Mini Chocolate and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

October

I am very late in sharing with you these little bites of heaven!  I made them for a Halloween potluck luncheon and everyone seemed to really enjoy them.  The cakes are very puffy and fluffy.  The filling is light and sweet.  The pumpkin gives the filling an orange tint.  (If you want to be especially festive you could add a few drops each of yellow and red food coloring to enhance the orange/black contrast!)  These were great for Halloween, but I think they are a very nice fall treat in general.  They would certainly add some spunk to a traditional Thanksgiving table.  (Minus the eyeballs, of course!)

I love packaging treats individually these days!  I just can’t get enough of it!  Not only does it look super cute, but I find people enjoy slipping a treat into their pocket or purse for later–especially after a heavy meal.

Here are some other treats I have wrapped individually:

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Better than Brownie Cookie Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Pink Frosting and Sprinkles

Mini Chocolate and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies:

Cakes

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Filling

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

    Place 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 and 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 about 2 teaspoons dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies spring back when lightly touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks and let cool 10 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheets and transfer to wire racks.  Cool completely.

    In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese, butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Whip until smooth

    Spoon about 2 teaspoons filling on the flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies.

    Adapted from Martha Stewart.

    Arugula, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Stuffed Turkey Cutlets

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    This is another delicious and easy weeknight meal.  I made it up in my head on my way home from work based on ingredients I knew we had on hand.  The panko crumbs make the cutlets very crispy, though you could certainly substitute any type of bread crumbs.  The filling is a delicious little surprise!  I think this is a perfect fall meal.  I served with roasted maple and olive oil acorn squash.

    Arugula, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Stuffed Turkey Cutlets:

    • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cups fresh arugula
    • 1 leek, rinsed clean and finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • coarse salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1 1/4 cups panko bread crumbs, seasoned to taste with coarse salt and pepper
    • 3 teaspoons of mango chutney (I use Major Gray’s)
    • 2 teaspoons honey mustard (or Dijon mustard)
    • 4 turkey cutlets, rinsed and dried with a paper towel
    • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
    • 2 tablespoons grated mozzarella cheese

    Preheat oven to 400 F.

    Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over low heat.  Add leek and cook until tender.  Add garlic and cook until soft.  Add arugula.  Add salt and pepper and use a spatula to move arugula around the pan.  Cook until just wilted and then add chopped dried cranberries, goat cheese and mozzarella.

    On a baking sheet place a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil.

    In one small shallow bowl combine mustard and chutney.  Mix with a small spoon until combined.   Pour breadcrumbs into a second small shallow bowl.  Dip cutlets, one at a time, into chutney mixture.   Then pat breadcrumbs onto one side of the cutlet.  Place on cookie sheet and scoop 1-2 tablespoons of the arugula filling onto one side of the cutlet.  Fold top portion of cutlet onto filling and secure with a toothpick.  Repeat for remaining cutlets.

    Bake for 20-30 minutes or until turkey is done and juices run clear.  Garnish with dried cranberry pieces and goat cheese crumbles.

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    I love the beautiful contrast of the fresh arugula and the dried cranberries.

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    Scoop filling on the bottom end of each cutlet so that you can easily fold over the top portion.

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    Fold over cutlet and secure with a toothpick.

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    Oozing with fresh arugula, cranberries, and cheese!

    Rosemary Chicken with White Beans

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    This meal is the definition of an easy and quick weeknight meal.  The tomatoes make this almost like a chunky soup/stew.  In fact, I wish we had some fresh bread on hand because this is a perfect dish for dunking!  I served this with a simple arugula salad.  We really enjoyed this dinner and I look forward to enjoying it again for lunch! 

    Notes:

    • For the chicken, I used Perdue thinly sliced chicken breast.  I love how they are nice and lean and cook so quickly!
    • For the stewed tomatoes, I like to use Contadina Diced Tomatoes.  They are perfect for quick weeknight meals!  For this recipe I used the “roasted garlic” variety.
    • You can always use fresh herbs in place of dried herbs.  In fact, I suggest you use fresh herbs as often as possible.  However, sometimes you find yourself in a pinch and it’s necessary to rely on your stash of dried herbs.  (Like when you have a hungry husband and you can’t get to the farmer’s market or the grocery store!)  Whenever you substitute dry for fresh always use one teaspoon of dry for every one tablespoon of fresh that the recipe calls for. 

    Rosemary Chicken with White Beans:

    • 2  tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary (if you have fresh, use fresh!)
    • ~1/2  teaspoon  salt
    • ~1/2  teaspoon  black pepper
    • 2 pounds of boneless chicken breast, sliced thin 2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
    • 2  (15 ounce) cans navy beans (or any other white bean like cannellini), drained
    • 1/4  cup  chopped pitted kalamata olives

    Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine rosemary, salt, and pepper and sprinkle over both sides of chicken. Place chicken in pan and cook until brown, turning once.  (Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to cook chicken in batches.  Make sure there is enough space in the pan so that each peace of chicken touches the bottom of the pan.) Once all chicken pieces are brown set aside on a plate.  Deglaze pan by adding tomatoes (with juices) to pan.  Use a spatula to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Reduce heat to medium and add chicken. Add the beans; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in olives.

    Adapted from MyRecipes.com.

    Mandarin Orange and Pomegranate Tart

    October

    This cake on MyRecipes.com caught my eye.  I absolutely love the brilliant orange of the mandarins contrasting with the bright ruby pomegranate arils!  Isn’t it such a beautiful and striking combination for fall?  I decided to use it as an inspiration for this tart. 

    Mandarin Orange and Pomegranate Tart:

    For the crust I combined about two cups of ginger snap cookie crumbs with granulated sugar, melted butter and a pinch of salt.  I baked it and let it cool.  For the filling I used this pastry cream filling  recipe and poured it into the cooled crust.  I then arranged the fruit (about two small cans of mandarin oranges and the seeds of half a fresh pomegranate) on top and painted it with some melted apricot jam.  For more tart ideas check this out!

     October

    Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Silver Peanut Butter Frosting

    October

    The recipe in the previous post makes enough batter for three round cake pans yet I only have two.  Rather than wash, cool, and reuse one of the cake pans to make a sky high cake, I decided to use the remaining batter to make mini cupcakes!  (Luckily, I also had quite a bit of leftover peanut butter frosting.)

    What’s funny is my intention was to make the frosting purple.  Into the frosting I whipped several drops of Wilton red and blue gel coloring.  However, because the frosting was taupe to start (the color of the peanut butter) rather than achieve the royal purple I had intended I ended up with this silvery gray color–and I love it!  I topped each cupcake with silver sprinkles and it totally works on this aluminum serving piece.  There is both eeriness and elegance to them.  If you want to make these cupcakes follow the recipe for the cake and frosting here

    October