Tag Archives: cookies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

I don’t even know where to start with these. “Oh My God, so Good”. “The definition of yumminess”. “Little bites of Heaven”. All of these describe these cookies, yet just don’t seem like the right words. I do know that these are my new second favorite cookie, being second only to The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever. They aren’t even really second. They are more like 1b. I had no idea I would like these so much. I’ve had whoopie pies before, I’ve had pumpkin before, but these just blew me away! I actually had to make two batches and the second batch was even better than the first because the icing was better. And they turned out much prettier the second time.

The second batch with smooth filling.

The first batch I used mascarpone for the filling. I had 8 oz of mascarpone and only 4 oz of cream cheese. So I went with the mascarpone. Now, I’ve learned this painful lesson before but apparently it wasn’t painful enough the first time because I did the same thing again. Do not let mascaparone come to room temperature the same way you would with cream cheese. It becomes grainy and starts to separate. Cream cheese does not do this but I just wasn’t thinking apparently. Thankfully, they still tasted amazing even with the less than pretty icing. See the graininess?

The first batch with the grainy icing.

I also made them too big the first time, which explained the initial confusion over making 2 1/2 dozen verses the 4 dozen the recipe said. Again, my mind just wasn’t clear this day! The next day I made a half batch since the first batch was devoured in a very short period of time by my husband’s students. So the grainy icing didn’t matter too much! The first day I used a scoop that was about 1 1/2 TB. The second day I made them with the 1 TB scoop. This size was much better. The bigger ones were quite big, too big for whoopie pies in my opinion.

I got the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker who got it from a friend, but several commenters said it was the same recipe from Matt Lewis, which is also credited on Martha Stewart’s Whoopie Pies. So this recipe has been around the block, and with good reason. The flavors are very intense and feel as though you have the holidays melting in your mouth. These could even be your Thanksgiving Day dessert, with a bowl of cinnamon ice cream? Oh yeah. Now we’re talking.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

The cookies:

  • 3 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TB cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar (if you don’t have turbinado, just use all granulated)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 cups chilled pumpkin (about 1 1/2 cans)
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

3. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the oil and sugars together until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined. Add the vanilla.

4. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix until combined and fairly smooth.

5. Using a tablespoon scoop, scoop level amounts of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. These won’t spread much, but keep them about 1 inch apart.

6. Bake about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly before moving to a cooling rack.

The icing:

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups powered sugar
  • 3 TB maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1. With a mixer, whip the butter until smooth.

2. Add the cream cheese and mix until smooth.

3. Add the sugar 1 cup at a time and mix until fluffy.

4. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and mix.

To assemble:

Here again a piping bag will be your friend. No fancy tips needed, no coupler, just the bag. It makes filling the cookies much faster. To assemble, flip half the cookies over once they are cool. Pipe about a tablespoon of filling in each.

The cookies halves.

Then simply place the top on the cookie and press lightly so the filling spreads to the edges. And then eat!

Note: Since these have a cream cheese center, make sure you chill them.

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Cranberry Pumpkin Cookies. Ah, the holidays!

Oh, pumpkins and cranberries, how I love thee! Every year I look forward to baking with cranberries and pumpkin. They just scream fall (even though where I live the temperatures are anything but fall!) and get me in the holiday spirit.

I was originally going to make pumpkin whoopie pies (that is still on the agenda, but pushed back), but needed something that was going to take less time. I came across this recipe from Allrecipes.com. It has about a million reviews and most were positive, so I decided to give it a shot. I only tweaked it a bit.

And I’m so glad I did. These were awesome. Still are, since I have some left in my freezer.

Once again, I used part turbinado sugar. I really think that adds the perfect touch. And, fresh, not dried, cranberries are essential here. They add a beautifully vibrant color and a tangy bite. I don’t think dried cranberries would have the same effect, but feel free to try. Cranberries freeze very well, so I stock up this time of year since they are impossible to find other times.

I also wanted some white chocolate in the mix. I love cranberries and white chocolate. I did a few cookies with white chocolate chips and the rest with a white chocolate glaze. Overall, the glazed ones got better reviews. My only issue was the glaze was pretty sticky, but hey, that’s a minor sacrifice for a yummy cookie, right? Also, I used Guittard white chocolate. I love Guittard!

These cookies turned out very moist, and very cake-like, so if that’s not your thing in a cookie, you may not like these. But I doubt it. You will love them.

Cranberry Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate Glaze

modified from AllRecipes

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulate sugar
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 TB orange zest
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, pulsed in the food processor. Don’t puree!

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

2. Cream the butter, sugars, orange zest, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about five minutes.

3. Add the egg. Mix completely.

4. Add the pumpkin puree and mix completely. Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl.

5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl.

6. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Mix until just combined. Don’t overmix!

7. Gently fold in the cranberries.

8. Scoop the cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. These won’t spread much at all.

9. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until slightly golden.

Meanwhile, make the glaze.

Melt 2 ounces of white chocolate with about 3 TB of milk (you may need to add more or less, depending on how you want your glaze). Add enough powered sugar until you get the consistency you want. Again, this will be a personal preference. I wanted my glaze pretty thin, you may want yours thicker.

Dip each cookie into the glaze. Let dry, and devour. These cookies go especially well with a cup of coffee on a cool, fall morning!

 

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Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ever.

If any of you watch Bobby Flay’s Throw Down show, you most likely have seen the Chocolate Chip cookie episode. And if you have, you were also drooling over the amazing Levain Chocolate Chip cookies! You could almost taste how decadent, gooey, and wonderful they were, not to mention going into a sugar coma by the mere size of these cookies. I was devasted after watching the episode to learn that Levain Bakery did not release their cookie recipe! Don’t they realize we can’t all just hop on a plane and head to New York for their cookies? Yes, I was heartbroken. Thankfully, another blogger Lisa Michele figured out the recipe, or at least close enough for my liking. I’ve never had the Levain cookies, so I can’t know for sure. But I do know I am addicted to these cookies. I crave them and make them several times a month. When people have them for the first time, they too become addicted!
I haven’t modified the recipe much, but have put a couple spins on it. One, I love to use turbinado sugar. It gives the cookies a slight crunch. Very slight, but oh so delicious. Second, I always use vanilla, which is suggested by Lisa Michele, but the Levain bakery insists that they do not need vanilla. And, when I’m feeling up to it, I like to add toasted pecans. The chocolate and pecans really go well together. As if we needed another reason to love these cookies! And cold butter is a must! The butter should be your very last step.
Good chocolate is absolutely essential here. Nestle and Hershey’s or any generic brand will do disservice to these cookies. I use Guittard (52%), but Callebaut or even Guiradelli’s will work. Just as long as it is good quality chocolate. A trick to knowing if it is decent chocolate: the first ingredient should be: (shocking!) cocoa! Not sugar or anything else, but cocoa. ‘Nuf said. I also add the vanilla during the creaming stage – you get more vanilla flavor that way!
I usually make them small, using a tablespoon scoop, but it is fun to make them big once in a while! It’s a great treat. I also bake them until they are slightly golden on top, which makes them crispy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside.
These cookies also freeze very well. I will sometimes make the dough and just bake a couple of cookies, then freeze the rest of the dough. That way I’m not eating too many cookies!

Thank you, Lisa Michele and Levain Bakery!

And now, the recipe

Ingredients
  • 2 sticks ‘cold and cubed’ unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar – not packed.
  • 1 tablespoon good vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups AP flour – Spoon and Sweep method.I usually stick with 3 1/4 cup.
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon baking powder (just under 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (I use Guittard)
  • 1 cup pecans (Toast for more flavor)
DirectionsPreheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugars and vanilla until well blended and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time.. and beat until well incorporated.
2. Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chunks and nuts, or add to the mixer at teh very end, careful not to overmix.
3. Finish mixing chocolate and nuts with a wooden spoon.
4. Using a scoop (size is your preference), place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper or silpat and bake in the preheated oven until very lightly browned, taking care not to overbake. Let cool on rack and store what you don’t immediately eat, in an airtight container. Microwave for a few seconds to make them warm and gooey again!

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

Chocolate peanut butter goodness.I don’t know about you, but I’m drooling just from the title. Chocolate and peanut butter in a whoopie pie? Thank you, Martha Stewart! These cookies were easy, yet a little time consuming, and are a wonderful treat, particularly with a scoop of coffee ice cream. Oh yeah, now we’re talking!

The recipe makes about 36 sandwiches, which is why it takes so long. That’s 72 cookies to scoop and bake. However, they bake quickly. I went easy on the peanut butter filling, not because it wasn’t delicious but because I thought the peanut butter overpowered the delicate chocolate cake/cookie. The chocolate insisted on equal representation! But if you are a peanut butter fanatic…load up! I had quite a bit leftover peanut butter, which also goes wonderfully over, you guessed it, coffee ice cream (preferrably Haagen Daz Five).

Thanks again, Martha, for a solid recipe! It was a hit!

Here’s the recipe

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
Coarse salt, optional 

Directions:

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. Season with salt, if desired.
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.

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