24 November 2010

Pumpkin Whoopee Pies

Thanksgiving is a truly madtasty holiday! This year, we were lucky to celebrate a little early with a Pre-Thanks celebration at Dave and Bobby's new pad. I brought my mother-in-law's famous mac & cheese and pumpkin whoopee pies with cream cheese filling. Everything was delicious...

...Especially Bobby's turkey!

Pumpkin Whoopee Pies (from Rachel Ray)
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, 2 sticks melted, 1 stick softened
  • 2 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten 
  • 2 cup canned pure pumpkin puree 
  • 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon plus 4 pinches salt 
  • 3 1/3 cups flour 
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, chilled
  • 2 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth.

Whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, the baking powder, the 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 the remaining 2 pinches salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; mix on low speed until blended, then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Spread the flat side of 12 cakes with the cream cheese frosting. Top each with another cake.

And enjoy...

17 November 2010

Marilyn Monroe's Stuffing and Other Celebrity Holiday Recipes

Lemondrop.com corralled Marilyn Monroe's stuffing recipe, plus some other celeb's favorite recipes such as Michelle Obama's Apple Cobbler, Christina Hendricks' Spiced Pumpkin Cocktail, and Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa Cake.
I'm excited just to see Marilyn's handwritten recipe, but maybe I'll try some of these out, too!

click to zoom

11 November 2010

Pear Tarte Tatin

After some serious apple picking, where we luckily also got some great bartlett pears, I updated an old recipe of my grandmothers for a tarte tatin (an upside down cake). The result was beautiful and delicious!

Bake at 350 for 30 - 35 min. Cool for 10 min before inverting. Below is the original recipe – I used ½ the brown sugar and about 2/3 the butter in the topping and it was much better. I made a double recipe and did one with pears, and one with apples. Yum!

- Brown sugar layer (ends up being the topping):
o 1/3 c melted butter
o 1 cup packed brown sugar
o 3 medium apples, peeled and sliced
o Directions: Pour butter into ungreased 9 inch baking pan. Sprinkle in ½ of the brown sugar, arrange apples in single layers, add remaining brown sugar

- Cake:
o 3 Tbsp butter, softened
o 2 eggs
o ¾ cup sugar
o 1 cup all purpose flour
o ½ tsp baking soda
o ¾ tsp salt
o ¼ tsp cinnamon
o ½ cup buttermilk
o 3 tbsp sour cream

o Directions: Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time; Combine flour, powder, soda, salt, cinnamon; Add dry to wet ingredients and stir; Spoon batter over brown sugar layer

10 November 2010

Root Vegetable Au Gratin

In my family, Potato Au Gratin is a holiday tradition. I peel the potatoes and my mom throws together this cheesy, creamy, delicious side. Everyone loves it so much, that she usually makes two, one for dinner and one for leftovers.

In the last few weeks, I'd seen a couple of recipes for Root Vegetable Au Gratin and thought, I wonder how my mom's recipe would fair with turnips and rutabagas instead of potatoes. Let me tell you, nothing compares to the original, but this is a close second. If you try this at home, make sure you layer a few sweet potatoes near the top. With the cheese and the bread crumbs, they are simply heaven. This side dish also doubles as a super great vegetarian meal.

Root Vegetable Au Gratin (inspired by Joy of Cooking Creamed Potato Casserole)
Serves 4-6
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 1 medium turnip
  • 1 medium rutabaga
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 1/2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons panko bread crumbs


Peel vegetables and trim the ends off of the carrot and parsnip. 

Place vegetables in the boiling water and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove vegetables from heat and drain. Place vegetables in the fridge for 5 minutes to cool. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While the vegetables are cooling, melt butter in a small pot over low heat. Add flour and stir until thick and creamy. Add milk and continue stirring until the roux starts to thicken.

Remove vegetables from fridge and slice into small pieces. Layer half of the vegetables alternatively in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Pour half of the sauce over the vegetables and top with 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Repeat layering until dish is full. Top with bread crumbs.

Cover and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake for another 20 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender and cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes and serve!

    03 November 2010

    Friendly Zombie Cupcakes


    Have you ever met a vegan zombie? Now you have with these Friendly Vegan Zombie Cupcakes via Laura of Pansy Maiden, vegan superstar member of Boston Handmade! Laura found this recipe on VegWeb, and even though it is a few days after Halloween, Zombies never go out of style:

    1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup vegan granulated sugar
    1/4 cup shredded coconut
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup water
    1/3 cup oil
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    1 tablespoon white vinegar
    1/2 cup cherry pie filling or "red" jam
    Vanilla Glaze (recipe below)
    powdered sugar


    When you eat these friendly zombies you will find a surprise inside--their fruity brains! Finally, a sweet revenge.

    1. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda, and salt.
    2. In another bowl, combine water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Combine wet and dry.
    3. Prepare 12 cupcake liners in a pan. Fill each just under half full with the batter. Spoon into the middle about 2 teaspoons (a small spoonful or so) of the pie filling/jam. Cover with more cake batter until the liner is full, but not overflowing.

    4. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes; start checking after 15 to 20 minutes (my oven is a bit special and my cook times are always a little off). Once the tops are just brown and a toothpick comes out clean, remove from oven and let cool all the way.

    5. Once cooled, make the "Vanilla Glaze" or use your own frosting recipe. Dust with powdered sugar if you want to give them a nice "dusty" face. Then decorate with chocolate chips, dried fruits, nuts, more coconut, or anything else that looks tasty.
    Then you have a friendly zombie cupcake that you can eat the brains of!

    Vanilla Glaze:

    1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon nondairy milk
    1 teaspoon canola oil
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup powdered sugar


    1. In a pan over low heat, warm nondairy milk, oil, and vanilla. Remove from heat.
    2. Add powdered sugar. If you need it thicker, add a bit more powdered sugar.
    3. Pour glaze over cake or other dessert immediately.
    Preparation time: 10 minutes



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