Baking My Way Through Baked – The Second Recipe

I love pumpkins.  I love picking pumpkins.  I love decorating pumpkins.  I love eating food with pumpkins in it.  So, I was excited when we got pumpkins in our CSA delivery and even more excited when I found the recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies in Baked.  Now, I’ve never had a whoopie pie.  At least, I don’t think that I have.  But the picture looked delicious so I decided to give this recipe a try.  It’s been a while since I last baked anything so I was excited to getting back into the kitchen.

Buddy is excited that I am in the kitchen. She just hides her excitement well.

In addition to baking whoopie pies for the first time ever, I would be baking with fresh pumpkin for the first time ever.  I used this website to make the pumpkin puree.  Let me say that the website is useful and I’m sure that this is as easy as making pumpkin puree could be.  And after attempting this, I can say with great certainty that pumpkin puree comes in a can for a reason!  First, if you don’t have a really great knife you may just as well try throwing the pumpkin on the ground to try to cut into it.  Trying to cut the pumpkin into pieces was just ridiculous.  And then, once you get the pumpkin cut, you have to spoon out all of the seeds and that in itself is pretty ridiculous.  My arms were exhausted from the cutting and the slicing and the scooping.  Ugh.  Then you have to use a sieve to make sure that all of the puree is nice and smooth.  Ryan and I were both using a spatula and a sieve to try to get this to go by faster.  Lesson learned: Buy pumpkin puree from a can.

A couple cups of puree? Hardly seems worth it.

I made one small adjustment to the recipe.  I thought that I had way more dark brown sugar but I only had a little over one cup left.  I used some muscovado sugar to complete the darn brown sugar amount.  I had no idea when I did it if it would change anything but I guessed that it would be ok. Once I added all of the dry ingredients together, I could tell that this was going to be pretty delicious.  The combination of cloves, ginger, and cinnamon made the kitchen smell like Thanksgiving.  The dry and wet ingredients came together pretty easily.

So, the recipe is really easy to follow.  However, I don’t know if this just this recipe or if I’ll see this throughout baking my way through Baked, but the recipe said to bake for about 11 minutes.  This was definitely not what I found, though.  It took closer to 14 or 15 minutes of baking before the toothpicks came out clean.  Once they came out of the oven, the smell of pumpkin pie filled the kitchen.

They are quite darker than the cookbook pic...but smell delicious!

Once the cookies were baked, it was time to start the filling.  Is there anything more delicious than a really great cream cheese frosting?  Answer: No, not really.  This frosting is your basic cream cheese frosting but something made it taste even sweeter.  I have a feeling that it was the three cups of confectioner’s sugar.

Everything is improved by the addition of frosting.

The final product?  They were a big hit.  The problem with whoopie pies is that they are so huge and so filling that it is difficult to finish all of them.  That’s when it is helpful to have a large family gathering to go to, like a Thanksgiving dinner, where you can toss whoopie pies at everyone so that you can get rid of them.  The taste of the cake and the frosting was really good and I do think that I’ll make these again.  I might even try to play with ingredients to make different variations of whoopie pies.  But, I’ll never again make my own pumpkin puree.

Never.

Never again.

Yum!

So. Many. Potatoes.

I love potatoes. I truly love potatoes. During Sunday dinner, it was a habit for my family to pass the potatoes to me last so as to ensure that everyone had some just in case I took the remainder for myself. I’ve never had too many potatoes. Until now.

In our CSA, we have been getting potatoes and more potatoes and more potatoes.  I only have a couple go-to recipes for potatoes.  I love mashed potatoes and I love roasted potatoes but I have found that I want something different.  Plus, when you have an abundance of sweet potatoes, you definitely need a different recipe.  So, I went searching.

I found this recipe online and thought that I would give it a try.

I didn’t add as much butter as the recipe called for.  However, I still had a lot of butter/cinnamon mixture left over after I had tossed the sweet potatoes so I kind of basted the top with more of the mixture after I put them on the baking sheet.

Verdict?  Delicious.  Really delicious.  The sweet potatoes get kind of crispy but still stay soft.  This one is definitely being added to my go-to potato recipes.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm

A Scarf for Ryan – Update #5

So, I now have more inspiration to finish this scarf. First, it’s cold out and Ryan needs to have a warm neck. Second, Erin is coming over in a couple days to teach me how to knit in the round. I really want to get this scarf mostly finished before I start a new project.

So, while watching a marathon of Harry Potter movies, I sat down to get some work done on this scarf.

I’m actually kind of impressed with what I was able to accomplish tonight.

The scarf at this point:

A Scarf for Ryan – Update #4

Neverending pile of books

OK, this is getting ridiculous.  I’ve been working on this scarf for a long (!!!!!) time now and it still isn’t close to being long enough to function as a scarf.  So, I’ve fallen behind on my knitting.  My pile of books that I still need to read has grown instead of shrunk.  I’ve only baked one recipe from my self-assigned task of baking my way through Baked.

A while ago, when I was commenting on my lack of getting things done, Ryan said, “Yea.  It’s kind of like you have a full-time job again.”  Yea.

Oh well.

My goal was to get this scarf done by the time that it started to get cold.  It’s now November.  It has definitely begun to get cold out.  I have gone past my goal.

Will the scarf be finished?  Yes.

Will the scarf be finished soon? Ummmmmmmmmm……………..

I had the day off today and there was a ton of housework that I could’ve started.  However, I’ve been waging war against a cold for the past several weeks and didn’t really want to leave the couch today.  So, that meant catching up on some naps, some reading, and some knitting.

I actually made some progress on the scarf today.  After this morning, it looks like:

It's almost a scarf!