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10.31.2012

Sea Salted Fluffernutter Filled Oatmeal Cookies




I do apologize for those of you who wanted this recipe sooner. Unfortunately writing a blog post and sharing the recipe has not been possible for the past couple of days. I had someone get frustrated with me for not posting it sooner.... It's a cookie recipe. You can live for 2 days without a cookie recipe. I had bigger fish to fry at the time. 



I feel silly worrying about trivial things such as timely blog posts, electricity, Internet, TV, and if we will have Halloween in our town tonight. The past 3 days has been nothing but bad luck for the East Coast. Especially those in New York and New Jersey. I have spent the past few days in my own little world only checking twitter and facebook on my phone occasionally thanks to the lack of cable, and in and out electricity. Finally our TV and Internet are back and I am in the loop as of to how devastating Hurricane Sandy really was.



Up here in New Hampshire, we had some minor flooding, trees down, hundreds of thousands of power outages, one death up in Lincoln due to a land slide. As horrible as that sounds. It is nothing compared to what some have experienced these past few days. This is unlike anything I have ever seen on the East Coast.



As I was hunkering down for the Storm on Sunday and Monday I whipped these cookies up as part of my Sandy survival kit. Because I know when a hurricane comes in to town there is a big chance I could be without power for days. So I will need unlimited amounts of wine and dozens of cookies.



Brown butter oatmeal cookies, filled with ooey gooey peanut butter and marshmallow fluff then topped with a pinch of sea salt.

If you find yourself about to be stuck inside for days thanks to the nasty weather.... I encourage you to make a batch of these cookies. They will add a little sweetness in to a yukky situation. I promise.



Sea Salted Fluffernutter Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup  butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract    

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger

12 tsp of peanut butter
12 tsp of marshmallow fluff
Sea salt for sprinkling (12 small pinches)

Directions:

Over medium/low heat melt your butter until it starts to brown slightly and starts to smell nutty. Careful not to burn.

Set aside to cool slightly.

In the bowl of your electric mixer cream your eggs and sugars together. Add in vanilla, Slowly pour in your browned butter.

Mix in your flour, oats, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.


Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

Roll 24 small balls no larger than a tbs.

Press your thumb in the center of each  ball.

Fill half with PB and fluff. 


With a 2nd cookie ball press on to the tops of the filled cookies. Press sides together and form one ball.

Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350. 


Recipe should yield about 12 filled cookies.


Want to help those in need thanks to Hurricane Sandy? Check with your local Red Cross... or click HERE for more info.



   

 
 




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10.29.2012

Meatless Monday Quinoa Taco Lettuce Wraps



My husband has more will power than I when it comes to beef and chicken. When I decided to make some changes in our diet and we went unprocessed (or at least mostly unprocessed) He decided to go meatless. I went 4 whole weeks... and I caved  I had a chicken salad. Than last night I fixed myself some steak tips... I swore when he smelled those tips he would cave. Me being the mean wife that I am was kinda hoping he would would be tempted and come to the dark side.

Yep. Will of steel! He didn't cave. He settled for his meatless dinner instead.

One of our new favorite quick and easy unprocessed vegetarian meals are these Quinoa Taco Lettuce Wraps.

They have all the flavor of a taco, low carb, low fat, high fiber, high protein... they are awesome! This recipe is easily adapted to be vegan. Just nix the sour cream/cheese and you are good to go! I promise you will not miss the meat filled tacos or the corn tortilla!

Quinoa Taco Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa ( I cook mine in veggie stock instead of water)
1 cup cooked black beans or pinto beans (I soak my own)
1-2 tbs of taco seasoning
1/4-1/2 cups salsa
1 avocado sliced
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup diced red onions
1/2 cup fat free sour cream (optional)
1/2 cup shredded  cheese (optional) 
4 iceberg lettuce leaves

Directions:

Over medium/low heat mix cooked quinoa, beans salsa, and taco seasoning together. Salt and pepper to taste.

When heated through. spread quinoa taco mixture into lettuce leaves top with your favorite taco toppings. I like avocado, tomatoes, onions and sour cream. Add cheese, scallions, taco sauce, jalapenos... nix the sour cream and cheese and make it vegan! Whatever your hearts desire!      

   
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10.28.2012

Vegan Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Bread



This week, in Sundays With Joy we all made Joy's Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Bread. I've made this recipe several times since purchasing her book last spring.



It is my very favorite easy, always have the ingredients on hand quick bread recipe. I've subbed in butternut squash and sweet potatoes for this bread as well and it was perfect each time!



This week I made some adaptions just for fun. Not because it needs any changes. For Joy's recipe you will need to get a copy of her book Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.



Vegan Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients: 
2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbs cinnamon
15 oz fresh pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey (To make it vegan substitute maple syrup)
1/3 cup water
FOR THE TOPPING:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs cinnamon
2 tbs vegetable oil

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350.

Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. 

In a large bowl mix flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. In a separate bowl mix pumpkin, oil, honey, and water together. Combine the bowls together.

Pour into prepared pans.

In a small bowl using a fork mix all of your topping ingredients together until slightly crumbly. Sprinkle over the tops of each loaf.

Bake for 1- 1 hour 15 minutes.Or until a tooth pick is inserted and comes out clean.

Allow loaves to rest for 20 minutes before removing from pans.

Are you a member of Sundays With Joy? If so link your post below. Not a member, but want to become one? Click HERE for more info.

(Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the publishers of Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes. All opinions are my own)



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10.26.2012

Make Your Own Hamburger Helper




It's funny the other night my husband was talking about a story he heard on NPR about how the marketing campaign behind Hamburger Helper when it first came out in 50's was... something like... "When you don't have time to make a home cooked meal, use a box of Hamburger Helper."


But today the idea behind it is... "When you want a home cooked meal make a box of Hamburger Helper."


What is wrong with us today? When you want a home cooked meal..... make it yourself. If you do not have the time to make everything from scratch. I understand that! I am a busy mom after all. There are days when I would love to make pasta by hand or a batch of sauce... but we only have so many hours in the day! Choosing a product like Hamburger Helper or any other ready to go meal out of a box is not what a decent meal should be. It is nothing but artificial flavors, colorings and chemicals. If you can not pronounce an ingredient listed on the back of a box.... my advice. DON'T EAT IT!

The idea behind this is absurdly absurd.... when you want a home cooked meal?? I'm going to buy a box of crap and throw it in a pan. Hamburger Helper is 3 basic ingredients... pasta, meat, sauce. Why do we need to simplify that even more?


So to illustrate how stupidly easy it is to make a decent meal that is much like hamburger helper, but a tad less processed.... I made my own version. Sans the burger though.... because we are meatless these days! If you want to add your own. I will add the instructions at the bottom of the recipe.

Make Your Own Hamburger Helper

Ingredients:

1 box of whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce (or better yet your own! I used my mothers homemade jarred sauce)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup fresh mozzarella shredded
     
Directions:

Break your lasagna noodles into small pieces boil until cooked according to box directions.

Strain pasta.

Pour sauce over pasta.

Sprinkle with cheese and mix.

***To add hamburger***
Fry 1 pound of burger until browned and cooked. Strain grease. Mix into pasta mixture.


So tell me why again people buy that stuff in a box with the creepy white talking glove?      


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10.25.2012

Biscoff Cookie Fudge Brownies





Before we talk all things chocolate and Biscoff. I want to share this picture of the sweetest animal on the planet.

My husband is probably at his wits end with my animal collection. What can I say. I have a big heart. I love fuzzy things who cuddle.



I had one dog two cats. Then I added another dog... then a mama cat! The mama cat then had kittens. She had a litter of five only two survived. One of the two was born with front legs that just don't work. At first I thought he would grow out of it. As his brother started running around and playing, and he was not I knew something was wrong. I put a call in to our vet did some reading on his condition.... things did not look good. I then changed vets (I already was not happy with ours and how he has been dealing with my old pup Ollie.) The new vet was fabulous.

Where other vets would suggest amputation of at least his left paw... perhaps even both paws, or putting him to sleep. This vet said.... "Does this kitten know he is deformed? Does he look unhappy?" No. He is sweet at can be. Does not appear to be in pain. "He doesn't know he different, so he will adapt, and live a happy life." A weight was lifted off my shoulders. for days I was stressing over this little guy, I loved him so much already and could not imagine having to put a sweet little guy to sleep.

I told hubs I had to keep him. I can not imagine putting this guy up for adoption. He needs a special type of home where he can adapt and be loved. So what am I to do... I want to keep the mom and brother as well but know I can't have 5 cats! Because that's crossing that fuzzy line of crazy cat lady right???!!!

As much as it breaks my heart to give her to a new home mama cat has to go. I'm bring her to the vet getting her fixed her shots clean bill of health then my mom is adopting her. Good to know mama cat will be loved and take care of. Now I have his brother who is adorable. a big ball of white fluffy fur. And fat. SO FAT! He's about twice the size of my little cripple kitty. So NH peeps you know you want him right????? I would love someone I know to adopt him. So hit me up if you are looking for a fuzzy family member!



Want to know what else I love as much as little fur balls?

Fudge brownies.

Fudge brownies AND Biscoff cookies.

I made these the other day for my husband's employees. I was a good girl only having a couple biscoff cookies and not even a crumb of the brownies. It was a small slip in my unprocessed diet plan. So worth it!



These are the perfect fudge brownie filled with Biscoff cookies. Topped with a chocolate ganache and then more Biscoff cookies.



Biscoff Cookie Fudge Brownies

Ingredients:

  
1/2 cup of butter

4 oz semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened coco powder
3/4  cups of sugar 

2 eggs  
1 tbs vanilla extract 

2 tbs of Greek yogurt
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

12 Biscoff Cookies
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:

 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

On your stove top over medium low heat melt your butter and bittersweet chocolate together. Set aside.


In a mixing bowl whisk eggs, and sugar together.


Mix in butter/chocolate mixture. 


Mix in  vanilla, sour cream, flour, coco powder and salt. 


Crumble Biscoff cookies folding half of them into the brownie batter.

Pour into a parchment paper lined 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. 
 
Bake brownies for 20 minutes or until a tooth pick is inserted and comes out clean.

Set aside to cool completely.

To make the ganache, in a double boiler whisk chocolate chips and cream together until melted and smooth.

Spread over cooled brownies. Sprinkle with remaining cookies.

Cut into squares and enjoy!

Question of the day....

How many cats cross the line of crazy? 

Also guess what the boys named cripple kitty..... BEANO. Like the gas meds!


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10.23.2012

Quinoa Spinach Mac n' Cheese


I am not a big fan of recipe contests. I've entered in two. The first one was these Fried Cherry Cheesecake Bites for OXO's Cherry Recipe Contest. I won. A big prize too, $500 worth of OXO loot. My kitchen is well stocked now! Then I entered these Black Bean and Lime Crusted Fish Nuggets into a Beanitos Recipe Contest. It was close... but I didn't win.

NOW I am working on contest #3. I have complete anxiety before entering something to be judged. It's hard for me!! This contest is a for Hannafords (My local grocery chain). They are running a contest for healthy kid foods. They must include a veggie or a fruit. The winner gets $1000 to Hannafords. That's a months worth of grocery's for this hungry family of 5!!!

So I set to it. What is the first kid friendly meal that comes to mind?




Mac n' Cheese. Have you ever met a kid or adult that does not go crazy for ooey gooey macaroni and cheese?

If you answered yes to that question. WHO? Seriously name them. Because I don't believe you. If you say YOU don't like it... well then I'm not so sure we can be friends anymore... It's just wrong. You must love macaroni and cheese!



To healthify it a tad. Instead of using pasta I went with Quinoa. Why you ask? Well Quinoa is full of so many great things like fiber and protein. Then I tossed in some spinach. One thing I know from being a mom of 3. 2 of which are picky boys. You smother anything in cheese and they will eat it. I assure you. Spinach is your friend. You just need to sneak it in on the kids!

Other than those two small changes it's a traditional macaroni and cheese topped with bread crumbs and baked.



My husband who was a once proclaimed quinoa hater.... was floored by how good this was. He actually said I should nix pasta from our mac n' cheese from now on!

Win for mama!!

So I figure since this was such a family hit here.... it must be a winner right? Why not enter it into the Hannaford contest.

Let me know what you think! Enjoy :)



Quinoa Spinach Mac n' Cheese

3 cups cooked quinoa (cooked according to package directions)
3 tbs of unsalted butter
3 tbs of all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
Few dashes freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
4 additional tsp of butter
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions:

In a medium sauce pan add 3 tbs butter and flour to the pan over medium heat. Whisk continuously until a paste forms. Whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium/high bring to a boil whisking the whole time. Stir nutmeg, salt and cheddar cheese.  When cheese sauce is smooth remove from heat.

In a large bowl mix quinoa, cheese sauce and spinach together.  Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Transfer into a casserole dish.

In a small bowl mix butter  and bread crumbs together. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

Bake on 350 until bubbly. About 20 minutes. 

Remove from oven and enjoy!

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10.22.2012

How to make your own Craisins


On Columbus Day, the kids were home, no school. Hubs was working, it was gorgeous outside. So what better thing, then to go apple picking and enjoy the last of falls great weather right?



I packed the kids up, met up with my Mother In Law and headed up to one of my favorite orchards.

It was great, the kids had a blast, the sun was out, the leaf peeping was at it's peak, and the mountain views were amazing!



We packed up our apples, stopped at my Mother In Laws house for a quick snack to bring on the road home. She gave each kiddo a juice box, and a bag of craisins. Staples in her house, just for when her favorite kids come to visit.



On the way home. Chase starts panicking.... "THERE IS A CRAISIN IN MY NOSE."  At first I didn't know what to do... So I find a safe place to pull over, get him out of his seat lay him over my lap and look up his nose. Yep. There it was. Waaaaaaay up there.  Nothing I could do to get it out. He exclaims "OWEN told me to do it!" I look at his older obviously not much wiser brother... the look of guilt on his face said it all...



So I turn my car around and head back into concord. (Did I mention I was almost home? So this made for another full hour in the car!)

We get to Urgent Care, check in. Chase proudly announces to anyone who looks at him, "I have a craisin in my nose."

The receptionist gives the boys each a coloring book, crayons and they begin to color chatting away to the elderly couple in the waiting room next to us.

Finally they call us in. Chase talks to the nurse taking his weight and stats. The Dr. walks in.... Chase makes a hacking noise... "Ummmm Mama I just swallowed it" Ewww seriously? The Dr. looks. Yep sure enough he cleared it down into this throat.

The nurse, the Dr. and my self proceeded to lecture the boys the importance of not sticking food in your nose... or any other object for that matter.

This little Craisin adventure to Urgent Care is what sparked my idea to make our own dried cranberries.

These are really quite easy to make, and they aren't as sweet. So they are a tad tart still. The kids liked them but with every bite made a pucker face. I actually preferred them  to the bagged ones you buy at the store. I like to know what I'm eating. These tasted like a slightly sweet cranberry!



Dried Cranberries

Ingredients:

3-4 cups fresh cranberries
2 qts boiling water
1 cup sugar + additional 1/4-1/2 cup for the drying process

Directions:

Toss berries and  one cup of sugar into the boiling water. Allow them to boil just until the berries pop open.

Strain berries. Reserving the water/juice. (I chilled mine and drank it. Fresh cranberry juice!) 

Lay the berries out onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets.  Sprinkle with the 1/4-1/2 cup sugar. Set oven to 250. Prop open with a wooden spoon just to crack it a tad. Toss every 45 minutes.   Continue to bake/dry the berries in the oven until they are no longer sticky. Will take 2-3 hours to dry.        

And don't stick them in your nose..... ever.   



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10.21.2012

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Banana Buttercream ~Sundays With Joy~



Before we get to today's Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Banana Buttercream... I need to announce the winner of the KitchenAid Hand Blender giveaway! Drum roll please.............................


TAMMY NORTHRUP!

Congrats Tammy email me at carrie@bakeaholicmama.com at your earliest convenience!

Now lets talk about Joy the Baker's Peanut Butter Cake.



I just could not justify making an entire 2 layer cake. My new unprocessed lifestyle is still going strong. I'm doing well with only a few slip ups here and there. Between that and going meatless. I've lost five lbs. My weight has been up and down 10lbs all year. I am determined to stay at this weight. And I'm sorry... peanut butter cake is not going to help the cause!

SO instead of a 2 layer cake, I opted to cut the recipe in half and make cupcakes instead. In my head I thought this would help me have more self control. Well let me tell you something. These cupcakes were just so gosh darn good. I couldn't. I had 2 right off. And I probably would have had another if my trouble making dingo dog didn't get to them first.... I have no idea how a 25-30lb dog can eat so much! 9 cupcakes she ate NINE! Why can't I have her metabolism?!



The cake was perfectly peanut buttery, dense, and moist. Joy paired her's with a  peanut butter cream cheese frosting. (Recipe can also be found in her book) I love peanut butter cream cheese frosting. I have made it for years.... and I am pretty sure peanut butter cream cheese frosting is why my husband married me! Every year I make him a chocolate cake with it for his birthday. It's also my mom's favorite!



Here is the sad part. I had no cream cheese and I was running low on peanut butter after making the cake. So what's a girl to do? First instinct was to make a chocolate frosting. Problem number two. I had no chocolate in the house. Can you tell I'm trying to loose weight?! NO chocolate!!!!!!

I had some overly ripe bananas waiting for me to make some pancakes, muffins, or a bread. It dawned on me peanut butter and banana are a match made in heaven.

Though I was unsure... can I make frosting out of a banana?? Why not?!

It worked perfectly! So so so so so good on top of these cupcakes.

 I made no adaptions to Joy's cake recipe other than cutting it in half and making cupcakes. So if you want to get that recipe..... you need to snag a copy of Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes!

I think someone was trying to be patient why I had a cupcake photo shoot... the life of a blogger is hard on her kids...


Don't fret.... I am going to share my banana frosting recipe!

Banana Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

1/4 a banana
4 tbs of room temperature butter
2-3 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer with your whisk attachment. Cream butter and banana together. Add in salt, and vanilla, mix on medium/ high. 

Slowly mix in sugar 1/2 cup at a time or until you get your desired texture/stiffness.   Pipe onto cooled cupcakes or cake. 

Makes enough frosting for 12 cupcakes or 1, 8 inch layer cake.

Are you a member of Sundays With Joy? If so please link up this weeks recipe below. If you are not... you should join. We are super fun people baking our way through the wicked fun Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes. Click HERE for info.

(Disclaimer: I have received no monetary compensation to write this post. I am in no way affiliated with the publishers of Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes. All opinions are my own)




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10.20.2012

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Snickerdoodles



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

Directions:
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. 
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.)  







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