Makin’ Whoopie

… pie that is!

I don’t care if you have a hot Friday night date – cancel it!
I don’t care if you’ve been needing to arrange your sock drawer – it can wait!
Go home and make these. Make ’em and make them now! You trust me, right?

A fun take on traditional whoopie pies, these babies are Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. How fun is that? This was my first time making whoopie pies and I was a wee bit curious to see how they would turn out.

They were quite simple to make and they smelled absolutely delicious. If I knew I wouldn’t have burned all of my taste buds off, I would have crammed one of these hot puppies in my mouth.

Don’t worry, I restrained myself. (On second thought, maybe I should have burned my mouth… then I wouldn’t have been able to taste… then I wouldn’t have known how good they were… and then I wouldn’t want to go downstairs to devour the rest of them.)

We piled the creamy vanilla filling sky high (that’s the only way to do it) and smacked another pie on top. Voila!

This poor little pie was shaking as I took this picture. It knew what was coming. Yep, chomp…chomp…gone.

So soft and still a teensy bit warm – heaven. If you are a fan of pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, spice cookies, or anything that immediately transports your mind to a cozy couch, comfy pants and a crackling fire – make these. I promise they won’t disappoint.

Photos by: KHJ

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
3 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 – 15oz. can pumpkin puree
Vanilla Filling:
1/4 c. vegetable shortening
1/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. light corn syrup
For Pumpkin Whoopie Pies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (you can also use a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Beat in flour mixture just until incorporated. Drop heaping tablespoons (can also use a small ice cream scoop) of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. With moistened fingers or with the back of a spoon, smooth the tops of the cakes.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies, when lightly pressed, spring back. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Filling: Beat the shortening and butter until soft and creamy. With the mixer on its lowest speed, gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Increase the speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Then, with the mixer on low speed, beat in the vanilla extract and slowly drizzle in the corn syrup. Continue to beat until the filling looks like soft mayonnaise.
To Assemble: Take one cake and spread a heaping tablespoon of the filling on the flat side of the cake. Top with another cake. The assembled cookies can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Makes about 14 Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.

Posted 11/5/10, Topic: Eats

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

One of the best parts about carving a pumpkin is roasting the seeds. I just love that warm, nutty flavor that fills the house. This year we tried something different – soaking the seeds. Some say soaking the seeds make them crispier. (Then there’s also the scientific reasoning behind it.) Either way, we thought we would give it a whirl.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
1 c. raw pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp. melted butter
3 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic salt
Begin by rinsing the seeds and removing any pumpkin pulp. Place the seeds in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of warm water. Add 2 tsp. of salt to the water and let soak for 12 to 24 hours.
After seeds have soaked, spread the seeds out and pat dry or let air dry. Combine seeds, melted butter, salt, paprika and garlic salt and toss to coat. Spread seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 300-degrees for 50 minutes or until crispy. Check seeds during the roasting process and turn as needed.

If you are like me, you like to know where your food comes from…

Yep, the seeds came from these little cuties. Aren’t they precious? Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder created a Mr. and Mrs. Pumpkin. I love the eyelashes on the Mrs.

I’ve loved looking at all of your Halloween photos. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to send in your Halloween pictures for my Halloween Giveaway. Just shoot the pictures to blueeyedyonder{at}gmail{dot}com. Can’t wait to see what your Halloween looked like.

Posted 11/1/10, Topic: Eats

The Baker and the Blogger: A Tale of Pecan Pumpkin Butter Squares

I recently came across a delicious recipe on Bakerella using William Sonoma’s pecan pumpkin butter. Pecans? Pumpkin? Butter? Need I say more?

I just knew I had to try them. So, last Saturday my cousin, Savannah Jane, and I (i.e. the Baker and the Blogger) took a trip to Williams Sonoma to meet Bakerella in person. (More to come soon on that little excursion). While we were there, we picked up a jar of pecan pumpkin butter and decided to tackle this scrumptious treat.

This was the first time I can remember baking something with her. I mean, I have devoured many of her delicious treats, but I have never baked along side her. We had lots of fun and she got to see just how slow “blog” cooking can be. Stop…click, click, click….ok keep going…..now stop….click, click, click.

So, I’m sure you’re wondering…where are all the progress pictures? Well you see, when you are cooking, giggling and making scary egg faces the pictures don’t turn out that great.

See what I mean? How can you take pictures seriously when you have this weird egg face looking at you?

If you have time, you should whip some of these babies up. They’re really quite simple to make and have the most scrumptious golden, buttery layers. They get even better as the days go by. The pecan pumpkin butter seeps into the cake layer making it very, very moist. But don’t be surprised if they don’t last that long.

Photos by: KHJ

Williams-Sonoma Pecan Pumpkin Butter Dessert Squares

18.25 oz. package yellow cake mix, set aside one cup
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs
13.5 oz. jar of Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan.
Divide cake mix, placing all but one cup in a mixing bowl.
Stir the melted butter and one egg into the cake mix until combined.
Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
In another bowl, mix pumpkin butter with two eggs and milk until combined.
Spread pumpkin mixture over pressed cake mix.
Stir the reserved 1 cup of cake mix with the flour, sugar, and cinnamon.
Then add the softened butter and mix together until crumbly.
Sprinkle over the top of the pumpkin layer.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool and cut into 2 ” squares. Serves 24.

Posted 10/28/10, Topic: Eats

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