when Pioneer Woman's new cookbook arrived at my house this week (thank you SO much Sarah!) and there are all these wonderful, mouth-watering recipes on every single page. I am always up for making something chocolate, so I went straight to her Chocolate Sheet Cake. Besides that, Ree even says at the end of the recipe to make this cake today because she doesn't want me living another day without it. Note to self... Don't make this cake when you are only one week into your diet. You don't have the strength to resist CHOCOLATE!!!

Anyway, today I am baking Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (I can resist pumpkin so much easier than chocolate) for a dinner at my in-laws tonight. I originally shared this recipe last Fall but thought I would share it again because it's a perfect treat for this time of the year.

Have you heard of a Whoopie Pie before? They are baked good common to the Pennsylvania Dutch culture as well as New England. Traditionally, they are made of two small, chocolate cakes with with a sweet, creamy frosting sandwiched between them. Whoopie Pies are very popular in Amish markets throughout Pennsylvania, Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio. One of my good friends, Aamie, from Maine first introduced me to this new take on old familiar favorite. They have now become one of my favorite cookie recipes too. What better way to welcome the Fall season than with....

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies~

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter- 1 stick melted & 1/2 stick softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon plus 2 pinches salt
1 2/3 cups flour
4 ounces cream cheese, chilled
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour. Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop 12 generous mounds of batter, spaced evenly, onto each baking sheet. Bake until springy to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the cream cheese. Add the confectioners' sugar and remaining 2 pinches of salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; mix on low speed until blended, then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spread flat side of 12 cakes with the cream cheese frosting. Top each with another cake. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Good For The Soul...

One thing that I love about this time of year is pulling out favorite soup recipes and trying new ones. With not only having chilly and rainy weather this week but sick children as well, there is only one thing to do... make Chicken Noodle Soup.

This was a new recipe for me to try and it is officially one that I can call a family favorite. We are going to be eating this soup a lot over these colder months. The recipe is from Paula Deen so I knew without a doubt it was going to be delicious. She has yet to let me down!!!

This soup is kind of a new twist on an old favorite because the recipe calls for adding a little bit of cream along with some sherry, a few different seasonings and parmesan cheese. You can leave out the cheese and cream for more of a broth based soup and it would still be very good. When I made the recipe I also added a couple more cans of chicken broth because I wanted to make sure we had plenty. Your house is going to smell wonderful with this pot of soup cooking on the stove!