Day 7 Pumpkin Week. Few things today. One it's the last day to enter into KitchenAid's giveaway for this fabulous Hand Blender /Immersion Blender. Two we have our last giveaway going on of the week. Sponsored by Le Creuset! Be sure to check out the details after today's guest post recipe!
Three, today's guest post! I'd like to share one of my favorite blogging friends. Ellen of Indigo Scones. Ellen is a high school senior. If you were to take one look at her blog you would be jealous of her talent. I wish I had on iota of the passion she does for food when I was her age. I think we can all expect to see big things from Ellen! She is a talented Baker, Photographer, Blogger and.... my right hand lady in the Sundays With Joy group. For those of you who are new followers. I created a group back in the spring called Sundays With Joy. Each week we make a recipe from Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes. Ellen is such a huge help keeping me on my toes and organized. Ellen is a huge Joy the Baker fan much like myself so of course we became friends ;)
Be sure to check out Ellen's blog Indigo Scones, you will be amazed! Also don't forget to enter in today's Le Creuset giveaway!
If you knew me well, you'd find it amusing that I'm participating in something called "Pumpkin Week." And before you go accusing me of dissing this famous fall trend, let me tell you why.
Pumpkin and I did not start out on good terms. Like so many other pumpkin haters, it started with Thanksgiving, and that ever-present pie made with smelly orange stuff from a can.
That's what I thought pumpkin was.
I always went straight past it, diving into the apple strudel or the piles of my grandma's famous meringues. Heck, most of the time I didn't even bother with dessert. Why would you when there's mounds of leftover mashed potatoes and gravy? And cold turkey! Hello second dinner.
I was a queer child, but look at me now! The owner of a blog called Indigo Scones, and the girl who turns right to the dessert section when given a restaurant menu. Oh irony.
I guess the whole jack-o-lantern thing threw me off as well. As much as I morbidly enjoyed scooping out pumpkin guts, it also made me wonder why on earth people would willingly ingest the stuff (The pumpkin, not the guts. Pretty sure I wasn't that clueless).
But, on one fateful night of carving, my dad began to pick out the pumpkin seeds. I watched curiously as he seasoned then roasted them. He made me try one, and I was hooked. I hardly bothered with pumpkin carving after that, I was too busy sorting the seeds from the innards. (Sorry...farm girl.)
Then, around my sophomore year, I started working a seasonal job in a bakery that sold pumpkin cake.
We baked it by the sheetful, using freshly-shredded pumpkin from the farm and slathering the whole thing in cream cheese frosting. This was new to me. The aroma and texture was more like..carrot cake! It wasn't mushy or pudding-like, nothing was mashed or pureed...it was just cake. One forkful, my friends, and I was gone.
Then came pumpkin muffins filled with cream cheese, definitely responsible for my subsequent conversion to pumpkin puree. All of sudden I was pumping out snickerdoodles, pumpkin-swirled pound cake, and these lovely black and white cookies.
The snickerdoodles were something I made last year. They were more for my mom's pleasure, but I was surprised by how much I actually liked them! But while they were good, I still felt a little off about them. Old dislikes die hard. When Carrie asked me to wrap up her pumpkin week, I started brainstorming something that even I would find irresistible.
Two failed recipes later, I was stuck.
I decided to fall back on some of my pumpkin-y basics. Cream cheese, and cookies.
The rest, as they say, is history. These cookies are fan-freaking-tastic, and yes, I do find them totally irresistible. I had three today (hush). Just trust me when I say that they're well worth the assembly required. And, personally, I kind of enjoyed making them. Baking is my therapy, so it works out nicely.
Thank you all so much for bearing with me through my pumpkin monologue, I'm happy that I can genuinely join in with all your obsessing over this stuff now ;)
Thanks again for having me Carrie, I love you and your beautiful blog to pieces! You've really put together a wonderful thing this week, I'm so honored that I got to star in it. Love to you all, and know that just because Pumpkin Week is ending, it certainly doesn't mean that you have to stop baking!
Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Yield: about 2 dozen cookies
Ingredients for the cookies:
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. freshly-ground ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Ingredients for the filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Ingredients for the cinnamon-sugar coating:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- Dash of allspice
To make the cookies, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Blend in the pumpkin puree. Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. If you have any more dry streaks on the bottom, fold together gently with a spatula until just combined. Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
While the dough chills, make the filling. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Cover and chill this as well (for at least half an hour).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and spices for the coating thoroughly. Take one tablespoon of dough and flatten it into a pancake shape. Place one teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of the pancake. Form another tablespoon of dough into an equally-sized pancake shape, and place on top, keeping the cream cheese in the middle. Gently pinch together the edges of the dough around the cream cheese to seal, then gently roll into a ball. Roll the ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Repeat with the remaining dough to fill the sheets, spacing the dough balls 2-3 inches apart. Dip the bottom of a flat, heavy-bottomed drinking glass in water to moisten slightly. Then dip it in the sugar-spice mixture, and use the bottom to flatten the dough balls slightly (They won't really flatten on their own, though they will puff slightly.). Recoat the bottom of the glass in the sugar-spice mixture as needed.
Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes, or until they are slightly firm to the touch and the tops are beginning to crackle. Let cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Sources: cookies from Annie's Eats, filling from The Baker Chick
Now for the Le Creuset giveaway.
When my friends at Le Creuset found out I was hosting a week long party dedicated to the love of pumpkin. They offered to give one lucky reader THIS super cute pumpkin casserole dish! It is valued at $170!
You just know you need it for your thanksgiving table this year don't you?!
For the details on this casserole click HERE to view it on Le Creuset's website.
For the details on this casserole click HERE to view it on Le Creuset's website.
How to enter:
Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite Thanksgiving dish is. Ex: Do you get most excited over the bird? Pies? Dinner Rolls? Stuffing? Sweet Potatoes?
Additional entry options:
1) Follow Bakeaholic Mama on facebook. Click HERE.
1) Follow Indigo Scones on facebook. Click HERE.
3) Follow Le Creuset on facebook. Click HERE.
4) Follow Bakeaholic Mama on Twitter. Click HERE.
5) Follow Indigo Scones on Twitter. Click HERE.
6) Follow Le Creuset on Twitter. Click HERE.
7) Tweet the following... " I just entered to win a @lecreuset casserole on @bakeaholicmama ."
Giveaway open to US residents only. Up to 8 entries per person. Giveaway ends on 10/26/2012 at 9pm winner will be chosen at 9am on 10/27/2012.
(Disclaimer I have received no monetary compensation to write this post. All opinions are my own. Le Creuset offered to give one pumpkin casserole away to one winner.)