Wednesday, November 17, 2010

white chocolate pumpkin cups

When I originally came across this recipe I was a little worried about the no bake nature of the pumpkin filling. I thought it might too gooey. Instead after the incorporation of the sugar and the graham crackers, the filling was pretty substantial and not at all runny or gooey. Also don't be fooled by how small the empty baking cups look, one of these things when finished is very filling.

Also, at first glance it might seem like these cups might take a long time to put together, but don't be scared away. These go really quickly, the whole process probably takes 35 minutes.

White Chocolate Cups with Pumpkin Pie-ish Filling
(Slightly adapted from HealthyFoodforLiving)
makes about 10 mini (2 inch) cups

  • 10 oz good-quality chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips

  • 10 mini (2 inch) aluminum/tin foil muffin liners

  • 2 oz (about 4 Tbsp) cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 cup finely ground cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (a food processor works best here)


  1. Melt half the white chocolate. I just melted it in the microwave, approximately 3 times at 30 seconds apiece stirring between each. Or, if you feel more ambitious melt it in a double boiler.

  2. Using a small spoon, “paint” the melted chocolate all over the insides of 10 mini tin foil muffin liners (the tin foil cups are easier to peel off than the paper cups). The layer of chocolate should be thick enough so that you cannot see through it, but thin enough that the paper cups remain upright and intact.

  3. Allow chocolate cups to cool and harden completely by placing on a tray or in Tupperware containers in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can also complete this step the night before.

  4. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, pie spice and vanilla extract and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Stir in graham cracker crumbs.

  5. Using a mini ice cream scoop or a small spoon, evenly divide the pumpkin mixture between the hardened chocolate cups. Smooth the top to create an even surface.

  6. Melt the remaining chocolate.

  7. Evenly divide the remaining melted chocolate amongst the filled cups, smoothing the tops and making sure the chocolate reaches all the way to the edges in order to seal the cups.

  8. Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 1-2 hours.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

pumpkin breakfasts : the good, the bad and the ugly

So there's no doubting my commitment to pumpkin. I love mixing pumpkin puree to pretty much anything. This week I attempted two pumpkin breakfast recipes - pumpkin oatmeal and pumpkin pancakes.

First the bad - I tried this Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oatmeal. I might have done something wrong, but mine turned out bland and thick enough to spackle my walls with. I definitely want to try it again though, maybe with brown sugar.

pumpkin pancakes, life-changing

And the good - and by good I mean life-changing-ingly good - Martha's Pumpkin Pancakes. These things are perfection. I don't understand people who issue blanket statements like "I don't like pumpkin" and their experience with pumpkin is based in a couple bad Thanksgiving pumpkin pies.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Whisk 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour; 2 tablespoons sugar; 2 teaspoons baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt; 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg; and a pinch of ground cloves.

In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup milk, 6 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 egg.

Fold mixture into dry ingredients.

Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.

Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side; serve with butter and syrup. Makes 8 to 10.

Friday, November 5, 2010

chocolate peanut butter whoopie pies

chocolate peanut butter whoopie pies (#304)

I had a request for something chocolate / peanut butter and I went with these Martha Stewart Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies. In the past I have occasionally found Martha's recipes a bit finnicky, but not these. These turned out perfectly.The cookies were moist and dense, and the filling was very light.

If I were to make these again, I might swap in a more substantial frosting - like a peanut butter cream cheese frosting. This filling is really tasty, and I might return to it for something else - but for this it seemed almost too delicate.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
(from Martha Stewart)

For the Cookies:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch-process

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar

1 large egg

1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:

2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Make cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl; set aside.

Put butter, shortening, and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in half the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla. Mix in remaining flour mixture.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies spring back when lightly touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks using a spatula; let cool completely.

Make filling: Put peanut butter and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add confectioners' sugar; mix until combined. Raise speed to high, and mix until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes.

Assemble cookies: Spread 1 scant tablespoon filling on the bottom of 1 cookie. Sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Cookies can be refrigerated in single layers in airtight containers up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.