Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Browneyedbaker

Yeah, another pumpkin recipe. What's wrong with me, haha? This was a NECESSARY post though as these are absolutely to DIE FOR. They are extremely addicting especially when just pulled out of the refrigerator. This is now my 'go to' pumpkin whoopie pie recipe. The texture was different, cakelike but brownielike. Definitely can't explain it.. but I can say you won't be disappointed.

I must also add that the maple-cream cheese frosting complimented the cookie very well, making the whoopie pie as a whole one of the most decadent desserts i've had in awhile. These will be made again and again..

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

For the Whoopie Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Maple-Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.
Use a small cookie scoop or a large spoon to drop a rounded, heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure that the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. The cookies should be firm when touched. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.

To make the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.

To assemble the whoopie pies: Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Pipe or spoon the filling (about a tablespoon) onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm before serving.

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from Allrecipes

Welp, I figured it was that time again. Time for more pumpkin. The craving is still full-blown! I've made this pumpkin bread a couple of times in the past and everytime I do, I'm reminded why this is my go to for pumpkin bread. When I first located this recipe, I discovered it had over 3,000 reviews with a 5 out of 5 star rating. After seeing that, I figured it was a must try. And boy is it ever! It's quick and easy, dense and moist and so flavorful. Plus it gets better with age! I wouldn't eat it after a couple of days, mind you, but the bread is definitely at its prime the following day.

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
(Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine)

It has been like a month since I've posted (or what seems like). Either it's the embarrassment of posting more pumpkin recipes (nope, still not over pumpkin!) or the busyness of my life lately. As some of you know we are currently in the process of finding and buying the perfect house. Also hockey has started and we all know that consumes plenty of my time as well (not that I'm complaining!). Life in our household has been constantly on the go and I don't think I've ever appreciated being able to sit down for a couple of minutes like I do now!

This recipe caught my eye because it was on the front page of my Cooking Light magazine. Number one, for those of you who know me well, know I am ADDICTED to peanut butter-- even more so than pumpkin (IMAGINE THAT!). I also happen to adore banana bread, and bananas and peanut butter together. That right there explains why this recipe was a must try ASAP. 

The recipe itself didn't call for chocolate chips, but I figured, what could possibly make a peanut butter banana bread recipe even better? Well chocolate, of course! So it may add a couple extra calories to a low fat/calorie recipe but hey, in my opinion it was worth it.. though ultimately, the choice is yours!

This bread is moist and very flavorful. The glaze is delicious and I don't recommend going without it. I was so excited that it was made with more healthy ingredients and less fattening ingredients and felt the need to express this to Jeff as he sampled it last night. I exclaimed, "This banana bread only has 3 tablespoons of butter in the whole loaf!" His response? "Well then that means I'll be consuming about two tablespoons of butter because I will be finishing this off over the next few days" haha. And so this makes more sense-- there was 2/3 left after my mom, sisters and I sampled some of it before Jeff got his hands on it.

Definitely worth the post. That should say it all. Here's the beloved recipe-

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt (I used non-fat vanilla greek yogurt)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I used creamy Jif but you could use a chunky peanut butter and omit the chopped peanuts)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (I substituted wheat germ)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice (I made this at my mom's and she didn't have allspice on hand so I ommited it)
2 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts (omit if using chunky peanut butter)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (if desired)
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare bread, combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until blended.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture;  just until blended. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips if using. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool.

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over bread. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips if desired.

1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon 1% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter