Tag Archives: holiday

Pumpkin Pie with Biscoff Crust and Maple Bourbon Whipped Cream.

Being the daughter of The Pie Man, it was quite a shame that I’d never made a pumpkin pie from scratch.  9 times out of 10, I choose convenience – pre-chopped onion, pre-diced butternut squash, pre-washed and bagged lettuce, you get the picture.  Time is typically a factor in my busy life.

But the Fruitaholic came to me the other day and asked if we could buy some pumpkins and bake a pumpkin pie together.  And who am I to turn down some quality time in the kitchen with my favorite boy?  And of course, knowing me, I couldn’t just make your typical pumpkin pie.  No siree.  I adapted a graham cracker crust recipe, substituting finely crushed Biscoff cookies and topped it all off with a homemade maple bourbon whipped cream using our fancy new blender (don’t worry, I topped a slice of pie with regular whipped cream for the Fruitaholic).  The pie was to die for.    I can’t stop eating it… It in no way resembles a neatly sliced pie anymore.  I’ve just been digging in with a spoon.

I’m pretty pumped that Thanksgiving is only a few short weeks away so that I have a real excuse to make this pie again.  I strongly suggest adding it to your Thanksgiving menu.  You won’t be disappointed!

Pumpkin Pie with Biscoff Crust and Maple Bourbon Whipped Cream.

Crust Recipe adapted from All Recipes Pie Filling Recipe adapted from Carpe Season Whipped Cream Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay, via The Daily Meal


    For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 Cups Finely Crushed Biscoff Cookies
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. Butter, melted
  • For the pie filling:
  • 1 Pie Pumpkin (also called Sugar Pumpkin)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Cup plus 1/8 Cup Evaporated Milk
  • For the Whipped Cream:
  • 1 Half Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tbsp. Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. Bourbon


Preheat oven to 375.

Mix together the Biscoff cookie crumbs, sugar and butter. Press into a 9 inch pie pan. Bake for 7 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and strings with a metal spoon. Coat the cut edges with cooking spray and set cut side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Turn the oven temperature down to 325. When ready, roast the pumpkin for 40-60 minutes (it took about 45 for me), until the flesh is tender. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes then carefully remove skin using your fingers or a spoon.

Transfer the pumpkin to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Turn the oven temperature up to 425. Place half of the pumpkin puree into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl). Add the eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt. Mix until combined then add the evaporated milk and stir.

Pour filling into the pie crust and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 325 and bake an additional 35-45 minutes, until set. Allow to cool, then chill.

To make the whipped cream, combine the cream, maple syrup and bourbon and whip until stiff peaks form. Spoon over the top of the chilled pie just before serving.


Peppermint Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Did you know that December is National Brownie Month?  Neither did I, until Nicole of Seven Ate Nine decided to celebrate by asking us to make brownies for December’s What’s Baking.

Now, I didn’t exactly choose these brownies.  I had grand plans to make a different kind of brownie, but then I was asked to bring a dessert for Christmas Eve.  My mother in law had been looking through the blog and found these in the links of one of the Secret Recipe Club posts and asked me about them.  I was happy to oblige, as they were super festive for the occasion.

I also don’t normally make brownies from scratch.  Call me crazy, but I love the way the boxed varieties taste so I’ve never really had the need to make my own.  But I was up for the challenge.

This recipe produces a fudgier brownie than I’m used to, but it was really quite tasty.  The peppermint paired perfectly with the cream cheese.  The coloring from the crushed candy canes ran a little bit so I suggest adding them just before serving if you want them to stay pristinely pretty.

Peppermint Cream Cheese Brownies – slightly adapted from Dash of East

  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1/4 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 tsp. Peppermint Extract
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 8oz. Package Fat Free Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp. Butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Peppermint Extract
  • 3 Candy Canes, crushed

Preheat oven to 350.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a medium bowl), add the flour, cocoa powder and salt and mix until combined

In another bowl, add the brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla and peppermint extract, and the eggs.  Mix well then add to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

Pour the brownie batter into a baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out dry and without any crumbs.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Mix together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and peppermint extract in the bowl of a stand mixer (or with an electric hand mixer) until creamy and fluffy.  Spread the frosting over the brownies and sprinkle with the crushed candy canes before serving.

Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies.

I don’t do a lot of Holiday baking.  I like to bake, but I don’t like having a lot of extra treats laying around the house.  Cases in point:  I made Pretzel Fudge and they taunted me every time I opened the refrigerator door.  So, I packaged it up and shipped them off to a friend.  I made Caramel Chex Party Mix and the recipe made two large plastic containers worth.  So, I packaged it up and brought it to a family Holiday party.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I participated in a ginormously scaled cookie swap, and that that cookie swap didn’t go entirely as planned.  While I was bummed about not receiving all of cookies meant for me, it paled in comparison to what happened to my friend Kim.  Long story short, the blogger who received her cookies is (putting it lightly) a major not-so-nice person and had some not-so-nice things to say about all of the cookies she received.  I have some choice words for her too, but my parents read this blog  (Hi Dad!) so I’ll keep them to myself for now.  Kim is one of the nicest people I’ve never met (we’re internet buddies), and I was really saddened to hear what had happened.

So once Kim and I realized that our experiences with the cookie swap were less than stellar, we decided to swap with each other.  I loved making these cookies since they’re so cheery and festive (they sparkle!), and I hope Kim loves them too.

Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies – slightly adapted from Mommy Hates Cooking

  • 6 Peppermint Candy Canes, finely crushed (I used my food processor)
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Shortening
  • 1 Stick Butter, room temperature
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 tsp. Almond Extract
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • Red Food Coloring (I use Wilton Gel Colors)
  • Red Sparkling Sugar

Combine the crushed candy canes, sugar and powdered sugar.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), cream together the shortening and butter.  Add the peppermint-sugar mixture and mix again until well combined.  Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts, then gradually add the flour and salt.  Mix well.

Add food coloring until you achieve the color you want.   Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

Once dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375.  Add sparkling sugar to a shallow dish and set aside.

Using a cookie scoop (or rounded tablespoon), roll dough into small balls and slightly flatten with the palm of your hand.  Roll the dough in the sparkling sugar until covered.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 9-10 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.  Cool completely before serving.

Caramel Chex Party Mix.

If you’re anything like me, you excel at procrastination.  I am the queen of waiting until the last minute to do anything.  But with this very post, I may just have accomplished something I’ve never done before and up until now, was not even sure was possible: I both procrastinated and planned ahead at the very same time.

You see, this holiday treat is courtesy of the Recipe Swap.  Here’s a little bit of how it works behind the scenes.  The swap happens every other week so that everyone participating has enough time to make and blog their recipe.  During the off week (on a Monday), our lovely organizer Sarah puts out the theme and call for submissions and then on the day the recipes are due (always a Friday), she swaps the recipes and passes them along, and we have until the following Friday to make it.  So essentially, this recipe has been sitting in my inbox for two weeks now.

I’ve looked at the recipe probably twenty times since it arrived.  Three times this week, I set out to buy the ingredients but either lack of motivation to leave the couch, inclement weather or a cranky toddler put it on the back burner.  But tonight (Thursday), at 7pm, I finally got off my butt, acquired everything I needed and set to work.

It was festive, sweet, tasty and easy to make.  And the best part?  It took maybe all of 20 minutes to throw together, which is great for a dawdler like me. It would be awesome to bring to a holiday party (who doesn’t love Chex mix?!), which in case you were wondering, I am planning to do this weekend.

Two birds, one stone.  Done and done.

Caramel Chex Party Mix – slightly adapted from Chex and submitted to the swap by Nestie DMBlack

  • 4 Cups Rice Chex Cereal
  • 4 Cups Corn Chex Cereal
  • 1 8 oz. Can Mixed Nuts
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 Stick (1/2 cup) Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 12 oz. Bag Plain M&Ms

In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the rice and corn cereals and the mixed nuts.  Place the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a smaller microwave safe bowl and microwave, uncovered for 1 minute on high.  Remove from microwave, stir, and microwave again 1 minute more, until the mixture has melted and is smooth.  Stir in the vanilla and baking soda.  Pour the caramel over the cereal and nuts and stir until evenly coated.

Microwave uncovered on high 5-6 minutes, removing and stirring after each minute, until the cereal is lightly browned.  Cool for 5 minutes, then spread on waxed paper.  Cool completely, then break into bite sized pieces and stir in the M&Ms.  Store in an airtight container.